On This Day

Historical Events on December 22

  • 401 St. Innocent I begins his reign as Catholic Pope
  • 1135 Norman nobles recognize Stefanus van Blois as English king
  • 1216 Pope Honorius III delegates decree "Religiosam vitam eligentibus"
  • 1465 Peace of St Truiden: Louis van Bourbon becomes bishop of Liège
  • 1536 English scholar Reginald Pole appointed cardinal
  • 1596 Ferryboat Meuniers crashes in Paris, 150 die
  • 1642 Pope Urbanus VIII publishes decree In eminente

Meeting of Interest

1666 The French Academy of Sciences, founded by Louis XIV with Jean-Baptiste Colbert first meets in the Kings Library

  • 1688 Pro-James II, Earl of Danby occupies York
  • 1689 Heavy earthquake strikes Innsbruck, Austria
  • 1715 English pretender to the throne James III lands at Peterhead
  • 1731 Dutch people revolt against meat tax
  • 1772 Moravian missionary constructs 1st schoolhouse west of Allegheny
  • 1775 Continental navy organized with 7 ships
  • 1790 Supposedly impenetrable Turkish fortress of Izmail stormed and captured by Suvorov and his Russian armies during the Russo-Turkish War (1787–92)

Historic Event

1807 US Congress passes Embargo Act and President Thomas Jefferson signs into law. Prohibits American ships from trading in foreign ports, as result of involvement in hostilities between France and Britain

Music Premiere

1808 Beethoven's Symphonies No. 5 and No. 6, Choral Fantasy and Piano Concerto No. 4 (featuring the composer as soloist) premiere at the Theater an der Wien in Vienna, Austria

  • 1810 British frigate HMS Minotaur sinks killing 480
  • 1814 Samuel Marsden of the Church Missionary Society arrives in the Bay of Islands, New Zealand to establish the country's first mission station; Sheep, cattle, horses and poultry are introduced

Historic Event

1849 The execution of Russian writer Fyodor Dostoyevsky by firing squad is called off at the last second

  • 1851 The first freight train is operated in Roorkee, India.
  • 1862 -Jan 2nd) Raid on Morgan's: Bardstown to Elizabethtown, KY
  • 1870 Jules Janssen flies in a balloon in order to study a solar eclipse
  • 1877 "American Bicycling Journal" begins publishing (Boston, Mass)

Historic Event

1882 1st string of Christmas tree lights created by Thomas Edison

  • 1883 August Strindberg's "Lycko-Pers Reja" premieres

Historic Event

1885 Pope Leo XIII proclaims extraordinary jubilee

Historic Event

1885 Itō Hirobumi, a samurai, becomes the first Prime Minister of Japan

  • 1886 1st national accountants' society in US formed (NYC)

Boxing Title Fight

1888 Heavyweight boxing champ John L. Sullivan challenges Jake Kilrain

  • 1890 Cornwallis Valley Railway begins operation between Kingsport and Kentville, Nova Scotia.
  • 1894 -23] Dutch coast hit by hurricane

Music History

1894 Claude Debussy's first orchestral masterpiece "Prélude à l'apres-midi d'un faune" premieres in Paris

  • 1894 United States Golf Association forms in New York

Historic Event

1894 French officer Alfred Dreyfus court-martialed for treason, triggers worldwide charges of anti-Semitism (Dreyfus later vindicated)

  • 1905 Arrest of St Petersburg Soviet members leads to an uprising of Moscow workers and fighting in the street
  • 1907 Saint-Saëns'/Fokine's ballet "Le Cygne" premieres in St Petersburg
  • 1910 US postal savings stamps 1st issued
  • 1915 Organized baseball and Federal League sign a peace treaty at Cincinnati; Federal Baseball League dissolves
  • 1917 Flanders declares its independence, under Pieter Tack
  • 1917 In the NHL's first official week of play, 3 players score hat tricks in the same game, for the same team; Corb Denneny, Reg Noble, & Harry Meeking each score 3 for the Toronto Arenas in an 11-4 win over the Ottawa Senators
  • 1919 US deports 250 alien radicals, including anarchist Emma Goldman
  • 1922 Belgian parliament rejects Dutch university in Ghent
  • 1923 Bill Ponsford & Edgar Mayne make 456 opening stand for Vict
  • 1924 Babe Dye of NHL's Toronto St Patricks scores 5 goals beat Bruins 10-2
  • 1924 Philip Barry's "Youngest" premieres in NYC
  • 1930 Convention of Economic Rapprochement/Oslo Agreesments signed between some European countries in response to the Great Depression

