On This Day

On This Day in History for December 31

Events in History

MurderAssassination Attempt

192 Roman Emperor Commodus survives poisoning attempt by his mistress only to be strangled in the bath in assassination plot

Roman Emperor Commodus
Roman Emperor
  • 406 80,000 Vandals, Alans and Suebians cross the Rhine at Mainz, beginning invasion of Gallia
  • 535 Byzantine General Belisarius completes the conquest of Sicily, defeating Ostrogothic garrison of Syracuse, and ending his consulship for the year
  • 765 Coffin of Ho-tse Shen-hui interred in a stupa built in China
  • 870 Skirmish at Englefield: Ethelred of Wessex beats Danish invasion army
  • 1229 James I of Aragon the Conqueror enters Medina Mayurqa (Palma) consummating Christian conquest of the island of Majorca
  • 1492 100,000 Jews expelled from Sicily
  • 1502 Cesare Borgia (son of pope Alexander VI) occupies Urbino
  • 1564 Willem van Orange demands freedom of conscience/religion
  • 1600 British East India Company chartered
  • 1604 Admiral Steven van der Haghen's fleet reaches Bantam

AgreementTreaty of Interest

1621 Hungarian King Bethlen Gabor and Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand II sign the Treaty of Mikulov

Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand II
Holy Roman Emperor
Ferdinand II
  • 1660 James II of England is named Duke of Normandy by Louis XIV of France.
  • 1669 France & Brandenburg sign secret treaty
  • 1670 France & England sign Boyne-treaty
  • 1687 1st Huguenots depart France to Cape of Good Hope
  • 1688 Pro-James II-earl of Devonshire occupies Nottingham [OS=Dec 21]
  • 1695 A window tax is imposed in England, causing many shopkeepers to brick up their windows to avoid the tax.

Gregory Conquers Julius CaesarGregory Conquers Julius Caesar

1700 Frisia and Groningen adopt Gregorian calendar, tomorrow is 1/12/1701

Read Article
Pope Gregory XIII with the calendar that was to make his name
Pope Gregory XIII with the calendar that was to make his name
Read Article

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1711 John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough, fired as English army commander

InventionScientific Discovery

1744 English astronomer James Bradley announces discovery of Earth's nutation motion (wobble)

Astronomer James Bradley
James Bradley
  • 1756 Russia joins the Alliance of Versailles
  • 1758 British expeditionary army occupies Goree (Dakar) Senegal
  • 1775 Battle of Quebec in American Revolutionary War; Americans defeated trying to take British stronghold
  • 1776 Rhode Island establishes wage & price controls to curb inflation: Limit is 70 cents a day for carpenters, 42 cents for tailors
  • 1779 British fleet beat Dutch Merchant vessels
  • 1781 Bank of North America, 1st US bank opens
  • 1783 Import of African slaves banned by all of the Northern US states
  • 1805 End of French Republican calendar; France returns to Gregorianism
  • 1831 Gramercy Park is deeded to New York City
  • 1841 Alabama becomes 1st state to license dental surgeons

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1857 Queen Victoria chooses Ottawa as new capital of Canada

Queen of the United Kingdom Queen Victoria
Queen of the United Kingdom
Queen Victoria
  • 1859 Dutch colony in Dutch Indies counts 4,800 slaves
  • 1861 22,990mm of rain falls in Cherrapunji Assam in India in 1861, a world record
  • 1862 -Jan 20th) Battle of Stone's River (Battle of Murfreesboro), Tennessee in US Civil War

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1862 President Abraham Lincoln signs act admitting West Virginia to the Union

16th US President Abraham Lincoln
16th US President
Abraham Lincoln
  • 1862 Skirmish at Parker Cross Roads, Tennessee
  • 1862 Union ironclad ship "Monitor" sank off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina
  • 1870 J D Schneiter patents rocket mail in France, (not done)
  • 1879 Cornerstone laid for Honolulu's Iolani Palace (only royal palace in US)
  • 1879 Edison gives 1st public demonstration of his incandescent lamp
  • 1897 Brooklyn's last day as a city, it incorporates into NYC (1/1/1898)
  • 1901 In the first election under their new constitution, Cuba elects a Congress and their first president, Tomas Estrada Palma
  • 1904 First New Year's Eve celebration held in Times Square, New York City
  • 1906 French, British and Italian treaty concerning rights on Abyssinia
  • 1907 For 1st time, a ball drops at Times Square to signal the New Year
  • 1907 Gustav Mahler conducts the Metropolitan Opera, in New York City
  • 1910 US tobacco industry produced 9 billion cigarettes in 1910

