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This Day in History - December 19

December 19

1154 – Henry II is crowned King of England

1562 – The Battle of Dreux begins the French Wars of Religion between the Catholics and Huguenots

1683 – The first Bourbon King of Spain, Philip V, is born

1732 – Benjamin Franklin published Poor Richard’s Almanack for the first time and it will go on to become one of the most popular publications in colonial America

1776 Thomas Paine publishes American Crisis and General George Washington commanded it be read aloud to reinvigorate troops, which it did

1777 – The Continental Army under General George Washington enters its winter camp at Valley Forge

1783 – William Pitt the Younger becomes the youngest British Prime Minister ever at the age of 24

1793 – French troops recapture Toulon from the British

1817 – Confederate General James Archer is born

1820 – A temperance worker, woman’s rights activist, lecturer, and writer, Mary Ashton Livermore is born

1848 – English novelist Emily Bronte dies

1862 – Confederate General Nathan B. Forrest begins destroying railroads in an effort to cause delays in the movement of Union supplies

1900 – Those involved in the Dreyfus Affair receive a break as French Parliament votes to grant amnesty

1906 – Soviet General Secretary of the Communist party and President of the Supreme Soviet from 1964 to 1982, Leonid Brezhnev is born

1907 – 239 workers are killed during a coal mine explosion in Jacobs Creek, Pennsylvania

1909 – American socialist women declare suffrage as a middle-class movement

1915 – French cabaret singer and actress Edith Piaf is born

1915 – Sir Douglas Haig replaces Sir John French as the commander-in-chief of all the British forces on the Western Front due to the British defeat at the Battle of Loos

1917 – The National Hockey League opens its first season

1932 – The British Broadcasting Corp begins transmitting overseas

1933 – Actress Cicely Tyson is born

1940 – Singer, songwriter, and producer Phil Ochs is born

1941 – Singer, songwriter, musician and producer Maurice White is born

1941 – Japanese battle with British troops in Hong Kong

1941 – Adolf Hitler becomes commander in chief of the German army

1942 – The British move into Burma to remove the Japanese

1943 – US Marine Corps four-star general, Supreme Allied Commander in Europe from 2003-2006, Commandant of the Marine Corps 1999-2003 and National Security Advisor 2009-2010, James L. Jones Jr. is born

1944 – In front of the advancing German army, American troops begin pulling back from the Belgian cities of Krinkelt and Rocherath during the Battle of the Bulge

1945 – Congress confirms Eleanor Roosevelt as a US delegate to the UN

1946 – Ho Chi Minh attacks the French in Indochina

1950 – Dwight D. Eisenhower is named supreme commander of Western European defense forces by the North Atlantic Council

1950 – Dalai Lama of Tibet flees from Chinese invaders

1959 – The last civil war veteran, Walter Williams, dies at 117

1964 – Warner Brothers releases John Ford’s Cheyenne Autumn, a post-war critique of American society in the form of a western

1964 – Major General Nguyen Khanh and a group of generals led by Air Commodore Nguyen Cao Ky and Army General Nguyen Van Thieu arrest three dozen high officers and civilian officials as part of a coup, creating more instability within Saigon

1967 – American magician Criss Angel is born

1971 – Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange is released

1972 – The Apollo lunar-landing program ends as the last astronauts to travel the moon arrive safely, landing in the Pacific Ocean

1972 – Hanoi’s foreign ministry refers to the US Linebacker raids of Hanoi and Haiphong “insane” and “extremely barbaric”

1974 – Nelson Rockefeller is sworn in as Vice President of the US after a vote by the House of Representatives

1974 – Australian cricket player Ricky Ponting is born

1980 – American actor Jake Gyllenhaal is born

1982 – Four bombs are detonated at South Africa’s only nuclear power station in Johannesburg

1984 – British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and Chinese Premier Zhao Ziyang sign an agreement that Britain would return Hong Kong to China in 1997 as long as terms guaranteed a 50-year extension of its capitalist system

1986 – Michael Sergio is fined $500 and sentenced to 100 hours of community service for his stunt in Game Six of the 1986 World Series when he parachuted into New York’s Shea Stadium, landing on the infield wearing a “Let’s Go Mets” banner

1986 – Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev releases Andrei Sakharov from internal exile in Gorky to prove his commitment to lessening political repression.  Sakharov had been a long-time critic of the Soviet government and this continued, even after his being released.  While Sakharov praised Gorbachev’s efforts, he denounced the slow pace of change in a speech delivered in 1989, causing Gorbachev to quickly cut him off.  Ironically, or not so, Sakharov died of a heart attack that same day

1997 – James Cameron’s Titanic opens in theaters and will go on to become the highest-grossing movie in history

1998 – US President Bill Clinton becomes the second president in US History to be impeached.  Clinton was charged with lying under oath to a federal grand jury and obstructing justice

2000 – American politician and 103rd Mayor of New York City, John Lindsay dies

2001 – The highest barometric pressure ever recorded (1085.6hPa, 32.06 inHg) occurs in Tosontsengel, Khovsgol, Mongolia

2001 – During an economic crisis, rioting begins in Buenos Aires, Argentina

2003 – Muammar al-Qaddafi announces that Lybia will discontinue development of weapons of mass destruction

2005 – Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad bans Western music on state-run television and radio in the Islamic Republic of Iran

2008 – American baseball player Dock Ellis dies

2009 – Iranian theologian, scholar, and activist Hussein-Ali Montazeri dies

2012 – American lawyer, scholar and Attorney General of the US, Robert Bork dies

2012 – Park Geun-Hye becomes the nation’s first female executive when she is elected president of South Korea


Written by Crystal McCann

Crystal is the Chief Operating Officer of Lanterns Media Network and the owner of Madisons Media. She lives in Texas with her husband and dogs and is the proud mother of two adult children.


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