On this day in history…

December 27

1825 – 1st public railway using steam locomotive completed in England between Stockton and Darlington

1831 – HMS Beagle/Charles Darwin departs England for South America

1871 – World’s first cat show (Crystal Palace, London)

1892 – Foundation Stone of Cathedral of St John laid (NYC)

1932 – Radio City Music Hall opens (NYC)

1937 – Mae West performs Adam & Eve skit that gets her banned from NBC radio

1945 – International Monetary Fund formally established by 29 member countries

1968 – Apollo 8 returns to Earth

1978 – King Juan Carlos ratifies Spain’s 1st democratic constitution

1982 – Imran Khan 8-60 to bring innings victory v India at Karachi

1983 – Pope John Paul II pardons man who shot him (Mehmet Ali Agca)

2004 – Radiation from an explosion on the magnetar SGR 1806-20 reaches Earth. It is the brightest extrasolar event known to have been witnessed on the planet.


December 26

1492 – 1st Spanish settlement La Navidad (modern Môle-Saint-Nicolas) in New World founded, by Columbus

1773 – Expulsion of tea ships from Philadelphia

1799 – George Washington is eulogised by Col Henry Lee as “1st in war, 1st in peace & 1st in hearts of his countrymen”

1848 – 1st gold seekers arrive in Panama en route to San Francisco

1860 – The first ever inter-club football match takes place between Hallam F.C. and Sheffield F.C. at the Sandygate Road ground in Sheffield, England.

1865 – James H Mason (Mass) patents 1st US coffee percolator

1924 – Judy Garland, 2½, billed as Baby Frances, makes her show business debut

1933 – FM radio is patented.

1982 – TIME’s Man of the Year is a computer

2012 – China opens the world’s longest high speed rail route from Beijing to Guangzhou


December 25

274 – Roman Emperor Aurelian dedicates a temple to Sol Invictus on the supposed day of the winter solstice and day of rebirth of the Sun.

337 – Earliest possible date that Christmas was celebrated on Dec 25th

352 – 1st definite date Christmas was celebrated on Dec 25th

597 – England adopts Julian calendar

1048 – Parliament of Worms: Emperor Henry III names his cousin count Bruno van Egisheim/Dagsburg as Pope Leo IX

1223 – St Francis of Assisi assembles 1st Nativity scene (Greccio, Italy)

1492 – Christopher Columbus’ flagship the Santa María runs aground and sinks on Hispaniola

1643 – Christmas Island founded and named by Captain William Mynors of the East India Ship Company vessel, the Royal Mary.

1741 – Astronomer Anders Celsius introduces Centigrade temperature scale

1758 – Return of Halley’s comet 1st sighted by Johann Georg Palitzsch

1914 – Legendary “Christmas Truce” takes place on the battlefields of WWI between British and German troops. Instead of fighting, soldiers exchange gifts and play football.


December 24

563 – The Byzantine church Hagia Sophia in Constantinople is dedicated for the second time after being destroyed by earthquakes.

1777 – Kiritibati, also called Christmas Island, is discovered by James Cook

1818 – Christmas carol “Silent Night” composed by Franz Xaver Gruber is first sung at St Nicholas parish church in Oberndorf, Austria

1851 – Fire devastates US Library of Congress in Washington, destroys 35,000 volumes

1893 – Henry Ford completes his first useful petroleum fuelled engine

1953 – Wellington-Auckland (NZ) express train swept away in flood kills 166

1967 – Pirate Radio Pegasus starts broadcasting off New Zealand

1968 – Apollo 8 astronauts read passages from Book of Genesis

1997 – 1st time a Channukah candle is officially lit in Vatican City

1999 – Opening of St Peter’s Holy Door by Pope John Paul II in approach of 3rd millennium


December 23

1690 – English astronomer John Flamsteed observes Uranus without realising it’s undiscovered

1776 – Thomas Paine writes “These are the times that try men’s souls”

1815 – “Emma” By Jane Austen by published by John Murray in London

1888 – Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh cuts off his left ear with a razor, and sends it to a prostitute for safe keeping

1912 – Aswan Dam in Nile begins operation

1914 – World War I: Australian and New Zealand troops arrive in Cairo, Egypt.

1922 – BBC Radio began daily newscasts

1938 – Discovery of the first modern coelacanth (dinosaur fish) in South Africa.

1952 – Alain Bombard arrives in Barbados after 65 days at sea proving his theory that a shipwrecked person could survive with almost no provisions, despite having lost 25 kg (65 lbs) in weight

1954 – The first human kidney transplant is performed by Dr. Joseph E. Murray at Peter Bent Brigham Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts.


December 22

1790 – The supposedly impenetrable Turkish fortress of Izmail is stormed and captured by Suvorov and his Russian armies during the Russo-Turkish War (1787–1792)

1814 – Samuel Marsden of the Church Missionary Society arrives in the Bay of Islands, New Zealand to establish the country’s first mission station; Sheep, cattle, horses and poultry are introduced

1882 – 1st string of Christmas tree lights created by Thomas Edison

1937 – Lincoln Tunnel (NYC) opens to traffic

1941 – Winston Churchill arrives in Washington, D.C. for a wartime conference

1963 – Official 30-day mourning period for President John F Kennedy ends

1964 – First flight of the SR-71 (Blackbird).

1981 – Argentine general Leopoldo Galtieri sworn in as president

2001 – Richard Reid attempts to destroy a passenger airliner by igniting explosives hidden in his shoes aboard American Airlines Flight 63.

2006 – Australian archaeologist Sue O’Connor finds first evidence of modern humans in Jerimalai cave, near Lene Hara cave in East Timor


December 21

1620 – 103 Mayflower pilgrims land at Plymouth Rock

1835 – HMS Beagle sails into Bay of Islands

1898 – Scientists Pierre and Marie Curie discover radium

1914 – 1st feature-length silent film comedy “Tillie’s Punctured Romance” released starring Marie Dressler, Mabel Normand and Charles Chaplin

1933 – Fox Films signs Shirley Temple, 5, to a studio contract

1948 – State of Eire (formerly Irish Free State) declares its independence

1958 – Charles de Gaulle wins 7 year term as 1st president of 5th Rep of France

1968 – Apollo 8 (Borman, Lovell & Anders) 1st manned Moon voyage

1988 – Lockerbie disaster: Pan Am Flight 103 destroyed mid air by a terrorist bomb killing all 258 on board over Scotland

1989 – New Zealand is the first country to set a formal inflation target (0-2%) for how much prices should rise each year. Similar targets are subsequently adopted by most developed countries.


