On This Day in History for December 2

Events in History

Events 1 - 100 of 134

  • 1409 The University of Leipzig opens
  • 1620 English language newspaper "Namloos" begins publishing in Amsterdam
  • 1682 English Earl of Shaftesbury flees to Amsterdam

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1697 St Paul's Cathedral, designed by Sir Christopher Wren is consecrated for use (previous building destroyed in the Great Fire of London)

Architect Christopher Wren
Christopher Wren
  • 1755 The second Eddystone Lighthouse on Eddystone Rocks off English southern coast is destroyed by fire
  • 1763 Touro shul of Newport, Rhode Island dedicated (oldest existing US synagogue)
  • 1777 British General Howe plots attack on Washington's army for Dec 4
  • 1790 Austrian army occupies Brussels
  • 1802 Britain sells Suriname to the Netherlands

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1804 Napoleon Bonaparte is crowned Emperor of France in Paris

French Emperor Napoléon Bonaparte
French Emperor
Napoléon Bonaparte
  • 1805 Napoleon defeats Russians & Austrians at Austerlitz

Electoral defeatElection of Interest

1812 James Madison re-elected President of the US, Elbridge Gerry Vice-President

4th US President James Madison
4th US President
James Madison
  • 1813 Prince Willem Frederik accepts constitutional monarchy
  • 1816 First savings bank in US opens (Philadelphia Savings Fund Society)
  • 1822 In San Salvador, a congress proposes incorporation into US

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1823 President James Monroe declares his "Monroe Doctrine", a US foreign policy regarding Latin America

5th US President James Monroe
5th US President
James Monroe

Electoral defeatElection of Interest

1840 William Henry Harrison elected the 9th President of the United States of America

9th US President William Henry Harrison
9th US President
William Henry Harrison

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1845 Manifest Destiny: US President James K. Polk announces to Congress that the United States should aggressively expand into the West

11th US President James Knox Polk
11th US President
James Knox Polk
  • 1848 Franz Josef I becomes Emperor of Austria & King of Hungary
  • 1851 French President Charles Louis Bonaparte in a Coup d'etat overthrows the Second Republic establishing himself as Emperor.
  • 1864 Skirmish at Rocky Creek Church, Georgia

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1867 In a New York City theater, British author Charles Dickens gives his first public reading in the United States

Novelist Charles Dickens
Charles Dickens

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1868 1st British government of Benjamin Disraeli resigns

British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli
British Prime Minister
Benjamin Disraeli
  • 1882 Amsterdam Artis Zoo opens aquarium
  • 1887 Amsterdam's Oscar Carrés Circus Theater opens
  • 1887 French president Jules Grévy resigns
  • 1891 52nd Congress (1891-93) convenes
  • 1895 54th Congress (1895-97) convenes

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1896 Gerhart Hauptmann's "Die versunkene Glocke" premieres in Berlin

Author and Nobel Laureate Gerhart Hauptmann
Author and Nobel Laureate
Gerhart Hauptmann
  • 1899 US & Germany agree to divide Samoa between them
  • 1899 Philippine-American War: The Battle of Tirad Pass, termed "The Filipino Thermopylae", is fought.
  • 1900 Exiled South African President of Transvaal Paul Kruger arrives in Germany, though the Kaiser refuses to meet him

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1901 King C. Gillette begins selling safety razor blades

Businessman and Inventor King C. Gillette
Businessman and Inventor
King C. Gillette
  • 1908 Child Emperor Pu Yi ascends the Chinese throne at the age of two
  • 1913 Archdiocese of Managua created
  • 1913 French Government of Louis Barthou falls due to overtime conscription
  • 1914 Austria army occupies Belgrade, Serbia
  • 1917 Han Yong-woon, found Zen awakening at Osean Monastery Korea
  • 1924 British-German trade agreement signed
  • 1927 1st Model A Ford sold, for $385

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1927 Paleoanthropologist Davidson Black announces to the Geological Society of China that the ancient human fossils from Zhoukoudian, China are a new species which he has named 'Sinanthropus pekinensis' (now known as 'Homo erectus')

Paleoanthropologist Davidson Black
Davidson Black
  • 1928 Cardinals' 1B Jim Bottomley is voted NL MVP
  • 1929 First skull of Peking man found, 50 km out of Peking at Tsjoe Koe Tien
  • 1934 5.08-m (200") Mt Palomar Observatory mirror is cast
  • 1939 British Imperial Airways & British Airways merge to form BOAC
  • 1939 NY's La Guardia Airport began operations as an airliner from Chicago lands, 1 minute after midnight
  • 1941 Largest roller skating rink (outside of NYC) opens in Peekskill, New York
  • 1941 US Naval Intelligence ceases bugging Japanese consul
  • 1941 Japanese Marshal Admiral Yamamoto sends his fleet to Pearl Harbor

