Famous birthdays, deaths and events of December 22
1546 - Kuroda Yoshitaka, Japanese Daimyo (d. 1604) 1666 - Guru Gobind Singh, Sikh guru (d. 1708) 1723 - Carl Friedrich Abel, German composer (d. 1787) 1807 - Johann Sebastian Welhaven, Norwegian poet (d. 1873) 1819 - Franz Wilhelm Abt, German composer (d. 1870) 1853 - Teresa Carreño, Venezuelan pianist (d. 1917) 1858 - Giacomo Puccini, Italian composer (d. 1924) 1860 - Austin Norman Palmer, American penmanship innovator (d. 1927) 1869 - Edwin Arlington Robinson, American poet (d. 1935) 1872 - Camille Guérin, French veterinarian and bacteriologist (d. 1961) 1874 - Franz Schmidt, Austrian composer (d. 1939) 1883 - Edgard Varèse French-born composer, (d. 1965) 1888 - J. Arthur Rank, British film producer (d. 1972) 1899 - Gustav Gründgens, German actor (d. 1963) 1900 - Marc Allégret, French film director and screenwriter (d. 1973) 1903 - Haldan Keffer Hartline, American physiologist 1905 - Kenneth Rexroth, American poet (d. 1982) 1905 - Pierre Brasseur, French actor (d. 1972) 1907 - Dame Peggy Ashcroft, English actress (d. 1991) 1909 - Patricia Hayes, English actress (d. 1998) 1915 - Barbara Billingsley, American actress 1917 - Gene Rayburn, American game show host (d. 1999) 1921 - Hawkshaw Hawkins, American country singer (d. 1963) 1922 - Ruth Roman, American actress (d. 1999) 1924 - Frank Corsaro, American stage director 1925 - Lewis Glucksman, American financier (d. 2006) 1934 - David Pearson, American racecar driver 1936 - James Burke, British writer 1936 - Hector Elizondo, American actor 1936 - Wojciech Frykowski, Polish actor (d. 1969) 1937 - Eduard Uspensky, Russian writer 1938 - Matty Alou, Dominican baseball player 1939 - James Gurley, American musician 1942 - Dick Parry, English musician (Pink Floyd) 1944 - Steve Carlton, American baseball player 1946 - Rick Nielsen, American musician (Cheap Trick) 1948 - Noel Edmonds, English game show host 1948 - Steve Garvey, American baseball player 1948 - Lynne Thigpen, American actress (d. 2003) 1949 - Maurice Gibb, English musician (The Bee Gees) (d. 2003) 1949 - Robin Gibb, English musician (The Bee Gees) 1953 - BernNadette Stanis, actress 1953 - Ian Turnbull, Canadian ice hockey player 1954 - Hideshi Matsuda, Japanese racing driver 1955 - Lonnie Smith, American baseball player 1958 - Frank Gambale, Australian musician 1958 - David Heavener, American actor and musician 1959 - Bernd Schuster, German footballer 1960 - Wakin Chau, Chinese singer 1960 - Patrick Fitzgerald, American attorney 1962 - Ralph Fiennes, English actor 1963 - Giuseppe Bergomi, Italian footballer 1966 - Dmitry Bilozerchev, Soviet gymnast 1966 - Marcel "Schmier" Schirmer, German singer and bassplayer (Destruction) 1967 - Dan Petrescu, Romanian footballer 1967 - Richey James Edwards, Welsh musician (Manic Street Preachers) (disappeared in 1995) 1967 - Paul Morris, Australian racing driver 1968 - Dina Meyer, American actress 1968 - Lauralee Bell, American actress 1969 - Myriam Bédard, Canadian athlete 1971 - Pat Mastroianni, Canadian actor 1972 - Big Tigger, television host 1972 - Vanessa Paradis, French singer 1974 - Heather Donahue, American actress 1975 - Chris Adler, American actor 1975 - Crissy Moran, American erotic actress 1975 - Dmitri Khokhlov, Russian footballer 1975 - Stanislav Neckář, Czech ice hockey player 1975 - Sergei Aschwanden, Swiss judoka 1976 - Brian A. Alexander, American screenwriter and director 1976 - Katleen De Caluwé, Belgian athlete 1976 - Jason Lane, American Baseball Player 1977 - Steve Kariya, Canadian ice hockey player 1980 - Chris Carmack, American actor 1983 - Jennifer Hawkins, Australian Miss Universe 1984 - Basshunter, popular Swedish singer 1984 - Festus, American professional wrestler 1989 - Jordin Sparks, American singer and American Idol winner 1990 - Jean-Baptiste Maunier, French actor 1993 - Aliana Lohan, American actress
1550 - Richard Plantagenet, (Richard of Eastwell) possibly a son of Richard III 1646 - Peter Mogila, Orthodox Metropolitan of Kiev and Galicia (b. 1596) 1708 - Hedwig Sophia, duchess of Holstein-Gottorp 1738 - Constantia Jones, British prostitute (executed) 1767 - John Newbery, English publisher (b. 1713) 1806 - William Vernon, American merchant (b. 1719) 1870 - Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer, Spanish poet and writer (b. 1836) 1880 - George Eliot, English writer (b. 1819) 1899 - Dwight L. Moody, American evangelist (b. 1837) 1917 - Mother Cabrini, first American citizen canonized by the Catholic Church (b. 1850 1939 - Ma Rainey, American singer (b. 1886) 1940 - Nathanael West, American