December 20

1192 – Richard the Lionhearted captured in Vienna

1699 – Russian Tsar Peter the Great ordered Russian New Year changed from Sept 1 to Jan 1

1812 – “Grimm’s Fairy Tales” by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm is published

1879 – Tom Edison privately demonstrated incandescent light at Menlo Park

1917 – A second nationwide referendum on military conscription is rejected by the Australian public

1928 – 1st international dogsled mail leaves Minot, Maine for Montreal, Quebec

1955 – Cardiff is proclaimed the capital city of Wales

1957 – Elvis Presley given draft notice to join US Army for National Service

1963 – Berlin Wall opens for 1st time to West Berliners

1985 – Position of American Poet Laureate established (Robert Warren is 1st)

2007 – Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II becomes the oldest ever monarch of the United Kingdom, surpassing Queen Victoria, who lived for 81 years, 7 months and 29 days.


December 19

1686 – Robinson Crusoe leaves his island after 28 years (as per Daniel Defoe)

1732 – Benjamin Franklin under the name Richard Saunders begins publication of “Poor Richard’s Almanack”

1843 – “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens is published, 6,000 copies sold

1918 – Robert Ripley began his “Believe It or Not” column (NY Globe)

1932 – British Broadcasting Corp begins transmitting overseas

1942 – Robert Stroud “Birdman of Alcatraz” is transferred to Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary

1972 – Apollo 17 (last of Apollo Moon landing series) returns to Earth

1985 – “Wind in the Willows” opens at Nederlander Theater NYC for 4 perfs

1986 – “Platoon” directed by Oliver Stone and starring Charlie Sheen, Tom Berenger and Willem Dafoe is released (Best Picture 1987)

1998 – Lewinsky scandal: The United States House of Representatives forwards articles I and III of impeachment against President Bill Clinton to the Senate.


December 18

1271 – Kublai Khan renames his empire “Yuan” (元 yuán), officially marking the start of the Yuan Dynasty of China.

1642 – Abel Tasman’s expedition sails around Farewell Spit and into Golden Bay, first sighting local Māori

1719 – Thomas Fleet publishes “Mother Goose’s Melodies For Children”

1799 – George Washington’s body interred at Mount Vernon

1839 – 1st celestial photograph (of Moon) made in US, John Draper, NYC

1892 – Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s ballet “Nutcracker Suite” premieres

1900 – The Upper Ferntree Gully to Gembrook Narrow-gauge (2 ft 6 in or 762 mm) Railway (now the Puffing Billy Railway) in Victoria, Australia is opened for traffic.

1917 – The 18th Amendment, authorizing prohibition of alcohol, is approved by the US congress and sent to the states for ratification

1966 – Dr. Seuss’ “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” airs for 1st time

1969 – House of Lords votes to abolish the death penalty in England, Wales and Scotland (Northern Ireland 25 July 1973)

1999 – NASA launches into orbit the Terra platform carrying five Earth Observation instruments, including ASTER, CERES, MISR, MODIS and MOPITT.


December 17

942 – Assassination of William I Longsword, 2nd Duke of Normandy.

1790 – Aztec calendar stone discovered in Mexico City

1791 – NYC traffic regulation creates 1st 1-way street

1852 – 1st Hawaiian cavalry organised

1900 – 1st prize of 100,00 francs offered for communications with extraterrestrials. Martians excluded-considered too easy

1903 – At 10:35 AM, 1st sustained motorized aircraft flight (Orville Wright)

1965 – Astrodome opens, 1st event is Judy Garland & Supremes concert

1967 – Harold Holt, Prime Minister of Australia, vanishes in mysterious circumstances while swimming near Melbourne.

1986 – Mrs Davina Thompson makes medical history by having the 1st heart, lung & liver transplant (Papworth Hospital in Cambridge, England)

2013 – Angela Merkel is elected Chancellor of Germany for a third term


December 16

1431 – King Henry VI of England crowned king of France

1497 – Portuguese navigator Vasco da Gama is 1st European to sail along Africa’s East Coast, names it Natal

1598 – Seven Year War: Battle of Noryang Point – The final battle of the Seven Year War is fought between the Korean and Japanese navies, resulting in a decisive Korean victory.

1631 – Mount Vesuvious, Italy erupts, destroys 6 villages & kills 4,000

1653 – Parliamentarian General Oliver Cromwell appointed as Lord Protector of England, Scotland and Ireland

1707 – Last recorded eruption of Mount Fuji in Japan.

1773 – Boston tea party incident – Sons of Liberty protesters throw tea shipments into Boston harbour in protest against British imposed Tea Act

1970 – 1st successful landing on Venus (USSR)


December 15

1593 – State of Holland grants patent on windmill with crankshaft

1612 – German Astronomer Simon Marius is 1st to observe Andromeda galaxy through a telescope

1791 – 1st US law school established at University of Pennsylvania

1877 – Thomas Edison patents phonograph

1939 – “Gone With the Wind” premieres in Atlanta

1964 – Canada adopts maple leaf flag

1976 – Samoa becomes a member of the UN.

1993 – Steven Spielberg’s “Schindler’s List”, an epic historical drama based on the life of Oskar Schindler, is released

1995 – Playboy goes back on sale after 36 year ban in Ireland

2001 – The Leaning Tower of Pisa reopens after 11 years and $27,000,000 to fortify it, without fixing its famous lean.


December 14

1542 – Princess Mary Stuart succeeds her father James V and becomes Queen Mary I of Scotland at 6 days old

1656 – Artificial pearls 1st manufactured by M Jacquin in Paris made of gypsum pellets covered with fish scales

1900 – Birth of Quantum Physics: Max Planck presents a theoretical derivation of his black-body radiation law.

