December 1968 in History

Events in History

  • Dec 1 Gonzalo Barrios, Venezuelan presidential candidate
  • Dec 4 Following a civil rights march in Dungannon, Northern Ireland, there is a violent clash between Loyalists and those who are taking part in the march
  • Dec 6 PBA National Bowling Championship won by Wayne Zahn (29)
  • Dec 7 Orbiting Astronomical Observatory 2 launched into Earth orbit
  • Dec 7 Richard Dodd returns a library book his great grandfather took out in 1823 from the University of Cincinnati

Historic Invention

Dec 9 In “The Mother of All Demos" Douglas Engelbart demonstrates the computer system NLS (oN-Line System) to a live audience in San Francisco. Shows for the first time, the mouse, word processing, windows, hypertext links, video conferencing, real-time collaboration, and other modern computing concepts. [1]

  • Dec 9 The Derry Citizen's Action Committee (DCAC) calls for a halt to all marches and protests for a period of one month
  • Dec 10 Japan's biggest heist, the still-unsolved "300 million yen robbery", occurs in Tokyo.

Event of Interest

Dec 11 Northern Ireland Prime Minister Terence O'Neill sacks Home Affairs Minister, William Craig

  • Dec 11 US Soccer Football Association refuses to let NASL disband
  • Dec 12 Northern Ireland Prime Minister Terence O'Neill receives overwhelming support from Unionist Members of Parliament (MPs) at Stormont
  • Dec 12 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site
  • Dec 13 Brazilian President Da Costa e Silva issues Ato Institucional Número Cinco degree
  • Dec 16 Official revocation of the Edict of Expulsion of Jews from Spain at Second Vatican Council
  • Dec 18 USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh, Semipalitinsk USSR
  • Dec 20 Learie Constantine becomes UK's first person of African descent to be named a life peer (to sit in the House of Lords) in the Crown's New Year's Honours list [1]
  • Dec 20 The People's Democracy (PD) announce that its members will undertake a protest march from Belfast to Derry beginning 1 January 1969
  • Dec 20 The Zodiac Killer murders teenagers Betty Lou Jenson and David Faraday while on their first date together in Vallejo, California [1]

Historic Expedition

Dec 21 Apollo 8: 1st manned Moon voyage launched with Frank Borman, Jim Lovell and William Anders

  • Dec 23 1st US case of space motion sickness
  • Dec 23 82 members of US intelligence ship Pueblo released by North Korea
  • Dec 23 Frank Borman, Jim Lovell and William Anders become the 1st men to orbit the Moon
  • Dec 24 Apollo 8 astronauts read passages from Book of Genesis
  • Dec 25 42 Dalits are burned alive in Kilavenmani village, Tamil Nadu, India, a retaliation for a campaign for higher wages by Dalit labourers
  • Dec 25 Frank Borman's Christmas reading while orbiting the Moon
  • Dec 26 Arab terrorists in Athens fire on El Al plane, kills 1
  • Dec 26 Jay Allens "Forty Carats" premieres in NYC
  • Dec 27 Apollo 8 returns to Earth
  • Dec 27 China performs nuclear test at Lop Nor, PRC
  • Dec 28 Israeli assault on Beirut Airport
  • Dec 29 Israeli commandos destroy 13 Lebanese airplanes
  • Dec 30 -48°F (-44°C), Mazama & Winthrop, Washington (state record)
  • Dec 31 1st supersonic airliner flown (Russian TU-144)

Birthdays in History

  • Dec 1 Sarah Fitz-Gerald, Australian squash player (World Open 1996-98, 2001-02, British Open 2001-02), born in Melbourne, Australia
  • Dec 6 Karl Ove Knausgård, Norwegian author (My Struggle), born in Oslo, Norway
  • Dec 11 Emmanuelle Charpentier, French scientist, Director of Max Planck Institute (2020 Nobel Prize for Chemistry), born in Juvisy-sur-Orge, France
  • Dec 15 Osama Ali Maher, Swedish politician
  • Dec 16 Yannick Alléno, French chef, born in Puteaux, France
  • Dec 17 Andrey Golovatiuk, Russian politician
  • Dec 31 Junot Díaz, Dominican-American writer and professor (The Brief Wonderous Life of Oscar Wao - Pulitzer Prize for Fiction 2008), born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic [1]

Weddings in History

Ina Garten

Dec 22 Author and cooking show host Ina Garten (20) weds dean Jeffrey Garten

  • Dec 22 Julie Nixon weds Dwight David Eisenhower

Deaths in History

  • Dec 10 George Forrest, Northern Irish politician, dies at 47
  • Dec 10 Karl Barth, Swiss Protestant theologian ("The Epistle to the Romans"; "Barmen Declaration"; "Church Dogmatics"), dies at 82

Thomas Merton (1915-1968)

Dec 10 French-American Catholic writer and Trappist monk (7 Story Mountain), accidentally electrocuted by an electric fan at 53

  • Dec 15 Antonio J. Barrette, French Canadian politician, premier of Quebec, dies at 69
  • Dec 19 Norman Thomas, American socialist, pacifist and presidential candidate (1928-48), dies at 84

John Steinbeck (1902-1968)

Dec 20 American author (Grapes of Wrath, Nobel Prize 1940, 1962), dies at 66

  • Dec 29 Austin Farrer, English theologian and philosopher (b. 1904)

Trygve Lie (1896-1968)

Dec 30 Norwegian politician and 1st Secretary-General of the United Nations (1946-52), dies at 72