Nobel prizeNobel Prize

1911 Marie Curie receives her second Nobel Prize, this time in Chemistry, for her work with radioactivity

Physicist Marie Curie
Marie Curie
  • 1917 Dutch Social-democratic trade union NVV counts 159,450 members
  • 1921 Last San Francisco firehorses retired
  • 1923 1st transatlantic radio broadcast of a voice, Pittsburgh-Manchester

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1924 Italian Fascist Mussolini orders the suppression of opposition newspapers

Italian Dictator Benito Mussolini
Italian Dictator
Benito Mussolini
  • 1925 14th congress of CPSU decides to accelerate industry
  • 1927 Ponsford scores 336 against SA, giving him 1146 for month

BeatificationCatholic Encyclical

1929 Pope Pius XI publishes encyclical Divini illius magistri

259th Pope Pius XI
259th Pope
Pius XI
  • 1930 Pontifical encyclical Casti connubii against mixed marriages
  • 1930 US tobacco industry produced 123 billion cigarettes in 1930
  • 1932 John P O'Brien sworn-in as mayor of NYC
  • 1934 Helen Richey becomes 1st woman to pilot an airmail transport
  • 1935 CPH becomes Dutch Communist Party
  • 1935 Charles Darrow patents the board game Monopoly, goes on to be the 1st millionaire game designer
  • 1938 Dr R N Harger's "drunkometer", 1st breath test, introduced in Indiana
  • 1938 Dutch national debt hits ƒ3,986,629,805.70
  • 1939 Dutch national debt hits ƒ4,218,553,180.99
  • 1941 Young Park (2) in the Bronx named in honor of Samuel Young
  • 1942 Battle of the Barents Sea between British Navy and German Kriegsmarine off North Cape, Norway
  • 1944 48 people die in a train accident in Ogden, Utah
  • 1944 Japanese army evacuates harbor city Akyab
  • 1944 World War II: Hungary declares war on Germany.

United NationsUnited Nations Charter

1945 Ratification of United Nations Charter completed

Learn More
Preamble to the Charter of the United Nations
Preamble to the Charter of the United Nations
Learn More
  • 1946 French troops leave Lebanon

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1946 US President Harry Truman officially proclaims end of WW II

33rd US President Harry Truman
33rd US President
Harry Truman
  • 1948 Dutch police actions up Java gone on strike
  • 1949 18 countries recognize Republic Indonesia
  • 1951 1st battery to convert radioactive energy to electricity announced
  • 1953 Hulan Jack sworn in as Manhattan Borough president
  • 1953 Bill Shoemaker shatters record, riding 485 winners in a year

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1955 The General Motors Corporation becomes the first U.S. corporation to make over $1 billion USD in a year.

President of General Motors Harlow Curtice
President of General Motors
Harlow Curtice
  • 1957 AAU awards Bobby Morrow, James Sullivan Memorial Trophy

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1958 Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista tells his Cabinet he is fleeing the country

Cuban President and Dictator Fulgencio Batista
Cuban President and Dictator
Fulgencio Batista
  • 1958 International Geophyscial Year ends
  • 1961 The Beach Boys play their debut gig under that name
  • 1961 Failed coup by Syrian group in Lebanon
  • 1961 Marshall Plan expires after distributing more than $12 billion
  • 1962 Dutch leave New Guinea
  • 1962 Katanga becomes part of Democratic Republic of Congo
  • 1962 Ohio ends suit against Reds when they agree to stay in Cin for 10 yrs
  • 1964 Donald Campbell (UK) sets world water speed record (276.33 mph)
  • 1964 Indonesia proclaims expelled from the UN
  • 1966 Pirate Radio 390 (Radio Invicata) off England, resumes transmitting
  • 1966 Toboggan Chutes begin operation in Cleveland Metroparks