1901 – 1st table tennis tournament is held (London Royal Aquarium)

1911 – South Pole 1st reached, by Norwegian Roald Amundsen

1960 – Organisation for Economic Cooperation & Development (OECD) forms

1967 – DNA created in a test tube

1986 – Voyager, piloted by Dick Rutan & Jeana Yeager, took off from Edwards AFB, California on 1st non-stop, non-refueled flight around world

1994 – Construction begins on the Three Gorges Dam, China

2003 – President George W. Bush announces the capture of Saddam Hussein.


December 13

1577 – Sir Francis Drake sets sail from England to go around world

1642 – Dutch explorer Abel Tasman sights the South Island of present day New Zealand; initially he calls it Staten Landt and changes it a year later to Nieuw Zeeland

1903 – Wright Brothers make first flight at Kittyhawk

1920 – Francis G. Pease’s interferometer at Mount Wilson Observatory is the first to measure the diameter of a star (Betelgeuse)

1928 – Clip-on tie designed

1950 – James Dean begins his career with an appearance in a Pepsi commercial

1961 – Beatles sign a formal agreement to be managed by Brian Epstein

1975 – Australian Federal Election – Liberals with coalition under Malcolm Fraser win largest ever parliamentary majority

1990 – South African President De Klerk meets with Nelson Mandela to talk of end of apartheid

2003 – Former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein is captured near his home town of Tikrit (see Operation Red Dawn).


December 12

1474 – Isabella crowns herself queen of Castile & Aragon

1791 – Bank of US opens

1792 – In Vienna, Ludwig Von Beethoven (22) receives 1st lesson in music composition from Franz Joseph Haydn

1899 – George F Bryant of Boston patents the wooden golf tee

1957 – US announces manufacture of Borazon (harder than diamond)

1963 – Argentina asks for extradition of ex-president Juan Peron

1964 – Shooting starts for “Star Trek” pilot “The Cage”

1968 – Arthur Ashe becomes 1st black to be ranked #1 in tennis

1988 – “Rainman” directed by Barry Levinson and starring Dustin Hoffman and Tom Cruise premieres in New York (Best Picture 1989)

1992 – Japanese crown prince Naruhito announces engagement to Masaka Owada


December 11

1620 – 103 Mayflower pilgrims land at Plymouth Rock

1844 – 1st dental use of nitrous oxide, Hartford, Ct

1907 – New Zealand Parliament Buildings almost completely destroyed by fire.

1913 – “Mona Lisa”, stolen from the Louvre Museum in 1911, recovered

1931 – Statute of Westminster gives complete legislative independence to Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Ireland (Free State), and Newfoundland (which was not at that time part of Canada)

1936 – Edward VIII announces in a radio broadcast that he is abdicating the British throne to marry Wallis Simpson

1951 – Joe DiMaggio announces his retirement from baseball

1980 – “Magnum P.I.” starring Tom Selleck premieres on CBS

2012 – British physicist, Stephen Hawking, wins the $3 million Fundamental Physics Prize, the most lucrative academic prize in the world

2013 – Pope Francis is named Time magazine’s person of the year


December 10

1582 – France begins use of Gregorian calendar

1684 – Isaac Newton’s derivation of Kepler’s laws from his theory of gravity, contained in the paper De motu corporum in gyrum, is read to the Royal Society by Edmund Halley.

1799 – Metric system adopted in France, first country to do so

1817 – Mississippi admitted as 20th state of the Union

1868 – The first traffic lights are installed outside the Palace of Westminster in London. Resembling railway signals, they use semaphore arms and are illuminated at night by red and green gas lamps.

1901 – First Nobel Prize in Physics awarded to Wilhelm Röntgen for his discovery of X-rays

1903 – Nobel for physics awarded to Pierre and Marie Curie

1907 – Ruyard Kipling receives Nobel prize for literature

1963 – 6-year old Donny Osmond’s singing debut on Andy Williams Show

1985 – “Out of Africa”, based on the book by Isak Dinesen, directed by Sydney Pollack and starring Meryl Streep and Robert Redford premieres in Los Angeles (Best Picture 1986)


December 09

1762 – British parliament accepts Treaty of Paris

1783 – First execution at Newgate Jail in London, relocated from Tyburn (now the site of Marble Arch)

1854 – Alfred Tennyson’s poem “Charge of the Light Brigade” published

1897 – Activist Marguerite Durand founds the feminist daily newspaper, La Fronde in Paris.

1931 – Spain becomes a republic

1963 – Frank Sinatra Jr is kidnapped

1965 – “A Charlie Brown Christmas” premieres

1968 – Terence O’Neill, Northern Ireland Prime Minister, makes a television appeal for moderate opinion in what became known as the ‘Ulster stands at the Crossroads’ speech

1994 – 5m meteor 1994 XM1 passes within 100,000 km of Earth

1997 – “Tomorrow Never Dies”, 18th James Bond film starring Pierce Brosnan and Michelle Yeoh, premieres in London


December 08

1609 – Biblioteca Ambrosiana opens its reading room, the second public library of Europe.

1813 – Ludwig von Beethoven’s 7th Symphony in A, premieres

1854 – Pope Pius IX proclaims Immaculate Conception, makes Mary, free of Original Sin

1874 – Jesse James gang takes train at Muncie Kansas

1915 – John McCrae’s poem “In Flanders Fields” appears anonymously in “Punch” magazine

1941 – President Roosevelt delivers “Day of Infamy” speech to US Congress a day after the bombing of Pearl Harbour

1946 – French fashion designer Christian Dior and his backer Marcel Boussac found fashion house Christian Dior

1956 – 16th Olympic games close at Melbourne, Australia

1982 – Colombian writer Gabriel García Márquez receives the Nobel Prize for Literature

2012 – UN climate conference agrees to extend the Kyoto Protocol to 2020


December 07

185 – Emperor Lo-Yang, China sees supernova (MSH15-52)

1732 – The Royal Opera House opens at Covent Garden, London.

