by Bob Fields

On December 21:

Thomas Becket (Image Credit: WikiTree)

Roger Williams (Image Credit: WikiTree)

Benjamin Disraeli (Image Credit: WikiTree)










1118 – Thomas Becket, English saint and Archbishop of Canterbury (murdered by Henry II in 1170).
1603 – Roger Williams, English-American theologian, politician, and proponent of religious freedom and the separation of church and state, who founded the Colony of Rhode Island (d. 1684).
1773 – Robert Brown*, Scottish botanist, who made important contributions to botany largely through his pioneering use of the microscope (d. 1858).
1804 – Benjamin Disraeli, English lawyer and politician, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, played a central role in the creation of the modern Conservative Party (d. 1881).
1860 – Henrietta Szold*, US Jewish Zionist leader and founder of Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America.
1868 – George W. Fuller*, designed and built the first modern water filtration plant, and designed and built the first chlorination system that disinfected a U.S. drinking water supply (d. 1934).
1879 – Joseph Stalin‘s “official” birthday after coming to power, however contemporary records show his actual birthdate as 18 December 1878 (d. 1953).
1917 – Heinrich Böll*, one of Germany’s foremost post-World War II writers, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1985).
1935 – Phil Donahue*, American talk show host and producer.
1937 – “Hanoi” Jane Fonda, American actress and activist (Klute, Coming Home, On Golden Pond).
1946 – Carl Wilson*, American singer-songwriter and guitarist (The Beach Boys) (d. 1998).
1948 – Samuel L. Jackson, American actor and producer (Pulp Fiction).
1954 – Chris Evert*, American tennis player and coach.
1955 – Jane Kaczmarek*, American actress (Malcolm in the Middle , Us & Them).
1957 – Ray Romano*, American actor, producer, and screenwriter (Everybody Loves Raymond, Ice Age).
1966 – Kiefer Sutherland, English-Canadian actor, director, and producer (24).


Thomas the Apostle (Image Credit: Wikipedia)

F. Scott Fitzgerald (Image Credit: WikiTree)

George S. Patton (Image Credit: WikiTree)











72 – “doubting” Thomas the Apostle*, Christian saint, in Chennai, India (b. 1 AD).
1824 – James Parkinson*, English physician and paleontologist (b. 1755) (Parkinson’s disease ).
1937 – Frank B. Kellogg*, 45th US Secretary of State, Nobel Prize laureate  for the Kellogg-Briand Pact (b. 1856).
1940 – F. Scott Fitzgerald, American author and poet (b. 1896) (The Great Gatsby).
1945 – George S. Patton, American WW2 general, dies in Heidelberg, Germany, of injuries from a car accident.  (b. 1885).

Other Events:

Plymouth Rock Landing (Image Credit: Wikipedia)

Snow White (Image Credit: Wikipedia)

Pan Am 103 (Image Credit: Wikipedia)










1140 – Siege of Weinsberg: Conrad III* of Germany negotiated a surrender which granted the women the right to leave with whatever they could carry. The women carried their husbands out on their shoulders. Known today as Weibertreu (“wifely loyalty”).
1620 – Plymouth Colony: William Bradford and the Mayflower Pilgrims set foot on what is now known as Plymouth Rock in Massachusetts.
1784 – John Jay becomes 1st US Secretary of State.
1898 – Radium is discovered by Marie Skłodowska-Curie and her husband Pierre. Marie later dies from exposure to its dangerous radioactivity.
1913 – Arthur Wynne*’s “word-cross”, the first crossword puzzle, is published in the New York World.
1937 – Disney‘s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, the first full-length animated feature, premieres at the Carthay Circle Theatre in Hollywood, CA.
1951 – Libya becomes an independent country.
1958 – Charles de Gaulle is elected the first president of the Fifth Republic, three months after a new French constitution was approved.
1970 – Elvis Presley meets with President Richard M. Nixon in the Oval Office to discuss fighting drugs. He dies of complications from drug abuse 7 years later.
1971 – The U.N. Security Council chooses Kurt Waldheim* to succeed U Thant* as 4th Secretary-General.
1988 – A bomb explodes on board Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, killing 259. Arrest warrants were issued for two Libyan nationals in November 1991.
1991 – 11 of the 12 Soviet republics declare that they are forming the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), a final step signifying the dismemberment of the Soviet Union. Gorbachev* resigns four days later.
1995 – The city of Bethlehem passes from Israeli to Palestinian control.

