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The Month of December in History - Each Date Illustrated

Updated on March 3, 2016

December 01, this day is the start of The Grotto Festival of Lights. The world's largest holiday music festival is held at The Grotto in Portland, Oregon, during the month of December. Besides hourly choral concerts, the festival features spectacular lights, puppet shows, a petting zoo, and much more.

December 02, this day is the birthday of the World's Tallest Artificial Christmas Tree. In 2000, Itu, Brazil inaugurated the world's largest artificial Christmas tree -- a 250-foot high tower, adorned with 6,500 lightbulbs and shining plastic ribbons. Yikes!

December 03, this day is the anniversary of the Statute of Westminster. In 1931, the British Parliament passed the Statute of Westminster to recognize the independence of many countries in the British Commonwealth, including Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, Newfoundland, and South Africa. Each country was left to pass their own legislation on constitutional matters in order to ensure that there were no legal gaps.

December 04, this day is Ribbons and Wrap Day. Buy your wrapping paper, gift tags, ribbon, and tape today. Or bring home a few rolls of plain brown paper and let your kids decorate them with potato prints, stickers, or glue and glitter. Make it an annual tradition in your home to prepare for the holidays!

December 05, this day is The Born Loser's Wedding Anniversary. In the December 5, 1996, "The Born Loser" comic strip, the Born Loser declared that he and his wife "have had a monotonous relationship for 20 years now!" His wife retorted, "That's monogamous!"

December 06, this day is Spain Constitution Day. This national holiday celebrates the establishment of Spain's constitution in 1978, after the death of Franco.

December 07, this day is Dock of the Bay Day. In 1967, three days before he died in an airplane crash, Otis Redding recorded his greatest hit, "Dock of the Bay." Quick bit of trivia: Otis had been in San Francisco playing The Fillmore, and he was staying at a boathouse, which is where he got the idea of the ship coming in. The whistling at the end came about because Redding forgot a vocal fadeout he had rehearsed before.

December 08, this day is Lopsided Football Game Day. In the 1940 NFL championship game, the Chicago Bears beat the Washington Redskins 73-0 in the most lopsided win in NFL championship history. Indeed, it was the most lopsided game in NFL history.

December 09, this day is Tommy Rock Opera Day. In 1973, The Who premiered their rock opera "Tommy" in London. The cast included Maggie Bell, Sandy Denny, Richard Harris, Richie Havens, Ringo Starr, Rod Stewart, and Steve Winwood.

December 10, this day is Mother Goose Day. In 1719, Thomas Fleet of Boston, Massachusetts, published his mother-in-law's tales in the book, Mother Goose. Mr. Fleet's mother-in-law was thought to have been Elizabeth Vergoose, also known as Elizabeth Foster Goose, widow of Isaac Goose.

December 11, this day is Dentistry Anesthesia Day. In 1844, the anesthestic gas nitrous oxide was first used for tooth work by Dr. Horace Wells, a dentist in Hartford, Connecticut. Wells was the discoverer of surgical anesthesia. Thank you, Dr. Wells -- you've made a lot of people happy!

December 12,  this day is the anniversary of The Snowplow Game? In 1982, a snowplow helped the New England Patriots beat the Miami Dolphins 3-0. In a scoreless tie played in a heavy snowstorm, a snowplow was allowed to clear an area which allowed the Patriots kicker John Smith to make the field goal to win the game.

December 13, this day is the birthday of the Susan B. Anthony Dollar. The Philadelphia Mint began stamping the coin on December 13, 1978, but the coins didn't go into circulation until July, 1979. The Susan B. Anthony dollar, the first coin to honor a woman, was not a hit with the public for several reasons, most importantly because it was often mistaken for a quarter, which was about an eighth of an inch smaller in diameter.

December 14, this day is Chocolate Almond Nougat Day. In 2001, ten cooks spent four days mixing a ton of almonds, chocolate and sugar to produce the world's biggest nougat bar. The 30-foot long bar was big enough to serve 100,000 people! Nougat, or turron, is a traditional Spanish Christmas sweet. Celebrate by eating your own favorite chocolate treat!

December 15, this day is the anniversary of the death of Sitting Bull. In 1890, Sitting Bull, the great Sioux leader Tatanka-lyotanka, died in a skirmish with Indian police at Grand River, South Dakota. Sitting Bull Burial State Historic Site located on the western edge of Fort Yates marks the original grave of the Hunkpapa Sioux leader.

December 16, this day is Lucy Gift Tradition Day. In the December 16, 1996, "Peanuts" comic strip, Lucy wishes Schroeder a Happy Beethoven's Birthday and then declares that "according to tradition, today is the day when boys give expensive presents to girls." Whose tradition? Lucy's.

