This Month in History: December

red volkswagen beetle scale model

We hope that everyone is enjoying the holidays!

Here are some holiday facts for you to enjoy. 😊


01 December 1955

This day in 1955, in violation of segregation laws in Montgomery, Alabama, Rosa Parks refused to surrender her bus seat to a white passenger and was arrested, sparking a 381-day bus boycott led by Martin Luther King, Jr.

02 December 1972

On December 2nd, 1972, the Temptations earned the last of their four chart-topping hits when “Papa Was A Rollin’ Stone” reached #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. Over the course of their career, the Temptations placed 38 hit records in the pop top 40.

03 December 1947

On December 3rd, 1947, Marlon Brando’s famous cry of “STELLA!” first booms across a Broadway stage, electrifying the audience at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre during the first-ever performance of Tennessee Williams’ play A Streetcar Named Desire.

04 December 1783

On December 4th, 1783, then commanding general of the Continental Army,  George Washington, summoned his officers to inform them that he will be resigning his commission and returning to civilian life.

Nevertheless, Washington was not out of the public spotlight for long because in 1789, he was coaxed out of retirement and elected as the first president of the United States.

05 December 1984

On December 5th, 1984, Beverly Hills Cop hit theaters with Eddie Murphy starring as the wisecracking Detective Axel Foley. The movie marked the first major starring role for Murphy, who went on to become one of the top-grossing actors in Hollywood.

06 December 1884

On December 6th, 1884, in Washington, D.C., workers place a nine-inch aluminum pyramid on top of a tower of white marble, completing the construction of an impressive monument to the city’s namesake and the nation’s first president, George Washington

07 December 1941

A swarm of 360 Japanese warplanes descended on the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor in a ferocious assault. The surprise attack struck a critical blow against the U.S. Pacific fleet and drew the United States irrevocably into World War II.

08 December 1980

John Lennon, a former member of the Beatles, the rock group that transformed popular music in the 1960s, was shot and killed by an obsessed fan in New York City

09 December 1983

The movie Scarface opened in theaters, staring actor Al Pacino as a Cuban refugee who becomes a Miami crime boss.

10 December 1967

On December 10th, 1967 soul legend Otis Redding died in a plane crash near Madison, Wisconsin…not long after his last recording session in Memphis, Tennessee. 

11 December 1951

Joe DiMaggio announces his retirement from baseball. Joe was known not only for his amazing baseball career, but also for his marriage and lifelong devotion to Marilyn Monroe.

12 December 1980

On December 12th, 1980, American oil tycoon Armand Hammer payed over $5 million dollars at auction for a notebook containing writings by the legendary artist Leonardo da Vinci. The same notebook was later purchased by Bill Gates.

13 December 1992

In Atlanta on December 13th, 1992, Manon Rheaume became the first woman to play in a regular-season professional hockey game. 

14 December 1977

On December 14th, 1977, “Saturday Night Fever” premieres in LA. Launching the career of a 23 year old actor named John Travolta.

15 December 2001

On December 15th, 2001, Italy’s Leaning Tower of Pisa reopens after a team of experts spent 11 years and $27 million to fortify the tower without eliminating its famous lean.

16 December 1773

In Boston Harbor, a group of Massachusetts colonists disguised as Mohawk Indians board three British tea ships and dump 342 chests of tea into the harbor. The midnight raid, popularly became known as the “Boston Tea Party,”

17 December 1903

Near Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, Orville and Wilbur Wright make the first successful flight in history of a self-propelled, heavier-than-air aircraft. Orville piloted the gasoline-powered, propeller-driven biplane, which flew for 12 seconds and covered 120 feet on its inaugural flight.

18 December 1620

On December 18th, 1620, the British ship Mayflower docks at modern-day Plymouth, Massachusetts, and its passengers prepare to begin their new settlement, Plymouth Colony.

19 December 1998

After nearly 14 hours of debate, the House of Representatives approves two articles of impeachment against President Bill Clinton, charging him with lying under oath and obstructing justice. President Clinton was the second president in American history to be impeached.

20 December 1957

On December 20th, 1957, while spending the Christmas holidays at Graceland, his recently purchased Tennessee mansion, rock-and-roll star Elvis Presley received his draft notice for the United States Army. Widely praised for not seeking to avoid the draft or serve domestically, Presley was seen as a model for all young Americans. 

21 December 2012

On December 21st, 2012, the music video for “Gangnam Style,” a song by the Korean rapper Psy, becomes the first YouTube video to garner one billion views.

22 December 1989

The Brandenburg Gate in Berlin was reopened, signifying the reunification of East and West Germany.

23 December 1972 

On December 23rd, 1972, the Pittsburgh Steelers beat the Oakland Raiders, 13-7, on rookie running back Franco Harris’ “Immaculate Reception” touchdown in the waning seconds of a playoff game—one of the greatest plays in NFL history. 

24 December 1972

Comedian Bob Hope gives what he says is his last Christmas show to U.S. servicemen in Saigon. Hope was a comedian and star of stage, radio, television and over 50 feature films.

25 December 1914

Just after midnight on Christmas morning, the majority of German troops engaged in World War I cease firing their guns and artillery and commence to sing Christmas carols. At certain points along the eastern and western fronts, the soldiers of Russia, France, and Britain even heard brass bands joining the Germans in their joyous singing. Merry Christmas.

26 December 1776

After crossing the Delaware River into New Jersey, George Washington leads an attack on Hessian mercenaries at Trenton, and takes 900 men prisoner.

27 December 1932

At the height of the Great Depression, thousands turn out for the opening of Radio City Music Hall, in New York City. Radio City Music Hall was designed as a palace for the people, a place of beauty where ordinary people could see high-quality entertainment. Since its 1932 opening, more than 300 million people have gone to Radio City to enjoy movies, stage shows, concerts and special events.

28 December 1975 

On December 28th, 1975, Dallas Cowboys quarterback Roger Staubach throws a 50-yard touchdown pass to Drew Pearson in the waning seconds to beat the Minnesota Vikings in a playoff game, 17-14. Afterward, Staubach calls the miraculous touchdown a “Hail Mary,” thus cementing the term for a desperation pass in the sports lexicon. 

29 December 1936

American actress Mary Tyler Moore, best known for her roles on two iconic TV sitcoms—The Dick Van Dyke Show and The Mary Tyler Moore Show —was born in Brooklyn, New York.

30 December 1968 

December 30th, 1968, Led Zeppelin was recorded live for the first time in a college gymnasium in Washington State. The now widely available recording became known as Gonzaga ’68

31 December 1879

In the first public demonstration of his incandescent lightbulb, Ohio born American inventor Thomas Alva Edison lit up a street in Menlo Park, New Jersey

Published by Scott

The mountains are calling, let me grab a jacket and my kids.

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