On This Day

December 1999 in History

Events in History

  • Dec 2 The United Kingdom devolves political power in Northern Ireland to the Northern Ireland Executive
  • Dec 3 NASA loses radio contact with the Mars Polar Lander moments before the spacecraft enters the Martian atmosphere
  • Dec 3 Worcester cold storage and warehouse fire in Worcester, Massachusetts claims lives of 6 firefighters
  • Dec 7 The RIAA files a lawsuit against the Napster file-sharing client, on charges of copyright infringement.
  • Dec 14 Flash floods in Venezuela after torrential rainfall results in the deaths of thousands of people and causes a total collapse in the state's infrastructure
  • Dec 17 The United Nations General Assembly passes resolution 54/134 designating November 25 as the annual International Day to Eliminate Violence Against Women
  • Dec 18 NASA launches into orbit the Terra platform carrying five Earth Observation instruments, including ASTER, CERES, MISR, MODIS and MOPITT.
  • Dec 20 Portugal returns Macau to China
  • Dec 21 The Spanish Civil Guard intercepts a van loaded with 950 kg of explosives that ETA intended to use to blow up Torre Picasso in Madrid.
  • Dec 22 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).

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Dec 24 Opening of St Peter's Holy Door by Pope John Paul II in approach of 3rd millennium

264th Pope John Paul II
264th Pope
John Paul II
  • Dec 25 Opening of doors of St. John Lateran Pope John Paul II
  • Dec 26 Severe weather in France kills over 100 people and causes extensive damage to property, trees and the French national power grid (see Lothar).
  • Dec 28 Saparmurat Niyazov is proclaimed President for Life in Turkmenistan
  • Dec 31 Control of Panama Canal reverts to Panama

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Dec 31 Boris Yeltsin resigns as President of Russia, leaving Prime Minister Vladimir Putin as acting President

Russian President Boris Yeltsin
Russian President
Boris Yeltsin
Russian President Vladimir Putin
Russian President
Vladimir Putin

Weddings in History

LoveWedding of Interest

Dec 4 Crown Prince Philippe of Belgium (38) and heir apparent to Belgium throne weds Mathilde d'Udekem d'Acoz (25) in Brussels, Belgium

King of Belgium Philippe of Belgium
King of Belgium
Philippe of Belgium

Deaths in History

  • Dec 3 Jarl Wahlström, 12th General of The Salvation Army (b. 1918)
  • Dec 4 Rose Elizabeth Bird, California Supreme Court Justice (1977-87), dies at 63
  • Dec 8 Péter Kuczka, Hungarian writer (b. 1923)

Person of interestFranjo Tuđman

Dec 10 Franjo Tuđman, Croatian politician and President of Croatia (1990-1999), dies of stomach cancer at 77

President of Croatia Franjo Tuđman
President of Croatia
Franjo Tuđman
  • Dec 12 Paul Cadmus, American artist (b. 1904)
  • Dec 12 Joseph Heller, American author (Catch-22), dies at 76
  • Dec 13 Allen Breed, American inventor of the first automotive airbag sensor, dies of a heart attack while suffering from lung cancer, at 72
  • Dec 24 João Baptista de Oliveira Figueiredo, President of Brazil (b. 1918)
  • Dec 24 Bill Bowerman, American track and field coach
  • Dec 24 Maurice Couve de Murville, French politician, Prime minister of France (b. 1907)
  • Dec 26 Shankar Dayal Sharma, Indian politician and 9th President of India (1992-97), dies at 81
  • Dec 27 Bernard Chacksfield, British Air Vice-Marshal, dies at 86
  • Dec 29 Leon Radzinowicz, British criminologist (b. 1906)
  • Dec 30 Fritz Leonhardt, German structural engineer, dies at 90
  • Dec 30 Sarah Knauss, American, once considered the world's oldest living person (b. 1880)
  • Dec 31 Elliot Richardson, American politician (b. 1920)