Thursday, January 7, 2016

This Month in History - December

This Month In History
By Nicholas Isaacs

The month of December is filled with many historic events and birthdays. Here are fifteen events that shaped our world. On December 1st, 1955, the modern civil rights movement began when Alabama resident Rosa Parks refused to give up her bus seat to a white man causing the beginning of the bus boycott which lasted a whole year. The Supreme Court later banned segregation on buses. On December 2nd, 1804, Napoleon Bonaparte was crowned king of France by Pope Pius VII. He would stay king until he was banished to the island of Elba in 1815, until he died in 1821. On December 2nd, 1942, physicists led by Enrico Fermi, carried out the first successful nuclear chain reaction in the world. This lead to the creation of the first nuclear bomb. On December 3rd, 1967, the world’s first successful heart transplant was performed in Cape Town, South Africa. The patient lived for another 18 days. On December 5th, 1933, the 18th Amendment of the Constitution (which banned alcohol in 1920) was repealed due to non-stop illegal alcohol manufacturing, transportation, and selling.  
On December 6th, 1865, the 13th Amendment of the Constitution was ratified, marking the end of slavery. On December 7th, 1941, Japanese fighter planes bombed the American naval base Pearl Harbor in the Hawaiian islands, which left 3,000 Americans dead. This signaled America’s entry into World War 2. It was considered the worst disaster in American history until September 11, 2001. December 8th has a few events. In 1941, a day after the attack on Pearl Harbor, the United States and England declared war on Japan. In 1980, former member of the Beatles John Lennon was assassinated in front of a hotel in New York City. The Soviet Union finally collapsed after 69 years of communism in 1991.
On December 11th, 1901, the first transatlantic radio signal was sent by Guglielmo Marconi to Cornwall, England. This would later make a huge impact on the telephone. On December 14th, 1799, America’s first president George Washington died at Mount Vernon, due to a sickness called acute laryngitis. He had retired 3 years earlier. On December 16th, 1773, the Boston Tea Party occurred. Colonist dressed as Mohawk Indians dumped 342 containers of tea into Boston Harbor. On December 17th, 1903, the Wright brothers flew their first successful flight in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. South Carolina, on December 20th, 1860, became the first state to secede from the union sparking the beginning of the Civil War.

Now we have ten birthdays of people who have shaped our world. On December 5th, 3 famous men were born. Martin Van Buren, our 8th president, was born in 1782 in New York. George Armstrong Custer, the famous union general who died fighting against Sioux Indians with 200 of his men, was born in 1839. Walt Disney, the founder of one of the most famous movie companies in the world, Disney, was born in 1901. On December 8th, 1765, Eli Whitney, the inventor of the cotton gin, was born. On December 13th, 1818, Mary Todd, the wife of Abraham Lincoln, was born. On December 15th, 1832, Alexander Eiffel, a designer of both the Statue of Liberty and the Eiffel Tower, was born. On December 16th, 1770, Ludwig van Beethoven, the famous musician and composer, was born. On December 21st, 1879, Josef Stalin, one of the most famous leaders of Russia, was born (as Iosif Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili). On December 25th, 1642, Isaac Newton, the famous English mathematician and scientist, was born. On December 28th, 1856, Woodrow Wilson, the 28th president and our president during World War 1, was born.

I hope you enjoyed this installment of “This Month In History” and can’t wait to see the next one! Bye!