writer (b. 1903) 1943 - Beatrix Potter, English writer (b. 1866) 1944 - Harry Langdon, American silent film actor (b. 1884) 1947 - Hans Aumeier, German Nazi official and concentration camp commandant (b. 1906) 1947 - Therese Brandl, Nazi concentration camp guard (b. 1902) 1959 - Gilda Gray, Polish-born American dancer and actress (b. 1901) 1971 - Godfried Bomans, Dutch author and television personality (b. 1913) 1979 - Darryl F. Zanuck, American producer (b. 1902) 1985 - D. Boon, American singer and guitarist (The Minutemen) (b. 1958) 1988 - Chico Mendes, Brazilian rubber tapper 1989 - Samuel Beckett, Irish writer 1993 - Don DeFore, American actor (b. 1913) 1995 - Butterfly McQueen, American actress (b. 1911) 1998 - Michelle Thomas, American actress (b. 1969) 2002 - Joe Strummer, English musician (The Clash) (b. 1952) 2003 - Dave Dudley, American singer (b. 1928) 2004 - Doug Ault, American baseball player (b. 1950) 2006 - Elena Mukhina, Russian gymnast (b. 1960) 2006 - Galina Ustvolskaya, Russian composer (b. 1919) 2006 - Dennis Linde, American songwriter (b. 1943) 2007 - Adrian Cristobal, Filipino writer (b. 1932)
1790 - The Turkish fortress of Izmail is stormed and captured by 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. 1809 - The Non-Intercourse Act, lifting the Embargo Act except for the United Kingdom and France, passes the U.S. Congress. 1849 - The execution of Fyodor Dostoevsky is called off at the last second. 1851 - The first freight train is operated in Roorkee, India. 1864 - Savannah, Georgia falls to General William Tecumseh Sherman, concluding his "March to the Sea". 1885 - Ito Hirobumi, a samurai, became the first Prime Minister of Japan. 1890 - Cornwallis Valley Railway begins operation between Kingsport and Kentville, Nova Scotia. 1894 - The Dreyfus affair begins, in France, when Alfred Dreyfus is wrongly convicted of treason, on antisemitic grounds. 1920 - The GOELRO economic development plan is adopted by the 8th Congress of Soviets of the Russian SFSR. 1937 - The Lincoln Tunnel opens to traffic in New York City. 1940 - World War II: Himarë 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: Vietnam People's Army is formed to resist Japanese occupation of Indo-China, now Vietnam. 1947 - The Constituent Assembly of Italy approves its constitution. 1956 - Colo is born, the first gorilla to be bred in captivity. 1963 - Cruise ship Lakonia burns 180 miles north of Madeira with the loss of 128 lives. 1964 - Comedian Lenny Bruce is convicted of obscenity. 1964 - First flight of the SR-71 (Blackbird). 1965 - In the United Kingdom, a 70mph speed limit is applied to all rural roads including motorways for the first time. Previously, there had been no speed limit. 1974 - Grande Comore, Anjouan and Mohéli vote to become the independent nation of Comoros. Mayotte remains under French administration. 1974 - Ted Heath's house is attacked by members of the Provisional IRA. 1978 - The pivotal Third Plenum of the 11th National Congress of the Communist Party of China is held in Beijing, with Deng Xiaoping reversing Mao-era policies to pursue a program for Chinese economic reform. 1984 - Subway vigilante Bernhard Hugo Goetz shoots four African-American men on an express train in The Bronx borough of New York City. 1988 - Chico Mendes, a Brazilian rubber tapper, unionist and environmental activist, is assassinated. 1989 - After a week of bloody demonstrations, Ion Iliescu takes over as president of Romania, ending Nicolae Ceauşescu's Communist dictatorship. 1989 - Berlin's Brandenburg Gate re-opens after nearly 30 years, effectively ending the division of East and West Germany. 1989 - Kempsey bus crash: Two tourist coaches collide on the Pacific Highway north of Kempsey, New South Wales 1990 - Final independence of Marshall Islands and Federated States of Micronesia after termination of trusteeship. 1997 - Acteal massacre: Attendees at a prayer meeting of Roman Catholic activists for indigenous causes in the small village of Acteal in the Mexican state of Chiapas are massacred by paramilitary forces. 1999 - The Spanish Civil Guard finds near Calatayud (Zaragoza) another van loaded by ETA with 750 kg of explosives (see related event on December 21, 1999). 2001 - Burhanuddin Rabbani, political leader of the Afghan Northern Alliance, hands over power in Afghanistan to the interim government headed by President Hamid Karzai. 2001 - Richard Reid attempts to destroy a passenger airliner by igniting explosives hidden in his shoes aboard American Airlines Flight 63. 2003 - A magnitude 6.6 earthquake hits near San Simeon, California.