Historic Event

1931 Retrospective show of Mexican artist Diego Rivera opens at The Museum of Modern Art in New York

Film Release

1932 "The Mummy" directed by Karl Freund and starring Boris Karloff is released in the US - 1st Mummy horror film

  • 1934 1st flight from Netherland to Curacao (Christmas flight 1934)
  • 1934 Miss Theo Trowbridge sets female bowling record 702 pins in games
  • 1935 Yaeko Iwasaki, student of D S Harada Roshi, 1st awakening in Kamakura
  • 1936 1st common carrier license issued by ICC, Scranton, Pa
  • 1937 Lincoln Tunnel, under the Hudson River, opens to traffic, connecting Weehawken, New Jersey to Midtown Manhattan, New York City
  • 1939 Genthin, Germany rail disaster - 186 die in train wreck as an express has a rear-end collision with a train stopped at the station
  • 1939 Finnish counter offensive at Petsamo
  • 1939 Freight train and passenger train head-on collision kills 101 at Markdorf, Germany
  • 1940 World War II: Himarë is captured by the Greek army.
  • 1941 Japan's invasion leader lands on Luzon, Philippines

Historic Event

1941 Tito establishes 1st Proletarian Brigade in Yugoslavia

Conference of Interest

1941 Winston Churchill arrives in Washington, D.C. for a wartime conference

  • 1941 1942 NFL Draft: Bill Dudley from University of Virginia first pick by Pittsburgh Steelers

Historic Invention

1942 World War II: Adolf Hitler signs the order to develop the V-2 rocket as a weapon

  • 1943 Manufacturers get permission to use synthetic rubber for baseball core
  • 1944 Germans demand surrender of American troops at Bastogne, Belgium
  • 1944 Sub Swordfish departs Pearl Harbor for Japan
  • 1945 Utrecht: Catholic People's party (KVP) established
  • 1946 "Bal Negre" closes at Belasco Theater NYC after 54 performances
  • 1946 Cleveland Browns beat NY Yankees 14-9 in AAFC championship game
  • 1947 Italian constituent assembly adopts new constitution
  • 1948 KPIX TV channel 5 in San Francisco, California (CBS) begins broadcasting
  • 1950 2 self-propelled trains of Long Island RR collide, killing 77
  • 1951 Australia cricket all out 82 v West Indies at Adelaide
  • 1952 French government of Pinay, resigns
  • 1952 WSBA (now WPMT) TV channel 43 in York, PA (IND) begins broadcasting
  • 1953 Jack Dunn III, owner of Baltimore Orioles in Intl League, turns name over to newly relocated St Louis Browns
  • 1956 "New Faces of 1956" closes at Barrymore Theater NYC after 221 performances
  • 1956 Last British & French troops leave Egypt
  • 1956 Colo is born, the first gorilla to be bred in captivity at Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, Columbus, Ohio
  • 1957 KWRB (now KFNE) TV channel 10 in Lander-Riverton, WY (ABC) begins
  • 1958 "Chipmunk Song" reaches #1
  • 1958 "Whoop-Up" opens at Shubert Theater NYC for 56 performances
  • 1958 2nd Dutch Beel government forms
  • 1959 Continental League awards its last franchise to Dallas-Fort Worth
  • 1959 NY Ranger goalie Marcel Paille wears a customized mask
  • 1961 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site
  • 1962 1,000,000th NBA point scored
  • 1962 Harris County voters approve all-weather stadium for Houston Colt .45s
  • 1962 Kinderman Place in the Bronx named
  • 1962 USSR performs nuclear test at Novaya Zemlya USSR
  • 1963 Oakland Raider Tom Flores passes for 6 touchdowns vs Houston (52-49)

Historic Event

1963 Official 30-day mourning period for President John F. Kennedy ends

  • 1963 Cruise ship Lakonia burns 180 miles north of Madeira with the loss of 128 lives
  • 1964 First flight of the US aircraft Lockheed SR-71, reaches 3,530 kph (record for a jet)
  • 1964 American comedian Lenny Bruce is convicted of obscenity

Football Awards

1964 Ballon d'Or: Manchester United striker Denis Law wins award for best European football player; beats Inter midfielder Luis Suárez and Real Madrid winger Amancio Amaro; first Scotsman to win the award

  • 1965 Belgian government shuts 6 coal mines

Film Premiere

1965 "Doctor Zhivago" based on the novel by Boris Pasternak, directed by David Lean and starring Omar Sharif and Julie Christie premieres in NYC

