December 21st in History

This day in historyDecember 21 is the 355th day of the year (356th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 10 days remaining until the end of the year.

In the Northern Hemisphere, December 21st is usually the shortest day of the year and is sometimes regarded as the first day of winter. In the Southern Hemisphere, December 21st is usually the longest day of the year and occurs during the southern summer.

Now is about time to panic….. There are 3 days left for shopping for Christmas.

Holidays

History

In AD 69,  The Roman Senate declares Vespasian as Roman emperor, the last in the Year of the Four Emperors.

Thomas.jpgIn 72,  Thomas the Apostle, Israeli martyr and saint (b. 1 AD) was killed in 72 AD. According to the accounts of Marco Polo from the 13th century state that the Apostle had an accidental death outside his hermitage in Chennai by a badly aimed arrow of a fowler who not seeing the saint shot at peacocks there.

He was one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus Christ, according to the New Testament. He is informally called doubting Thomas because he doubted Jesus’ resurrection when first told, (in the Gospel of John), followed later by his confession of faith, “My Lord and my God”, on seeing Jesus’ wounded body.

Traditionally, he is said to have traveled outside the Roman Empire to preach the Gospel, traveling as far as India. According to tradition, the Apostle reached Muziris, India in AD 52 and baptized several people who are today known as Saint Thomas Christians or Nasranis. After his death, the reputed relics of Saint Thomas the Apostle were enshrined as far as Mesopotamia in the 3rd century, and later moved to various places. In 1258, some of the relics were brought to Abruzzo in Ortona, Italy, where they have been held in the Church of Saint Thomas the Apostle.  He is often regarded as the Patron Saint of India, and the name Thoma remains quite popular among Saint Thomas Christians of India.

English - Martyrdom of Saint Thomas Becket - Walters W3415V - Open Reverse.jpgIn 1118,  Thomas Becket, English saint and Archbishop of Canterbury (d. 1170) was born this day to Gilbert Beket and Gilbert’s wife Matilda. He was Archbishop of Canterbury from 1162 until his murder in 1170. He is venerated as a saint and martyr by both the Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion. He engaged in conflict with Henry II of England over the rights and privileges of the Church and was murdered by followers of the king in Canterbury Cathedral. Soon after his death, he was canonised by Pope Alexander III.

In 1124,  Pope Honorius II is elected.

In 1140,  Conrad III of Germany besieged Weinsberg.

In 1237,  The city of Ryazan is sacked by the Mongol army of Batu Khan.

In 1361,  The Battle of Linuesa is fought in the context of the Spanish Reconquista between the forces of the Emirate of Granada and the combined army of the Kingdom of Castile and of Jaén resulting in a Castilian victory.

In 1598,  Battle of Curalaba: The revolting Mapuche, led by cacique Pelentaru, inflict a major defeat on Spanish troops in southern Chile.

In 1620,  Plymouth Colony: William Bradford and the Mayflower Pilgrims land on what is now known as Plymouth Rock in Plymouth, Massachusetts.

In 1826,  American settlers in Nacogdoches, Mexican Texas, declare their independence, starting the Fredonian Rebellion.

In 1824,  James Parkinson, English physician and paleontologist (b. 1755) died on 21 December 1824 after a stroke that interfered with his speech, bequeathing his houses in Langthorne to his sons and wife and his apothecary’s shop to his son, John. His collection of organic remains was given to his wife and much of it went on to be sold in 1827, a catalogue of the sale has never been found. He was buried at St. Leonard’s Church, Shoreditch.

He was an English surgeon, apothecary, geologist, palaeontologist, and political activist. He is most famous for his 1817 work, An Essay on the Shaking Palsy in which he was the first to describe “paralysis agitans”, a condition that would later be renamed Parkinson’s disease by Jean-Martin Charcot.

In 1832,  Egyptian–Ottoman War: Egyptian forces decisively defeat Ottoman troops at the Battle of Konya.

In 1844,  The Rochdale Society of Equitable Pioneers commences business at its cooperative in Rochdale, England, starting the Cooperative movement.

In 1861,  Medal of Honor: Public Resolution 82, containing a provision for a Navy Medal of Valor, is signed into law by President Abraham Lincoln.

In 1872,  Challenger expedition: HMS Challenger, commanded by Captain George Nares, sails from Portsmouth, England.

In 1879,  World première of Henrik Ibsen‘s A Doll’s House at the Royal Theatre in Copenhagen, Denmark.

In 1883,  The Royal Canadian Dragoons and The Royal Canadian Regiment, the first Permanent Force cavalry and infantry regiments of the Canadian Army, are formed: .

In 1907,  The Chilean Army commits a massacre of at least 2,000 striking saltpeter miners in Iquique, Chile.

In 1910,  An underground explosion at the Hulton Bank Colliery No. 3 Pit in Over Hulton, Westhoughton, England, kills 344 miners.

In 1913,  Arthur Wynne‘s “word-cross”, the first crossword puzzle, is published in the New York World.

In 1919,  American anarchist Emma Goldman is deported to Russia.

In 1923,  United Kingdom and Nepal formally signed an agreement of friendship, called the Nepal–Britain Treaty of 1923, which superseded the Sugauli Treaty signed in 1816.

In 1936,  First flight of the Junkers Ju 88 multi-role combat aircraft.

In 1937,  Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, the world’s first full-length animated feature, premieres at the Carthay Circle Theatre.

