john_quincy_adamsDecember 1

1824, none of the Presidential candidates received a majority of electoral votes needed to obtain the presidency, so the vote was turned over to the House of Representatives, as the 12th Amendment states. A total of 131 votes were needed for a candidate to win, however, it was split unevenly among four candidates: Andrew Jackson received 99, John Quincy Adams 84, Secretary of State William H. Crawford received 41 and Representative Henry Clay of Virginia received 37. Adams was elected but he did not win re-election in 1828.

December 5

1766, London auction house, “Christie’s”, held their first auction. Christie’s is known for auctioning expensive art and memorabilia of celebrities. Notable auctioned items includes a Stradivarius violin for $3.5 Million and a Monet painting for $80 Million.

December 8

1940, the Chicago Bears beat the Washington Redskins 73-0, the most lop-sided score in NFL history.

1941, during President Roosevelt’s speech before a joint session of Congress, he voiced some of the most famous words spoken in U.S. history: “Yesterday, December seventh, 1941—a date which will live in infamy…”

December 10

1901, the first Nobel Prizes were awarded in Stockholm, Sweden.

December 13

1545, the Council of Trent began in Italy. The council endured through twenty-five sessions until December 1563 and met in different locations during that time.

December 15

1791, the U.S. Bill of Rights became law after ratification by the Virginia General Assembly.

1942, the Battle of Gifu (The Battle of Mount Austen, the Galloping Horse and the Sea Horse) began during the Guadalcanal siege. Battles took place in the hilly tropical jungles on Guadalcanal until January 23, 1943.

December 17 a_christmas_carol

1843, Charles Dickens published A Christmas Carol.

1903, the Wright brothers make their first powered flight with the Wright Flyer at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.

1938, Otto Hahn discovered nuclear fission from uranium and began working on employment of a practical nuclear energy.

1941, in the wake of the Pearl Harbor bombing, U.S. Navy Rear Admiral H. E. Kimmel was relieved of his command as commander of the Pacific Fleet. Kimmel had served in the Navy since 1915 where he was a direct aide of then Assistant Secretary of the Navy, F. D. Roosevelt, during WWI.

December 21

69 A.D. Vespasian is declared the Roman Emperor by the Roman Senate. He was the fourth emperor of Rome that year.

1620, the Mayflower landed at what is now called Plymouth Rock in Massachusetts and established the Plymouth Colony.

December 22

1808, in Vienna, Austria, Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony debuted. The iconic first four notes of Beethoven’s Fifth were used during WWII by Britain on its radio broadcasts, as it mimicked the Morse code symbol for the letter V, as in V for Victory.

December 24

1914, the “Christmas Truce” began in the trenches of the Western Front during WWI. Soldiers from both sides (Germany and Britain) sang Christmas songs and exchanged gifts in the middle of “no-man’s-land.”

December 25

1941, Admiral Chester Nimitz arrived in Hawaii to take command of the Pacific Fleet, replacing Rear Admiral Kimmel.

December 26

1799, four-thousand people attended the funeral of George Washington. At the eulogy, Henry Lee described him as “First in war, first in peace and first in the hearts of his countrymen.”

December 27

1978, in Antarctica, the warmest temperature ever recorded at the South Pole was set at -7.5°F (-13.6°C).

December 30

gadsden_purchase1853, American Ambassador James Gadsden arranged the purchase of land from Mexico, to extend the U.S. railroad across the southern U.S. into California. The agreement is known as The Gadsden Purchase, or in Mexico, Venta de La Mesilla. It added over 29,000 square miles to the U.S and makes up the present day southern borders of Arizona and New Mexico; from Las Cruces to the Arizona state line.

December 31

1862, President Lincoln signed an act dividing Virginia into two separate states: Virginia and West Virginia. West Virginia entered the Union as a “free” state.

 Posted by on 12/11/2012 Almanac   Add comments