Events on Dec 20

  • 0069General Vespasianus occupies Rome
  • 1046Benedictus IX and Silvester III and names Bishop Siutger, Pope Clemens II
  • 1046Synod of Sutri: German King Henry III removes Popes Gregory VI
  • 1192Richard the Lionhearted captured in Vienna
  • 1448Pope Nicolaas V named Utrechts Bishop Rudolf of Diepholt, Cardinal
  • 1585English fleet and Earl Robert Dudley van Leicester reach Vlissingen
  • 1606Virginia Company settlers leave London to establish Jamestown, Virginia
  • 1661Corporation Act enforced in England
  • 16691st jury trial in Delaware; Marcus Jacobson condemned for insurrection and sentenced to flogging, branding and slavery
  • 1694Frederik van Brandenburg flees Schweiben
  • 1699Peter the Great ordered Russian New Year changed-Sept 1 to Jan 1
  • 1780England declares war on Netherlands
  • 17901st successful US cotton mill to spin yarn (Pawtucket, RI)
  • 1803Louisiana Purchase formally transferred from France to US for $27M
  • 1820Missouri imposes a $1 bachelor tax on unmarried men between 21 and 50
  • 1823Franz Schuberts "Ballet-Musik aus Rosamunde, " premieres in Vienna
  • 1830England, France, Prussia, Austria and Russia recognize Belgium
  • 1850Hawaiian post office established
  • 1860SC votes 169-0 for Ordinace of Secession, 1st state to secede
  • 1861Battle of Dranesville, Virginia
  • 1862Brigadier General Nathan B Forrest occupies Trenton, Kentucky
  • 1865De Clear-Alkmaar railway opens
  • 1879Tom Edison privately demonstrated incandescent light at Menlo Park
  • 1883International cantilever railway bridge opens at Niagara Falls
  • 1891Strongman Louis Cyr withstands pull of 4 horses
  • 1892Phileas Fogg completes around world trip, according to Verne
  • 1892Pneumatic automobile tire patented, Syracuse, New York
  • 18931st state anti-lynching statue approved, in Georgia
  • 1894Day Six 1T Aus vs. Eng Australia need 177 to win, all out 166
  • 1900Giacobini discovers a comet (will be 1st comet visited by spacecraft)

Born on Dec 20

  • 1539Paul Melissus [Paul Schede]: German poet / composer
  • 1579John Fletcher: Elizabethan dramatist (Phylaster)
  • 1594Giovanni Battista Gagliano: Composer
  • 1606Christoph Schultze: Composer
  • 1629Pieter de Hoogh: Dutch painter
  • 1659Francois Fagel: Dutch lawyer / Statesman
  • 1720Charles Edward Stuart [Bonnie Prince Charlie / Young Pretender]
  • 1729Franz Xaver Thomas Pokorny: Composer
  • 1758Othon Joseph Vandenbroek: Composer
  • 1774Guillaume-Perre-Antoine Gatayes: Composer
  • 1786Pietro Raimondi: Composer
  • 1805Thomas Graham: Father of colloid chemistry
  • 1807Richard Lucian Page: Brigadier General (Confederate Army), died in 1901
  • 1808Thomas Tinsley Craven: Commander (Union Navy), died in 1887
  • 1809Friedrich Karl Kuhmstedt: Composer
  • 1812Achille Peri: Composer
  • 1813Samuel Jordan Kirkwood: (Gov-Iowa) / US Secretary of Interior (1881-82)
  • 1819John Geary: 1st SF Postmaster, 1st Mayor (May 1, 1850)
  • 1825Romeyn Beck Ayres: Bvt Major General (Union Army), died in 1888
  • 1833Samuel A Mudd: Doctor, convicted of giving medical aid to JW Booth
  • 1858Jean / Johannes T "Jan" Toorop: Dutch painter / graphic artist (3 Brides)
  • 1859Antonius J Derkinderen: Dutch painter / etcher
  • 1865Maude Gonne: Irish nationalist (Irish Joan of Arc)
  • 1867Fini Valdemar Henriques: Composer
  • 1868Harvey S Firestone: Industrialist, where the rubber meets the road
  • 1869Charley Grapewin: Xenia, Ohio -- Actor (Wizard of Oz, Libeled Lady)
  • 1870Pieter C Boutens: Dutch poet (Voices, Carmina)
  • 1871Henry Kimball Hadley: Composer
  • 1872Lorenzo Perosi: Italian composer
  • 1875T F Powys: Wales, United Kingdom -- Writer (Captain Patch, Goat Green)

