December 16


1707: The last recorded eruption of Mount Fuji in Japan occurred.

1773: Members of the Sons of Liberty disguised as Mohawk Indians boarded a British ship in Boston Harbor and threw overboard the ship’s cargo of tea, to protest the “tea tax.” The event became known as the Boston Tea Party.

1811: The first two in a series of four severe earthquakes occurred in the vicinity of New Madrid, Mo. These four so-called mega-quakes are believed to be an ongoing cataclysmic danger that could affect eight of today’s heartland states of the United States.

1937: Theodore Cole and Ralph Roe escaped from the American federal prison on Alcatraz Island in San Francisco Bay. Neither was ever seen again and were presumed to have drowned.

.1998: Iraq disarmament crisis: Operation Desert Fox – the United States and United Kingdom bomb targets in Iraq

2004: NASA’s Voyager 1 spacecraft is the 1st to cross the termination shock, where solar and interstellar winds merge


December 17


497 BC: The first Saturnalia festival was celebrated in ancient Rome.

1538: Pope Paul III excommunicated Henry VIII of England.

1935: The first flight of the Douglas DC-3 took place over Southern California. Born this day

1938: German chemist Otto Hahn discovered the nuclear fission of the heavy element uranium, the scientific and technological basis of nuclear energy.

1997: The British Firearms Act came into force, banning all handguns with the exception of antique and show weapons.

2010: The Tunisian Revolution and the wider so-called “Arab Spring” began when a street vendor named Mohamed Bouazizi set himself on fire in the city of Ben Arous.

2014: The United States and Cuba re-established diplomatic relations after severing them in 1959.

2015: José Mourinho is sacked as manager of British Premier football club Chelsea

2015: Martin Shkreli, CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals is arrested on fraud charges in New York by the FBI

2015: Libyan warring political factions sign a UN-brokered deal to form a unified government

2017: French sailor François Gabart sets round-the-world record for fastest solo navigation of the globe in 42 days 16 hours

December 18


1788: New Jersey ratified the U.S. Constitution.

1915: America’s 28th president, Woodrow Wilson (1913-1921), married Edith Galt at her home. He became the third president to marry while in office.

1920: 1st US postage stamps printed without the words United States or US

1923: International zone of Tangier set up in Morocco

1932:  National Football League Championship; Playoff, Chicago Stadium: Chicago Bears beat Portsmouth Spartans, 9-0

1948: WDSU TV channel 6 in New Orleans, LA (NBC) begins broadcasting

1949: National Football League Championship, Philadelphia Eagles beat Los Angeles Rams, 14-0; played in driving rain that caused field to become a mud pit

1952: Ellis W Ryan resigns as Cleveland Indians president

1953: KATV TV channel 7 in Little Rock, AR (ABC) begins broadcasting

1953: KMID TV channel 2 in Midland & Odessa, TX (ABC) begins broadcasting

1960: General Meeting of UN condemns apartheid

1966: Saturn’s moon Epimetheus is discovered by Richard L. Walker.

1968: USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh, Semipalitinsk USSR

1969: “Coco” opens at Mark Hellinger Theater NYC for 333 performances

1970: Polish uprising fails

1971: 1st Candlelight Processional at the EPCOT Center, Disney World

1972: US launches Operation Linebacker II, its heaviest bombing of North Vietnam, as negotiations to end the Vietnam War collapse

1973:  Soyuz 13 launched into Earth orbit for 8 days


December 19


1972: The last manned lunar flight, Apollo 17, crewed by Eugene Cernan, Ron Evans and Harrison Schmitt, returned to Earth.

1984: The Sino-British Joint Declaration, stating that the People’s Republic of China would resume the exercise of sovereignty over Hong Kong and the United Kingdom would restore Hong Kong to China with effect from July 1, 1997, was signed in Beijing by Deng Xiaoping and Margaret Thatcher.

1995: The U.S. government restored federal recognition to the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of Potawatomi Indian tribe in southern Michigan.

2013: 81 people are injured after part of the ceiling caved in at London’s Apollo Theatre

2014: The Guardian newspaper calls 2014 ‘The year the people stood up’

2015: Third Democratic presidential candidates debate, broadcast by ABC, held in Goffstown, New Hampshire

2018: First use of a drone to deliver vaccines – to island of Erromango, Vanuatu, by Unicef2019: Australian state of New South Wales announces 7-day state of emergency amid extreme heat and over 100 bushfires that have burnt for two months

2019: Earliest fossilized trees, 386 million years old, found at a quarry in Cairo, New York, study published in “Current Biology”


December 20

1892: Alexander Brown and George Stillman of Syracuse, New York, received the first patent on an inflatable automobile tire.


December 21

1959: 10th largest snowfall in NYC history (13.7″)

1959 Citizens of Deerfield Ill block building of interracial housing

1961: Beatles record “Sweet Georgia Brown” & “Ready Teddy”

1996: Apollo 8: 1st manned Moon voyage launched with Frank Borman, Jim Lovell and William Anders

1969 Vince Lombardi (Redskins) coaches his last football game

1970: Oregon v. Mitchell Supreme Court case was decided, lowering the minimum voting age in U.S. federal elections to 18. The voting age for state and local elections was left to states discretion

1971: UN Security Council chooses Kurt Waldheim as 4th Secretary-General

1972: Soviet Union signs a separate peace with East Germany

1973: Israel, Egypt, Syria, Jordan, US & USSR meet in Geneva to discuss the Arab-Israeli conflict

1974: Raiders RB Clarence Davis somehow catches game-winning touchdown pass among “the sea of hands” of three Dolphins defenders with 24 seconds left in the game, eliminating Miami from the playoffs, 1st time in 3 years

1975: “Hello, Dolly” closes at Minskoff Theater NYC after 51 performances

December 22

1808: The iconic Fifth Symphony by Ludwig von Beethoven premiered in Vienna, Austria, with Beethoven himself conducting.

1936: Born this day: Author James Burke (The Day The Universe Changed), and Polish filmmaker Voytek Frykowski (murdered by Manson family in 1969).

1937: The Lincoln Tunnel opened to traffic in New York City.


December 23

1823: A Visit from St. Nicholas, also known as The Night Before Christmas, was published anonymously in the Troy, New York, Sentinel.

1919: The United Kingdom outlawed sexual discrimination.