On This Day

Historical Events on December 14

  • 557 Constantinople, the capital of the Byzantine Empire, is significantly damaged by a 6.4 magnitude earthquake
  • 644 Uthman ibn Affan, companion of Muhammad, appointed 3rd Caliph of Islam
  • 835 Chinese Emperor Wenzong conspires with chancellor Li Xun and general Zheng Zhu to kill all the eunuchs, but the plot is foiled. Also known as the Sweet Dew Incident
  • 867 Adrian II begins his reign as Catholic Pope
  • 872 John VIII elected as Catholic Pope
  • 1124 Theobald Buccapecus elected Pope Coelestinus II (he refuses)
  • 1287 During St. Lucia's Flood in Northwest Netherlands the Zuiderzee seawall collapses with loss of over 50,000 lives. Fifth largest recorded flood in history

Historic Event

1542 Princess Mary Stuart succeeds her father James V and becomes Queen Mary I of Scotland at 6 days old

  • 1575 Polish Parliament selects Istvan Bathory as king of Poland

Gregory Conquers Julius Caesar

1582 Zealand, Brabant Netherlands adopt Gregorian calendar, tomorrow is 12/25

  • 1600 Olivier van Noort sinks Spanish galleon San Diego at Bay of Manila, 350 die
  • 1656 Artificial pearls 1st manufactured by M. Jacquin in Paris made of gypsum pellets covered with fish scales
  • 1702 The Forty-seven Ronin (leaderless samurai), under the command of Ōishi Kuranosuke, avenge the death of their master in Japan
  • 1708 Prosper Jolyot de Crébillon's play "Electre" premieres in Paris
  • 1751 The first military academy in the world, the Theresian Military Academy, is founded in Austria
  • 1774 First incident of American Revolution - 400 New Hampshire militiamen successfully attack Fort William and Mary
  • 1782 Charleston, South Carolina evacuated by the British
  • 1793 1st state road authorized, Frankfort, Kentucky, to Cincinnati
  • 1798 David Wilkinson of Rhode Island patents a nut & bolt machine

Historic Event

1812 The French invasion of Russia, led by Napoleon Bonaparte, officially ends with the French having lost as many as 530,000 people

  • 1814 The Battle of Lake Borgne in Louisiana: British victory over the United States
  • 1819 Alabama admitted to Union as 22nd state
  • 1836 The Toledo War unofficially ends, boundary dispute between Ohio state and territory of Michigan
  • 1849 1st chamber music group in US gives their 1st concert in Boston
  • 1862 Battle of Kinston, fought in Lenoir County, North Carolina begins (Goldsboro Expedition), Union victory (US Civil War)
  • 1863 Battle of Bean's Station-Confederacy repulses Union in Tennessee

Historic Event

1864 War of the Triple Alliance: Paraguay invades the Brazilian province of Mato Grosso

Historic Event

1882 Henry Morton Stanley returns to Brussels from the Congo

  • 1889 American Academy of Political & Social Science organized in Philadelphia
  • 1894 Day One 1st Test Cricket Aus v Eng Aust 5-346 (Giffen 161, Gregory 85)
  • 1894 Test cricket debut of future Australian captain Joe Darling, great all-rounder Ernie Jones and outstanding England batsman Archie MacLaren; England wins 1st Test in Sydney by 10 runs
  • 1896 The Glasgow Underground Railway is opened by the Glasgow District Subway Company

Treaty of Interest

1897 Emilio Aguinaldo signs the Pact of Biak-na-Bato, to end hostilities and dissolve his government, in exchange for amnesty and "$800,000 (Mexican)" as an indemnity

  • 1900 Birth of Quantum Physics: German Physicist Max Planck presents a theoretical derivation of his black-body radiation law
  • 1900 France and Italy sign a secret agreement by which Italy recognizes France's right to exploit Morocco in return for France's conceding her the same right in Tripoli
  • 1901 1st table tennis tournament is held at the London Royal Aquarium
  • 1903 Reg Foster completes 287 England v Australia on his Test Cricket debut
  • 1903 The Wright brothers attempt to fly the Wright Flyer for the first time at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina
  • 1907 The schooner Thomas W. Lawson runs aground and founders near the Hellweather's Reef within the Scilly Isles in a gale. The pilot and 15 seamen die.
  • 1913 Greece formally takes possession of Crete