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1941 American mobster Louis Buchalter is sentenced to death along with his lieutenants Emanuel Weiss and Louis Capone

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1942 World’s 1st self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction occurs in Chicagi Pile-1 (world's 1st nuclear reactor) at the University of Chicago, overseen by Enrico Fermi

Father of the Atomic Bomb Enrico Fermi
Father of the Atomic Bomb
Enrico Fermi

  • 1943 First RSHA (Reichssicherheitshauptamt -Nazi Reich Security Head Office) transport out of Vienna reaches Birkenau camp
  • 1944 General De Gaulle arrives in Moscow
  • 1944 German troops seize Betuwse dikes
  • 1944 US 95th Infantry division occupies bridge at Saar
  • 1950 Vic Toweel knocks down Danny O'Sullivan 14 times in a title fight

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1950 "I Robot" collection of sci-fi short stories by Isaac Asimov published by Genome Press in the US

Author, Biochemistry Professor Isaac Asimov
Author, Biochemistry Professor
Isaac Asimov
  • 1952 First human birth televised to public on KOA-TV Denver, Colorado
  • 1954 Taiwan (ROC) & US sign the Mutual Defense Treaty, preventing Mainland China (PRC) from taking Taiwan between 1955-1979
  • 1954 US Senate censures Joeseph McCarthy (Sen-R-Wisc) for "conduct that tends to bring Senate into dishonor & disrepute"

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1956 Fidel Castro lands with "Granma" on coast of Cuba

Cuban Revolutionary and President Fidel Castro
Cuban Revolutionary and President
Fidel Castro
  • 1957 1st US large scale nuclear power plant opens, Shippingport, Pennsylvania
  • 1958 Benelux treaty signed by Belgium, Netherlands & Luxembourg
  • 1959 Malpasset dam collapses destroying French Riviera town of Frejus

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1960 Paleoanthropologist Louis Leakey discovers 1.4 million year old Homo erectus (Olduvai Hominid 9) in Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania

Archaeologist and paleoanthropologist Louis Leakey
Archaeologist and paleoanthropologist
Louis Leakey
  • 1961 Fidel Castro declares he's a Marxist & will lead Cuba to Communism
  • 1961 Wind Bell, journal of San Francisco Zen Center, begins publishing
  • 1963 First Dutch rocket launched, reaches height of 10 km

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1964 Ringo Starr's tonsils are removed

Beatles Drummer Ringo Starr
Beatles Drummer
Ringo Starr
  • 1966 Love, Moby Grape & Lee Michaels perform at Fillmore East

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1968 US President Richard Nixon names Henry Kissinger security advisor

Politician, statesman Henry Kissinger
Politician, statesman
Henry Kissinger
37th US President Richard Nixon
37th US President
Richard Nixon
  • 1969 Boeing 747 jumbo jet 1st public preview (Seattle to NYC)
  • 1970 Environmental Protection Agency begins in the US under Director William Ruckelshaus
  • 1971 Soviet space probe Mars 3 is first to soft land on Mars
  • 1971 United Arab Emirates (Trucial States) declares independence from UK
  • 1971 Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Dubai, Fujeira, Sharjah & Umm ak Qiwain form United Arab Emirates

AppointmentAppointment of Interest

1971 Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan is appointed President of the United Arab Emirates

President of the United Arab Emirates Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan
President of the United Arab Emirates
Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan
  • 1972 "December Giant" largest sinkhole in US collapses (Alabama)
  • 1972 In 1 of their worst trades Yanks get Rich McKinney for Stan Bahnsen
  • 1973 Capital Centre (USAir Arena) in Washington, D.C. opens
  • 1973 US Air Arena opens in Landover Maryland, Bullets beat Seattle, 98-96
  • 1974 Giant Baba beats Jack Brisco in Kagoshimi, to become NWA champ
  • 1974 Soyuz 16 launched into Earth orbit for 6 days
  • 1975 7 South Moluccans hijack train at Wijster, Drente (NL), 3 killed
  • 1975 Laos king Sisavang Vatthana resigns, Lao People's Democratic Republic founded (National Day)
  • 1976 Fidel Castro becomes President of Cuba, replacing Osvaldo Dorticós Torrado
  • 1978 Anti-Shah protest in Tehran,protesters chant "Allah is great"
  • 1979 Crowds attack US embassy in Tripoli, Libya
  • 1979 Foots Walker becomes 1st Cleveland Cavalier to score a triple-double
  • 1979 USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR
  • 1980 4 American Maryknoll nuns killed by death squads in El Salvador
  • 1981 Moscone Convention Center, San Francisco, opens at 11:30 AM
  • 1981 Spanish government requests membership of NATO
  • 1982 1st permanent artificial heart successfully implanted (U of Utah) in retired dentist Barney Clark; lived 112 days with Jarvic-7 heart
  • 1984 4th meeting of Giants-Jets, Giants even series at 2 with 20-10 win
  • 1984 Bob Holland takes 9-83 for NSW against South Australia, SCG
  • 1984 USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR
  • 1985 Philipine Chief of Staff General Fabian speaks of Benigno Aquino's murder
  • 1986 Dow-Jones index hits record 1,955.57
  • 1987 Chicago City Council elects Eugene Sawyer acting mayor

