December 1st in History

December 1 is the 335th day of the This day in historyyear (336th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 30 days remaining until the end of the year.



In 800,  Charlemagne judges the accusations against Pope Leo III in the Vatican.

Henry1.jpgIn 1135,  Henry I of England (b. 1068) died after a week of illness. He also known as Henry Beauclerc, was King of England from 1100 to 1135. Henry was the fourth son of William the Conqueror and was educated in Latin and the liberal arts. On William’s death in 1087, Henry’s older brothers William Rufus and Robert Curthose inherited England and Normandy respectively, but Henry was left landless. Henry purchased the County of Cotentin in western Normandy from Robert, but William and Robert deposed him in 1091. Henry gradually rebuilt his power base in the Cotentin and allied himself with William against Robert. Henry was present when William died in a hunting accident in 1100, and he seized the English throne, promising at his coronation to correct many of William’s less popular policies. Henry married Matilda of Scotland but continued to have a large number of mistresses, by whom he had many illegitimate children.

Robert, who invaded in 1101, disputed Henry’s control of England. This military campaign ended in a negotiated settlement that confirmed Henry as king. The peace was short-lived, and Henry invaded the Duchy of Normandy in 1105 and 1106, finally defeating Robert at the Battle of Tinchebray. Henry kept Robert imprisoned for the rest of his life. Henry’s control of Normandy was challenged by Louis VI of France, Baldwin of Flanders and Fulk of Anjou, who promoted the rival claims of Robert’s son, William Clito, and supported a major rebellion in the Duchy between 1116 and 1119. Following Henry’s victory at the Battle of Brémule, a favourable peace settlement was agreed with Louis in 1120.

Considered by contemporaries to be a harsh but effective ruler, Henry skilfully manipulated the barons in England and Normandy. In England, he drew on the existing Anglo-Saxon system of justice, local government and taxation, but also strengthened it with additional institutions, including the royal exchequer and itinerant justices. Normandy was also governed through a growing system of justices and an exchequer. Many of the officials that ran Henry’s system were “new men” of obscure backgrounds rather than from families of high status, who rose through the ranks as administrators. Henry encouraged ecclesiastical reform, but became embroiled in a serious dispute in 1101 with Archbishop Anselm of Canterbury, which was resolved through a compromise solution in 1105. He supported the Cluniac order and played a major role in the selection of the senior clergy in England and Normandy.

Henry’s only legitimate son and heir, William Adelin, drowned in the White Ship disaster of 1120, throwing the royal succession into doubt. Henry took a second wife, Adeliza, in the hope of having another son, but their marriage was childless. In response to this, Henry declared his daughter, Matilda, as his heir and married her to Geoffrey of Anjou. Relationships between Henry and the couple became strained, and fighting broke out along the border with Anjou.  Despite his plans for Matilda, the King was succeeded by his nephew, Stephen of Blois, resulting in a period of civil war known as the Anarchy.

In 1420,  Henry V of England enters Paris.

In 1577,  Francis Walsingham is knighted.

In 1581,  Alexander Briant, Edmund Campion, and Ralph Sherwin, all English martyrs and saints were hanged, drawn and quartered.

In 1640,  End of the Iberian Union: Portugal acclaims as King João IV of Portugal, ending 60 years of personal union of the crowns of Portugal and Spain and the end of the rule of the Philippine Dynasty.

In 1768,  The former slave ship Fredensborg sinks off Tromøy in Norway.

In 1822,  Peter I is crowned Emperor of Brazil.

In 1824,  United States presidential election, 1824: Since no candidate received a majority of the total electoral college votes in the election, the United States House of Representatives is given the task of deciding the winner in accordance with the Twelfth Amendment to the United States Constitution. John Quincy Adams was elected president on February 9, 1825.

In 1826,  French philhellene Charles Nicolas Fabvier forces his way through the Turkish cordon and ascends the Acropolis of Athens, which had been under siege.

In 1828,  Argentine general Juan Lavalle makes a coup against governor Manuel Dorrego, beginning the Decembrist revolution.

In 1834,  Slavery is abolished in the Cape Colony in accordance with the Slavery Abolition Act 1833.

In 1862,  In his State of the Union Address President Abraham Lincoln reaffirms the necessity of ending slavery as ordered ten weeks earlier in the Emancipation Proclamation.

In 1864,  Great Fire of Brisbane

In 1865,  Shaw University, the first historically black university in the southern United States, is founded in Raleigh, North Carolina.

In 1885,  First serving of the soft drink Dr Pepper at a drug store in Waco, Texas.

In 1913,  The Buenos Aires Metro, the first underground railway system in the Southern Hemisphere and in Latin America, begins operation.

In 1913,  The Ford Motor Company introduces the first moving assembly line.

In 1913,  Crete, having obtained self rule from Turkey after the First Balkan War, is annexed by Greece.