Historic Event

1914 US President Woodrow Wilson signs Harrison Narcotics Tax Act, to regulate and tax production, importation, and distribution of opiates and coca products

  • 1914 Lisandro de la Torre and others found the Democratic Progressist Party (Partido Demócrata Progresista, PDP) at the Hotel Savoy, Buenos Aires.
  • 1916 America's first board certified doctors are named by the American Board of Ophthalmology following an examination at the University of Tennessee Medical School in Memphis, Tennessee
  • 1917 UFA, Universal Film AG, forms in Germany

Music Premiere

1918 Giacomo Puccini's opera "Il Trittico" premieres in NYC

  • 1918 David Loyd George's coalition Government wins a clear majority in the UK general election
  • 1918 Sinn Féin candidates win 73 of 105 Irish seats in UK general election, though all will refuse to take seats in Westminster, instead meeting at a Dail Eireann in Dublin

Boxing Title Fight

1920 Jack Dempsey KOs Bill Brennan in 12 for heavyweight boxing title in NYC

  • 1924 Respighi's symphony "Pini di Roma" premieres in Paris
  • 1925 Alban Berg's first opera, "Wozzeck" premieres at the Berlin State Opera.
  • 1926 Thomas Madsen-Mygdal head of the Liberal Party forms a government in Denmark
  • 1927 Iraq gains independence from Britain, but British troops remain
  • 1929 Alexander Zaimis elected president of Greece
  • 1930 NY Giants defeat Notre Dame 22-0 in a charity game
  • 1930 National Football League Championship: Green Bay Packers (10-3-1) repeat with best record in first past the post title
  • 1931 1st assembly of Anton Musserts NSB in Utrecht
  • 1932 French government of Édouard Herriot falls
  • 1934 1st streamlined steam locomotive introduced in Albany, NY
  • 1935 Test Cricket debut of "Chuck" Fleetwood-Smith v South Africa, Durban
  • 1938 AL permits Cleveland & Philadelphia to play night games
  • 1938 Major League Baseball agrees on use of a standard ball; disagrees on increasing rosters from 23 to 25 players, although Commissioner Judge Landis eventually decides on 25
  • 1938 Will Harridge is elected to a 10-year-term as AL president
  • 1939 Soviet Union attacks Finland-League of Nations drops Soviet Union
  • 1941 1st NFL division playoff, Bears beat Packers 33-14

Historic Event

1941 Premier Winston Churchill travels to US on board HMS Duke of York

  • 1941 U-557 torpedoes British cruiser Galatea
  • 1941 Japan and Thailand sign a treaty of alliance
  • 1944 Beginning of Liese-Aktion: Germany tries to recruit Dutch men for the Germany labor force
  • 1944 US Congress establishes rank of General of Army (5-star General)
  • 1944 German occupiers forbid use of electricity in parts of Holland

Theater Premiere

1945 Elmer Rice's play "Dream Girl" premieres in NYC

  • 1946 "Three to Make Ready" closes at Adelphi Theater NYC after 323 performances
  • 1946 Togo made a trusteeship territory of UN
  • 1946 General Assembly of United Nations votes to construct headquarters in New York City [1]
  • 1947 Cleveland Browns beat NY Yankees 14-3 in AAFC championship game
  • 1947 The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) is founded in Daytona Beach, Florida
  • 1950 Musical "Bless You All" opens at Mark Hellinger Theater NYC for 84 performances
  • 1950 UN General Assembly establishes High Commission for Refugees, goes on to win Nobel Peace Prize in 1954
  • 1950 Baseball owners choose Lou Perini (Braves), Phil Wrigley (Cubs), Del Webb (Yankees), & Ellis Ryan (Indians) to select new commissioner
  • 1952 KROD (now KDBC) TV channel 4 in El Paso, TX (CBS) begins broadcasting
  • 1952 R H Shodhan scores 110 on Test Cricket debut v Pakistan, Calcutta
  • 1952 UN Troops kill 82 North Korean POWs during a prison camp riot in Pongam-do, South Korea