The individuals marked with “*” don’t have a profile on WikiTree yet. Please help grow our tree.

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by Bob Fields

On December 20:

Harvey Firestone (Image Credit: WikiTree)

Robert Van Der Graff (Image Credit: Wikipedia)

Dick Wolf (Image Credit: Wikipedia)











1833 – Samuel Mudd, American physician who was imprisoned for treating and conspiring with John Wilkes Booth in the assassination of U.S. President Abraham Lincoln. (d. 1883).
1868 – Harvey Firestone, American businessman, founded the Firestone Tire and Rubber Company (d. 1938).
1894 – Robert Menzies, Australian lawyer and politician, 12th (and longest-serving) Prime Minister of Australia (d. 1978).
1898 – Irene Dunne*, American actress and singer (d. 1990) (Cimarron, I Remember Mama, Show Boat).
1901 – Robert J. Van de Graaff*, American physicist, invented the Van de Graaff generator (d. 1967).
1946 – Uri Geller*, Israeli-English psychic performer.
1946 – Dick Wolf*, American director, producer, and screenwriter (Miami Vice, Law & Order).
1948 – Alan Parsons*, English keyboard player and producer (The Alan Parsons Project, Abbey Road Studios).


John Steinbeck (Image Credit: WikiTree)

Bobby Darin (Image Credit: Wikipedia)

Carl Sagan (Image Credit: WikiTree)










1073 – Saint Dominic of Silos (Santo Domingo de Silos). His feast day is December 20 (b. 1000).
1765 – Louis, Dauphin of France, only son of Louis XIV, who died before becoming king. Three of his sons ascend to the throne, including the guillotined Louis XVI (b. 1729).
1812 – Sacagawea*, Native American explorer (b. 1788) (the Lewis and Clark Expedition).
1937 – Erich Ludendorff*, German WW1 general (b. 1865)
1968 – John Steinbeck, American author, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1902) (Cannery Row, East of Eden, Of Mice and Men, The Grapes of Wrath).
1971 – Roy O. Disney*, American businessman, co-founded The Walt Disney Company (b. 1893).
1973 – Bobby Darin*, American singer-songwriter and actor (b. 1936) (“Splish Splash“, “Dream Lover“, “Mack the Knife“, “Beyond the Sea“).
1976 – Richard J. Daley, 48th Mayor of Chicago for 21 years (b. 1902)
1994 – Dean Rusk, 54th US Secretary of State under Kennedy and Johnson (b. 1909).
1996 – Carl Sagan, American astronomer, astrophysicist, and cosmologist (b. 1934)

Other Events:

Vespasian (Image Credit: Wikipedia)

Richard I (Image Credit: WikiTree)

Flying Tigers (Image Credit: Wikipedia)




69 – Vespasian* (7-79 AD), a former general under Nero (who committed suicide), enters Rome to claim the title of Emperor in the Year of the Four Emperors. He rules for 10 years, the first to be directly succeeded by his own natural son.
1192 – Richard I “the Lionheart” of England is captured and imprisoned by Leopold V of Austria on his way home to England after signing a treaty with Saladin* ending the Third Crusade. He is ransomed 1 ½ years later for 65,000 pounds of silver.
1606 – The Virginia Company: three ships set sail to establish Jamestown, Virginia, the first permanent English settlement in the Americas.
1803 – The Louisiana Purchase is completed at a ceremony in New Orleans.
1812 - “Grimm’s Fairy Tales” by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm is published.
1860 – South Carolina becomes the first state to secede from the United States.
1864 – Confederate forces evacuate Savannah, GA, as Union Gen. William T. Sherman continues his “March to the Sea.”
1941 – World War II: First battle of the American Volunteer Group, better known as the “Flying Tigers” in Kunming, China. Adolf Hitler informs General Franz Halder* that there will be no retreating from the Russian front near Moscow.
1951 – The EBR-1 in Arco, Idaho becomes the first nuclear power plant to generate electricity.
1960 – The National Front for the Liberation of Vietnam (VietCong) is formed, to foment insurgency in the South.
1971 – Zulfikar Ali Bhutto* takes over as the fourth President of Pakistan. He later becomes Prime Minister, and is executed after being deposed in 1977.
1989 – US invasion of Panama: Troops invade Panama to overthrow the government of Manuel Noriega.
1998 – In Houston, TX, a 27-year-old woman gives birth to the only known living set of octuplets.