Died on Dec 20

  • 0069Aulus Vitellius: Roman Commandant of Rhine and 7th Emperor, murdered
  • 0910Alfonso III de Great: King of Asturias
  • 1073Domingo: Spanish monastery founder / abbot / saint
  • 1355Stefanus IX Uros IV Dusan: King (1331-46) / Serbia (1346-55)
  • 1632Nicolas Antoine: French cath pastor who converted to Judaism, executed
  • 1676John Galle: Flemish engraver / printer, dies at 76
  • 1679Johan Maurits: Count of Nassau-Siegen, dies at 75
  • 1749Pakubuwono II: Susuhunan of Mataram Java
  • 1793Joseph Legros: Composer, dies at 54
  • 1798Cornelis Ploos van Amstel: Dutch engraver / art collector, dies at 72
  • 1799David Traugott Nicolai: Composer, dies at 66
  • 1812Sacagawea: Shoshone interpreter for Lewis & Clark
  • 1815Giovanni Meli: Sicilian Poet (Buccolica), dies at 75
  • 1819Louis-Luc Loiseau de Persuis: Composer, dies at 50
  • 1821Gian Francesco Fortunati: Composer, dies at 75
  • 1875Michail P Pogodin: Russian Historian / writer (Povesti), dies at 75
  • 1876Hannah Omish: At 12 is youngest ever hanged in US
  • 1903Gavriil Musicescu: Composer, dies at 56
  • 1909Benjamin Ipavec: Composer, dies at 79
  • 1916Manuel Giro: Composer, dies at 68
  • 1916William Wallace Gilchrist: Composer, dies at 70
  • 1929Emile Loubet: French Premier (1892) / President (1899-1906), dies at 90
  • 1936Baron De Borchgrave: Belgian ambassador, murdered in Madrid
  • 1937Erich Ludendorff: German General (WWI), dies at 72
  • 1939Hans Langsdorff: German Captain (Graaf Spee), commits suicide
  • 1942Jean Gilbert [Max Winterfield]: German composer, dies at 63
  • 1944Abbas Hilmi II: Viceroy of Egypt (1892-1914), dies at 70
  • 1948C Aubrey Smith: Actor (Prisoner of Zenda), dies at 85
  • 1954Emilis Melngailis: Composer, dies at 80
  • 1954James Hilton: English Author (Lost Horizon), dies at 54

Historical events on December 21

  • 1163Hurricane hits villages in Holland / Friesland, causing floods
  • 1561Archbishop Granvelle installed
  • 1582Flanders adopts Gregorian calendar, tomorrow is Jan 1 1583
  • 1650Johan de Witt installed as Dutch pension advisor of Dordrecht
  • 1688Pro-James II-earl of Devonshire occupies Nottingham
  • 1762James Cook marries Elizabeth Batts
  • 1784John Jay becomes 1st US Secretary of State (foreign affairs)
  • 1788Hue Tay Son becomes Emperor Quang Trung of Vietnam
  • 18291st stone arch railroad bridge in US dedicated, Baltimore
  • 1835HMS Beagle sails into Bay of Islands (New Zealand)
  • 18491st US skating club formed (Philadelphia)
  • 1864Gen Sherman conquers Savannah
  • 1890Pim Mulier 1st and only trip to "Alvesteddetocht"
  • 189118 students play 1st basketball game (Springfield College)
  • 1898Scientists Pierre and Marie Curie discovers radium
  • 1907Dutch government of De Master falls due to war budget
  • 19091st junior high school established (Berkeley, California)
  • 1910Explosion in coal mine in Hulton England, 344 mine workers dies
  • 1912Denmark, Norway and Sweden declare neutrality in Comende war
  • 19131st crossword puzzle (with 32 clues) printed in New York World
  • 191510.17" (25.83 cm) of rainfall, Glenora, Oregon (state record)
  • 1918Red Sox trade Dutch Leonard, Ernie Shore and Duffy Lewis to Yankees for Ray Caldwell and Slim Love, Frank Gilhooey, Al Walters and $15,000
  • 1919J Edgar Hoover deports anarchists / feminist Emma Goldman to Russia
  • 1921Supreme Court rules labor injunctions and picketing unconstitutional
  • 1923Nepal changes from British protectorate to independent nation
  • 1925Stork Hendry scores 325 for Victoria against New Zealand
  • 1926Soccer team DOS Struggle forms
  • 19291st group hospital insurance plan offered (Dallas Tx)
  • 1932Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, 1st joint movie (Flying Down to Rio)
  • 1932Giants sign former outfielder Billy Southworth as a coach

