On This Day

December 1888 in History

Events in History

  • Dec 11 French Panama Canal Company fails
  • Dec 18 Richard Wetherill and his brother in-law discover the ancient Anasazi ruins of Mesa Verde, Colorado

DiscoveryHistoric Expedition

Dec 19 Henry Morton Stanley's expedition reaches Fort Bodo, East-Africa

Journalist and Explorer Henry Morton Stanley
Journalist and Explorer
Henry Morton Stanley

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Dec 23 Vincent van Gogh cuts off his left ear with a razor, after argument with fellow painter Paul Gauguin, and sends to a prostitute for safe keeping

Painter Vincent van Gogh
Painter
Vincent van Gogh
Painter and Sculptor Paul Gauguin
Painter and Sculptor
Paul Gauguin
  • Dec 30 Belgium: king Leopold II installs Order of African Star

Birthdays in History

  • Dec 4 Aleksandar I, King of Yugoslavia (1921-34), born in Cetinje, Montenegro (d. 1934)
  • Dec 7 Hamilton Fish III, American politician (Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from New York), born in Garrison, New York (d. 1991)
  • Dec 7 Joyce Cary, Anglo-Irish writer (House of Children), born in Londonderry, Ireland (d. 1957)
  • Dec 7 Matthew Heywood Campbell Broun, 1st President of American Newspaper Guild
  • Dec 8 Fiske Kimball, American architect and art historian, born in Newton, Massachusetts (d. 1955)
  • Dec 9 Mabel Stark, American tiger trainer "crazy Mabel", born in Tennessee or Kentucky (d. 1968)
  • Dec 15 Artturi Leinonen, Finnish journalist and writer (Kati), born in Ylihärmä, Finland (d. 1963)
  • Dec 15 Maxwell Anderson, American dramatist (Winter Set, High Tor), born in Atlantic, Pennsylvania (d. 1959)
  • Dec 16 Alphonse Juin, French marshal
  • Dec 16 Alexander I, king of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes (1921–29) and of Yugoslavia (1929–34), born in Cetinje, Montenegro (d. 1934)
  • Dec 18 Robert Moses, power broker (built Long Island & NYC parks & roads)
  • Dec 22 J. Arthur Rank, English industrialist, born in Kingston upon Hull, United Kingdom (d. 1972)
  • Dec 23 Friedrich Wolf, German writer and diplomat, born in Neuwied, Germany (d. 1953)
  • Dec 29 Joseph Beran, Czech Roman Catholic prelate, born in Pilsen, Czech Republic (d. 1969)

Deaths in History

  • Dec 2 Namık Kemal, Turkish writer and journalist (Vatan), dies at 47
  • Dec 3 Carl Zeiss, German scientific instrument and lens maker (Carl Zeiss AG), dies at 72
  • Dec 31 Samson Raphael Hirsch, German Orthodox rabbi and intellectual founder of the Torah im Derech Eretz school of contemporary Orthodox Judaism, dies at 80