Alfred Thayer Mahan.jpegIn 1914,  Alfred Thayer Mahan, American captain and historian (b. 1840) died in Washington, D.C. of heart failure. He was a United States Navy admiral, geostrategist, and historian, who has been called “the most important American strategist of the nineteenth century.” His concept of “sea power” was based on the idea that countries with greater naval power will have greater worldwide impact; it was most famously presented in The Influence of Sea Power Upon History, 1660–1783 (1890). The concept had an enormous influence in shaping the strategic thought of navies across the world, especially in the United States, Germany, Japan and Great Britain, ultimately causing a European naval arms race in the 1890s, which included the United States. His ideas still permeate the U.S. Navy Doctrine. Several ships have been named as the USS Mahan, including the lead vessel of a class of destroyers.

In 1918,  Transylvania unites with the Kingdom of Romania, following the incorporation of Bessarabia (March 27) and Bukovina (November 28), thus concluding the Great Union.

In 1918,  The Kingdom of Iceland becomes a sovereign state, yet remains a part of the Danish kingdom.

In 1918,  The Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (later known as the Kingdom of Yugoslavia) is proclaimed.

In 1919,  Lady Astor becomes the first female Member of Parliament to take her seat in the House of Commons of the United Kingdom. (She had been elected to that position on November 28.)

In 1919,  The first issue of Diário de Noite is published from Goa.

In 1934,  In the Soviet Union, Politburo member Sergey Kirov is shot dead by Leonid Nikolaev at the Communist Party headquarters in Leningrad.

In 1941,  World War II: Emperor Hirohito of Japan gives the final approval to initiate war against the United States.

In 1941,  World War II: Fiorello La Guardia, Mayor of New York City and Director of the Office of Civilian Defense, signs Administrative Order 9, creating the Civil Air Patrol.

In 1948,  Taman Shud Case: The body of an unidentified man is found in Adelaide, Australia, involving an undetectable poison and a secret code in a very rare book; the case remains unsolved and is “one of Australia’s most profound mysteries.”

In 1952,  The New York Daily News reports the news of Christine Jorgensen, the first notable case of sexual reassignment surgery.

In 1954,  Fred Rose, American pianist, songwriter, and publisher (b. 1898) dies. He was an American Hall of Fame songwriter and music publishing executive.

Born in Evansville, Indiana, Fred Rose started playing piano and singing as a small boy. In his teens, he moved to Chicago, Illinois where he worked in bars busking for tips, and finally vaudeville. Eventually, he became successful as a songwriter, penning his first hit for entertainer Sophie Tucker.

For a short time Fred Rose lived in Nashville, Tennessee but his radio show there did not last long and he headed to New York City’s Tin Pan Alley in hopes of making a living as a songwriter. It was there that he began writing songs with Ray Whitley, an RKO B-Western film star and author of “Back In the Saddle Again”, and this collaboration introduced Rose to the possibilities of country music. He lived for a time with Ray and Kay Whitley in an apartment in Hollywood, co-writing many tunes for Ray’s movies.

In 1942 he returned to Nashville, teaming up with Grand Ole Opry star Roy Acuff to create the first Nashville-based music publishing company. Their Acuff-Rose Music was almost immediately successful, particularly with the enormous hits of client Hank Williams. Acuff-Rose Music remained a foundation of the country music business even after Fred’s death; his son, Wesley Rose, took over the presidency and continued with Roy Acuff until 1985, when the company’s catalog was sold to Gaylord Entertainment Company, parent company of the Grand Ole Opry. Along with Hank Williams and the “Father of Country Music”, Jimmie Rodgers, Fred Rose was one of the first three inductees of the Country Music Hall of Fame when it opened in 1961. He was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1970 and into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1985.

In 1955,  American Civil Rights Movement: In Montgomery, Alabama, seamstress Rosa Parks refuses to give up her bus seat to a white man and is arrested for violating the city’s racial segregation laws, an incident which leads to the Montgomery Bus Boycott.

In 1958,  The Central African Republic attains self-rule within the French Union.

In 1958,  The Our Lady of the Angels School fire in Chicago kills 92 children and three nuns.

In 1959,  Cold War: Opening date for signature of the Antarctic Treaty, which sets aside Antarctica as a scientific preserve and bans military activity on the continent.

In 1960,  Paul McCartney and Pete Best are arrested (and later deported) from Hamburg, Germany, after accusations of attempted arson.

In 1963,  Nagaland becomes the 16th state of India.

In 1964,  Vietnam War: U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson and his top-ranking advisers meet to discuss plans to bomb North Vietnam.

In 1964,  Malawi, Malta and Zambia join the United Nations.

In 1965,  India’s Border Security Force is established.

In 1966,  The first Gävle goat, an annual Swedish Yule Goat tradition, is erected in Gävle.

In 1969,  Vietnam War: The first draft lottery in the United States is held since World War II.

In 1971,  Cambodian Civil War: Khmer Rouge rebels intensify assaults on Cambodian government positions, forcing their retreat from Kompong Thmar and nearby Ba Ray.

In 1973,  Papua New Guinea gains self-governance from Australia.