1741 – Elisabeth Petrovna becomes tsarina of Russia

1804 – Naturalist Alexander von Humboldt reports his discovery of the decrease in intensity of Earth’s magnetic field from the poles to the equator in a memoir to the Paris Institute

1889 – Gilbert & Sullivan’s “Gondoliers” premieres in London

1909 – Belgian-born Leo Baekeland, Yonkers, NY, patents 1st thermosetting plastic (Bakelite)

1912 – Bust of Queen Nefertete found in El-Amarna, Egypt

1965 – Pope Paul VI & Orthodox Patriarch Athenagoras I simultaneously lift mutual excommunications that led to split of two churches in 1054

1972 – Apollo 17 (US), final manned lunar landing mission, launched

1995 – US space probe Galileo begins orbiting Jupiter


December 06

1768 – 1st edition of “Encyclopedia Brittanica” published (Scotland)

1833 – HMS Beagle/Charles Darwin departs Rio de la Plata

1866 – Chicago water supply tunnel 3,227 m into Lake Michigan completed

1876 – 1st crematorium in US begins operation, Washington, Penn

1877 – First recording made of the human voce – Thomas Edison reciting “Mary had a little lamb”

1877 – Washington Post publishes 1st edition

1897 – London becomes the world’s first city to host licenced taxicabs.

1947 – The Everglades National Park in Florida is dedicated.

1955 – NY psychologist Joyce Brothers won “$64,000 Question” on boxing

1988 – Nelson Mandela is transferred to Victor Vester Prison, Capetown

2006 – NASA reveals photographs taken by Mars Global Surveyor suggesting the presence of liquid water on Mars.

2012 – A 243 million year old Nyasasaurus fossil is discovered in Tanzania


December 05

1360 – The French Franc is created.

1717 – Blackbeard ransacks the merchant sloop “Margaret” and keeps her captain, Henry Bostock, prisoner for 8 hours before releasing him. Bostock would later provide the first recorded of Blackbeard’s appearance, with specific reference to his “very black beard”, providing the source for his name

1766 – London auctioneers Christie’s hold their first sale

1840 – Napoleon Bonaparte receives a French state funeral in Paris 19 years after his death

1879 – 1st automatic telephone switching system patented

1932 – German physicist Albert Einstein granted a visa to enter America

1933 – 21st Amendment to the US Constitution ratified, 18th Amendment (Prohibition of alcohol) repealed (5:32 PM EST)

1958 – Subscriber Trunk Dialling (STD) is inaugurated in the UK by Queen Elizabeth II when she speaks to the Lord Provost in a call from Bristol to Edinburgh.

1993 – Astronauts begin repair of Hubble telescope in space

2006 – Commodore Frank Bainimarama overthrows the government in Fiji.


December 04

1791 – Britain’s Observer, oldest Sunday newspaper in the world, first published

1829 – Britain outlaws “suttee” in India (widow burning herself to death on her husband’s funeral pyre)

1843 – Manila paper (made from sails, canvas & rope) patented

1872 – The ship the Mary Celeste discovered mysteriously abandoned by her crew in the Atlantic Ocean

1881 – The first edition of the Los Angeles Times is published.

1918 – US President Woodrow Wilson sails for Versailles Peace Conference in France, 1st President to travel outside US while in office

1961 – The female contraceptive ‘pill’ becomes available on the National Health Service in Britain

1985 – “Les Miserables” opens at Palace Theatre, London

1996 – NASA’s 1st Mars rover launched from Cape Canaveral


December 03

1586 – Sir Thomas Herriot introduces potatoes to England from Colombia

1694 – English parliamentary election set for every 3 years

1736 – Astronomer Anders Celsius takes measurements that confirm Newton’s theory that the earth was an ellipsoid rather than the previously accepted sphere

1910 – Neon lights first publicly displayed (Paris Auto Show)

1926 – Detective novelist Agatha Christie mysteriously disappears for 11 days

1944 – Britain’s Home Guard (‘Dad’s Army’) is officially stood down at a special farewell parade in Hyde Park, London.

1964 – Police arrests 800 sit-in students at University of California at Berkeley

1967 – 1st human heart transplant performed (Dr Christian Barnard, South Africa)

1967 – Derek Clayton runs world record marathon (2:09:36.4)

1989 – Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev and US President George H. W. Bush, declare the Cold War over

2014 – Australian Rugby star David Pocock is arrested after protesting against a coal mine under construction in an Australian national forest


December 02

1697 – St Paul’s Cathedral, designed by Sir Christopher Wren is consecrated for use (the previous building was destroyed in the Great Fire of London)

1755 – The second Eddystone Lighthouse is destroyed by fire.

1804 – Napoleon Bonaparte is crowned emperor of France in Paris

1867 – In a New York City theatre, British author Charles Dickens gives his first public reading in the United States.

1901 – King Camp Gillette begins selling safety razor blades

1969 – Boeing 747 jumbo jet 1st public preview

1971 – Soviet Mars 3 is first to soft land on Mars

1976 – Fidel Castro becomes President of Cuba replacing Osvaldo Dorticós Torrado.

1982 – 1st permanent artificial heart successfully implanted (U of Utah) in retired dentist Barney Clark; lived 112 days with Jarvic-7 heart

2014 – Stephen Hawking claims that Artificial Intelligence could be a “threat to mankind” and spell the end of the human race


December 01

1783 – Jacques Charles & Nicolas Roberts make first untethered ascension with gas hydrogen balloon in Paris

1835 – Hans Christian Andersen publishes his 1st book of fairy tales

1878 – 1st White House telephone installed

1903 – “The Great Train Robbery”, the 1st Western film, released

1913 – Continuous moving assembly line introduced by Ford (car every 2:38)

1929 – Game of Bingo invented by Edwin S Lowe

1953 – Hugh Hefner publishes 1st edition of Playboy magazine, featuring Marilyn Monroe as the magazine’s 1st centerfold

1959 – The 1st colour photograph of Earth received from outer space

1967 – Queen Elizabeth inaugurates 98-inch (249-cm) Isaac Newton telescope

1988 – Benazir Bhutto named 1st female Prime Minister of a Muslim country (Pakistan)

November 30

1487 – The German Beer Purity Law (Reinheitsgebot), is promulgated by Albert IV, Duke of Bavaria stating beer should be brewed from only three ingredients – water, malt and hops

1776 – Captain Cook begins 3rd & last trip to Pacific (South Sea)

1872 – First international soccer game, Scotland-England 0-0 (Glasgow)

1886 – The Folies Bergère stages its first revue.