Birthdays in History

  • 1678 Nicolaas S Cruquius, Dutch hydraulic engineer (drained Haarlemmermeer)
  • 1694 William Shirley, Colonial Governor of Massachusetts (d. 1771)
  • 1703 Ferdinand Konscak, Croatian explorer (d. 1759)
  • 1728 Ferdinando Galiani, Italian economist/philosopher/diplomat
  • 1738 Richard Montgomery, Irish-born soldier (d. 1775)
  • 1754 William Cooper, American judge (d. 1809)
  • 1760 John Breckinridge, American politician (d. 1806)
  • 1777 Henry Doeff, colonialist (wrote Dutch-Japanese dictionary)
  • 1802 Melancthon Smith Wade, American Brigadier General (Union Army), born in Cincinnati, Ohio (d. 1868)
  • 1811 Jean-Charles Chapais, French Canadian politician, Father of the Canadian Confederation (d. 1885)
  • 1817 Heinrich von Sybel, German historian (d. 1895)
  • 1821 Rufus Barringer, American Brigadier General (Confederate Army), born in Cabarrus County, North Carolina (d. 1895)
  • 1825 Pedro II van Alcantara, Emperor of Brazil (1831-89)
  • 1837 Charles Garrison Harker, American Brigadier General (Union Army), born in Swedesboro, New Jersey (d. 1864)
  • 1846 Pierre M Waldeck-Rousseau, French Min of Foreign affairs/premier

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1859 Georges Seurat, French post-impressionist painter (A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of Grande Jatte), born in Paris, France (d. 1891)

Post-Impressionist Painter Georges Seurat
Post-Impressionist Painter
Georges Seurat
  • 1863 Charles Ringling, American circus owner (d. 1926)
  • 1868 Francis Jammes, French poet/writer (Jammisme)
  • 1869 Jonas Cohn, German/English philosopher (Theory of the Dialects)
  • 1884 Ruth Draper, American lecture artist [or 1989]
  • 1885 George Minot, American physician, worked on anemia (Nobel 1934)
  • 1891 Charles H. Wesley, author writer and Brother of Alpha Phi Alpha Inc. (d. 1987)
  • 1893 Julius Bissier, German painter
  • 1895 Klaas Voskuil, journalist
  • 1897 Rewi Alley, New Zealand writer (Americans in China)
  • 1897 Hovhannes Bagramyan, Marshall of the Soviet Union (d. 1982)
  • 1898 Indra Lal Roy, Indian pilot (d. 1918)
  • 1902 Horace A Hildreth, (Gov-Maine, 1945-49)
  • 1906 Peter Carl Goldmark, German-Hungarian engineer (developed the LP record format), born in Budapest, Hungary (d. 1977)
  • 1910 Russell Lynes, American art historian, photographer, author and managing editor of Harper's Magazine (d. 1991)
  • 1915 Randolph Apperson Hearst, American newspaper publisher (Hearst Newspapers), (d. 2000)
  • 1919 Michael Geoffrey Corcos, medical researcher
  • 1921 Isabella Karle, American scientist who was instrumental in developing techniques to extract plutonium chloride, born in Detroit, Michigan (d. 2017)
  • 1923 Meshulam Riklis, husband of Pia Zadora
  • 1924 Alexander Haig Jr, Bala-Cynwyd Pa, US Secretary of State (1981-82)/General
  • 1929 Jaap Boersma, Dutch minister for Social Affairs (ARP)
  • 1930 Gary Becker, American economist, recipient of the Bank of Sweden Prize, (d. 2014)
  • 1931 Edwin Meese III, US attorney General (1985-88), born in Oakland, California
  • 1931 Hatsumi Masaaki, Founder and head of the Bujinkan Dojo organization
  • 1933 K. Veeramani, Indian anti-caste activist
  • 1935 David Hackett Fischer, American historian
  • 1937 Brian Lumley, England, sci-fi author (Compleat Crow, Psychomech)
  • 1939 Yael Dayan, Israeli writer and politician
  • 1939 Harry Reid, American politician
  • 1939 Francis Fox, Canadian politician, member of the Senate
  • 1941 Paul C W Chu, China, physicist (superconductivity)
  • 1943 Wayne Allard, American politician
  • 1944 Roger Omond, journalist
  • 1944 Ibrahim Rugova, first President of Kosovo (d. 2006)
  • 1944 Botho Strauß, German author
  • 1944 Inger Davidson, Swedish politician