In 1974,  TWA Flight 514, a Boeing 727, crashes northwest of Dulles International Airport, killing all 92 people on board.

In 1974,  Northwest Orient Airlines Flight 6231, another Boeing 727, crashes northwest of John F. Kennedy International Airport.

In 1976,  Angola joins the United Nations.

In 1981,  Inex-Adria Aviopromet Flight 1308, a McDonnell Douglas MD-80, crashes in Corsica, killing all 180 people on board.

In 1984,  NASA conducts the Controlled Impact Demonstration, wherein an airliner is deliberately crashed in order to test technologies and gather data to help improve survivability of crashes.

In 1988,  Benazir Bhutto is appointed Prime Minister of Pakistan.

In 1989,  1989 Philippine coup attempt: The right-wing military rebel Reform the Armed Forces Movement attempts to oust Philippine President Corazon Aquino in a failed bloody coup d’état.

In 1989,  Cold War: East Germany‘s parliament abolishes the constitutional provision granting the Communist Party the leading role in the state.

In 1990,  Channel Tunnel sections started from the United Kingdom and France meet 40 metres beneath the seabed.

In 1991, Cold War: Ukrainian voters overwhelmingly approve a referendum for independence from the Soviet Union.

In 1997,  In the Indian state of Bihar, Ranvir Sena attacked the CPI(ML) Party Unity stronghold Lakshmanpur-Bathe, killing 63 lower caste people.

In 2001,  Captain Bill Compton brings Trans World Airlines Flight 220, an MD-83, into St. Louis International Airport bringing to an end 76 years of TWA operations following TWA’s purchase by American Airlines.

In 2009,  The Treaty of Lisbon, which amends the Treaty on European Union and the Treaty establishing the European Community, which together comprise the constitutional basis of European Union, comes into effect.

In 2013,  China launches Yutu or Jade Rabbit, its first lunar rover, as part of the Chang’e 3 lunar exploration mission.

In 2013,  A derailment of a Metro-North Railroad train near Spuyten Duyvil, Bronx, New York City kills 4 and injures 61.

Edward James “Babe” Heffron (left) and Earl “One Lung” McClung

In 2013,  Edward Heffron, American soldier (b. 1923) dies at Kennedy Hospital in Stratford, New Jersey. He was survived by his wife Dolores and daughter Patricia. He  was a private with E Company, 2nd Battalion506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, in the 101st Airborne Division of the United States Army during World War II. Heffron was portrayed in the HBO miniseries Band of Brothers by Robin Laing. Heffron wrote Brothers in Battle, Best of Friends: Two WWII Paratroopers from the Original Band of Brothers Tell Their Story with fellow veteran William “Wild Bill” Guarnere and journalist Robyn Post in 2007.

Edward James Heffron was born in South PhiladelphiaPennsylvania in 1923, the third of five children to Joseph (a prison guard) and Anne. The family was Irish Catholic and attended Mass every Sunday and Heffron and his siblings attended Sacred Heart Catholic School. He attended South Philadelphia High School, but had to drop out to earn money during the Great Depression.

He went to work at New York Shipbuilding in Camden, New Jersey, sandblasting cruisers in preparation for them being converted to light aircraft carriers. Because of his job he had a 2B exemption from military service, but he didn’t use it, since he wanted to go with his friend, Anthony Cianfrani, into the airborne. When a teenager, he had also developed an intermittent medical condition with which his hands and fingers would curl under and lock-up, causing severe pain (possibly, the onset of Dupuytren’s contracture), but he never told anyone about this because he wanted to keep playing football in school. Either the exemption or the medical condition would have allowed him to remain stateside, but he refused to stay home when his brothers (Joseph, James, and John), friends, and neighbors were all doing their duty.

Heffron wrote Brothers in Battle, Best of Friends: Two WWII Paratroopers from the Original Band of Brothers Tell Their Story with fellow veteran William “Wild Bill” Guarnere and journalist Robyn Post in 2007, outlining the activities of E Company 1942-1945. Despite having never graduated from high school, Heffron was named an honorary graduate of West Point High School in West Point, VA in 2013.

In 2014, Ohio Sen. Rob Portman said he had ruled out running for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016. Portman, who was near the top of Mitt Romney’s list of potential running mates in 2012, said that he would run for a second term in the Senate instead. “It’s a decision to continue to fight for Ohio and to stay here,” Portman said. The news could fuel speculation about former Florida governor Jeb Bush’s plans. Portman and Bush are friends, and Portman has said he might not run if someone equally qualified was entering the race. []

In 2014, Elizabeth Lauten resigned as communications director for Rep. Stephen Fincher (R-Tenn.) on Monday after facing a stinging backlash for making disparaging comments about first daughters Sasha and Malia Obama on Facebook last week. Lauten ridiculed the young Obamas for their outfits and demeanor at the annual White House turkey pardoning ceremony, saying they should “try showing a little class.” Lauten apologized for her “hurtful words.” [ABC News]

In 2016,  Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn ascended as King Rama X of Thailand.

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