1902 – American Old West: Second-in-command of Butch Cassidy’s Wild Bunch gang, Kid Curry Logan, is sentenced to 20 years imprisonment with hard labor.

1974 – Most complete early human skeleton (Lucy, Australopithecus) is discovered by Donald Johanson, Maurice Taieb, Yves Coppens and Tim White in the Middle Awash of Ethiopia’s Afar Depression.

1983 – Police free kidnapped beer magnate Alfred Heineken in Amsterdam

1986 – Ivan Lendl is 1st tennis player to earn over $10 million, lifetime

1998 – Deutsche Bank announces a $10 billion USDdeal to buy Bankers Trust, thus creating the largest financial institution in the world.

2013 – 14th Rugby League World Cup: Australia beats New Zealand 34-2


November 29

1775 – Sir James Jay invents invisible ink

1791 – Chatham Islands sighted by HMS Chatham commanded by William Broughton

1825 – 1st Italian opera in US, “Barber of Seville” premieres (NYC)

1870 – Compulsory education proclaimed in England

1877 – US inventor Thomas Edison demonstrates his hand-cranked phonograph for the first time

1935 – Michael Savage becomes 1st Labour premier of NZ

1935 – Physicist Erwin Schrödinger publishes his famous thought experiment ‘Schrödinger’s cat’, a paradox that illustrates the problem of the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics

1944 – John Hopkins hospital performs 1st open heart surgery

1944 – The first surgery (on a human) to correct blue baby syndrome is performed by Alfred Blalock and Vivien Thomas.

1989 – India president Rajiv Gandhi resigns

2001 – UN Security Council unanimously approves a resolution extending the Oil-for-Food program in Iraq for another six-month period


November 28

1520 – Ferdinand Magellan begins crossing Pacific Ocean

1717 – Blackbeard attacks a French merchant vessel called “La Concorde”, which he would capture and rename as the “Queen Anne’s Revenge”

1720 – Anne Bonny and Mary Read are tried, found guilty of pirating, and sentenced to death in Spanish Town, Jamaica, although their discovered pregnancies won them stays of execution

1814 – The Times of London is for the first time printed by automatic, steam powered presses built by the German inventors Friedrich Koenig and Andreas Friedrich Bauer, signalling the beginning of the availability of newspapers to a mass audience.

1893 – Women vote in a national election for the first time: the New Zealand general election.

1922 – Capt Cyril Turner (RAF) gives 1st skywriting exhibition (NYC) Turner spelled out “Hello USA. Call Vanderbilt 7200.” 47,000 called

1931 – Bradman scores 226, the 1st Test Cricket century at Gabba, v South Africa

1974 – John Lennon’s last concert appearance (Elton John concert in Madison Square Garden NYC)

1988 – Picasso’s “Acrobat & Harlequin” sells for $38.46 million

2012 – “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” 1st of the Hobbit film series, directed by Peter Jackson, starring Martin Freeman and Ian McKellen, premieres in Wellington New Zealand


November 27

1587 – Dutch county of Groningen flooded by failure of dyke

1703 – The first Eddystone Lighthouse is destroyed in the Great Storm

1826 – John Walker invents friction match in England

1895 – Alfred Nobel’s will establishes the Nobel Prize

1948 – Honda 1st opens in America

1970 – Pope Paul VI wounded in chest during a visit to Philippines by a dagger-wielding Bolivian painter disguised as a priest

1990 – British Conservative Party chooses John Major to succeed Margaret Thatcher as leader ( and hence as Prime Minister)

1999 – The left-wing Labour Party takes control of the New Zealand government with leader Helen Clark becoming the first elected female Prime Minister in New Zealand’s history.

2001 – A hydrogen atmosphere is discovered on the extrasolar planet Osiris by the Hubble Space Telescope, the first atmosphere detected on an extrasolar planet.

2014 – Cricketer Phillip Hughes dies two days after being struck on the head by a bouncer


November 26

1716 – 1st lion exhibited in America (Boston)

1778 – Captain Cook discovers Maui in the Sandwich Islands (now Hawaii)

1789 – 1st national Thanksgiving in USA

1842 – The University of Notre Dame is founded.

1859 – Last weekly installment of Charles Dickens’ “A Tale Of Two Cities” is published in literary periodical All the Year Round

1885 – 1st meteor photograph

1922 – English archaeologist Howard Carter opens Tutankhamun’s virtually intact tomb in Egypt

1932 – Bradman completes 10,000 runs in first-class cricket, 126 innings

1942 – “Casablanca” directed by Michael Curtiz and starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman premieres at Hollywood Theatre, NYC

1962 – Fab Four have their first recording session under name The Beatles

1995 – New Zealand score 8-348 in 49 overs v India in Nagpur ODI


November 25

1500 – Governor De Bobadilla of Santo Domingo captures Columbus

1715 – First English patent granted to an American, for processing corn

1834 – Delmonico’s, one of NY’s finest restaurants, provides a meal of soup, steak, coffee & half a pie for 12 cents

1867 – Alfred Nobel patents dynamite

1947 – New Zealand accedes to Statute of Westminster, becomes a dominion

1949 – “Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer” appears on music charts

1957 – US President Dwight Eisenhower suffers a mild stroke, impairing his speech

1963 – JFK laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery

1984 – William Schroeder is second person to receive Jarvik-7 artificial heart

2014 – Lionel Messi becomes the UEFA Champions League all-time top scorer


November 24

1434 – River Thames in London freezes over

1639 – 1st observation of transit of Venus by Jeremiah Horrocks and William Crabtree – helped establish size of the Solar System

1759 – Destructive eruption of Vesuvius

1859 – Charles Darwin publishes “On the Origin of Species”

1922 – Italian parliament gives Benito Mussolini dictatorial powers “for 1 year”

1932 – In Washington, D.C., the FBI Scientific Crime Detection Laboratory (better known as the FBI Crime Lab) officially opens.

