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  On This Day
 

On December 21st...

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Feast of St. Thomas

Giovanni Boccaccio1375 Italian storyteller and poet Giovanni Boccaccio died.

1582 Flanders adopted the Gregorian calendar.

1639 French playwright Jean Baptiste Racine was born.

1788 Hue Tay Sun became Emperor Quang Trung of Vietnam.

1795 Robert Moffat, missionary to South Africa, was born.

Benjamin Disraeli1804 Benjamin Disraeli, two-time Prime Minister of Great Britain, was born.

1823 Entomologist Jean Henri Fabre.

1829 The first stone arch bridge in the United States was dedicated in Baltimore, Maryland.

1860 American social worker and Zionist movement leader Henrietta Szold was born.

HMS Challenger voyage1872 The HMS Challenger embarked on the first-ever sea voyage undertaken for scientific purposes.

1879 Russian dictator Joseph Stalin was born.

James Naismith1891 James Naismith invented the game of basketball.

1892 Golfer Walter Hagen was born.

1898 Pierre and Marie Curie discovered radium.

1906 The British Parliament passed The Trades Disputes Bill, legalizing peaceful picketing, and The Workingmen's Compensation Act, broadening employers' liability for accidents.

1909 The first junior high school was established in Berkeley, California.

1913 The first known crossword puzzle was published in the New York World.

1914 The first ever six-reel comedy, Tillie's Punctured Romance, was released.

Kurt Waldheim1918 Kurt Waldheim, Austrian politician and diplomat, was born.

1922 Ventriloquist Paul Winchell was born.

1923 Nepal became an independent nation.

1926 College football coach Joe Paterno was born.

1932 Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers made their first movie together, Flying Down to Rio.

1933 Fox Films signed 5-year-old Shirley Temple to a contract.

1935 Talk show host Phil Donahue was born.

1937 Snow White and the Seven Dwarves premiered at the Carthay Circle Theater.
1937 Actress Jane Fonda was born.
1937 American politician and diplomat Frank B. Kellogg died.

1940 Musician Frank Zappa was born.
1940 Author F. Scott Fitzgerald died.

George S. Patton1945 U.S. General George S. Patton died.

1946 Musician Carl Wilson was born.

1948 The Irish Free State declared itself the independent State of Eire.

1949 Samson and Delilah premiered in New York City.

1950 Cole Porter's musical Out of this World" premiered at the New Century Theater in New York City.

1950 Businessman Jeffrey Katzenberg was born.
Hattie Caraway1950 Hattie Wyatt Caraway, the first woman to be elected to the U.S. Senate, died.

1954 Tennis player Chris Evert was born.

1955 Actress Jane Kaczmarek was born.

1957 Actor Ray Romano was born.

1959 Residents of Deerfield, Illinois, block the building of integrated housing.
1959 Actor Dave Coulier was born.
1959 Olympic sprinter Florence Griffith Joyner was born.

1965 Actor Andy Dick was born.

1966 Actor Kiefer Sutherland was born.

1968 David Crosby, Stephen Stills, and Graham Nash performed together for the first time.

1969 Vince Lombardi coached his last football game.

1974 Actor Richard Long died.

1978 Police in Des Plaines, Illinois, arrested John Wayne Gacy for murder.

1988 Pan Am flight 103 was destroyed in mid-air by a bomb over Lockerbie, Scotland, killing all 258 persons on board.

1992 A Dutch DC-10 caught fire while landing at Faro, Portugal; 56 people were killed.

1994 A bomb exploded on the #4 train at Fulton Street Station in New York City.
1994 Dean Rusk, U.S. Secretary of State, died.

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This page was last updated on July 21, 2016.

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