Sports History

1953 Brooklyn Dodgers sign pitcher Sandy Koufax

  • 1954 WOAY TV channel 4 in Oak Hill-Beckley, WV (ABC) begins broadcasting
  • 1955 Tappan Zee Bridge in NY opens to traffic
  • 1955 16 countries join the United Nations, including Austria, Finland, Italy, and Spain
  • 1956 Paul-Henri Spaak appointed secretary-general of NATO
  • 1957 "Most Happy Fella" closes at Imperial Theater NYC after 678 performances
  • 1957 "Rumple" musical closes at Alvin Theater NYC after 45 performances

Sports History

1958 Pat Summerall kicks game winning field goal for the New York Giants against the Cleveland Browns at Yankee Stadium

  • 1959 Archbishop Makarios proclaimed president of Cyprus
  • 1959 Joe B. Jordan in F-104C starfighter sets world altitude record, 31,513m
  • 1959 The album "Time Out" by the Dave Brubeck Quartet is released, peaking at No. 2 on the Billboard pop albums chart, and becomes the first jazz album to sell a million copies.
  • 1960 Australia v West Indies 1st Test Cricket at the Gabba ends in a tie
  • 1960 Organization for Economic Cooperation & Development (OECD) forms
  • 1960 Washington Senators joins American League
  • 1961 Jimmy Dean's "Big Bad John" is 1st country song to get a gold record
  • 1962 Mariner 2 makes 1st US fly-by of another planet (Venus)
  • 1962 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site
  • 1963 Verne Gagne beats The Crusher in Minneapolis, to become NWA champ
  • 1964 Michael Brown meets Renee Fladen, then writes "Walk Away Renee"
  • 1965 "La Grusse Valise" opens at 54th St Theater NYC for 7 performances
  • 1967 DNA created in a test tube

Historic Event

1967 Prime Minister of Canada, Lester B. Pearson announces that he is retiring from politics, succeeded by Pierre Trudeau

NHL Record

1968 Bobby Orr scores first career hat trick (vs Chicago Blackhawks)

#1 in the Charts

1969 "Leaving on a Jet Plane" single sung by Peter, Paul and Mary, written by John Denver hits #1 on US Billboard's Hot Top 100

  • 1969 One of the most catastrophic flops in the history of showbusiness - the musical "La Strada" opens and closes at Lunt Fontanne NYC after 1 performance
  • 1969 Bishen Bedi takes 7-98 (career-best) v Australia at Calcutta

TV Show Appearance

1969 Jackson Five make their 1st appearance on "The Ed Sullivan Show"

  • 1971 Golden Gate Bridge lights out all night due to power failure
  • 1971 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site
  • 1971 U.S. premiere of "Nicholas and Alexandra", film adaptation of Robert K. Massie's best selling novel
  • 1971 The Pakistan Army executes an estimated 1,111 of East Pakistan's intellectuals during the Bangladesh Liberation War
  • 1972 Eugene Cernan & Harrison Schmitt leave the Moon
  • 1974 Islander Glenn Resch's 1st shut-out opponent-Kings 3-0
  • 1974 Viv Richards scores 1st Test Cricket ton 192 v India 20 fours 6 sixes

Film Release

1974 Disaster film "The Towering Inferno" is released, starring Steve McQueen and Paul Newman

Musical Finale

1975 Scott Joplin's opera "Treemonisha" closes at Uris Theater NYC after 64 performances

  • 1975 6 So Moluccan terrorists surrender, holding 23 hostages for 12 days
  • 1975 WCPR (Brooklyn New York pirate radio station) begins broadcasting on 1620 AM
  • 1976 Dutch 1st Chamber condemns Dutch Liberal/social dem abortion laws
  • 1977 Egyptian & Israeli representatives gather in Cairo for first formal peace conference
  • 1977 MLB Boston Red Sox trade Fergie Jenkins to Texas Rangers for John Poloni & cash
  • 1977 Test Cricket debut of Pakistan spin bowling great Abdul Qadir v England in 1st Test at Lahore