December 17, this day is the anniversary of the Project Blue Book Closing. In 1969, when the U.S. Air Force decided there was no proof that extraterrestrial spaceships were behind UFO sightings, they closed their Project Blue Book. Quick bit of trivia: Every episode of the original Battlestar Galactica spin-off series Galactica 1980 ended with a short statement about the U.S. Air Force's 1969 Project Blue Book findings that UFOs are not proven to exist and "are not a threat to national security".

December 18, this day is Mother Goose Day. In 1719, Thomas Fleet of Boston, Massachusetts, published his mother-in-law's tales in the book, Mother Goose. Mr. Fleet's mother-in-law was thought to have been Elizabeth Vergoose, also known as Elizabeth Foster Goose, widow of Isaac Goose.

December 19, this day is Sacajawea Day. This day celebrates the anniversary of the death of Sacajawea, the Shoshone woman who helped guide Lewis and Clark on their journey across the new Louisiana Purchase to the Pacific Ocean. In 2000, the US Mint issued the Sacajawea dollar coin in her honor. The face on the coin was modeled on a modern Shoshone-Bannock woman named Randy'L He-dow Teton.

December 20, this day is Louisiana Purchase Day. In 1803, the U.S. bought the Louisiana Territory from France. At a cost of less than $20.00 per square mile, it was one of history's greatest real estate deals. The Territory was formally transferred on this day.

December 21, this day is the birthday of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Released in 1937, "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" was the first full-length animated cartoon with color and sound. Trivia buffs: The dwarfs' names were chosen from a pool of about fifty potentials, including Jumpy, Deafy, Dizzey, Hickey, Wheezy, Baldy, Gabby, Nifty, Sniffy, Swift, Lazy, Puffy, Stuffy, Tubby, Shorty and Burpy.

December 22, this day is the birthday of Claudia "Lady Bird" Johnson (1912). Lady Bird was First Lady of the United States from 1963 to 1969 during the presidency of her husband Lyndon B. Johnson. Throughout her life, she was an advocate for beautification of the nation's cities and highways and conservation of natural resources and made that her major initiative as First Lady.

December 23, this day is the Emperor Akihito's Birthday. Japanese Emperor Akihito was born on December 23, 1933. This is a national holiday in Japan. He acceded to the throne in 1989, and is the 17th most senior monarch or lifelong leader. He is the world's only currently reigning monarch whose title is customarily translated into English as "Emperor."

December 24, this day is the start of Intercontinental Z Week. During the last week of the year, give those people whose last names begin at the end of the alphabet a chance to go first.

December 25, this day, besides being Christmas (Merry Christmas!), is the birthday of such notables as Sir Isaac Newton, English mathematician and physicist (1642); Robert Ripley, Believe It or Not (1893); Rod Serling (1924); and Clara Barton, American Red Cross founder (1821). Happy birthday, everyone!

December 26, this day is Sunny Delight Day. In 1999, a five-year-old British girl turned orange after drinking too much Sunny Delight. Her face and hands turned orange after drinking 1.5 liters per day of the drink, which contains beta carotene that can turn a person's skin orange. Are you green with envy yet?

December 27, this day is Fruitcake Forever Day. If you received a fruitcake for Christmas, share it with all your friends today. Make sure everyone gets a piece of this oh so tasty treat!

December 28, this day is the birthday of Dry Cleaning? A Frenchman, Jolly Belin, accidentally spilled some kerosene on a stained garment and discovered that the kerosene removed the stain. This led to a series of experiments to refine the process. Later, Belin opened the first dry cleaning establishment in Paris.

December 29, this day is the anniversary of the Rasputin Assassination? In 1916, Grigori Yefimovich Rasputin, a Russian mystic who had acquired great powers over the imperial family and the government, was assassinated by a group of aristocrats.

December 30, this day is Rizal Day. This Philippines holiday commemorates the martyrdom of Dr. Jose Rizal, who was executed by a firing squad in 1896. His death sparked the Filipinos to rally for independence from Spain.

December 31, this day, besides being New Year's Eve, is the anniversary of the Air Quality Control Act. In 1970, President Richard Nixon signed the Act, also known as the Clean Air Act. It required that the EPA identify and set standards for harmful pollutants; established two categories of air quality standards; and that leaded gas be phased out by the mid-1980s.

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    • speedbird profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Nairobi, Kenya

      Thanks CMHypno for your comments. I am glad that you find this to be useful

    • CMHypno profile image


      7 years ago from Other Side of the Sun

      Fascinating insight on what has happened historically on each day in December. Thanks for all the great information speedbird

    • speedbird profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Nairobi, Kenya

      Hi mulberry1 ! thanks for you comments..I am glad that you find this to be useful

    • mulberry1 profile image

      Christine Mulberry 

      7 years ago

      Wow, I hope the little girl's skin return to it's normal color after a while.


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