1947 – The US House of Representatives Committee on Un-American Activities finds “Hollywood 10” in contempt because of their refusal to reveal whether they were communists

1954 – Air Force One, 1st US Presidential airplane, christened

1966 – The Beatles began recording sessions for “Sergeant Pepper”

1991 – Monica Seles, sets female tennis record winning $2,457,758 in a year


November 23

800 – Charlemagne arrives at Rome to investigate the alleged crimes of Pope Leo III.

1334 – St Clemens Flood: Dike breaks at Flemish/Zeeuwse/Dutch coast

1644 – Areopagitica, a pamphlet decrying censorship, written by John Milton is published.

1835 – Henry Burden patents Horseshoe manufacturing machine

1869 – In Dumbarton, Scotland, the clipper Cutty Sark is launched – one of the last clippers ever to be built, and the only one still surviving to this day.

1890 – King William III of the Netherlands dies (b. 1817) without a male heir and a special law passed to allow his daughter Princess Wilhelmina to inherit.

1897 – Pencil sharpener patented by J L Love

1921 – Pres Harding signs Willis Campell Act (anti-beer bill) forbidding doctors prescribing beer or liquor for medicinal purposes

1960 – Tiros 2, a weather satellite is launched

1963 – “Doctor Who” the long-running British sci-fi series debuts

2005 – Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, elected president of Liberia, is the first woman to lead an African country.


November 22

1573 – The Brazilian city of Niterói is founded.

1574 – Discovery of the Juan Fernández Islands off Chile.

1842 – Mount St Helens in Washington erupts

1886 – Victoria Street Cable Tram route begins in Melbourne, Australia

1903 – Franklin Roosevelt and Eleanor Roosevelt are engaged

1941 – NZ troops conquer Ft Capuzzo Libya

1963 – American President John F. Kennedy assassinated by Lee Harvey Oswald in Dallas, Texas

1969 – Isolation of single gene announced by scientists at Harvard University

1989 – Conjunction of Venus, Mars, Uranus, Neptune, Saturn & Moon

1990 – Margaret Thatcher announces her resignation as British Prime Minister


November 21

164 BC – Judas Maccabaeus, son of Mattathias of the Hasmonean family, restores the Temple in Jerusalem. This event is commemorated each year by the festival of Hanukkah.

1791 – Colonel Napoléon Bonaparte is promoted to full general and appointed Commander-in-Chief of the Armies of the French Republic.

1794 – Honolulu Harbor discovered

1877 – Tom Edison announces his “talking machine” invention (phonograph) – first machine to play and record sound

1905 – 1st game ever played in the Australian Tennis Open

1953 – Authorities at the British Natural History Museum announce the “Piltdown Man” skull, one of the most famous fossil skulls in the world, is a hoax.

1959 – Jack Benny (violin) & Richard Nixon (piano) play their famed duet

1977 – First flight of Concorde (London to New York)

1980 – John & Yoko pose nude for photographer Allan Tannenbaum

1989 – Law banning smoking on most domestic flights signed by President Bush


November 20

1431 – First meeting of Order of the Golden Fleece

1805 – Beethoven’s “Fidelio,” premieres in Vienna

1866 – Pierre Lalemont patents rotary crank bicycle

1920 – Nobel Peace Prize awarded to US president W Wilson

1929 – Salvador Dali’s first one-man show

1959 – UN adopts Universal Declaration of Children’s Rights

1969 – Pele scores his 1,000th soccer goal

1983 – 100 million watch ABC-TV movie “Day After” about nuclear war

1984 – McDonald’s made its 50 billionth hamburger

1992 – Queen Elizabeth’s home Windsor Castle catches fire


November 19

1493 – Christopher Columbus discovers Puerto Rico, on his 2nd voyage

1620 – Mayflower reaches Cape Cod & explores the coast

1850 – Alfred Tennyson becomes British Poet Laureate, succeeding William Wordsworth

1863 – US President Lincoln delivers his Gettysburg address beginning; “Four score & seven years ago…”

1933 – Women allowed to vote in Spain

1969 – Apollo 12’s Conrad & Bean become 3rd & 4th humans on Moon

1975 – “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” based on book by Ken Kesey, directed by Milos Forman and starring Jack Nicholson and Louise Fletcher is released (Best Picture 1976)

1997 – In Des Moines, Iowa, Bobbi McCaughey gives birth to septuplets in the second known case where all seven babies were born alive. They would go on to become the first set of septuplets to survive infancy, with all seven alive in 2007.

1998 – Lewinsky scandal: The United States House of Representatives Judiciary Committee begins impeachment hearings against U.S. President Bill Clinton.

2010 – New Zealand suffers its worst mining disaster since 1914 when the first of four explosions occurs at the Pike River Mine; 29 people are killed


November 18

326 – Old St. Peter’s Basilica is consecrated. Stood 4th – 16th century. Replaced by current St Peter’s Basilica in Rome.

1307 – William Tell reputedly shoots apple off his son’s head

1820 – Antarctica sighted by US Navy Capt Nathaniel B Palmer

1835 –  Charles Darwin travels to Tahiti

1902 – Brooklyn toymaker Morris Michton names teddy bear after US President Teddy Roosevelt

1932 – 1st tie for Best Actor Academy Award Wallace Beery & Fredric March

1936 – Main span of Golden Gate Bridge joined

1959 – “Ben-Hur” directed by William Wyler and starring Charlton Heston premieres in New York City (Best Picture 1960)

1963 – Bell Telephone introduces push button telephone

1970 – Linus Pauling declares large doses of Vitamin C could ward off colds

November 17

1558 – Elizabeth I aged 25 ascends English throne upon death of her half sister “Bloody” Mary

1855 – David Livingstone becomes the first European to see Victoria Falls in what is now Zambia and Zimbabwe.

1863 – Lincoln begins 1st draft of his Gettysburg Address

1888 – Tchaikovsky’s 5th Symphony premieres in St Petersburg

1928 – Notre Dame finally lost a football game after nearly 25 years

1970 – British newspaper Sun puts 1st pinup girl on page 3 (Stephanie Rahn)

1970 – Douglas Engelbart receives the patent for the first computer mouse.’