Born on December 21

  • 1117Thomas Becket: Archbishop of Canterbury
  • 1518Mark van Vaernewijck: Flemish nobleman / politician
  • 1537Johan III: King of Sweden (1569-92)
  • 1616Pietro Andrea Ziani: Composer
  • 1628Samuel Friedrich Capricornus: Composer
  • 1639Jean Racin: Writer
  • 1728Hermann Friedrich Raupach: Composer
  • 1756Thomas Anton Kunz: Composer
  • 1800Barnwell Rhett Robert: (Confederacy), died in 1876
  • 1804Benjamin Disraeli: (Tory) British Prime Minister (1868, 1874-80)
  • 1810Ludwig Schuncke: Composer
  • 1815Thomas Couture: French painter / author
  • 1818Amalia: Wife of King Otto of Greece
  • 1818Lewis H Morgan: United States -- Etnologist (Systems of Consanguinity)
  • 1823Jean Henri Fabre: France -- Entomologist (insects and spiders)
  • 1826Ernst Pauer: Composer
  • 1832John Henry Ketcham: Bvt Major General (Union volunteers), died in 1906
  • 1840Mehmed N Kemal: Turkish journalist (Vatan)
  • 1848Edward Everett Rice: Composer
  • 1849James Lane Allen: US writer (Kentucky Cardinal)
  • 1850Zdenek Fibich: Composer
  • 1853Isolde Kurz: German writer / poetess (Meine Mutter)
  • 1859Gustave Kahn: France -- Poet (claimed to have invented vers libre)
  • 1860Henrietta Szold: Founder (Hadassah)
  • 1867John Winter Thompson: Composer
  • 1872Albert P Terhune: United States -- Novelist (Lad, a Dog)
  • 1874Juan Bautista Sacasa: President of Nicaragua (1932-36)
  • 1879Theodore Limperg: Business economist (substitute value)
  • 1886George Norman Peterkin: Composer
  • 1886Hermann A J Kees: German Egyptologist (Problems of Egyptology)

Died on December 21

  • 1308Henry I [the Child]: 1st landgrave of Hessen (1256-1308)
  • 1375Boccaccio: Writer
  • 1375Giovanni Boccaccio: Italian Poet (Vita di Dante)
  • 1597Petrus Canisius: Dutch Jesuit / saint, dies at 76
  • 1674Rutger van Haersolte: Viceroy of Overijsselse, dies at about 66
  • 1734Philipp Hyacinth Lobkowitz: Composer, dies at 54
  • 1736Alessandro Galilei: Italian Architect (Cappella Corsini), dies at 45
  • 1755Caspar Ruetz: Composer, dies at 47
  • 1820Charles-Francois Dumonchau: Composer, dies at 45
  • 1859Nicolaas C Kist: Dutch church Historian / archivist, dies at 66
  • 1864William Henry Fry: Composer, dies at 51
  • 1889Joseph B Lightfoot: English Theologist / Bishop of Durham, dies at 61
  • 1890Niels Vilhelm Gade: Danish composer, dies at 73
  • 1906Adalbert von Goldschmidt: Composer, dies at 58
  • 1907Oskar Lassar: German dermatologist (public baths), dies at 58
  • 1921P B S Pinchback: Major Reconstruction politician, dies at 84
  • 1928Luigi Cadorna: Italian Field Marshal (WWI, Caporetto), dies at 78
  • 1933Knud J V Rasmussen: Danish Pole explorer (Thule), dies at 54
  • 1935Kurt Tucholsky: German journalist / writer (Panter, Tiger & Co), dies at 45
  • 1937Frank Kellog: US Foreign Minister (Nobel 1929), dies at 80
  • 1940F Scott Fitzgerald: Author (Zelda), dies of a heart attack at 44
  • 1942Leendert Round: Sculptor (Giraffen, Blijdorp), dies at 63
  • 1945George S Patton: US General (Sicily / Normandy), dies in car crash at 60
  • 1948Seishiro Itagaki: Japanese General / Minister of War, hanged
  • 1955Dorothy Bernard: Actress (Margaret-Life With Father), dies at 65
  • 1956Lewis M Terman: Psychologist (Genetic studies of genius), dies at 79
  • 1957Eric Coates: Composer, dies at 71
  • 1958H[arry] B[yron] Warner: Actor (10 Commandments, New Moon), dies at 83
  • 1958Lion Feuchtwanger: Philosopher / writer (Der falsche Nero), dies at 74
  • 1965Claude Adonai Champagne: Composer, dies at 74