December 1983 in History

Events in History

  • Dec 1 Rita Lavelle, former head of EPA, convicted of perjury
  • Dec 3 France performs nuclear test at Mururoa atoll
  • Dec 4 US jet fighters strike Syrian anti-aircraft positions in Lebanon
  • Dec 5 12 killed by a car bomb shattering 9-story building in west Beirut
  • Dec 5 ICIMOD established and inaugurated with its headquarters in Kathmandu, Nepal, and legitimised through an Act of Parliament in Nepal in the same year.
  • Dec 6 A bomb planted on a bus in Jerusalem explodes, kills 6 Israelis
  • Dec 7 2 jets collided at Madrid Airport killing 93
  • Dec 7 France performs nuclear test at Mururoa atoll
  • Dec 8 9th NASA Space Shuttle Mission: Columbia 6 lands at Edwards AFB
  • Dec 8 Richard Baker, Zen teacher, steps down from abbotship of San Francisco Zen Center

Event of Interest

Dec 9 Counselor to Ronald Reagan, Edwin Meese says people go to soup kitchens "because food is free & that's easier than paying for it"

  • Dec 9 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site
  • Dec 10 American cytogeneticist Barbara McClintock, aged 81, is the first woman to be solely awarded Nobel prize for Physiology or Medicine for her discovery of genetic transposition in maize [1]

Nobel Prize

Dec 10 Danuta Walesa, wife of Lech Wałęsa, accepts his Nobel Peace Prize

  • Dec 10 Raul Alfonsin inaugurated as Argentina's 1st civilian president

Papal Visit

Dec 11 1st visit to Lutheran church by a pope (John Paul II in Rome)

  • Dec 12 5th ACE Cable Awards: The VII International Tchaikovsky Competition by Robert Dalrymple and Ken Locker
  • Dec 12 A truck bomb explodes at US Embassy in Kuwait
  • Dec 13 Islander's Butch Goring scorings 4 goals against Oilers
  • Dec 13 KYA-AM in San Francisco CA changes call letters to KOIT
  • Dec 13 Martha Layne Collins inaugurated as Kentucky's 1st female governor
  • Dec 15 Last 80 US combat soldiers in Grenada withdrawn
  • Dec 15 Space shuttle Columbia flies to Kennedy Space Center via El Paso, Kelly AFB
  • Dec 15 Wendy Wasserstein's play "Isn't It Romantic" premieres in NYC
  • Dec 16 Riverside, California; judge denies cerebral palsy victim Elizabeth Bouviato request to starve herself to death in a county hospital
  • Dec 17 Disco in Madrid catches fire; 83 die
  • Dec 17 The Provisional IRA bombs Harrods department store in London, killing six people and injuring 90
  • Dec 20 El Salvador adopts constitution

Event of Interest

Dec 20 PLO chairman Yasser Arafat & 4,000 loyalists evacuate Lebanon

  • Dec 22 Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak meets with PLO leader Yasser Arafat
  • Dec 23 Journal "Science" publishes 1st report on nuclear winter
  • Dec 26 USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR
  • Dec 27 Pope John Paul II pardons man who shot him (Mehmet Ali Agca)
  • Dec 27 Propane gas fire devastated 16 blocks of Buffalo
  • Dec 28 US threatens to leave UNESCO after objecting to its domination by a coalition of third world and Soviet bloc nations
  • Dec 28 Warren Cromartie signs 3 year $2.5M contract with Yomiuri Giants
  • Dec 29 US formally notifies UNESCO that it will withdraw from the organization on the Jan 1, 1985, in protest over perceived anti-Western bias, efforts to restrict press freedom and wasteful management methods

Appointment of Interest

Dec 31 Benjamin Ward appointed 1st African American NY City Police Commissioner by Mayor Ed Koch

  • Dec 31 Brunei gains complete independence from Britain
  • Dec 31 Jose Happart installed as mayor of Voeren, Belgium
  • Dec 31 Nigeria's National Assembly dissolves after military coup

Coup d'état

Dec 31 President Shagari of Nigeria is overthrown in a military coup and Major General Muhammadu Buhari is installed as Head of State


Birthdays in History

  • Dec 18 Ady Barkan, American lawyer and activist (Medicare for all)

Alexander WangAlexander Wang (39 years old)

Dec 26 American fashion designer (Balenciaga), born in San Francisco, California

Kevin SystromKevin Systrom (39 years old)

Dec 30 American entrepreneur, computer programmer and co-founder of Instagram, born in Holliston, Massachusetts

  • Dec 30 Rachel & Ross Trudeau, twins of Jane Pauley & Gerry Trudeau

Weddings in History

Willy Brandt

Dec 9 Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany Willy Brandt weds Brigitte Seebacher

Roald Dahl

Dec 15 British author Roald Dahl (67) weds Liccy Crosland (45) at Brixton Town Hall in South London


Deaths in History

  • Dec 1 Leon Mirsky, Russian-British mathematician (Mirsky's theorem), dies at 64
  • Dec 7 Edgar Graham, member of N Ireland Assembly, shot dead by IRA

Keith HolyoakeKeith Holyoake (1904-1983)

Dec 8 26th Prime Minister of New Zealand (National: 1960-72), dies of a stroke at 79

  • Dec 11 Neil Ritchie, British General (commanded British Eighth Army in North Africa in WWII), dies at 86
  • Dec 13 Alexander Schmemann, Orthodox Christian priest and theologian (b. 1921)
  • Dec 13 Mary Renault [Challans], British author (King Must Die, Funeral games), dies at 78
  • Dec 13 Nichita Stanescu, Romanian poet (b. 1933
  • Dec 16 Kusan Sunim, who found Milae Sa temple/Bulsung Sa Zen in Korea, dies at 74
  • Dec 21 Paul de Man, Belgian literary critic, dies at 64
  • Dec 23 Colin Middleton, Northern Irish artist (b. 1910)
  • Dec 25 Joan Miro, Spanish painter and sculptor, dies at his home in Majorca at 90