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December 1

1935  Woody Allen was born in The Bronx, New York.

1955  Rosa Parks was arrested in Montgomery, Alabama for refusing to give up her seat to a white man on a municipal bus.

1960  Paul McCartney and Pete Best were arrested, then deported from Hamburg, Germany, after accusations of attempted arson.

December 2

1697  St. Paul’s Cathedral, London, consecrated.

1804  Napoleon Bonaparte crowns himself emperor of France. Pope Pius VII was in attendance.

1805  Napoleon defeated Russia and Austria at the Battle of Austerlitz.

1859  Painter Georges Seurat was born in Paris.

1942  The world’s first nuclear chain reaction took place at the University of Chicago.

December 3

1894  Robert Louis Stevenson died in Vailima, Samoa at age 44.

1919  Pierre-Auguste Renoir died in France.

1927  Putting Pants on Philip, the first Laurel and Hardy film, was released.

1976  Assassination attempt on Bob Marley. Shot twice, he played live two days later.

1984  A deadly gas leak (of methyl isocyanate) at a Union Carbide plant in Bhopal, India killed more than 3,800 people outright and injured 150,000 to 600,000 others (some 6,000 of whom died later of their injuries).

December 4

1998  Earthquake at 4:16 AM measuring 4.1 beneath El Cerrito, California.

December 5

-63  Cicero gave his fourth and final Catiline Orations.

771  Charlemagne became King of the Franks.

1791  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart died a pauper at age 35 in Vienna.

1901  Walt Disney was born in Chicago.

1933  U.S. Alcohol Prohibition was repealed.

1945  Flight 19 lost in the Bermuda Triangle.

1998  Small tornado in Richmond, California.

2013  Nelson Mandela died in Houghton, Johannesburg, South Africa at age 95.

December 6

1534  Quito, Ecuador was founded by Spaniards.

1886  American poet Alfred Joyce Kilmer was born in New Brunswick, New Jersey.

1964  Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer special debuted on NBC network television.

December 7

-43  Marcus Tullius Cicero died in Formia, Italy.

1941  Pearl Harbor Day.  U.S. Naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii attacked by Japanese aircraft.

1969  Francis Joseph “Lefty” O’Doul died in San Francisco.

1975  Indonesia invaded East Timor.

December 8

1886  Diego Rivera was born in Guanajuato, Mexico.

1980  John Lennon was killed in New York City.

1984  Captain Kangaroo went off the air after 29 years.

1995  The Grateful Dead officially disbanded.

1998  Power outage shuts down San Francisco for many hours.

December 9

1608  Poet John Milton was born in London.

1958  The John Birch Society was founded in the U.S. by Robert H. W. Welch, Jr.

1965  A Charlie Brown Christmas TV debut.

December 10

220  Emperor Xian abdicated Han Dynasty throne. Cao Wei empire was established. Three Kingdoms period began.

1851  American librarian Melvil Dewey was born in Adams Center, New York.

1906  U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

1948  The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was proclaimed by the United Nations.

1965  The Grateful Dead’s first concert performance under that name (formerly The Warlocks).

1999  Rick Danko of The Band died in Marbletown, New York at age 56.

1999  Poet Edward Dorn died in Denver at age 70.

December 11

630    Muhammad and army conquered Mecca.

1845  First Anglo-Sikh War began in India as Sikhs attacked British colonial forces.

December 12

1408  The Order of the Dragon was created by Sigismund of Luxembourg.


1821  Gustave Flaubert was born in Rouen, France.

1889  Robert Browning died in Venice, Italy at age 77.

1903  Robert Hugh Wilson was born in Denver.

1999  Joseph Heller, Catch-22 author, died in East Hampton, New York at age 70.

2000  US Supreme Court decided Bush v. Gore.

2001  After nearly 3 years of struggle, a settlement was reached with majority board members to return the Pacifica Radio Network to community control.

December 13

1577  Francis Drake departed Plymouth, England in the Golden Hind on his voyage around the world.

1962  Relay 1, first active repeater communications satellite, launched in orbit by NASA.


 557  Constantinople damaged by earthquake.

1503  Nostradamus was born in France.

1799  George Washington died at Mount Vernon, Virginia at age 67.

1962  The Mariner 2 space probe sent back information from the planet Venus, the first information ever received from another planet (unless you believe certain myths).

2013  Peter O’Toole died in London at age 81.

December 15

   37  Nero, Emperor of Rome, was born in Antium, Italy.

1791  The Bill of Rights became effective.

1832  Gustave Eiffel was born.

1966  Walt Disney died in Burbank, California at age 65.

1993  The GATT Treaty was approved by delegations from 117 countries.

2011  Christopher Hitchens died in Houston at age 62

December 16

1770  Ludwig van Beethoven was born in Bonn, Germany.

1835  A massive fire erupted in New York City, destroying more than 600 buildings.

1901  Margaret Mead was born in Philadelphia.

1969  The British House of Commons voted 343-185 to abolish the death penalty in England.

December 17

-497  First Saturnalia festival in Rome.

1790  Aztec calendar stone was discovered at El Zócalo, Mexico City.

1903  The Wright Brothers flew the first controlled power aircraft at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.

1936  First TV appearance by Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy.

December 18

1958  The world’s first communications satellite, Project SCORE, was launched.

1997  HTML 4.0 was published by the World Wide Web Consortium.

2011  United States forces withdraw from Iraq after a 9-year-long campaign.

2011  Václav Havel died in Vlčice, Czech Republic at age 75.

2011  Warren Hellman died in San Francisco at age 77.

December 19

1732  Benjamin Franklin first published Poor Richard’s Almanack.

1998  President William Jefferson Clinton was impeached by the U.S. House of Representatives, the second President of the U.S.A. To be impeached.

December 20

1968  John Steinbeck died in New York City at age 66.

1998  Snow fell in San Francisco.

December 21

69  The Roman Senate declared Vespasian Roman emperor, last in the Year of Four Emperors.

1620  Mayflower Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock in what is now known as Plymouth, Massachusetts.

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

1940  F. Scott Fitzgerald died in Hollywood, California at the age of 44.

December 22

1858  Giacomo Puccini was born in Lucca, Tuscany.

1938  Matty Alou was born in Haina, Dominican Republic.

December 23

 558  Chlothar I crowned King of the Franks.

 679  King Dagobert II murdered on a hunt.

1823  A Visit from St. Nicholas (The Night Before Christmas) published anonymously.

1888  Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh cut off his left ear during a fit of depression.

1983  R. A. Wilson’s “Mama Vibe” (see the Schrödinger’s Cat Trilogy).

2002  Walter S. Roessler died in Oakland, California at age 98.

December 24

1809  “Kit” Carson was born in Madison County, Kentucky.

1910  Fritz Reuter Leiber Jr. was born in Chicago.

1997  First Hours of a Rainy Day by D. A. Wilson was published in San Francisco.

1998  Toshiro Mifune died in Japan at age 77.

December 25 - CHRISTMAS DAY

1946  W. C. Fields died in Pasadena, California at age 66.

1961  Nicole Marie Hills was born in Oakland, California.

1977  Charlie Chaplain died in Switzerland at age 88.

1993  Elizabeth Barbara Wilson was born in San Francisco.

2003  Juliette Liana Carstensen was born in Vallejo, California.


1893  Mao Tse-Tung was born in China.

December 27

1831  Charles Darwin embarked on his famous journey aboard the HMS Beagle.

1945  The International Monetary Fund was established in Washington, D.C.

2008  Israel launched a 3-week war on Gaza.

December 28

1895  The Lumière brothers performed for their first paying audience, in Paris, marking the debut of the cinema.

1921  Johnny Otis was born in Vallejo, California.

1973  The Endangered Species Act was passed in the United States.

December 29

1170  Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, was assassinated inside Canterbury Cathedral by followers of King Henry II.

1914  A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, the first novel by James Joyce, was published as a book by B. W. Huebsch of New York. (The novel was first serialized in the London literary magazine The Egoist in 25 installments, from February 2, 1914 to September 1, 1915.)

December 30

1916  In Russia, Rasputin (Grigory Yefimovich Novykh) was assassinated.

1922  The USSR (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) was established.

1945  Davy Jones was born in Manchester, England.

1947  King Michael of Romania was forced to abdicate after the Communists seized power.

December 31 - NEW YEAR’S EVE

406   Vandals, Alans and Suebians crossed the Rhine, beginning the invasion of Gaul.

1948  Donna Summer was born in Boston.

1956  First meeting of Helga E. Roessler and John O. Wilson in Richmond, California.

1966  The Grateful Dead’s first New Year’s Concert at The Fillmore Auditorium in San Francisco.

1978  Closing of Winterland, San Francisco.

1983  AT&T Bell System was broken up by the United States Government.

1991  The Grateful Dead’s last New Year’s Concert at the Oakland Coliseum Arena in Oakland, California.

2000  The Other Ones play Oakland Arena.

2000  Phil Lesh and Friends play Henry J. Kaiser Auditorium, Oakland, California.

2013  John Ogden Wilson died in Martinez, California at age 75.

Santa Claus by Betsy Wilson

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