On This Day

December 1642 in History

Events in History

DiscoveryHistoric Discovery

Dec 13 Dutch explorer Abel Tasman sights the South Island of present day New Zealand; initially he calls it Staten Landt and changes it a year later to Nieuw Zeeland

Explorer and Seafarer Abel Tasman
Explorer and Seafarer
Abel Tasman
  • Dec 18 Abel Tasman's expedition sails around Farewell Spit and into Golden Bay, first sighting local Māori in New Zealand
  • Dec 19 4 of Abel Tasman's crew killed at Wharewharangi (Murderers) Bay by Māori; Tasman's ships depart without landing
  • Dec 22 Pope Urbanus VIII publishes decree In eminente

Birthdays in History

Person of interestIsaac Newton

Dec 25 Isaac Newton, English physicist, mathematician and astronomer (Gravity, Laws of Motion), born in Woolsthorpe-by-Colsterworth, England (d. 1727)

Physicist & Mathematician Isaac Newton
Physicist & Mathematician
Isaac Newton
  • Dec 30 Vincenzo da Filicaja, Italian poet (d. 1707)

Deaths in History

  • Dec 4 Armand-Jean Duplessis Richelieu, bishop of Lucon, dies at about 57