On This Day

Historical Events on December 19

  • 324 Licinius abdicates his position as Roman Emperor.
  • 401 St Anastasius I ends his reign as Catholic Pope
  • 1055 Seldjuken under Toghril Beg occupy Baghdad

Royal Coronation

1154 King Henry II of England crowned King of England

  • 1551 Dutch west coast hit by hurricane
  • 1562 Battle at Dreux: Anne de Montmorency & huguenots under Condé captured

Murder of Interest

1642 4 of Abel Tasman's crew killed at Wharewharangi (Murderers) Bay by Māori; Tasman's ships depart without landing

  • 1675 King Philip's War: Combined colonial millitias stake massive attack against the Great Swamp Fort, owned by the Narragansetts, totally destroying the settlement and killing or displacing hundreds of non-combatant women and children
  • 1686 Robinson Crusoe leaves his island after 28 years (as per Daniel Defoe)
  • 1688 King James II's wife & son flee to France
  • 1696 Jean-Francois Regnard's "Le Joueur" premieres in Paris

Historic Publication

1776 Thomas Paine publishes his 1st "American Crisis" essay beginning "These are the times that try men's souls" (date disputed)

  • 1777 Washington settles his troops at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania for the winter

Historic Event

1783 William Pitt the Younger becomes the youngest ever British Prime Minister at age 24

  • 1788 Chinese troops occupy capital Thang Long Vietnam
  • 1795 1st state appropriation of money for road building, Kentucky
  • 1823 Georgia passes 1st US state birth registration law in US

Historic Event

1828 Report by US Vice President John C. Calhoun defending the rights of states to nullify federal laws is presented to the South Carolina legislature but it takes no action

Historic Event

1835 HMS Beagle with Charles Darwin aboard arrives in New Zealand

  • 1842 US recognizes independence of Hawaii

Historic Publication

1843 "A Christmas Carol" by Charles Dickens is published, 6,000 copies sold

  • 1854 Allen Wilson of Conn patents sewing machine to sew curving seams
  • 1859 Grading started for Market Street RR in San Francisco
  • 1861 Battle of Black Water (American Civil War)
  • 1862 Skirmish at Jackson, Salem Church, Tennessee (80 casualties)
  • 1870 After 31 days at sea in a small boat, William Halford and 3 others reach the island of Kauai, Hawaii to seek help for the shipwrecked USS Saginaw. A capsize in the breakers meant only Halford survived.
  • 1871 Albert L Jones of New York City patents corrugated paper

Music History

1881 Opera "Hérodiade" by Jules Massenet is produced in Brussels

  • 1884 Italy recognizes King Leopold II's Congo Free State
  • 1887 Jake Kilrain & Jem Smith fight 106 round bare knuckle draw

Historic Expedition

1888 Henry Morton Stanley's expedition reaches Fort Bodo, East-Africa

  • 1889 Bishop Museum founded in Hawaii
  • 1891 1st Negro Catholic priest ordained in US, Charles Uncles, Baltimore
  • 1891 Canadian Rugby Union forms

Historic Event

1900 General Horatio Kitchener offers protections to all Boers who will surrender and asks the Dutch community of Pretoria to convey this offer, leaders in the field refuse to surrender

  • 1903 Williamsburg suspension bridge opens between Brooklyn and Manhattan
  • 1904 Dawson City hockey team begins 9 day walk to get a boat to Seattle to catch a train to Ottawa to play in Stanley Cup on Jan 13 1905
  • 1907 239 workers died in a coal mine explosion in Jacobs Creek, Pennsylvania
  • 1910 1st US city ordinance requiring white & black residential areas in Baltimore
  • 1910 Rayon 1st commercially produced in Marcus Hook, Pennsylvania

Boxing Title Fight

1913 Jack Johnson fights fellow African-American Jim Johnson to a draw in 10 rounds for the vacant world heavyweight boxing title in Paris, 1st time two black fighters compete for the title

  • 1916 Suriname Bauxite Company forms in Paramaribo
  • 1917 1st NHL game played on artificial ice in Toronto
  • 1917 Quebec Bulldogs play their 1st professional hockey game
  • 1918 Robert Ripley begins his "Believe It or Not" column (NY Globe)
  • 1919 American Meteorological Society found
  • 1920 1st US indoor curling rink opens (Brookline, Mass)

Historic Event

1920 King Constantine I is restored as King of the Hellenes after the death of his son Alexander I of Greece and a plebiscite.

