Historic World Events / December (page 20)

December

List historic world events in December

Pete Hamill quits drinking

Pete Hamill quits drinking

On this day, 37-year-old journalist Pete Hamill quits drinking. Hamill’s bestselling memoir, A Drinking Life, details the influence of alcohol throughout the author’s life. Hamill was born and raised in an Irish neighborhood in Brooklyn. The oldest of several children, Hamill grew up playing stickball in a blue-collar neighborhood but …

Read More »

Defense Department reports eight B-52s lost during Linebacker II

Defense Department reports eight B-52s lost during Linebacker II

The Defense Department announces that eight B-52 bombers and several fighter-bombers were lost since the commencement of Operation Linebacker II on December 18. These losses included at least 43 flyers captured or killed. President Richard Nixon ordered the operation after the North Vietnamese negotiators walked out of the peace talks …

Read More »

Cattle pioneer Charles Goodnight dies

Cattle pioneer Charles Goodnight dies

Charles Goodnight, co-founder of one of the most important southwestern cattle-drive trails, dies on this day. He was 93 years old. Born in Illinois in 1836, Goodnight came to Texas with his family when he was nine years old, and he thrived in the rugged frontier environment. His skill as …

Read More »

Trent crisis escalates

Trent crisis escalates

On this day in 1861, Lord Lyons, the British minister to the United States, meets with Secretary of State William Seward concerning the fate of James Mason and John Slidell, Confederate envoys arrested by the U.S. Navy aboard the Trent, a British mail steamer. During the meeting, Lyons took a …

Read More »

First Battle of Champagne begins

First Battle of Champagne begins

After minor skirmishes, the First Battle of Champagne begins in earnest, marking the first major Allied attack against the Germans since the initiation of trench warfare on the Western Front. Still determined to win a quick victory, and despite early defeats in the trenches against German positions, French commander Joseph …

Read More »

General Gracie killed at Petersburg

General Gracie killed at Petersburg

On this day in 1864, Confederate General Archibald Gracie Jr. is killed in the trenches at Petersburg, Virginia, when an artillery shell explodes near him. Gracie was born in New York City in 1832 (his grandfather built Gracie Mansion, the official residence of the mayor of New York) and graduated …

Read More »

Woody Allen marries Soon-Yi Previn

Woody Allen marries Soon-Yi Previn

On this day in 1997, Woody Allen, the 62-year-old Academy Award-winning writer-director of such movies as Annie Hall and Hannah and Her Sisters, marries 27-year-old Soon-Yi Previn, the adopted daughter of his former girlfriend Mia Farrow, in a small ceremony in Venice, Italy. When news of the couple’s relationship was …

Read More »

Elfego Baca battles Anglo cowboys

Elfego Baca battles Anglo cowboys

Elfego Baca, legendary defender of southwestern Hispanos, manages to hold off a gang of 80 cowboys who are determined to kill him. The trouble began the previous day, when Baca arrested Charles McCarthy, a cowboy who fired five shots at him in a Frisco (now Reserve), New Mexico, saloon. For …

Read More »

Dick Van Dyke born

Dick Van Dyke born

On this day in 1925, Dick Van Dyke, the quintessential “nice guy” actor who would become known for his performances in such movie classics as Mary Poppins and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, as well as the popular 1960s TV sitcom The Dick Van Dyke Show, is born in West Plains, …

Read More »

“Roger & Me” opens in U.S. theaters

“Roger & Me” opens in U.S. theaters

On December 20, 1989, the provocative filmmaker Michael Moore’s satirical documentary “Roger & Me” opens in theaters across the United States. (It had made a brief tour of film festivals earlier that year, before it had a distributor.) The film chronicled Moore’s unsuccessful attempts to meet Roger B. Smith, the …

Read More »