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1946 Gianni Versace, Italian fashion designer (Versace), born in Reggio Calabria, Italy (d. 1997)

Fashion Designer Gianni Versace
Fashion Designer
Gianni Versace
  • 1947 Michael Green, English TV/video producer
  • 1947 Ivan Atanassov Petrov, Bulgarian neurologist
  • 1948 T. Coraghessan Boyle, American writer
  • 1950 Merrill Ashley, ballerina (NYC Ballet), born in Saint Paul, Minnesota
  • 1950 Amin Saikal, Afghan-Australian academic
  • 1952 Carol Shea-Porter, American Congresswoman
  • 1953 Meg Griffin, DJ (WNEW-FM, WPLJ-FM, WKRK-FM)/VJ (V-1)
  • 1957 Dagfinn Høybråten, Norwegian politician
  • 1958 George Saunders, American writer (Lincoln in the Bardo), born in Amarillo, Texas
  • 1962 Kardam, Prince of Turnovo, titular Bulgarian royal family
  • 1963 Ann Patchett, American novelist
  • 1968 Mark Harding, Bath England, keeper of Internet biographies
  • 1976 Jennifer Robinson, Barrie Ontario, (1996 Canadian Champ)
  • 1988 Edward EMG baron Downpatrick, grandson of English prince Edward

Weddings in History

HeartWedding of Interest

1886 26th US President Theodore Roosevelt (28) weds second wife Edith Kermit Carow (25) in London

First Lady of the United States Edith Roosevelt
First Lady of the United States
Edith Roosevelt
26th US President Theodore Roosevelt
26th US President
Theodore Roosevelt
  • 1933 1st transatlantic telephone wedding (Bertil Clason-Sigrid Carlson)

Deaths in History

  • 537 Sylvester, Italian Pope (536-37), dies
  • 1348 Emperor Hanazono of Japan (b. 1297)
  • 1381 John of Ruysbroeck, Flemish mystic
  • 1463 Albert VI, Archduke of Austria, dies at 44
  • 1515 Gonzalo de Cordoba, Spanish general/strategist/viceroy of Naples, dies

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1547 Hernán Cortés, Spanish conquistador (defeated the Aztec Empire and colonized large parts of Mexico), dies of pleurisy at 61 or 62

Spanish Conquistador Hernán Cortés
Spanish Conquistador
Hernán Cortés
  • 1552 Francis Xavier, Spanish Catholic missionary (b. 1506)
  • 1592 Alexander Farnese, land guardian of Neth (1579-92), dies at 46
  • 1615 Louis des Balbes de Berton de Crillon, French general
  • 1665 Catherine de Vivonne, marquise de Rambouillet, French socialite (b. 1588)
  • 1694 Pierre Paul Puget, French artist, dies at 74
  • 1719 Pasquier Quesnel, French theologist (La Foi), dies at 85
  • 1723 Philip, French duke of Orleans/regent (1715-23)/PM (1723), dies
  • 1726 Samuel Penhallow, English-born American colonist and historian (b. 1665)
  • 1747 Vincent Bourne, English classical scholar (b. 1695)
  • 1748 Charles Seymour, 6th Duke of Somerset, English politician (b. 1662)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1814 Marquis de Sade, French philosopher and writer (Justine), dies at 74. The words sadism and sadist are derived from his name.

