On This Day … 22 December [2022]


  • AD 69 – Vespasian is proclaimed Emperor of Rome; his predecessor, Vitellius, attempts to abdicate but is captured and killed at the Gemonian stairs.
  • 880 – Luoyang, eastern capital of the Tang dynasty, is captured by rebel leader Huang Chao during the reign of Emperor Xizong.
  • 1135 – Three weeks after the death of King Henry I of England, Stephen of Blois claims the throne and is privately crowned King of England, beginning the English Anarchy.
  • 1489 – The forces of the Catholic Monarchs, Ferdinand and Isabella, take control of Almería from the Nasrid ruler of Granada, Muhammad XIII.
  • 1769 – Sino-Burmese War: The war ends with the Qing dynasty withdrawing from Burma forever.
  • 1788 – Nguyễn Huệ proclaims himself Emperor Quang Trung, in effect abolishing on his own the Lê dynasty.
  • 1790 – The Turkish fortress of Izmail is stormed and captured by Alexander Suvorov and his Russian armies.
  • 1864 – American Civil War: Savannah, Georgia, falls to the Union’s Army of the Tennessee, and General Sherman tells President Abraham Lincoln: “I beg to present you as a Christmas gift the city of Savannah”.
  • 1885 – Itō Hirobumi, a samurai, becomes the first Prime Minister of Japan.
  • 1888 – The Christmas Meeting of 1888, considered to be the official start of the Faroese independence movement.
  • 1894 – The Dreyfus affair begins in France, when Alfred Dreyfus is wrongly convicted of treason.
  • 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 UK
  • 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 People’s Army of Vietnam is formed to resist Japanese occupation of Indochina, now Vietnam.
  • 1945 – US President Harry S. Truman issues an executive order giving World War II refugees precedence in visa applications under US immigration quotas.
  • 1948 – Sjafruddin Prawiranegara established the Emergency Government of the Republic of Indonesia (Pemerintah Darurat Republik Indonesia, PDRI) in West Sumatra.
  • 1964 – The first test flight of the SR-71 (Blackbird) takes place at Air Force Plant 42 in Palmdale, California, US.
  • 1973 – A Royal Air Maroc Sud Aviation Caravelle crashes near Tanger-Boukhalef Airport (now Tangier Ibn Battouta Airport) in Tangier, Morocco, killing 106.
  • 1974 – Grande Comore, Anjouan and Mohéli vote to become the independent nation of Comoros. Mayotte remains under French administration.
  • 1974 – The Troubles: The house of former British Prime Minister Edward Heath is attacked by members of the Provisional IRA.
  • 1987 – In Zimbabwe, the political parties ZANU and ZAPU reach an agreement that ends the violence in the Matabeleland region known as the Gukurahundi.
  • 1989 – German reunification: Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate re-opens after nearly 30 years, effectively ending the division of East and West Germany.
  • 1990 – Final independence of Marshall Islands and Federated States of Micronesia after termination of trusteeship.
  • 1992 – During approach to Tripoli International Airport, a Boeing 727 operating as Libyan Arab Airlines Flight 1103 collides in mid-air with a Libyan Air Force Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-23, killing 157 people.
  • 1997 – Somali Civil War: Hussein Farrah Aidid relinquishes the disputed title of President of Somalia by signing the Cairo Declaration, in Cairo, Egypt.
    • It is the first major step towards reconciliation in Somalia since 1991.
  • 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.
  • 2017 – United Nations Security Council Resolution 2397 against North Korea is unanimously approved.
  • Armed Forces Day (Vietnam).

People (Births)

  • 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).
  • 1883 – Marcus Hurley, American cyclist (d. 1941).
  • 1889 – George Hutson, English runner and soldier (d. 1914).
  • 1912 – Elias Degiannis, Greek navy officer resistance leader during the Axis occupation of Greece (d. 1943).
  • 1922 – Jim Wright, American soldier, lawyer, and politician, 56th Speaker of the United States House of Representatives (d. 2015).
  • 1930 – Ardalion Ignatyev, Russian sprinter and educator (d. 1998).
  • 1931 – Gisela Birkemeyer, German hurdler and coach.
  • 1948 – Don Kardong, American runner, journalist, and author.
  • 1961 – Yuri Malenchenko, Russian colonel, pilot, and astronaut.
  • 1965 – Urszula Włodarczyk, Polish heptathlete and triple jumper.
  • 1966 – Dmitry Bilozerchev, Russian gymnast and coach.
  • 1969 – Myriam Bédard, Canadian biathlete.
  • 1975 – Sergei Aschwanden, Swiss martial artist.
  • 1976 – Katleen De Caluwé, Belgian sprinter.
  • 1983 – Viola Kibiwot, Kenyan runner.

People (Deaths)

  • 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 radio and television announcer (b. 1921).
  • 2018 – Simcha Rotem, last survivor of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising (b. 1924).

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