On This Day … 22 December


  • AD 69: Emperor Vitellius is captured and murdered at the Gemonian stairs in Rome.
  • 880: Luoyang, eastern capital of the Tang dynasty, is captured by rebel leader Huang Chao during the reign of Emperor Xizong.
  • 1135: Stephen of Blois becomes King of England
  • 1769:– Sino-Burmese War: The war ends with an uneasy truce.
  • 1790: The Turkish fortress of Izmail is stormed and captured by Alexander Suvorov and his Russian armies.
  • 1807: The Embargo Act, forbidding trade with all foreign countries, is passed by the U.S. Congress, at the urging of President Thomas Jefferson.
  • 1864: Savannah, Georgia falls to the forces of General Sherman.
  • 1885: Itō Hirobumi, a samurai, became the first Prime Minister of Japan.
  • 1939: Indian Muslims observe a “Day of Deliverance” to celebrate the resignations of members of the Indian National Congress over their not having been consulted over the decision to enter World War II with the United Kingdom.
  • 1940: World War II: Himara is captured by the Greek army.
  • 1942: World War II: Adolf Hitler signs the order to develop the V-2 rocket as a weapon.
  • 1944: World War II: Battle of the Bulge: German troops demand the surrender of United States troops at Bastogne, Belgium, prompting the famous one word reply by General Anthony McAuliffe: “Nuts!”
  • 1944: World War II: The Vietnam People’s Army is formed to resist Japanese occupation of Indochina, now Vietnam.
  • 1964: The first test flight of the SR-71 (Blackbird) took place at Air Force Plant 42 in Palmdale, California.
  • 1974: The house of former British Prime Minister Edward Heath is attacked by members of the Provisional IRA.
  • 1989: Communist President of Romania Nicolae Ceaușescu is overthrown by Ion Iliescu after days of bloody confrontations. The deposed dictator and his wife flee Bucharest in a helicopter as protesters erupt in cheers.
  • 1989: Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate re-opens after nearly 30 years, effectively ending the division of East and West Germany.
  • 1990: Lech Wałęsa is elected President of Poland.
  • 1990: Final independence of Marshall Islands and Federated States of Micronesia after termination of trusteeship.
  • 2010: The repeal of the Don’t ask, don’t tell policy, the 17-year-old policy banning homosexuals serving openly in the United States military, is signed into law by President Barack Obama.
  • Armed Forces Day (Vietnam).

People (Births)

  • 244: Diocletian, Roman emperor (d. 311).
  • 948: Gang Gam-chan, Korean official and general (d. 1031).
  • 1546: Kuroda Yoshitaka, Japanese daimyō (d. 1604).
  • 1696: James Oglethorpe, English general and politician, 1st Colonial Governor of Georgia (d. 1785).
  • 1850: Victoriano Huerta, Mexican general and politician, 35th President of Mexico (d. 1916).
  • 1889: George Hutson, English runner and soldier (d. 1914).
  • 1912: Elias Degiannis, Greek commander (d. 1943).
  • 1922: Jim Wright, American soldier, lawyer, and politician, 56th Speaker of the United States House of Representatives (d. 2015).
  • 1951: Gerald Grosvenor, 6th Duke of Westminster, Anglo-Irish Territorial Army general, landowner, businessman, philanthropist, and hereditary peer (d. 2016).
  • 1961: Yuri Malenchenko, Russian colonel, pilot, and astronaut.

People (Deaths)

  • AD 69: Vitellius, Roman emperor (b. 15).
  • 1853: Manuel María Lombardini, Mexican general and politician. President (1853) (b. 1802).
  • 1918: Aristeidis Moraitinis, Greek lieutenant and pilot (b. 1891).
  • 2010: Fred Foy, American soldier and announcer (b. 1921).
  • 2018: Simcha Rotem, last survivor of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising (b. 1924).

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.