  • 1922 Theresa Vaughn, 24, confesses in court in Sheffield, England, to being married 61 times over 5 years in 50 cities in three countries
  • 1924 Test Cricket debut of Bill Ponsford, who scored 110 in 1st innings
  • 1924 The last Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost is sold in London, England.
  • 1926 National Football League Championship: Frankford Yellow Jackets (14-1-2) win first past the post title
  • 1927 National Football League Championship: New York Giants (11-1-1) win first past the post title
  • 1928 1st autogyro flight in US

Historic Event

1930 James Weldon Johnson resigns as executive secretary of NAACP

  • 1931 Joseph A Lyons (C) becomes premier of Australia
  • 1932 British Broadcasting Corp begins transmitting overseas
  • 1933 Electric Home & Farm Authority Inc, authorized
  • 1934 Japan agrees to naval treaty of 1922 & 1930
  • 1939 Russian air & ground attack against Finnish positions near Summa
  • 1941 German submarine U-574 sinks

Historic Event

1941 Adolf Hitler takes complete command of German Army

  • 1941 US Office of Censorship created to control info pertaining to WW II
  • 1942 Robert Stroud "Birdman of Alcatraz" is transferred to Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary
  • 1943 Military coup in Bolivia
  • 1945 Austrian Republic re-establishes
  • 1945 Jean Giraudoux' "La Folle de Chaillot" premieres in Paris

Music Premiere

1946 Noël Coward's musical "Pacific 1860" premieres in London

Historic Event

1946 War breaks out in Indochina as Ho Chi Minh attacks French in Hanoi

  • 1947 1948 NFL Draft: Harry Gilmer from University of Alabama first pick by Washington Redskins
  • 1948 2nd political action of Java/Sumatra
  • 1948 8th largest snowfall in NYC history (15.3")
  • 1948 Cleveland Browns beats Buffalo Bills 49-7 in AAFC championship game
  • 1948 National Football League Championship, Shribe Park, Philadelphia: Philadelphia Eagles shutout Chicago Cardinals, 7-0 in a snowstorm, 'the Philly Blizzard'
  • 1949 Luxury passenger ship Aquitania demolished in Gareloch, Scotland
  • 1949 WJW TV channel 8 in Cleveland, Ohio (CBS) begins broadcasting

Historic Event

1950 General Eisenhower named NATO commander

Historic Event

1950 Chinese invasion of Tibet forces the Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama to flee

  • 1951 Nazi General Christiansen leaves Netherlands
  • 1952 Queen Juliana unveals statue "Docker"
  • 1953 KFYR TV channel 5 in Bismarck, ND (NBC/ABC) begins broadcasting
  • 1955 Carl Perkins records "Blue Suede Shoes"
  • 1957 Meredith Wilson's musical "The Music Man", starring Robert Preston and Barbara Cook, opens at Majestic Theater, NYC; runs for 1375 performances, wins 5 Tony and a Grammy Award
  • 1958 1st radio broadcast from space, US President Dwight D. Eisenhower Christmas message "to all mankind, America's wish for peace on Earth and goodwill to men everywhere"
  • 1959 1st Liberty Bowl game-Penn State beats Alabama 7-0
  • 1960 Fire aboard USS Constellation, under construction at Brooklyn (50 die)

Music Recording

1960 Frank Sinatra's 1st session with Reprise Records ("Ring-A-Ding-Ding")

  • 1960 Mercury-Redstone 1A reaches 210 km in test flight

Historic Event

1961 Indonesian President Sukarno proclaims general mobilization

  • 1962 Nyasaland secedes from Rhodesia & Nyasaland
  • 1962 Street signs in Golden Gate Park approved by Park Commission
  • 1962 Transit 5A1, 1st operational navigational satellite, launched
  • 1964 "Gertrud", Danish film directed by Carl Theodor Dreyer, starring Nina Pens Rode, Bendt Rothe and Ebbe Rode, is released in France

Election of Interest

1965 French President De Gaulle re-elected (Mitterrand gets 45%)

  • 1967 Prime Minister of Australia Harold Holt is officially presumed dead.
  • 1968 WCWB (now WMGT) TV channel 41 in Macon, GA (NBC) begins broadcasting
  • 1969 Beatle's 7th Christmas fan-club single is released
  • 1971 "Inner City" opens at Barrymore Theater NYC for 97 performances
  • 1971 CBS airs "Homecoming A Christmas Story," (introducing the Waltons)
  • 1971 NASA launches Intelsat 4 F-3 for COMSAT Corp

A Clockwork Orange

1971 Stanley Kubrick's X-rated film "A Clockwork Orange" based on the book by Anthony Burgess and starring Malcolm McDowell premieres