  • 1965 Great Britain sets national maximum road speed at 70 miles per hour
  • 1965 Radio Mil (Domincan Republic) transmitter blown up
  • 1966 WCVW TV channel 57 in Richmond, VA (PBS) begins broadcasting

Film Release

1967 "The Graduate" American comedy-drama film directed by Mike Nichols, starring Dustin Hoffman and Anne Bancroft, is released (Best Director 1968)

  • 1969 Pete Marovich sets NCAA record of hitting 30 of 31 foul shots
  • 1970 Treblinka SS commander Franz Stangl sentenced to life imprisonment
  • 1971 KUAC TV channel 9 in Fairbanks/College, AK (PBS) begins broadcasting

Historic Event

1971 UN General Assembly ratifies former Austrian President Kurt Waldheim as Secretary-General

  • 1971 USSR performs underground nuclear test
  • 1972 6.25 earthquake strikes Managua Nicaragua, 12,000+ killed
  • 1973 OPEC Gulf Six decides to raise the posted price of marker crude from $5.12 to $11.65 per barrel effective January 1, 1974
  • 1974 2nd cease-fire between IRA & British; lasts until approx April 1975

Sports History

1974 Phil Esposito, Boston, became 6th NHLer to score 500 goals

  • 1974 Referenda in Comoros-3 islands for independence, 1 stays French

Historic Event

1974 Provisional Irish Republican Army bomb home of former UK Prime Minister, Edward Heath, just before announcing Christmas ceasefire

  • 1974 Iraq announces plans to increase its oil production capacity

Historic Event

1975 US President Gerald Ford signs the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA)

  • 1976 "Your Arm's Too Short..." opens at Lyceum NYC for 429 performances
  • 1976 35 Unification church couples wed in NYC
  • 1976 East Germany grants rock singer Nina Hagen her request to leave the country, after refusing her stepfather re-entry
  • 1977 36 die as grain elevator at Continental Grain Company plant explodes

Music History

1978 Kenney Jones becomes The Who's new drummer, replacing the deceased Keith Moon

  • 1978 Thailand adopts constitution
  • 1980 MLB St. Louis Cardinals release outfielder Bobby Bonds

Historic Event

1980 US President-elect Ronald Reagan appoints Jeanne Kirkpatrick (UN) & James Watt (Interior)

  • 1981 Argentine general Leopoldo Galtieri sworn in as president
  • 1981 Belgium's 5th government of Martens forms
  • 1982 William Mastrosimone's play "Extremities" premieres in NYC
  • 1983 Indiana Pacers win, 133-132 in Denver to end a 28 NBA game losing streak on the road

Meeting of Interest

1983 Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak meets with PLO leader Yasser Arafat

  • 1983 NHL NY Islanders score 3 shorthanded goals against Washington Capitols
  • 1984 Bernhard Goetz shoots 4 black muggers on NYC subway train

#1 in the Charts

1984 Madonna's "Like a Virgin" single goes #1 for 6 weeks

  • 1984 Test Cricket debut of Craig McDermott, v WI at the MCG
  • 1985 "Wind in the Willows" closes at Nederlander Theater NYC after 4 performances
  • 1985 74th Davis Cup: Sweden beats Germany in Munich (3-2)
  • 1985 STS 51-L vehicle moves to Launch Pad 39B
  • 1986 India score 7-676 v Sri Lanka at Kanpur in Cricket

Music History

1987 Mötley Crüe's Nikki Sixx overdoses from heroin

  • 1988 2 robbers wearing police uniforms rob armored truck of $3 M in NJ
  • 1988 South Africa signs accord granting independence to South West Africa
  • 1988 Tug hits oil barge, spreads 231,000 gal on 300 mi of WA & BC coast

Historic Event

1989 After 23 years of dictatorial rule, Romania ousts Communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu

  • 1989 Republic of Chad (Africa) adopts its Constitution
  • 1989 Cold wave: -6°F in Tulsa, Oklahoma; -12°F in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; -18°F in Denver, Colorado; -23°F in Kansas City, Missouri; -42°F in Scottsbluff, Nebraska; -47°F in Hardin, Montana; and -60°F in Black Hills, South Dakota
  • 1990 Iraq announces it will never give up Kuwait
  • 1990 Israeli ferry capsizes killing 21 US servicemen