Historic Event

1977 War criminal Pieter Menten sentenced in Amsterdam to 15 years

  • 1978 "Ballroom" opens at Majestic Theater NYC for 116 performances
  • 1978 China performs nuclear test at Lop Nor, PRC
  • 1978 USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR
  • 1979 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site
  • 1980 "Onward Victoria" opens and closes at Martin Beck NYC after 1 performance
  • 1980 Anders Kailur scores on 6th Islander penalty shot

Music History

1980 At 2 PM EST there is 10 minutes of silence in memory of John Lennon

  • 1980 Minnesota Vikings pass for 456 yards against Cleveland Browns, winning 28-24
  • 1980 New Orleans Saints end 14 game losing streak, beat NY Jets 21-20
  • 1980 USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR
  • 1980 Massacre at Bob's Big Boy restaurant in Los Angeles with 3 people killed and 6 injured
  • 1981 Israel annexes Golan Heights (seized from Syria in war of 1967)

Sports History

1982 LA Kings' Marcel Dionne becomes 9th NHLer to score 500 goals

  • 1983 Muscial "Peg" opens at Lunt-Fontanne Theater NYC for 5 performances
  • 1984 Sportscaster Howard Cosell retires from Monday Night Football

Historic Event

1985 US Secretary of State George P. Shultz arrives in West Berlin

  • 1986 Voyager, piloted by Dick Rutan & Jeana Yeager, takes off from Edwards AFB, California on 1st non-stop, non-refueled flight around the world

Sports History

1987 Allan Border scores 205 v NZ to become Australia's top rungetter

  • 1987 Chrysler pleads no contest to selling driven vehicles as new
  • 1988 CBS' $1.1 B bid wins exclusive 1990-94 major-league baseball rights
  • 1988 NBA's Miami Heat wins 1st game ever, 89-88 (Clippers), after 17 loses
  • 1988 Spanish General strike to protest austerity measures
  • 1988 US agrees to talk to Palestine Liberation Org for the 1st time in 13 yrs

Music History

1990 Louis Jordan's revue "Five Guys Named Moe" premieres in London

  • 1990 Right to Die case permits Nancy Cruzan to have her feeding tube removed, she dies 12 days later
  • 1991 57th Heisman Trophy Award: Desmond Howard, Michigan (WR)
  • 1991 Ferry boat Salem Express sinks in the Red Sea, 476 killed

Sports History

1992 Lennox Lewis given WBC title, when Riddick Bowe refused to fight him

  • 1992 52 people, including 25 children, are killed when a helicopter from Tkvarcheli is shot down during the War in Abkhazia
  • 1993 Muslim fundamentalists murder 12 Kroates/Bosnians in Algeria

Film Premiere

1993 "Philadelphia" one of the first mainstream films about AIDS, directed by Jonathan Demme, starring Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington premieres in Century City, California

  • 1994 Construction begins on the Three Gorges Dam, China
  • 1995 Musical "Les Miserables" opens at Cable Hall, Helsinki
  • 1995 AIDS patient Jeff Getty receives baboon bone marrow transplant

Dayton Agreement

1995 The Dayton Agreement is signed in Paris by leaders of various governments ending the conflict in the former Yugoslavia including Slobodan Milošević, Alija Izetbegović, Franjo Tuđman and Bill Clinton

  • 1996 12th Soap Opera Digest Awards - Days of Our Lives wins
  • 1996 62nd Heisman Trophy Award: Danny Wuerffel, Florida (QB)