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1967 Evel Knievel fails in his attempt to jump the Caesar's Palace Fountain, Las Vegas, breaking his pelvis, femur, wrist, hip and both ankles

Motorcycle Daredevil Evel Knievel
Motorcycle Daredevil
Evel Knievel
  • 1968 1st supersonic airliner flown (Russian TU-144)
  • 1969 Congo-Brazzaville becomes People's republic, under major Ngouabi

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1970 Congress authorizes Eisenhower dollar coin

34th US President & WWII General Dwight D. Eisenhower
34th US President & WWII General
Dwight D. Eisenhower
  • 1970 President Allende nationalizes Chilean coal mines
  • 1971 Lt Gen Robert E Cushman, Jr, USMC, ends term as deputy director of CIA
  • 1971 Edmund Compton, then Northern Ireland Ombudsman, is replaced by John Benn
  • 1972 Leap second day; also in 1973-79, 1987

Birthdays in History

  • 695 Muhammad bin Qasim, Umayyad general, born in Ta'if, Saudi Arabia (d. 715)
  • 1378 Pope Callixtus III [Alfonso de Borgia], head of the Catholic Church & ruler of the Papal States (1455-58), born in Kingdom of Valencia (d. 1458)

Person of interestJacques Cartier

1491 Jacques Cartier, French explorer who claimed what is now Canada for France, born in St. Malo, Brittany (d. 1557)

French Explorer Jacques Cartier
French Explorer
Jacques Cartier

Person of interestAndreas Vesalius

1514 Andreas Vesalius [Andries van Wesel], Flemish physician and anatomist (De humani corporis fabrica), born in Brussels, Belgium (d. 1564)

Physician and Anatomist Andreas Vesalius
Physician and Anatomist
Andreas Vesalius
  • 1540 Silvio Antoniano, Italian cardinal/theologist (Tre libri)
  • 1572 Emperor Go-Yozei of Japan, (d. 1617)
  • 1668 Hermannus Boerhaave, Dutch botanist & physician, born in Voorhout, Netherlands (d. 1738)

Person of interestBonnie Prince Charlie

1720 Bonnie Prince Charlie [Charles Edward Stuart], English pretender to throne (Jacobite rebellion), born in Palazzo Muti, Rome, Papal States (d. 1788)

Pretender to the British throne Bonnie Prince Charlie
Pretender to the British throne
Bonnie Prince Charlie

Person of interestCharles Cornwallis

1738 Charles Cornwallis, 1st Marquess Cornwallis, British general and colonial administrator (leading British general in the American War of Independence), born in London (d. 1805)

General and Colonial Administrator Charles Cornwallis
General and Colonial Administrator
Charles Cornwallis
  • 1741 Isabella Maria of Parma, wife of future Holy Roman emperor, born in Madrid, Spain (d. 1763)
  • 1763 Pierre-Charles Villeneuve, French admiral, born in Valensole, France (d. 1806)
  • 1776 Johann Spurzheim, German physician, born in Trier, Electorate of Trier, Germany (d. 1832)
  • 1805 Marie d'Agoult (Daniel Stern), French author (Knife), born in Frankfurt, Germany (d. 1876)
  • 1815 George Gordon Meade, Spanish-American Major General (Union Army), born in Cádiz, Spain (d. 1872)
  • 1825 Francis Trowbridge Sherman, American Brigadier General (Union Army), born in Newtown, Connecticut (d. 1905)
  • 1830 Isma'il Pasha, Khedive of Egypt (1863-79), born in Cairo, Egypt (d. 1895)
  • 1838 Emile Loubet, French politician (President 1899-1906), born in Marsanne, France (d. 1929)
  • 1846 Ferdinand Domela Nieuwenhuis, vicar/Dutch anarchist (Right for all)
  • 1855 Giovanni Pascoli, Italian classicist & poet, born in San Mauro Pascoli, Italy (d. 1912)
  • 1860 Joseph S. Cullinan, American oil industrialist, born in Pennsylvania, United States (d. 1937)
  • 1863 Alfredo Panzini, Italian author (Dizionario Moderno), born in Senigallia, Italy (d. 1939)
  • 1864 Robert G Aitken, American astronomer (Binary Stars), born in Jackson, California (d. 1951)

