Wallis Simpson and the former King - the Duke and Duchess of Windsor

December Days in History

As if it weren’t a busy enough month already, what with partying, buying presents, meeting up with old mates, thinking of excuses to avoid tedious familial gatherings … there’s so much history in December! Here’s the first of Headstuff’s monthly reminders of why history is So Interesting. Watch out for longer accounts of some of these past events during the month.

  • 1st 1918: Iceland granted independence by the Danish Parliament.
  • 1st 1955: Rosa Parks arrested for sitting in a white seat on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama.
  • 3rd 1967: First heart transplant carried out by Christiaan Barnard in Cape Town.
  • 7th 1941: Pearl Harbour attacked by Japanese warplanes, bringing the US into World War 2.
  • 11th 1936: King Edward VIII of England announced he was giving up the throne to marry “the woman I love”, twice-divorced socialite Wallis Simpson.
  • 14th 1911: Roald Amundsen of Norway became the first person to reach the South Pole.
  • 16th 1944: American band-leader Glenn Miller travelled in a plane which disappeared over the English Channel and has never been found.
  • 19th 1998: The House of Representatives impeached US President Bill Clinton for lying under oath.
  • 21st 1988: Pan Am Flight 103 exploded over the Scottish town of Lockerbie and fell to earth, killing all on board and 11 people on the ground. The cause was a bomb planted by Libyan terrorists.
  • 23rd 1888: Dutch artist Vincent Van Gogh cut off his left ear during an attack of depression.
  • 25th 1989: Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu and his wife Elena were executed.
  • 29th 1940: The worst damage sustained by London since the Great Fire in the 17th century was caused by thousands of German bombs. Eight churches designed by Sir Christopher Wren – but not St. Paul’s Cathedral – were destroyed.

Sources: historyplace.com, The Birmingham Mail newspaper
Featured Image: Biography.com