Theater Premiere

1997 Revival of Arthur Miller's dramatic play "A View From the Bridge", starring Anthony LaPaglia, Allison Janney, and Brittany Murphy. opens at the Criterion Theater, NYC; runs for 239 performance, wins 2 Tony and 4 Drama Desk Awards

Sports History

1997 Phoenix Coyote winger Mike Gartner becomes 5th NHLer to score 700 goals

  • 1998 64th Heisman Trophy Award: Ricky Williams, Texas (RB)
  • 1999 Flash floods in Venezuela after torrential rainfall results in the deaths of thousands of people and causes a total collapse in the state's infrastructure
  • 2003 President of Pakistan Pervez Musharaf narrowly escapes an assassination attempt
  • 2004 The Millau viaduct, the highest bridge in the world, near Millau, France is officially opened

Conference of Interest

2008 President George W. Bush make his fourth and final trip to Iraq as president and is almost struck by two shoes thrown at him by Iraqi journalist Muntadhar al-Zaidi during a farewell conference in Baghdad

  • 2009 75th Heisman Trophy Award: Mark Ingram, Jr., Alabama (RB)
  • 2012 28 people, including 20 children, are shot to death at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut
  • 2012 Australian Joel Parkinson wins the 2012 ASP World Tour
  • 2012 Gene Wolfe wins the Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master Award

Film & TV History

2013 Venkatraman Ramakrishnan is named as one of the 25 Greatest Global Living Indians by NDTV Channel, India

Election of Interest

2014 Shinzō Abe and his ruling Liberal Democratic Party win re-election in Japan, retaining their two-thirds majority with coalition partner New Kōmeitō Party

  • 2015 Bus plunges off bridge into Balboa River near Argentina city of Rosario de la Frontera, killing 43 frontier police on board

Film Premiere

2015 "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" directed by J.J. Abrams and starring Daisy Ridley, John Boyega and Harrison Ford has its world premiere at the TCL Chinese Theatre in Los Angeles

  • 2016 University of Toronto scientists present findings of the world's oldest water - 2 billion years old from a mine in Canada
  • 2016 Amazon announces its 1st delivery by drone 2 km from their warehouse in the UK

Historic Event

2017 The Vatican announces it has rediscovered the lost last paintings of Raphael in Vatican Museum, painted in 1520

  • 2017 The Walt Disney Company buys most of 21st Century Fox for $52.4 billion
  • 2017 US media regulator the Federal Communications Commission votes to end net neutrality
  • 2017 Train ploughs into a school bus cutting it in half, killing 4 children and injuring 20 near Perpignan, France
  • 2017 Suicide bomber kills at least 18 police officers at a training centre parade in Mogadishu, Somalia, Islamic group al-Shabab claim responsibility
  • 2017 British surgeon Simon Bramhall admits to branding the liver of 2 patients with his initials
  • 2017 Australian government establishes a Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry
  • 2018 Report by Reuters US pharmaceutical company Johnson & Johnson knew for decades their talc was contaminated with asbestos
  • 2019 Miss World won by Miss Jamaica Toni-Ann Singh in London. First time all five major beauty titles held by black women.
  • 2019 Bel Air mansion featured in TV series "The Beverly Hillbillies" sells for $150 million, becoming California's most expensive property
  • 2019 85th Heisman Trophy Award: Joe Burrow, Louisiana State University (QB); highest percentage of first place votes ever with 90.7%
  • 2020 America begins its first COVID-19 vaccinations using the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine on the same day it records over 300,000 deaths
  • 2020 Total solar eclipse visible across southern Chile and Argentina

Election of Interest

2020 US Electoral College votes 306-232 to officially affirm Joe Biden's presidential election victory

  • 2020 US Open Women's Golf, Champions GC, Houston: Kim A-lim wins her first major title by 1 stroke from fellow South Korean Ko Jin-young and American Amy Olson
  • 2020 US Attorney General William Barr resigns
  • 2020 Russia revealed to have been behind massive cyberattack on US government agencies and private companies since the Spring
  • 2021 American Covid-19 death toll passes 800,000, with more deaths recorded in 2021 than 2020