  • 1972 Apollo 17 (last of Apollo Moon landing series) returns to Earth
  • 1973 "Molly" closes at Alvin Theater NYC after 68 performances
  • 1973 Grenada adopts constitution

Film Premiere

1974 "The Man with the Golden Gun", 9th James Bond film, starring Roger Moore, Britt Ekland and Christopher Lee, premieres in London

  • 1974 Dave Kryskow scores Washington Capitals 1st NHL shorthanded goal

Historic Event

1974 Nelson Rockefeller is sworn in as Vice President of the United States

Music History

1975 British guitarist Ron Wood joins The Rolling Stones

  • 1975 The Red Hand Commandos, a very secretive Ulster loyalist paramilitary group in Northern Ireland, explode a no-warning car bomb in Dundalk, killing 2 civilians and wounding 20
  • 1976 John Lever takes 7-46 in 1st Test Cricket innings, v India Delhi

Historic Event

1976 Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev receives his 5th Order of Lenin

  • 1976 Piper Cherokee crashes into Balt Memorial Stadium upper stands, 10 minutes after Colts lose 40-14 to Steelers. No one seriously hurt
  • 1976 Davis Cup Men's Tennis, Santiago, Chile: Paolo Bertolucci & Adriano Panatta give Italy unassailable 3-0 lead; beat Patricio Cornejo & Jaime Fillol of Chile 6-3, 2-6, 9-7, 6-3; ends, 4-1
  • 1977 Dutch government of Van Agt/Wiegel forms
  • 1978 France performs nuclear test

Film Release

1979 "Kramer vs Kramer" directed by Robert Benton and starring Dustin Hoffman and Meryl Streep is released (Best Picture 1980)

  • 1980 Anguilla becomes a British dependency separate from St Kitts
  • 1980 Iran requests $24 billion in US guarantees to free hostages
  • 1980 Mutual Broadcasting cancels Sears Radio Theater

Film Release

1980 "Raging Bull", directed by Martin Scorsese and starring Robert De Niro as boxer Jake LaMotta and Cathy Moriarty as his wife, is released in the United States

  • 1981 Sixteen lives are lost when the Penlee, Cornwall, lifeboat goes to the aid of the stricken coaster Union Star in heavy seas.
  • 1981 Romuald Spasowski, Polish ambassador to the United States defects to show support for the Solidarity movement amid a crackdown
  • 1983 The original FIFA World Cup trophy, the Jules Rimet Trophy, is stolen from the headquarters of the Brazilian Football Confederation in Rio de Janeiro

Treaty of Interest

1984 Chinese Premier Zhao Ziyang and British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher sign the Sino-British Joint Declaration to transfer Hong Kong back to China in 1997

  • 1984 China performs nuclear test at Lop Nor, PRC
  • 1984 Fire at Wilberg Mine in central Utah killed 27 people

Sports History

1984 Wayne Gretzky, 23, is 18th & youngest NHL-er to score 1,000 points

  • 1984 33 unknown Bach keyboard works found in Yale library [1]

Sports History

1984 Scotty Bowman wins his 691st regular season game, the most wins by any coach in NHL history

  • 1985 "Wind in the Willows" opens at Nederlander Theater NYC for 4 performances
  • 1985 Mary Lund is 1st woman to receive a Jarvik VII artificial heart at Abbott Northwestern Hospital, Minneapolis
  • 1985 STS 61-C scrubbed at T -13s because of SRB auxiliary power problem

Historic Event

1986 USSR frees dissident Andrei Sakharov from internal exile

  • 1986 Jack Morris agrees to salary arbitration with former team Tigers & accuses owners of collusion against free agency
  • 1986 Michael Sergio, who parachuted into Shea Stadium during game 6 of the World Series, sentenced to 100 hrs of community service & fined $500
  • 1986 OPEC reaches an accord that would cut production by 7 percent for the first six months of 1987 and would raise prices immediately toward a target world oil price of $18 per barrel

Film Release

1986 "Platoon" directed by Oliver Stone, starring Charlie Sheen, Tom Berenger, and Willem Dafoe is released (Academy Awards Best Picture & Best Director)

  • 1987 NHL Boston Bruins Ken Linseman & St. Louis Blues Doug Gilmore set a record for the fastest two goals in league history, scoring 2 seconds apart
  • 1988 NASA unveils plans for lunar colony & manned missions to Mars
  • 1988 Oklahoma's College football team gets 3 year probation
  • 1988 Unexploded WW II bomb found in Frankfurt, Germany-5,000 evacuated
  • 1989 American Airlines purchases Eastern Airline's Latin American route