Person of interestHenri Matisse

1869 Henri Matisse, French impressionist painter (Odalisque), born in Le Cateau-Cambresis, France (d. 1954)

Impressionist Painter Henri Matisse
Impressionist Painter
Henri Matisse
  • 1877 Lawrence Beesley, English journalist and author, born in Wirksworth, United Kingdom (d. 1967)
  • 1878 Horacio Quiroga, Uruguayan playwright, poet, and short story writer (Anaconda, El Crimen del Otro), born in Salto, Uruguay (d. 1937)
  • 1878 Elizabeth Arden, Canadian businesswoman, born in Woodbridge, Ontario (d. 1966)

Person of interestGeorge Marshall

1880 George Marshall, US Secretary of State (1947-49) who authored the Marshall Plan (Nobel 1953), born in Uniontown, Pennsylvania (d. 1959)

Military Leader George Marshall
Military Leader
George Marshall
  • 1881 Colin G Fink, American chemist (electro chemistry), born in Hoboken, New Jersey
  • 1881 Jacob Israël de Haan, Dutch poet/writer (Pipelines, Jewish Song), born in Holland, Netherlands (d. 1924)
  • 1881 Max Pechstein, German "entartet" painter and graphic artist (The Bridge), born in Zwickau, Germany (d. 1955)
  • 1882 David Cohen, Dutch historian and chairman of the Jewish Council, born in Deventer, Holland (d. 1967)
  • 1885 Princess Victoria Adelaide of Schleswig-Holstein, born in Province of Schleswig-Holstein (d. 1970)
  • 1893 Max Lamberty, Flemish sociologist & author (Flemish Resurrection), born in Saint-Gilles, Brussels (d. 1975)
  • 1905 Guy Mollet, Prime Minister of France (1956-57), born in Flers, France (d. 1975)
  • 1905 Tadeusz Breza, Polish writer (The Bronze Gate), born in Sekežintsõ, Ostrog (d. 1970)
  • 1908 Simon Wiesenthal, Jewish-Austrian holocaust survivor & Nazi hunter (Wiesenthal Center), born in Buchach, Ukraine (d. 2005)
  • 1911 Dal Stivens, Australian novelist, born in Blayney, Australia (d. 1997)
  • 1912 John Frost, British airborne officer, born in Pune, India (d. 1993)
  • 1919 Artur Fischer, German inventor with more patents than Edison, born in Tumlingen, Baden-Württemberg (d. 2016)
  • 1919 Recy Taylor, American sexual assault victim, born in Abbeville, Alabama (d. 2017)
  • 1921 Lynn Compton, American jurist (Sirhan Sirhan prosecutor) and commissioned officer (Easy Company, 101st Airborne), born in Los Angeles, California (d. 2012)
  • 1927 Dieter Noll, German writer (Die Abenteuer des Werner Holt), born in Riesa, Saxony (d. 2008)
  • 1928 Veijo Meri, Finnish writer, born in Viipuri (d. 2015)
  • 1928 Siné [Maurice Sinet], French cartoonist, born in Paris, France (d. 2016)
  • 1928 Amarillo Slim [Thomas Preston], American hall of fame professional poker player (1971 World Series main event), born in Amarillo, Texas (d. 2012)
  • 1929 Sidney Greenbaum, British scholar, born in London, United Kingdom (d. 1996)
  • 1931 Bob Shaw, Northern Irish sci-fi author (Light of Other Days, The Ragged Astronauts), born in Belfast, Northern Ireland (d. 1996)
  • 1933 Chryssa [Vardea-Mavromichali], Greek-American artist, born in Athens, Greece (d. 2013)
  • 1934 Akram Awan, Islamic scholar & spiritual leader, born in Chakwal, Pakistan (d. 2017)
  • 1935 Rolf Haufs, German writer, born in Düsseldorf (d. 2013)

Person of interestSalman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud

1935 Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, King of Saudi Arabia (2015-present), born in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