2005 – Italy’s choice of national anthem, Il Canto degli Italiani, becomes official in law for the first time, almost 60 years after it was provisionally chosen following the birth of the republic.

2006 – Official naming of element 111, Roentgenium (Rg).

2014 – The Church of England adopts legislation enabling the appointment of female bishops


November 16

1801 – First edition of New York Evening Post

1824 – NY City’s Fifth Avenue opens for business

1835 – Charles Darwin’s voyage published in Cambridge Philosophical Society

1840 – New Zealand officially becomes British colony

1920 – Australia’s Qantas airways founded in Winton, Queensland as Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Services Limited

1939 – Al Capone freed from Alcatraz jail

1945 – UNESCO is founded.

1963 – Touch-tone telephone introduced

1988 – Pakistan’s Benazir Bhutto’s PPP wins 1st free Pakistani elections in 11 years

2010 – Engagement announced between Prince William and Catherine [Kate] Middleton at Clarence House, London


November 15

1492 – Christopher Columbus notes 1st recorded reference to tobacco

1532 – Pope Clemens VII tells Henry VIII to end relationship with Anna Boleyn

1813 – Tax revolt in Amsterdam

1835 – Charles Darwin reaches Tahiti on board HMS Beagle

1837 – Isaac Pitman introduces his shorthand system

1899 – Morning Post reporter Winston Churchill captured by Boers in Natal

1939 – US Social Security Administration approves 1st unemployment check

1947 – Bradman scores his 100th 100, 172 v Indians at the SCG

1961 – UN bans nuclear arms


November 14

1380 – King Charles VI of France crowned at age 12

1666 – Samuel Pepys reports on 1st blood transfusion (between dogs)

1680 – Gottfried Kirch discovers the Great Comet of 1680 (Kirch’s Comet/Newton’s Comet)

1732 – First professional librarian in North America, Louis Timothee, hired.

1834 – William Thomson enters Glasgow University at 10 yrs 4 months

1851 – “Moby Dick” by Herman Melville published

1889 – New York World reporter Nellie Bly (Elizabeth Cochrane) began her attempt to surpass fictitious journey of Jules Verne’s Phileas Fogg by traveling around world in less than 80 days She succeeded, finishing the trip in January in 72 days and 6 hours
1896 – Power plant at Niagara Falls begins operation

1908 – Albert Einstein presents his quantum theory of light

1968 – First European lung transplant

1994 – 1st trains for public run in Channel Tunnel under English Channel

1997 – Disney’s “Lion King” sets Broadway record of $2,700,000 daily sale

November 13

1789 – Ben Franklin writes “Nothing . . . certain but death & taxes”

1841 – James Braid first sees a demonstration of animal magnetism, which leads to his study of the subject he eventually calls hypnosis.

1907 – French cyclist Paul Cornu flies 1st helicopter (twin rotor)

1913 – 1st modern elastic brassiere patented by Mary Phelps Jacob

1938 – America’s first saint, Mother Frances Cabrini, beatified

1979 – Ronald Reagan in New York announces his candidacy for US President

1990 – In Aramoana, New Zealand, Resident David Gray shoots dead 13 people, in the Aramoana Massacre.

1997 – “Lion King” opens at New Amersterdam Theater NYC

2002 – Iraq disarmament crisis: Iraq agrees to the terms of the UN Security Council Resolution 1441.

2014 – Rohit Sharma of India sets a new record of 264 runs against Sri Lanka in an ODI innings in cricket


November 12

1555 – The English Parliament re-establishes Catholicism.

1793 – Jean Sylvain Bailly, the first Mayor of Paris, is guillotined.

1833 – The great Leonid Meteor shower was recorded

1847 – Sir James Young Simpson, a British physician, is the first to use chloroform as an anaesthetic.

1894 – Lawrence Hargrave, Australian aeronautical pioneer and inventor of the box kite, linked four huge box kites together and flew – but remained attached to the ground by piano wire

1910 – 1st movie stunt: man jumps into Hudson river from a burning balloon

1933 – First known photo of so-called Loch Ness monster is taken

1948 – The first mobile betatron (particle accelerator) begins operation at the U.S. Naval Ordnance Laboratory, White Oak, Maryland

1974 – A salmon is discovered in the River Thames, England, for the first time since 1833

2003 – With 501 km/h (311 mph) Shanghai Transrapid sets up a new world record for commercial railway systems


November 11

1790 – Chrysanthemums are introduced to England from China

1880 – Australian Bushranger and outlaw Ned Kelly is hanged at Melbourne Gaol

1909 – Construction of US navy base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, begins

1920 – Great Britain’s monument to her war dead, the Cenotaph in Whitehall, designed by Edwin Lutyens, unveiled

1923 – Eternal flame lit for tomb of unknown solder, Arc de Triumph

1925 – Robert A. Millikan announces discovery of cosmic rays

1926 – U.S. Route 66 is established.

1954 – Publication of “Two Towers” 2nd volume of “Lord of the Rings” by J. R. R. Tolkien by George Allen and Unwin in London

1975 – Australian PM Gough Whitlam removed from office by Governor General Sir John Kerr (1st elected PM removed in 200 yrs), and Liberal leader Malcolm Fraser sworn in as caretaker Prime Minister

1987 – van Gogh’s “Irises” sells for record $53.6 M at auction

1992 – The Church of England approves the ordination of female priests


November 10

1775 – Congress forms US Marine Corps

1801 – Kentucky outlaws duelling

1847 – The passenger ship Stephen Whitney is wrecked in thick fog off the southern coast of Ireland, killing 92 of the 110 on board. The disaster results in the construction the Fastnet Rock lighthouse.