Philosopher and Writer Marquis de Sade
Philosopher and Writer
Marquis de Sade
  • 1828 Simon Paap, Dutch 56 cm long dwarf/cabaret artist, dies at 39
  • 1844 Eustachy Erazm Sanguszko, Polish general and politician, dies at 76
  • 1849 Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen, wife of William IV of the United Kingdom (b. 1792)


1859 John Brown, American abolitionist and revolutionary (Harpers Ferry), hanged at 59

Abolitionist John Brown
John Brown
  • 1860 Alfred Bunn, British theatrical manager (b. 1796)
  • 1864 Archibald Gracie III, Confederate brigadier general, dies in battle at Siege of Petersburg, Virginia aged 32
  • 1888 Mehmed N Kemal Bey, Turkish writer/journalist (Vatan), dies at 47
  • 1892 Jay Gould, American entrepreneur (b. 1836)
  • 1899 Gregorio del Pilar, Filipino general (killed at Battle of Tirad Pass) (b. 1875)
  • 1918 Margit Kaffka, Hungarian writer, dies in the flu pandemic at 38
  • 1918 Edmond Rostand, French poet and dramatist (b. 1868)
  • 1919 Henry Clay Frick, built largest coke & steel operation, dies at 69
  • 1924 Kazimieras Būga, Lithuanian philologist (b. 1879)
  • 1935 Albert Kessel, 1st to die in California gas chamber
  • 1935 Martha Carey Thomas, American educator, suffragist, linguist and second President of Bryn Mawr College, dies of a coronary occlusion at 78
  • 1936 John Ringling, American circus owner (b. 1866)
  • 1943 Nordahl Grieg, Norwegian poet/dramatist/novelist (The Defeat), dies at 41
  • 1944 Filippo T Marinetti, Italian writer (father of futurism), dies at 67
  • 1944 JW Ummels, Dutch resistance fighter (House of Saxon-Nazi), dies
  • 1944 Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, Italian-French prose writer, novelist, poet, and dramatist (Futurism e Futurista), dies of cardiac arrest at 67
  • 1953 Francis Picabia, French painter/illustrator, dies at 75
  • 1957 Manfred Sakel, Polish psychiatrist (b. 1902)
  • 1966 Luitzen [Bertus] Brouwers, Dutch mathematician, dies at 85
  • 1967 Francis J "Cardinal" Spellman, archbishop of NY, dies at 78
  • 1969 Kliment J Voroshilov, president USSR (1953-60), dies
  • 1972 Friedrich Christian Christiansen, German Luftwaffe general, dies
  • 1974 Max Weber, Swiss Federal Councilor (b. 1897)
  • 1980 Romain Gary, Lithuanian-born French writer (b. 1914)
  • 1981 Nicolaas "Cola" Debrot, gov of Dutch Antilles (1962-70), dies at 79
  • 1981 Wallace K[irkman] Harrison, US architect (UN), dies at 86
  • 1983 Fifi D'Orsay, "French Bombshell" (Dixie Jamboree), dies cancer at 79
  • 1985 Philip Larkin, [hermit of Hull], English poet, dies at 63
  • 1985 Aniello Dellacroce, American gangster (b. 1914)
  • 1986 John Curtis Gowan, American psychologist (b. 1912)
  • 1987 Yakov Borisovich Zel'dovich, Russian physicist (b. 1914)
  • 1992 Gary Mascaro, choreographer, dies at 43
  • 1992 Loek Elfferich, Dutch journalist/historian (Treason in Rotterdam), die

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1993 Pablo Escobar, Colombian drug lord, shot to death by Colombian Police at 44

Colombian Drug Lord Pablo Escobar
Colombian Drug Lord
Pablo Escobar
  • 1994 Donald John Urquhart, librarian, dies at 85
  • 1994 James Norman Dalrymple Anderson, lawyer, dies at 86
  • 1995 Francis Joseph Quinn, academic, dies at 90
  • 1995 Stanley Devon, photographer, dies at 88
  • 1995 Robertson Davies, Canadian novelist essayist/dramatist, dies at 82
  • 1996 Penelope Jessel, politcal activist, dies at 76
  • 2002 Ivan Illich, Austrian priest and philosopher (b. 1926)
  • 2002 Arno Peters, German historian (b. 1916)
  • 2003 Alan Davidson, British author (b. 1924)
  • 2004 Mona Van Duyn, American poet (b. 1921)
  • 2004 Alicia Markova, British ballerina (Diaghilev's Ballet Russe 1925-32) dies aged 94
  • 2005 Kenneth Lee Boyd, American convicted murderer (executed) (b. 1948)
  • 2005 Nat Mayer Shapiro, American painter (b. 1919)
  • 2005 Van Tuong Nguyen, Australian drug smuggler (hanged) (b. 1980)
  • 2008 Edward Samuel Rogers, Canadian entrepreneur (b. 1933)
  • 2008 Kathleen Baskin-Ball, American United Methodist Pastor
  • 2013 Jean-Claude Beton, Algerian-born French businessman, entrepreneur, and soft-drink manufacturer (Orangina), dies at 88