F Scott Fitzgerald 1921.jpgIn 1940,  F. Scott Fitzgerald, American author and poet (b. 1896) died of a heart attack. He was an American author of novels and short stories, whose works are the paradigmatic writings of the Jazz Age. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest American writers of the 20th century. Fitzgerald is considered a member of the “Lost Generation” of the 1920s. He finished four novels: This Side of Paradise, The Beautiful and Damned, The Great Gatsby (his most famous), and Tender Is the Night. A fifth, unfinished novel, The Love of the Last Tycoon, was published posthumously. Fitzgerald also wrote many short stories that treat themes of youth and promise along with age and despair.

Fitzgerald’s work has been adapted into films many times. His short story, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, was the basis for a 2008 film. Tender Is the Night was filmed in 1962, and made into a television miniseries in 1985. The Beautiful and Damned was filmed in 1922 and 2010. The Great Gatsby has been the basis for numerous films of the same name, spanning nearly 90 years: 1926, 1949, 1974, 2000, and 2013 adaptations. In addition, Fitzgerald’s own life from 1937 to 1940 was dramatized in 1958 in Beloved Infidel.

In 1941,  World War II: A formal treaty of alliance between Thailand and Japan is signed in the presence of the Emerald Buddha in Wat Phra Kaew, Thailand.

Pattonphoto.jpgIn 1945,  George S. Patton, American general (b. 1885) died following an automobile accident in Europe on December 21, 1945. He was a United States Army general, best known for his flamboyant character and his command of the Seventh United States Army, and later the Third United States Army, in the European Theater of World War II.

Born in 1885 to a privileged family with an extensive military background, Patton attended the Virginia Military Institute, and later the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. He participated in the 1912 Olympic Modern Pentathlon, and was instrumental in designing the M1913 “Patton Saber”. Patton first saw combat during the Pancho Villa Expedition in 1916, taking part in America’s first military action using motor vehicles. He later joined the newly formed United States Tank Corps of the American Expeditionary Forces and saw action in World War I, first commanding the U.S. tank school in France before being wounded near the end of the war. In the interwar period, Patton remained a central figure in the development of armored warfare doctrine in the U.S. Army, serving in numerous staff positions throughout the country. Rising through the ranks, he commanded the U.S. 2nd Armored Division at the time of the U.S. entry into World War II.

Patton led U.S. troops into the Mediterranean theater with an invasion of Casablanca during Operation Torch in 1942, where he later established himself as an effective commander through his rapid rehabilitation of the demoralized U.S. II Corps. He commanded the Seventh Army during the Invasion of Sicily, where he was the first allied commander to reach Messina. There he was embroiled in controversy after he slapped two shell-shocked soldiers under his command, and was temporarily removed from battlefield command for other duties such as participating in Operation Fortitude‘s disinformation campaign for Operation Overlord. Patton returned to command the Third Army following the invasion of Normandy in 1944, where he led a highly successful, rapid armored drive across France. He led the relief of beleaguered U.S. troops at Bastogne during the Battle of the Bulge, and advanced his army into Nazi Germany by the end of the war.

After the war, Patton became the military governor of Bavaria, but he was relieved of this post because of his statements on denazification. He commanded the Fifteenth United States Army for slightly more than two months.

In 1946,  An 8.1 Mw earthquake and subsequent tsunami in Nankaidō, Japan, kills over 1,300 people and destroys over 38,000 homes.

In 1951,  Libya became an independent country.

In 1962,  Rondane National Park is established as Norway’s first national park.

In 1967,  Louis Washkansky, the first man to undergo a heart transplant, dies in Cape Town, South Africa, having lived for 18 days after the transplant.

In 1968,  Apollo program: Apollo 8 is launched from the Kennedy Space Center, placing its crew on a lunar trajectory for the first visit to another celestial body by humans.

In 1969,  The United Nations adopts the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.

In 1973,  The Geneva Conference on the Arab–Israeli conflict opens.

In 1979,  Lancaster House Agreement: An independence agreement for Rhodesia is signed in London by Lord Peter Carrington, Sir Ian Gilmour, Robert Mugabe, Joshua Nkomo, Bishop Abel Muzorewa and S.C. Mundawarara.

In 1988,  A bomb explodes on board Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland, killing 270.

In 1992,  A Dutch DC-10, flight Martinair MP 495, crashes at Faro Airport, killing 56.

In 1994,  Mexican volcano Popocatépetl, dormant for 47 years, erupts gases and ash.

In 1995,  The city of Bethlehem passes from Israeli to Palestinian control.

In 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, Spain.

In 2004,  Iraq War: A suicide bomber killed 22 at the forward operating base next to the main U.S. military airfield at Mosul, Iraq, the single deadliest suicide attack on American soldiers.

In 2012,  The world was predicted to end on December 21, 2012 according to some calendars.

Star Wars Logo.svgIn 2012,  The Walt Disney Company completed its acquisition of Lucasfilm and of the Star Wars franchise.

In 2012, A federal judge gave final approval to BP‘s settlement with businesses and individuals who lost money because of the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. BP PLC has estimated it will pay $7.8bn to resolve economic and medical claims from more than 100,000 businesses and individuals hurt by the nation’s worst offshore oil spill. The settlement has no cap; the company could end up paying more or less.

In 2012, The nation’s largest gun-rights lobby called Friday for armed police officers to be posted in every American school to stop the next killer “waiting in the wings.” The National Rifle Association broke its silence on the previous week’s shooting rampage at a Connecticut elementary school that left 26 children and staff dead.

In 2013, A federal judge in Utah “struck down the  state’s ban on same-sex marriage, saying the law violates the U.S.  Constitution’s guarantees of equal protection and due process,” the Salt Lake Tribune reports.

In 2016, Raquel Hatter, the embattled leader of the Tennessee Department of Human Services, leaves the administration of Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam. Her tenure was marred by ongoing problems with state-run food programs for low-income children, vocational rehabilitation and general management issues.

%d bloggers like this: