See what makes December 21 special at Famous Daily.
History, birthdays, holiday, and a quote!
What happened on December 21
- December 21, 0069 "Year of the four emperors: Following Galba, Otho and Vitellius, Vespasian becomes the fourth Emperor of Rome within a year."
- December 21, 1620 "Plymouth Colony: William Bradford and the Mayflower Pilgrims land on what is now known as Plymouth Rock in Plymouth, Massachusetts."
- December 21, 1803 The Middlesex Canal opens to connect the Merrimack River with Boston Harbor
- December 21, 1844 "The Rochdale Pioneers commence business at their cooperative in Rochdale, England, starting the Cooperative movement."
- December 21, 1861 "Congress authorizes the Medal of Honor, the Nation's highest award, for Naval personnel."
- December 21, 1861 "Medal of Honor: Public Resolution 82, containing a provision for a Navy Medal of Valor, is signed into law by President Abraham Lincoln."
- December 21, 1865 "Kappa Alpha Order is founded under the name of Phi Kappa Chi at Washington College (now Washington and Lee University) in Lexington, Virginia."
- December 21, 1872 "Challenger expedition: HMS Challenger, commanded by Captain George Nares, sails from Portsmouth."
- December 21, 1883 The first Permanent Force cavalry and infantry regiments of the Canadian Army are formed: The Royal Canadian Dragoons and The Royal Canadian Regiment.
- December 21, 1891 18 students play first basketball game (Springfield College)
- December 21, 1898 Scientists Pierre & Marie Curie discovers radium
- December 21, 1909 University of Copenhagen rejects Cook's claim that he was first to North Pole
- December 21, 1912 The movie Das Mirakel premiered in Germany.
- December 21, 1913 "Arthur Wynne's ""word-cross"", the first crossword puzzle, is published in the New York World."
- December 21, 1913 The first crossword puzzle (with 32 clues) printed in New York World
- December 21, 1914 "First feature-length silent film comedy, ""Tillie's Punctured Romance"" released. (Marie Dressler, Mabel Normand and Charles Chaplin)"
- December 21, 1915 "25.83 cm (10.17"") of rainfall, Glenora, Oregon (state record)"
- December 21, 1917 "Meiji Dairies, a Japanese dairy company, is founded."
- December 21, 1921 Supreme Court rules labor injunctions and picketing unconstitutional
- December 21, 1923 Nepal changes from British protectorate to independent nation
- December 21, 1929 "First group hospital insurance plan effected, Dallas TX"
- December 21, 1932 "SS Gateshead, sunk in a storm off Seaham Harbour, Durham after a collision with the Norwegian vessel Miranda. Most of the crew including the Captain, Matthew W. Hall lost their lives."
- December 21, 1933 "Dried human blood serum first prepared, University of Pennsylvania"
- December 21, 1933 Newfoundland reverts to being a crown colony
- December 21, 1937 Snow White the first feature-length color and sound cartoon premiers
- December 21, 1937 The film Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is premiered at the Carthay Circle Theater in Los Angeles.
- December 21, 1941 "HMS AUDACITY, sunk east of Azores by 3 torpedoes from German U-751."
- December 21, 1943 USS Grayling (SS-208) sinks fourth Japanese ship since 18 December.
- December 21, 1951 "First helicopter landing aboard a hospital ship, USS Consolation."
- December 21, 1958 "French presidential election, 1958: Charles de Gaulle is elected President of France as his Union des Dmocrates pour la Rpublique party gain 78.5% of the vote."
- December 21, 1962 Rondane National Park is established as Norway's first national park.
- December 21, 1967 "Louis Washkansky, the first man to undergo a heart transplant, dies in Cape Town, South Africa, after living for 18 days."
- December 21, 1968 "Launch of Apollo 8 with Captain James A. Lovell, Jr. as Command Module Pilot. During the mission Lovell was one of the first two people to see the far side of the moon. The mission lasted 6 days and 3 hours, and included 10 moon orbits. Recovery was by HS-4 helicopters from USS Yorktown (CVS-10)."
- December 21, 1970 Elvis Presley meets with President Richard Nixon to discuss the war on drugs.
- December 21, 1970 The F-14 Tomcat flies for the first time.
- December 21, 1971 The United Nations Security Council chooses Kurt Waldheim to succeed U Thant as Secretary-General.
- December 21, 1971 UN Security Council chooses Kurt Waldheim as 4th secretary general
- December 21, 1972 Soviet Union signs a separate peace with East Germany
- December 21, 1973 "Israel, Egypt, Syria, Jordan, US & USSR meet in Geneva"
- December 21, 1973 The Geneva Conference on the Arab-Israeli conflict opens.
- December 21, 1974 Number one hit on UK music charts - Mud - Lonely This Christmas
- December 21, 1975 "First New York Jet to gain 1,000 yards rushing (John Riggins)"
- December 21, 1976 UN General Assembly passes a resolution declaring 1979-Year of Child
- December 21, 1978 "Police in Des Plaines IL, arrested John W Gacy Jr for murder"
- December 21, 1979 Gary Unger plays in record 914th consecutive NHL game
- December 21, 1979 "Lancaster House Agreement: An independence agreement for Rhodesia is signed in London by Lord Carrington, Sir Ian Gilmour, Robert Mugabe, Joshua Nkomo, Bishop Abel Muzorewa and Dr. S.C. Mundawarara."
- December 21, 1983 Loretta Swit weds Dennis Holahan
- December 21, 1984 USSR launches Vega 2 for fly-by of Halley's Come
- December 21, 1985 "ARCO Anchorage runs aground near Port Angeles, WA"
- December 21, 1987 3 white New York teens convicted of manslaughter in death of a black man
- December 21, 1987 Soyuz TM-4 carries 3 cosmonauts to space station Mir
- December 21, 1987 "The passenger ferry Doa Paz sinks after colliding with the oil tanker Vector 1 in the Tablas Strait in the Philippines, killing 1,565."
- December 21, 1988 "A bomb explodes on board Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie, Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland, killing 270."
- December 21, 1988 "Drexel agrees guilt to security felonies, pays a $650 million fine"
- December 21, 1988 "Pan Am ""Flight 103"" explodes over Lockerbie, Scotland, killing 270"
- December 21, 1989 Romania's dictator Nicolae Ceausescu's final speech (executed 12/25)
- December 21, 1989 US invades Panama and ousts General Noriega
- December 21, 1991 95 share in Madrid Spain $1.3 billion lottery (#47996)
- December 21, 1991 Charilaos Florakis is elected honorary president of the Communist Party of Greece.
- December 21, 1991 El Sayid Nosair acquitted of killing Meir Kahane
- December 21, 1992 "A Dutch DC-10, flight Martinair MP 495, crashes at Faro Airport (Portugal), killing 56 people."
- December 21, 1994 A homemade bomb explodes on the # 4 train on Fulton Street in New York City.
- December 21, 1995 The city of Bethlehem passes from Israeli to Palestinian control.
- December 21, 1999 The Spanish Civil Guard intercepts a van loaded with 950 kg of explosives that ETA intended to use to blow up Torre Picasso in Madrid.
- December 21, 2007 "The Schengen Agreement area increases to include 9 European Union member states; Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, and Slovenia on land and sea borders."
- December 21, 2008 "Jewish Holiday - Chanukah - Work permitted. December 21-29, 2008"
- December 21, 2009 "A police officer in Washington, D.C, draws a gun during a snowball fight."
- December 21, 2009 At least 10 people are killed in a rain of mortar shells during the first meeting of MPs in Mogadishu since August 2009.
- December 21, 2009 At least 29 people freeze to death in Poland.
- December 21, 2009 At least 30 people have been killed in violence in the Nigerian state of Nasarawa.
- December 21, 2009 Burma's Supreme Court agrees to review the extension of the house arrest on National League for Democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi.
- December 21, 2009 Eurostar is suspended indefinitely due to the heavy snowfall affecting continental Europe.
- December 21, 2009 "Madagascar's President Andry Rajoelina abandons the power sharing agreement after appointing a new military Prime Minister, Colonel Vital Albert Camille."
- December 21, 2009 Mexico City's Legislative Assembly legalizes same-sex marriage and LGBT adoption.
- December 21, 2009 Mister Bolivia wins Mister International 2009 at the end of the two-week event in Taiwan.
- December 21, 2009 "North Korea establishes a ""peacetime firing zone"" on the Northern Limit Line maritime border with South Korea, threatening to fire shells in South Korean territorial waters."
- December 21, 2009 Polish police arrest five men and recover the stolen Arbeit macht frei sign that hung over the Nazi death camp at Auschwitz where millions were murdered by the Nazis during the Holocaust
- December 21, 2009 Remains of the first dwelling in Nazareth that can be dated back to the time of Jesus have been found by Israeli archaeologists.
- December 21, 2009 Severe Tropical Cyclone Laurence becomes a category 5 and strikes the Australian coast with winds of 285 km/h (177 mph).
- December 21, 2009 "The funeral of Grand Ayatollah Hosein-Ali Montazeri takes place in the Iranian city of Qom, as anti-government protests and clashes take place."
- December 21, 2009 The leaders of the three main UK political parties agree to stage the country's first ever live televised election debates ahead of the 2010 General Election.
- December 21, 2009 "The Sudan People's Liberation Movement, the ruling party in Southern Sudan, criticises a new security law passed by the central government, saying it could undermine the 2010 elections."
- December 21, 2009 The United Nations Security Council lifts an arms embargo on Liberia imposed during the reign of Charles Taylor in 2003.
- December 21, 2009 Two firefighters are hurt fighting a fire as St. James's Gate Brewery is engulfed by flames which send clouds of smoke across Dublin.
- December 21, 2009 "Unknown gunmen in Lebanon open fire on a bus carrying Syrian workers, killing one person."
- December 21, 2010 "The only full lunar eclipse of 2010. The eclipse begins on Tuesday morning, Dec. 21st, 2010 at 1:33 am EST"
- December 21, 2012 "Forecast as the end of this age by the Mayas, who had remarkably accurate lunar and solar calendars, and fairly advanced mathematics."
- December 21, 2012 "Hold off buying Christmas presents til after Dec 21, 2012"
- December 21, 2012 "Nostradamus predicted Armageddon for Dec 21, 2012"
- December 21, 2012 "The Mayan civilization predicted that on December 21, 2012 something will happen to the world we know. Something will happen that will change our civilization, value systems and the way we know human civilization forever."