1891 – Granville T Woods patents electric railway

1908 – 1st Gideon Bible put in a hotel room

1919 – 1st observance of National Book Week

1928 – Hirohito’s official coronation as Emperor of Japan

1951 – 1st long distance telephone call without operator assistance

1991 – South Africa’s 1st cricket international since 1970 – one-day v India

2001 – An agreement is reached at talks in Marrakech, Morocco, on rules for implementation of the Kyoto climate change treaty


November 9

1494 – Family de’ Medici become rulers of Florence

1541 – Queen Catharine Howard confined in Tower of London

1620 – After a month of delays off the English coast and about two months at sea, the Mayflower spots land (Cape Cod)

1799 – Napoleon Bonaparte becomes dictator (1st consul) of France

1927 – Giant Panda discovered, China

1938 – Kristallnacht, Nazi Germany’s first large-scale physical act of anti-Jewish violence, begins.

1944 – Red Cross wins Nobel peace prize

1966 – John Lennon meets Yoko Ono at an avante-garde art exposition at Indica Gallery in London

1983 – Amsterdam brewer Freddie Heineken kidnapped

1985 – Richard Hadlee takes 9-52 v Australia at the Gabba


November 8

1494 – Uprising against Piero de’ Medici in Florence Italy

1602 – The Bodleian Library at Oxford University is opened

1620 – Battle of White Mountain, Prague

1731 – In Philadelphia, Benjamin Franklin opens 1st US library

1789 – Bourbon Whiskey, 1st distilled from corn by Elijah Craig

1950 – 1st jet-plane battle ever, in Korean War

1960 – JFK (Sen-D-Mass) beats VP Richard Nixon (R) to become 35th US president

1965 – “Days of Our Lives” premieres on TV

1966 – Movie actor Ronald Reagan elected Governor of California

2011 – The potentially hazardous asteroid 2005 YU55 passed 0.85 lunar distances from Earth (about 324,600 kilometres or 201,700 miles), the closest known approach by an asteroid of its brightness since 2010 XC15 in 1976.


November 7

680 – 3rd Council of Constantinople (6th ecumenical council) opens

1492 – The Ensisheim Meteorite, the oldest meteorite with a known date of impact, strikes the earth around noon in a wheat field outside the village of Ensisheim, Alsace, France.

1512 – Medici’s discharge Niccolo Machiavelli from Florence

1665 – 1st edition of “London Gazette”

1805 – Lewis and Clark sight Pacific Ocean

1872 – Cargo ship Mary Celeste sails from Staten Island for Genoa; mysteriously found abandoned 4 weeks later.

1932 – 1st broadcast of “Buck Rogers in the 25th century” on CBS-radio1969 – John & Yoko release their 2nd album “Wedding Album” in UK

1976 – “Gone With the Wind” televised

2000 – Hillary Rodham Clinton is elected to the United States Senate, becoming the first former First Lady to win public office in the United States, although actually she still was the First Lady.


November 6

1850 – 1st Hawaiian fire engine

1869 – 1st intercollegiate football (soccer) game (Rutgers 6, Princeton 4)

1897 – ‘Peter Pan’ opens in NY at Empire Theater

1917 – New York State adopts a constitutional amendment giving women the right to vote in state elections

1928 – Swedes start a tradition of eating Gustavus Adolphus pastries to commemorate the king.

1940 – Franklin Roosevelt re-elected US President

1993 – Evander Holyfield beats Riddick Bowe in 12 for heavyweight boxing title

1996 – “The English Patient” based on the novel by Michael Ondaatje, directed by Anthony Minghella and starring Ralph Fiennes, Juliette Binoche and Kristen Scott Thomas premieres in Los Angeles (Best Picture 1997)

2005 – “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire”, the 4th film based on the books by J. K. Rowling premieres in London. Goes on to become most successful film of the year, earning almost 900 million.

2012 – Barack Obama re-elected as US President


November 5

1605 – Gunpowder Plot; attempt to blow up King James I while he opened Parliament. Plot discovered and Guy Fawkes caught and tortured. He and seven others were later executed

1630 – Spain & England sign peace treaty

1789 – French National Meeting declares all citizens equal under law

1881 – 1,600 police and volunteers attack Māori settlement at Parihaka in western Taranaki which had become the symbol of protest against the confiscation of Māori land, New Zealand

1889 – Louisa Woosley first women to be ordained as a minister in any Presbyterian denomination (US Cumberland Presbyterian Church).

1935 – Parker Brothers launches game of Monopoly

1943 – Vatican bombed

1967 – ATS-3 launched by US to take first pictures of full Earth disc

1967 – The Hither Green rail crash in the United Kingdom kills 49 people. The survivors include Bee Gee Robin Gibb.

2006 – Saddam Hussein, former president of Iraq, and his co-defendants Barzan Ibrahim al-Tikriti and Awad Hamed al-Bandar are sentenced to death in the al-Dujail trial for the role in the massacre of the 148 Shi’as in 1982.


November 4

1737 – The Teatro di San Carlo, Naples, inaugurated.

1819 – Māori Chiefs Hongi Hika and Rewa sell 13,000 acres (5260 hectares) at Kerikeri to the Church Missionary Society for 48 felling axes, New Zealand

1846 – Benjamin Palmer patents artificial leg

1854 – Lighthouse built on Alcatraz Island

1875 – Tonga adopts constitution

1879 – James Ritty patents first cash register, to combat stealing by bartenders in his Dayton, Ohio saloon

1886 – Edward MacDowell’s “Ophelia” premieres

1890 – Prince of Wales opens first underground station at Stockwell, South London

1904 – First stadium built specifically for football (Harvard Stadium)

1922 – Howard Carter discovers tomb of Tutankhamen in Egypt

1948 – TS Eliot wins Nobel Prize for literature

2008 – Barack Obama becomes the first African-American to be elected President of the United States


November 3

1493 – Christopher Columbus discovers island of Dominica

1529 – London – 1st sitting of the Reformation Parliament

1716 – Pacification Treaty of Warsaw: Tsar Peter the Great guarantees Saxon monarch August I’s Polish kingdom

1783 – John Austin, a highwayman, is the last to be publicly hanged at London’s Tyburn gallows.

1838 – The Times of India, the world’s largest circulated English language daily broadsheet newspaper is founded as The Bombay Times and Journal of Commerce.

1839 – 1st opium war – 2 British frigates engage several Chinese junks

1911 – Chevrolet officially enters the automobile market in competition with the Ford Model T.

1913 – The USA introduces an income tax.

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