King of Saudi Arabia Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud
King of Saudi Arabia
Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud
  • 1937 Nicolas Born, German writer, born in Duisburg (d. 1979)
  • 1937 Avram Hershko, Hungarian-born Israeli biochemist and Nobel laureate in Chemistry, born in Karcag, Hungary
  • 1938 Henricus G Wijmans, Dutch graphic artist
  • 1939 Hugh Lewin, South African anti-apartheid activist and writer (Bandiet: Seven Years in a South African Prison), born in Lydenburg, South Africa (d. 2019)
  • 1940 Oleg Anatolyevich Yakovlev, Russian cosmonaut, born in Leningrad
  • 1944 Taylor Hackford, American director (Devil's Advocate, Ray), born in Santa Barbara, California
  • 1945 Claude Marks, FALN member (FBI most wanted), born in Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • 1946 Pius Ncube, Zimbabwean human rights advocate, born in Filabusi, Zimbabwe

Person of interestDiane von Furstenberg

1946 Diane von Furstenberg, Belgian-born American fashion designer (wrap dress), born in Brussels

Fashion Designer Diane von Furstenberg
Fashion Designer
Diane von Furstenberg
  • 1948 Viktor Mikhailovich Afanasieyv, Russian cosmonaut (Soyuz TM-11, TM-18)
  • 1949 Ellen Datlow, American editor, born in NYC, New York
  • 1949 Susan Shwartz, American author, born in Youngstown, Ohio
  • 1953 Yahya Ould Hademine, Mauritanian politician & 13th Prime Minister of Mauritania (2014-present), born in Timbédra, French West Africa
  • 1954 Alex Salmond, Scottish politician (Scottish National Party) First Minister of Scotland (2007-14), born in Linlithgow, Scotland
  • 1954 Hermann Tilke, German racing circuit architect, born in Olpe, Germany
  • 1955 Dawood Ibrahim, Indian crime boss (D-Company), born in Khed, Ratnagiri, India
  • 1956 Martin Joseph Fettman, American researcher & astronaut (STS 58), born in Brooklyn, New York
  • 1956 Steve Rude, American comics artist, born in Madison, Wisconsin
  • 1959 Phill Kline, American politician, born in Kansas City, Kansas
  • 1962 Heather McCartney, American-British potter & artist, born in Tucson, Arizona
  • 1965 Julie Doucet, Canadian underground cartoonist, born in Montreal, Quebec
  • 1965 Nicholas Sparks, American author (The Notebook), born in Omaha, Nebraska
  • 1969 Dominik Diamond, Scottish presenter & newspaper columnist, born in Arbroath, United Kingdom
  • 1977 Donald Trump Jr., American businessman and son of Donald Trump and Ivana Trump, born in NYC, New York
  • 1979 Josh Hawley, American politician (Senator(R) Missouri 2019-), 1st to object to certification of Biden victory, born in Springdale, Arkansas

