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On December 19th...

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1370 Pope Urban V died.

1683 King Philip V of Spain was born.

1776 Thomas Paine published his first "American Crisis" essay.

Valley Forge1777 The Continental Army set up winter headquarters at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania.

Juan Bautista de Anza1788 Juan Bautista de Anza, Mexican explorer of the American Southwest, died.

1795 Kentucky became the first state to appropriate money for road building.

Edwin McMasters Stanton1814 Edwin M. Stanton, lawyer, Attorney General, and Secretary of War, was born.
Joseph Bramah1814 Inventor Joseph Bramah died.

1823 Georgia passed the first birth registration law in the United States.

1828 South Carolina declared the right of states to nullify federal laws.

1842 The United States recognized the independence of the Kingdom of Hawaii.

1843 A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens, was published.

1848 Novelist Emily Brontė died.

1849 Businessman Henry Clay Frick was born.

1852 Physicist Albert Michelson was born.

1852 Allen Wilson patented a sewing machine to sew curving seams.

1871 Albert Jones patented corrugated paper.

Bayard Taylor1878 Bayard Taylor, journalist, traveler, poet and lecturer, died.

1891 Charles Uncles became the first black Catholic priest to be ordained in the United States, in Baltimore, Maryland.

1903 The Williamsburg Bridge opened between Brooklyn and Manhattan, New York.

1906 Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev was born.

1907 An explosion in a coal mine at Jacobs Creek, Pennsylvania, killed 239 workers.

1910 Rayon was commercially produced for the first time, in Marcus Hook, Pennsylvania.

1917 The first National Hockey League game on artificial ice was played in Toronto, Canada.

1918 Robert Ripley began his "Believe It or Not" feature in the New York Globe.

1919 The American Meteorological Society was founded.

1920 Constantine I was restored as King of the Hellenes.

1933 Actress Cicely Tyson was born.

1941 Adolf Hitler became Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the German Army.

1944 Anthropologist Richard Leakey was born.
1944 Actor Tim Reid was born.

1945 Actress Elaine Joyce was born.

1946 Ho Chi Minh attacked French troops in Hanoi, Indochina.

1950 Tibet's Dalai Lama fled a Chinese invasion.

Arthur Capper1951 Arthur Capper, publisher and U.S. Senator, died.

1959 Walter Williams, thought to be the last surviving veteran of the US Civil War, died in Houston, Texas at the age of 117.

Constellation fire1960 Fire aboard an aircraft carrier under construction at the Brooklyn Navy Yard in New York, New York, killed 50 workers.
1960 Actor Mike Lookinland was born.

1963 Actress Jennifer Beals was born.

1967 Magician Criss Angel was born.

Norman Thomas1968 Socialist Party author and presidential candidate Norman Thomas died.

1971 The movie A Clockwork Orange premiered.

1972 Apollo 17, the last manned Moon landing, returned to Earth.
1972 Actress Alyssa Milano was born.

1974 The Altair, the world's first do-it-yourself computer kit, went on sale; its price tag was $397.

Nellie Tayloe Ross1977 Nellie Tayloe Ross, the first woman to serve as Governor of a state and as Director of the U.S. Mint, died.

1978 Venera 12 deployed a probe that descended to the surface of Venus.

1979 The film Kramer vs Kramer was released.

1980 The film Raging Bull was released in the United States.
1980 Actor Jake Gyllenhaal was born.

1984 The United Kingdom signed an agreement to return Hong Kong to China in 1997.

1986 The film Platoon was released.

1986 Author V.C. Andrews died.

1997 The movie Titanic opened in American theaters.

1998 President Bill Clinton was impeached by the U.S. House of Representatives for perjury and obstruction of justice.

2001 The film The Fellowship of the Ring was released.

2003 Actress Hope Lange died.

2006 Joseph Barbera, of Hanna-Barbera cartoon fame, died.

2011 Swedish car maker Saab filed for bankruptcy.

2012 Park Geun-hye became the first woman to be elected President of South Korea.

2013 Part of the ceiling at the Apollo Theatre in London, England, caved in, injuring 81 persons.

2016 A truck was driven into a Christmas market in Berlin, Germany, killing 12 persons and injuring 48.
2016 The Russian ambassador to Turkey was shot dead at an art gallery in Ankara, Turkey.

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The Robinson Library >> On This Day

This page was last updated on December 18, 2017.