The individuals marked with “*” don’t have a profile on WikiTree yet. Please help grow our tree.

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by Bob Fields

On December 14:

Nostradamus (Image Credit: Wikipedia)

Tycho Brahe (Image Credit: Wikipedia)

King George VI (Image Credit: WikiTree)










1503 – Michel de Nostradamus, French astrologer, physician, and predictor of the future (d. 1566).
1546 – Tycho Brahe*, Danish astronomer and chemist, known for his accurate and comprehensive astronomical and planetary observations (d. 1601).
1895 – George VI of the United Kingdom, the “reluctant king” during /WW2. He was the last Emperor of India and the first Head of the Commonwealth. (d. 1952).
1896 – Jimmy Doolittle, American pilot and general, Medal of Honor recipient for the Doolittle Raid on Japan (d. 1993).
1897 – Margaret Chase Smith*, American educator and politician, the first woman to serve in both houses of the US Congress (d. 1995).
1911 – Spike Jones*, American singer, actor, and bandleader, who performed satirical arrangements of popular songs (d. 1965).
1935 – Lee Remick*, American actress (d. 1991) (Days of Wine and Roses, The Omen).
1946 – Patty Duke*, American actress and singer (The Miracle Worker, The Patty Duke Show, Screen Actors Guild  president).


James V (Image Credit: WikiTree)

George Washington (Image Credit: Wikipedia)

Prince Albert (IMage Credit: WikiTree)









1542 – James V of Scotland, son of King James IV of Scotland and his queen Margaret Tudor, a daughter of Henry VII of England. His daughter Mary Stuart becomes Mary, Queen of Scots (b. 1512).
1591 – Saint John of the Cross*, Spanish priest, a major figure of the Counter-Reformation (b. 1542). December 14 is his Christian feast day.
1799 – George Washington, American Revolution general and politician, 1st US President, after bloodletting to treat a throat inflammation caused him to lose half his blood volume (b. 1732).
1861 – Albert, Prince Consort, German husband of British Queen Victoria (b. 1819).
1902 – Julia Grant, wife of US President Ulysses S. Grant (b. 1826).
1943 – John Harvey Kellogg, American physician and businessman, co-invented corn flakes (b. 1852).
1947 – Stanley Baldwin, English Conservative politician, 3 time Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (b. 1867).
1953 – Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, American Pulitzer Prize author and academic (b. 1896) (The Yearling).
2013 – Peter O’Toole, Irish-English actor, holds the record for the most Academy Award acting nominations without a win (b. 1932) (Lawrence of Arabia, Becket, The Lion in Winter).

Other Events:

Max Planck (Image Credit: Wikipedia)

The Wright Flyer (Image Credit: Wikpedia)

Roald Amundsen (Image Credit: Wikipedia)









1812- The French invasion of Russia comes to an end as the remnants of the Grande Armée are expelled from Russia.
1900 – The birth of Quantum mechanics: Max Planck* presents a theoretical derivation of his black-body radiation law.
1903 – Orville and Wilbur Wright make their first attempt with the Wright Flyer at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, with minor damage. Repairs take 3 days, after which they successfully fly.
1911 – Roald Amundsen*’s Norwegian team becomes the first to reach the South Pole.
1918 – Friedrich Karl von Hessen*, brother-in-law of Kaiser Wilhelm, a German prince elected by the Parliament to become King Väinö I, renounces the Finnish throne, a year after declaring independence from Russia and shortly after Germany’s defeat in WW1.
1939 – Winter War: The Soviet Union is expelled from the League of Nations for invading Finland.
1946 – The United Nations General Assembly votes to establish its headquarters in New York City.
1981 – Arab-Israeli conflict: Israel annexes the Golan Heights, seized from Syria in 1967.
1995 – The Dayton Agreement is signed in Paris by the leaders of the Yugoslavia, Croatia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina, putting an end to the 3 12-year-long Bosnian War.

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