Weddings in History

LoveWedding of Interest

1910 Editor Maxwell Perkins (26) weds Louise Saunders at Holy Cross Episcopal Church in North Plainfield, New Jersey

LoveWedding of Interest

1978 Best-selling author Michael Crichton (36) weds lawyer Kathleen St. Johns

Deaths in History


192 Commodus, Emperor of Rome (180-192), murdered at 31

Roman Emperor Commodus
Roman Emperor
  • 335 St. Silvester I, Catholic Pope, dies in office
  • 406 Godigisel, King of the Vandals, dies in battle
  • 439 Melania the Younger, Roman monastery founder/saint, dies at about 56
  • 1164 Margrave Ottokar III of Styria (b. 1124)
  • 1194 Duke Leopold V of Austria (killed at a tournament) (b. 1157)
  • 1297 Humphrey de Bohun, 3rd Earl of Hereford, English soldier (b. 1249)
  • 1302 Frederick III, Duke of Lorraine (b. 1238)
  • 1382 Daigaku, Zen teacher/46th head of Engakuji, dies in Kamakura Japan
  • 1384 John Wycliffe, English religious reformer, Oxford Professor and bible translator, dies at about 56
  • 1424 Thomas Beaufort, 1st Duke of Exeter, English military leader
  • 1460 Edmund, Earl of Rutland, brother of Kings Edward IV of England and Richard III of England, executed at 17
  • 1460 Richard Neville, 5th Earl of Salisbury, English politician (b. 1400)
  • 1510 Bianca Maria Sforza, wife of Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor, dies at 38
  • 1535 William Skeffington, Lord Deputy of Ireland (b. 1465)
  • 1568 Shimazu Tadayoshi, Japanese warlord, dies at 75
  • 1575 Pierino Belli, Italian soldier and jurist (b. 1502)
  • 1583 Thomas Erastus, Swiss physician and theologist, dies at 59
  • 1610 Ludolph van Ceulen, German mathematician (b. 1540)
  • 1616 Jacques Le Maire, pirate/explorer (Lemaire Strait), dies at 31
  • 1650 Dorgon, Chinese emperor (b. 1612)
  • 1652 Frances Cecil, 2nd wife of English earl of Shaftesbury, dies
  • 1673 Oliver St John, English statesman and judge
  • 1679 Giovanni Alfonso Borelli, Italian physiologist and physicist (b. 1608)
  • 1691 Dudley North, English economist (b. 1641)

Person of interestJohn Flamsteed

1719 John Flamsteed, English astronomer and 1st Astronomer Royal, dies at 73

1st Astronomer Royal John Flamsteed
1st Astronomer Royal
John Flamsteed
  • 1733 Hubert K Poot, Dutch poet (Akkerleven), dies at 44
  • 1742 Charles III Philip, Elector Palatine (1716-42), dies at 81
  • 1775 Richard Montgomery, Irish General in Continental Army during American Revolutionary War, dies in attack on Quebec at 37
  • 1783 Gualtherus van Doeveren, Zealand-Flanders physician, dies at 53
  • 1799 Jean-François Marmontel, French historian and writer, dies at 76
  • 1802 Francis Lewis, Welsh/American merchant/signer (Declaration of Independence), dies at 89
  • 1862 James Edward Rains, American lawyer and Brigadier General (Confederate Army), dies in Battle of Stone's River at 29
  • 1862 Joshua Woodrow Sill, US Union brigadier general, dies in Battle of Stone's River at 31
  • 1864 George Mifflin Dallas, American politician (11th Vice President of the United States) and United States Minister to Russia, dies at 72
  • 1872 Aleksis Kivi, Finnish writer and poet (Kanervala), dies at 38
  • 1877 Gustave Courbet, French realist painter (Demoiselles the la Seine), dies at 58
  • 1880 Arnold Ruge, German political philosopher and writer, dies at 78
  • 1882 Leon Michel Gambetta, French attorney and 37th Prime Minister of France (1881-82), dies at 44
  • 1888 Samson Raphael Hirsch, German Orthodox rabbi and intellectual founder of the Torah im Derech Eretz school of contemporary Orthodox Judaism, dies at 80
  • 1889 Ion Creanga, Romanian (fairy tales) author, dies at 52
  • 1890 Pancha Carrasco, Costa Rican war heroine (Costa Rica's first woman in the military), dies at 74
  • 1893 Jacob Gijsbert de Hoop Scheffer, Dutch vicar and theologian, dies at 74
  • 1894 Thomas J Stieltjes, mathematician (Stieltjes-integral), dies at 38
  • 1907 Jules de Trooz, Belgium PM, dies at 63
  • 1910 John Moisant, American aviator (b. 1868)
  • 1910 Archibald Hoxsey, American pioneer aviator (worked for the Wright brothers), dies at 26
  • 1910 John Bevins Moisant, American pioneer aviator, first to cross English Channel with passenger and a cat, killed in New Orleans whose present day airport was originally name for him, dies at 42
  • 1916 Alice Ball, African American chemist (developed treatment for leprosy), dies at 24
  • 1920 Albert Roelofs, Dutch painter/etcher, dies at 43
  • 1921 Boies Penrose, American politician (U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania (1897-1921)), dies at 61
  • 1921 József Kiss, Hungarian literary (Zsido Dalok), dies at 78
  • 1936 Miguel de Unamuno Jugo, Span philosopher/poet (Cancionero), dies at 72
  • 1936 William FA Ellison, Irish clergyman/astronomer, dies at 72
  • 1938 Richard Nicolaas Roland Holst, Dutch artist and painter, dies at 70
  • 1947 Franz X Ritter von Epp, German General (SW Africa), dies at 79
  • 1950 Karl Renner, Austrian President (1918-20, 45-50), dies at 80
  • 1951 Maxim M Litvinov [Meyer H Wallach], Russian diplomat, dies at 75
  • 1951 Philipp Abraham Kohnstamm, Dutch philosopher and physicist, dies at 76
  • 1953 Albert Plesman, Dutch aviation pioneer and founder (KLM), dies at 64
  • 1964 Ólafur Thors, Icelandic Prime Minister (5 times between 1942-63), dies at 72
  • 1966 Pieter Geyl, Dutch historian (History of the Dutch Race), dies at 79
  • 1971 Vikram Sarabhai, Indian physicist (b. 1919)
  • 1977 Sabah III Al-Salim Al-Sabah, ruler of Kuwait (b. 1924)

