On This Day … 14 December

Events

  • 835 – Sweet Dew Incident: Emperor Wenzong of the Tang dynasty conspires to kill the powerful eunuchs of the Tang court, but the plot is foiled.
  • 1751 – The Theresian Military Academy is founded in Wiener Neustadt, Austria.
  • 1782 – The Montgolfier brothers first test fly an unmanned hot air balloon in France; it floats nearly 2 km (1.2 miles).
  • 1812 – The French invasion of Russia comes to an end as the remnants of the Grande Armée are expelled from Russia.
  • 1814 – War of 1812: The Royal Navy seizes control of Lake Borgne, Louisiana.
  • 1836 – The Toledo War unofficially ends.
  • 1863 – American Civil War: The Confederate victory under General James Longstreet at the Battle of Bean’s Station in East Tennessee ends the Knoxville Campaign, but achieves very little as Longstreet returns to Virginia next spring.
  • 1903 – The Wright brothers make their first attempt to fly with the Wright Flyer at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.
  • 1909 – New South Wales Premier Charles Wade signs the Seat of Government Surrender Act 1909, formally completing the transfer of State land to the Commonwealth to create the Australian Capital Territory.
  • 1913 – Haruna, the fourth and last Kongō-class ship, launches, eventually becoming one of the Japanese workhorses during World War I and World War II.
  • 1939 – Winter War: The Soviet Union is expelled from the League of Nations for invading Finland.
  • 1940 – Plutonium (specifically Pu-238) is first isolated at Berkeley, California.
  • 1948 – Thomas T. Goldsmith Jr. and Estle Ray Mann are granted a patent for their cathode-ray tube amusement device, the earliest known interactive electronic game.
  • 1971 – Bangladesh Liberation War: Over 200 of East Pakistan’s intellectuals are executed by the Pakistan Army and their local allies.
    • The date is commemorated in Bangladesh as Martyred Intellectuals Day.
  • 1981 – Arab–Israeli conflict: Israel’s Knesset ratifies the Golan Heights Law, extending Israeli law to the Golan Heights.
  • 1992 – War in Abkhazia: Siege of Tkvarcheli: A helicopter carrying evacuees from Tkvarcheli is shot down, resulting in at least 52 deaths, including 25 children.
    • The incident catalyses more concerted Russian military intervention on behalf of Abkhazia.
  • 1995 – Yugoslav Wars: The Dayton Agreement is signed in Paris by the leaders of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Croatia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina.
  • 1998 – Yugoslav Wars: The Yugoslav Army ambushes a group of Kosovo Liberation Army fighters attempting to smuggle weapons from Albania into Kosovo, killing 36.
  • 2003 – Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf narrowly escapes an assassination attempt.
  • 2013 – A reported coup attempt in South Sudan leads to continued fighting and hundreds of casualties.
  • Forty-seven Ronin Remembrance Day (Sengaku-ji, Tokyo).

People (Births)

  • 1775 – Thomas Cochrane, 10th Earl of Dundonald, Scottish admiral and politician (d. 1860).
  • 1832 – Daniel H. Reynolds, American general, lawyer, and politician (d. 1902).
  • 1883 – Morihei Ueshiba, Japanese martial artist, developed aikido (d. 1969).
  • 1896 – Jimmy Doolittle, American general and pilot, Medal of Honour recipient (d. 1993).
  • 1903 – Walter Rangeley, English sprinter (d. 1982).
  • 1911 – Jerzy Iwanow-Szajnowicz, Greek-Polish swimmer and water polo player (d. 1943).
  • 1914 – Karl Carstens, German lieutenant and politician, 5th President of the Federal Republic of Germany (d. 1992).
  • 1918 – B. K. S. Iyengar, Indian yoga instructor and author, founded Iyengar Yoga (d. 2014).
  • 1922 – Junior J. Spurrier, American sergeant, Medal of Honour recipient (d. 1984).
  • 1953 – Vangelis Meimarakis, Greek lawyer and politician, 4th Greek Minister for National Defence.
  • 1953 – Mikael Odenberg, Swedish soldier and politician, 29th Swedish Minister for Defence.
  • 1959 – Bob Paris, American-Canadian bodybuilder and actor.
  • 1973 – Falk Balzer, German hurdler.
  • 1978 – Shedrack Kibet Korir, Kenyan runner.
  • 1995 – Calvyn Justus, South African swimmer.

People (Deaths)

  • 1624 – Charles Howard, 1st Earl of Nottingham, English politician, Lord High Admiral (b. 1536).
  • 1799 – George Washington, American general and politician, 1st President of the United States (b. 1732).
  • 1912 – Belgrave Edward Sutton Ninnis, English lieutenant and explorer (b. 1887).
  • 1929 – Henry B. Jackson, British admiral (b. 1855).
  • 1947 – Stanley Baldwin, English lieutenant and politician, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (b. 1867).
  • 1994 – Orval Faubus, American soldier and politician, 36th Governor of Arkansas (b. 1910).
  • 1995 – G. C. Edmondson, American soldier and author (b. 1922).
  • 2012 – John Graham, English general (b. 1923).
  • 2015 – Terry Backer, American soldier and politician (b. 1954).
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