Election of Interest

1990 Lech Wałęsa sworn in as Poland's 1st popularly elected president

Sports History

1990 Paul Coffey becomes the second NHL defenceman to record 1000 points, doing so in a record-breaking 770 games

  • 1992 Libyan MIG-23UB attacks Boeing 727 at Souk al-Sabt, 158 die
  • 1992 Ballon d'Or: Milan's Dutch striker Marco van Basten wins his 3rd title as best football player in Europe ahead of Barcelona forward Hristo Stoichkov and Ajax forward Dennis Bergkamp
  • 1994 "Christmas Carol" opens at Richard Rodgers Theater NYC for 18 performances
  • 1994 Italian government of Silvio Berlusconi resigns
  • 1995 David Cone signs $19.5 million 3 year contract with NY Yankees
  • 1996 Steelers' Kordell Stewart runs quarterback record 80 yds for TD
  • 1996 Zimbabwe & England draw Bulawayo Test Cricket with England needing 1 run to win

NHL Record

1996 St Louis Blues’ right wing Brett Hull scores his 26th NHL career hat trick to reach 500 career goals in a 7-4 win over the LA Kings; with father Bobby Hull, first father/son combo to each record 500 goals

Music History

1997 MTV removes music video for Prodigy's song "Smack My Bitch Up" from broadcast rotation

  • 1997 Hunter Tylo awarded $4 million in Melrose Place breach of contract
  • 1997 Merck baldness pill for men approved by FDA

Sports History

1997 Nancy Kerrigan & Tonya Harding pre-record a show to air on FOX on Feb 5

  • 1997 Acteal massacre: Attendees at a prayer meeting of Roman Catholic activists for indigenous causes in the small village of Acteal in the Mexican state of Chiapas are massacred by paramilitary forces.

Sports History

1997 Scotty Bowman's Red Wings beat the Boston Bruins, 4-2 giving him 200 wins with Detroit, and making him the first NHL coach to record 200 wins with 3 different teams; also Montreal and Buffalo

Football Awards

1998 Ballon d'Or: Juventus' French midfielder Zinedine Zidane is named best football player in Europe ahead of Real Madrid striker Davor Šuker and Inter forward Ronaldo

  • 1999 The Spanish Civil Guard finds near Calatayud (Zaragoza) another van loaded by ETA with 750 kg of explosives (see related event on December 21, 1999).
  • 2000 On This Day launched as HistoryOrb.com
  • 2001 Burhanuddin Rabbani, political leader of the Afghan Northern Alliance, hands over power in Afghanistan to the interim government headed by President Hamid Karzai.
  • 2001 Richard Reid attempts to destroy a passenger airliner by igniting explosives hidden in his shoes aboard American Airlines Flight 63.
  • 2003 A magnitude 6.6 earthquake hits near San Simeon, California.

Sports History

2003 The New York Knicks hire Isiah Thomas as President of Basketball Operations

  • 2003 Ballon d'Or: Juventus' Czech midfielder Pavel Nedvěd is named best football player in Europe ahead of Arsenal forward Thierry Henry and Milan defender Paolo Maldini
  • 2006 Australian archaeologist Sue O'Connor finds first evidence of modern humans in Jerimalai cave, near Lene Hara cave in East Timor

Historic Event

2010 Repeal of the "Don't Ask Don't Tell policy", a 17-year-old policy banning homosexuals serving openly in the US military, signed into law by President Barack Obama

  • 2012 6 people are killed by a car bomb in Damascus
  • 2012 8 people are killed by a suicide bomber in Peshawar, Pakistan
  • 2012 Tomasz Adamek outpoints Steve Cunningham in a split decision in the IBF heavyweight title eliminator at the Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
  • 2016 Ebola vaccine VSV-EBOV is found to be 70-100% effective in a study published in The Lancet, becoming the world's first proven vaccine against Ebola
  • 2017 UN Security Council votes 15 to 0 for additional sanctions on North Korea, including measures to slash the country's petrol imports by up to 90%
  • 2018 Partial shutdown of US federal government begins

Krakatoa: The World’s Mightiest Explosion

2018 Tsunami hits Indonesia's Sunda Strait killing over 400 after part of the Anak Krakatoa volcano slips into the sea

  • 2019 New Orleans wide receiver Michael Thomas sets NFL record for most catches in a season with his 144th as Saints beat Tennessee 38-28; breaks 17-year old record held by Marvin Harrison (143)

Sports History

2020 Argentine soccer superstar Lionel Messi scores his 644th goal for FC Barcelona during 3-0 win over Real Valladolid to break Pele's record for most goals for one club; Pele, 643 goals for Santos 1956-74