The People History Home

December 1st to 31st Major and Important news items from each day click link to find more news for that day

December 1

1934 Josef Stalin begins a purge of enemies in Soviet Union

1942 Nationwide gasoline rationing goes into effect U.S.

1955 Rosa Parks sets off a bus boycott in Montgomery, Georgia

1958 Fire at Our Lady of Angels School grade school in Chicago leaves 100 children dead

1969 The U.S. government holds its first draft lottery since World War II ( Vietnam War )

1990 Channel Tunnel links UK to Europe

1997 Heath High School Shooting in Paducah, Kentucky.

1999 Mapping of Human Chromosome 22 Released Into The Public Domain

2009 The Treaty of Lisbon comes into force in European Union

December 2

1939 New York's LaGuardia Airport Opens

1956 Cuban Revolution Begins

1959 The Malpasset Dam in France collapses leaving 400 dead

1969 The Boeing 747 ( Often Known as Jumbo Jet ) Gains FAA Airworthiness Certificate

1974 Birmingham Pub Bombing By IRA

1988 School Bus Hijack Soviet Union

1995 Dayton Accord peace plan Accepted By All Parties

2001 Enron an energy trading company filed for Chapter 11 protection

December 3

1964 800 students arrested at the University of California at Berkeley

1967 Worlds First Heart Transplant South Africa

1984 Bhopal Chemical Accident In India

December 4

1872 Crew from the Dei Gratia, a small British brig spot the Mary Celeste

1952 Deadly London Smog In England Leaves 1'000s dead in London

1954 first Burger King ( Insta Burger King )is opened in Miami, Florida

1998 International Space Station Assembly Begins

December 5

1933 Prohibition comes to an end

1945 Five U.S. Navy Avenger torpedo bombers comprising Flight 19 Lost In Bermuda Triangle

December 6

1917 Munitions Ship Explodes In Halifax Harbor Killing 1,800

1922 Irish Free State is created

1962 Deadly Smog Spreads In England

1969 Altamont Rolling Stones Concert Disaster

1989 École Polytechnique massacre Montreal

December 7

1931 Ford produces the last Ford Model A

1941 Japanese Attack Pearl Harbor

1960 First episode of British Soap "Coronation Street"

1993 Long Island Rail Road commuter train shootings

Born in December

Bette Midler
Born: 1st December 1945 Honolulu, Hawaii, United States
Britney Spears
Born: 2nd December 1981 McComb, Mississippi, United States
Kirk Douglas
Born: 9th December 1916 Amsterdam, New York
Frank Sinatra
Born: Francis Albert Sinatra 12th December 1915 Hoboken, New Jersey,
WNoel Coward
Born: 16th December 1899 Teddington, Richmond upon Thames, England
Steven Spielberg
Born: 18th December 1946 Cincinnati, Ohio, United States
Howard Hughes

Born: 24th December 1905 Houston, Texas, U.S.
Jimmy Buffett
Born: 25th December 1946 Pascagoula, Mississippi, U.S.
Ted Danson
Born: 29th December 1947 San Diego, California, U.S.
Anthony Hopkins
Born: 31st December 1937 Port Talbot, Wales
December 8

1941 US Enters World War II

1980 Former Beatle John Lennon was shot dead in New York

1993 The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) Signed into Law

December 9

1963 Studebaker Production Ends

1990 Solidarity founder Lech Walesa wins Poland's presidential runoff

1992 Prince Charles and Princess Diana announce a formal separation

1993 Hubble Telescope Repair is a success

December 10

1948 Universal Declaration on Human Rights By United Nations

1958 First US Commercial Jet Flight

2008 Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich Arrested

2006 Augusto Pinochet Dies

December 11

1936 King Edward VIII Abdicates to marry American divorcee Wallis Warfield Simpson

1946 UNICEF Established

1985 The Unabomber kills his first victim, Hugh Scrutton

1990 Ivana Trump filed for divorce from real estate mogul Donald Trump

1997 150 countries agreed at a global warming conference in Kyoto, Japan ( Kyoto Protocol )

2005 Buncefield Oil Depot Explosions Hemel Hempstead in England

2008 Car Companies Bail Out Bill Agreed

December 12

1901 Marconi sends first wireless transmission over 2000 miles across the Atlantic Ocean from Poldhu in Cornwall, England, to Newfoundland, Canada

1917 Father Edward Flanagan founds Boys Town

1925 first Motel opens the Milestone Mo-Tel of San Luis Obispo, California

1975 Balcombe Street Siege London England

1988 Clapham Junction Rail Crash South London

2003 Keiko From Free Willy dies

December 13

1937 Rape of Nanking

1950 James Dean who is still unknown at that time appears in a Pepsi commercial

1972 Thalidomide victims ( 50's and 60's Sales ) are offered a compensation deal

1995 Brixton Riots London England

2003 Saddam Hussein is captured by U.S. forces at a farmhouse in Adwar

2007 Rupert Murdoch buys Dow Jones & Co. which includes The Wall Street Journal

December 14

1905 1 in 10 are Illiterate in US

1947 NASCAR is formed

1962 Mariner 2 space probe becomes the first spacecraft to fly by Venus

1972 Last Men To Walk On The Moon

1995 Dayton Accord Signed Ending War

December 15

1939 Gone With The Wind Premiers

1944 Glenn Miller Killed In Plane Crash

1967 The Silver Bridge across the Ohio River collapses

90 years of price Change

90 Years Of Price Changes

We spent many hours researching cost of living information for each year and I created this page after being asked a number of times about why I did not include current prices alongside our cost of living information for each year and thought this was the easiest way to make the information available. Includes Average Cost of New Home, Average Wages, New Car cost, Gallon of Gas, and a 1 lb Hamburger Meat, 1920 to 2021.