Sports History

1989 Larry Bird (Celtics) begins NBA free throw streak of 71 games

  • 1991 "Christmas Carol" opens at Eugene O'Neill Theater NYC for 14 performances
  • 1991 6,000th episode of One Life To Live

Historic Event

1991 Boris Yeltsin takes control of the Kremlin

  • 1991 NY Yankee pitcher Steve Howe arrested for cocaine possession
  • 1993 Marsha Norman, Bob Merrill, and Jule Styne'd fairy tale musical "Red Shoes", directed by Stanley Donen, closes at Gershwin Theater, NYC, after 5 performances; loses nearly $8 million
  • 1994 Rolls-Royce announces its future cars will feature V12 engine which will be produced by BMW

Music Premiere

1996 Revival of Mary Rodgers and Marshall Barer's musical comedy "Once Upon a Mattress", starring Sarah Jessica Parker, opens at Broadhurst Theatre, NYC; runs for 188 performances

Impeachment Trial of Bill Clinton

1998 US House of Representatives votes to impeach President Bill Clinton, forwarding the articles of impeachment to the Senate for a trial

  • 2000 The Leninist Guerrilla Units wing of the Communist Labour Party of Turkey/Leninist attack a Nationalist Movement Party office in Istanbul, killing one person and injuring three.

Football Awards

2000 Ballon d'Or: Real Madrid's Portuguese midfielder Luís Figo is named best football player in Europe ahead of Juventus midfielder Zinedine Zidane and Milan striker Andriy Shevchenko

  • 2001 A record high barometric pressure of 1085.6 hPa (32.06 inHg) is recorded at Tosontsengel, Khövsgöl Province, Mongolia.
  • 2001 Argentine economic crisis: December 2001 riots - Riots erupt in Buenos Aires after Domingo Cavallo's corralito measures restrict the withdrawal of cash from bank deposits.

Film Release

2001 "The Fellowship of the Ring", 1st Lord of the Rings film is released. Makes US$47 million US opening weekend, $871 million total worldwide.

  • 2004 World's largest indoor water park Tropical Islands Resort, opens in the Aerium, an old airship hanger, in the world's largest free-standing hall, south of Berlin, Germany
  • 2007 The Lakotah people, a Native American tribe, proclaim independence and withdraw all their treaties with the United States. Establish the Republic of Lakotah, as a separate country.

Historic Event

2008 Chanda Kochhar is named as the successor of K. V. Kamath to the post of CEO and Managing Director of ICICI Bank

  • 2009 Former Welsh and Lions captain Gareth Thomas is the first international rugby player to reveal he is gay
  • 2010 "Miracle at the New Meadowlands", Philadelphia Eagles trail New York Giants by 21 points with eight minutes to play, before scoring 4 touchdowns in final 7 minutes, including dramatic walk-off punt returned for a touchdown by DeSean Jackson
  • 2012 UBS bank is fined $1.5 billion for its role in manipulating the Libor rate

Election of Interest

2012 Park Geun-hye wins the South Korean presidential election to become the nation’s first female president

  • 2013 81 people are injured after part of the ceiling caved in at London's Apollo Theatre
  • 2014 The Guardian newspaper calls 2014 'The year the people stood up'
  • 2015 Third Democratic presidential candidates debate, broadcast by ABC, held in Goffstown, New Hampshire
  • 2016 At least 48 people die after drinking bath lotion in Irkutsk, Siberia, thinking it contained alcohol
  • 2016 Russian ambassador to Turkey shot dead at an art gallery in Ankara by Turkish gunman
  • 2016 Truck driven into a Christmas market in Berlin kills 12, injures 48

Election of Interest

2016 US electoral collage votes 304 to 227 to nominate Donald Trump for President over the objections of seven faithless electors

  • 2018 First use of a drone to deliver vaccines - to island of Erromango, Vanuatu, by Unicef
  • 2018 Drones flying over Gatwick airport, England, causes delays and cancellations for 800 flights and 110,000 people
  • 2018 US President Donald Trump announces victory over the Islamic State and planned withdrawal of US troops from Syria
  • 2018 Houston Rockets set NBA single-game record with 26 three-pointers in 136-118 victory over Washington Wizards; 8 players hit from deep as Rockets shoot 26-of-55 (47.3%); James Harden leads charge, shooting 6-of-11 on 3s
  • 2019 Australian state of New South Wales announces 7-day state of emergency amid extreme heat and over 100 bushfires that have burnt for two months
  • 2019 Earliest fossilized trees, 386 million years old, found at a quarry in Cairo, New York, study published in "Current Biology"
  • 2021 Former student activist Gabriel Boric wins Chile's Presidential election, to become the country's youngest president at 35