Person of interestMarshall McLuhan

1980 Marshall McLuhan, Canadian writer (Medium is the Message), dies at 69

Philosopher of Communication Theory Marshall McLuhan
Philosopher of Communication Theory
Marshall McLuhan
  • 1980 Raoul Walsh, American director (High Sierra), dies at about 88
  • 1987 [Gordon] Randall [P D] Garrett, author (Lord Darcy), dies at 60
  • 1990 Vasily Grigoryevich Lazarev, cosmonaut (Soyuz 12, 18A), dies at 62
  • 1993 Lambert Fokkema, founder Dutch Export Combination, dies at 80
  • 1993 Thomas J. Watson Jr., American businessman and politician (President of IBM, 1952-1971, US Ambassador to the Soviet Union, 1979-1981), dies of a stroke at 79
  • 1993 Zviad Gamsachurdia, President of Georgia SSR (1991-1993), suicide at 54
  • 1993 Brandon Teena, American trans man and hate crime victim, murdered at 21
  • 1994 BAM "Bob" Schreiner, airline owner (S Aviation Group), dies at 79
  • 1994 Harri Webb, Welsh poet and nationalist, dies at 74
  • 1994 Leigh Bowery, Australian performance artist and designer, dies of AIDS at 33
  • 1995 Calvin/Hobbes, (comic strip), dies
  • 1995 John Powell, campaigner, dies at 75
  • 1996 61 law enforcement officers, killed by felons in US this year
  • 1996 Ann Susan Hills, freelance journalist, dies at 55
  • 1996 Michael Roberts, English historian, dies at 88
  • 1996 Philip Manson-Bahr, English zoologist and specialist in tropical medicine, dies at 85
  • 1997 76 law enforcement officers, killed by felons in US this year
  • 1997 Dominique de Menil, arts patron/human rights advocate, dies at 89
  • 1997 Michael Kennedy, son of Robert F. Kennedy, dies in ski accident at 39
  • 1999 Elliot Richardson, American politician (b. 1920)
  • 2000 Alan Cranston, American politician (b. 1914)
  • 2001 John Grigg, 2nd Baron Altrincham, British writer and historian, dies at 77
  • 2003 Arthur R. von Hippel German physicist (pioneer in the study of dielectrics, ferromagnetic and ferroelectric materials, and semiconductors and was a codeveloper of radar during World War II), dies at 105
  • 2004 Gérard Debreu, French-American economist (Nobel 1983), dies at 83
  • 2005 Phillip Whitehead, British politician (b. 1937)
  • 2007 Michael Goldberg, American painter (b. 1924)
  • 2007 Milton L. Klein, Canadian politician (b. 1910)
  • 2007 Ettore Sottsass, Italian architect and designer (b. 1917)
  • 2008 Donald E. Westlake, American author (The Hunter), dies at 75
  • 2020 Joan Micklin Silver, American film director (Hester Street; Crossing Delancey), dies at 85
  • 2020 Richard Thornburgh, 76th United States Attorney General (1988-91) and 41st Governor of Pennsylvania (dealt with Three Mile Island nuclear meltdown), dies at 88 [1]