From our 1955 Toys

Farm Stake Tonka Truck From The 1950s Farm Stake Tonka Truck
Manufacturer: Tonka
Price: $3.98
Realistic in every detail... right down to its rear wheels with mud flaps! Small-fry farmers find it ideal to haul any load. The stake panels come out for the big jobs. Made of tough, heavy gauge metal.

December 16

1916 Rasputin Murdered In Russia

1920 Earthquake measuring 8.5 hits the heavily populated of Gansu province of midwestern China, causing the deaths of an estimated 200,000 people.

1944 Battle of the Bulge Begins during World War II

1969 Death Penalty Abolished England

December 17

1903 Orville and Wilbur Wright made the first successful man-powered airplane flight

1942 Mass executions of Jews by killing squads and in Poland

1983 Harrods Department Store Bombing

1987 The Simpsons Debuts as a half-hour prime time show

December 18

1966 Dr. Seuss' book "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" is made into an animated television special and shown for first time on CBS

December 19

1997 The movie "Titanic" opened in American theaters.

2008 General Motors and Chrysler bailed out

December 20

1963 Berlin Wall Opened For 1 Day Passes

1968 The Zodiac killer's first attributable murders

1989 President George Bush launches Operation Just Cause In Panama

2005 Transit Strike New York City

December 21

1913 First Cross Word Puzzle Published IN New York World.

1958 General Charles de Gaulle is elected President of France

December 22

1952 The first Corvette, a production-ready prototype, is completed

2001 The shoe bomber, a passenger on an American Airlines flight from Paris to Miami, tried to ignite explosives in his shoes

December 23

1947 Bell Labs demonstrates the worlds first Transistor Radio

1956 British French Troops Withdraw From Suez Canal

1995 A fire in Dabwali, India, kills 540 people, including 170 children .

2006 United Nations Security Council has unanimously imposed sanctions against Iran over its failure to halt uranium enrichment with Resolution 1737

December 24

1865 A group of Confederate veterans convenes to form the secret society the "Ku Klux Klan."

1903 The first car number plate ( A1 ) is issued in England

1968 Apollo 8 orbits the Moon, becoming the first manned space mission to achieve the feat.

1994 Four Islamic extremists hijack Air France Flight 8969 in Algiers

2009 The Senate passes health care reform bill

From 1959 Toys

New Exiting Barbie Fashion Dolls Launched in March 1959 From The 1950s Barbie Fashion Dolls
Manufacturer: Mattel
Price: $1.29
These Images are from 1960 sorry could not find any from 1959 the year Barbie Came out but thought I must include Barbie for 1959.

From 1920s Appliances Page

Gyrator Electric Washing Machine 1920s

Late Decade Electric Washing Machine

Price: $81.50

For the latest and best in washing machine design, this easy to move washing machine features the latest gyrator technology with no center post where clothes can be damaged, the attached wringer is made from the finest semi soft rubber.


1925 Frigidaire Electric Refrigerator

1925 Frigidaire

Price: $285.00

I included this Frigidaire Electric as the final Electric Item from the Twenties as it was significant in many ways 1. It was made by General Motors not General Electric. 2. The cost was pretty high and I suspect out of most people's reach and 3. It was sold by a dedicated salesman who visited your home rather than through a shop etc.


December 25

1952 The young Queen Elizabeth gives her first Christmas broadcast on BBC radio from the study at Sandringham House

1974 Thousands are left homeless and more than 30 people are feared dead after cyclone Tracy with winds of up to 135mph hits the northern Australian city of Darwin on Christmas Day

December 26

1947 A severe snowstorm covers the Northeastern part of the United States , burying New York City under 25.8 inches of snow in 16 hours

2004 A tsunami caused by an earthquake under the Indian Ocean leaves 216,000 dead in 13 countries..

December 27

1932 Radio City Music Hall opened in New York City

1949 Indonesia gains it's independence from the Netherlands after 400 years.

1994 Blood Bath Begins In Rwanda between Hutu majority and the Tutsis

2001 U.S. officials announced that Taliban and al-Qaida prisoners would be held at the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

2007 Former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto assassinated in Pakistan

December 28

1945 US Congress officially recognized the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag

December 29

1940 Germany begin dropping incendiary bombs on London

1975 A terrorist bomb is exploded in the main terminal of New York's LaGuardia Airport, killing 11 people.

December 30

1903 The Iroquois Theater Fire in Chicago, Illinois, claims 602 lives

1986 Canaries made redundant from British Coal Mines and replaced by modern carbon monoxide detectors.

2006 Saddam Hussein hanged in northern Baghdad for crimes against humanity.

December 31

1999 The world prepares to have a global party with fireworks and special events around the world to welcome in the third millennium.