December 1 1824 – The United States House of Representatives is Forced to Decide the Presidential Election

December 1 1824 – The United States House of Representatives is Forced to Decide the Presidential ElectionRate this post *Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons Political battles are frequently close calls and, in the United States, only one presidential election has not been decided by the voters themselves — the battle between John Quincy Adams, Andrew Jackson, William H. Crawford and Henry Clay. With none of the four candidates able to secure a majority of the electoral vote, the United States House of Representatives convened to decide the winner on December 1, 1824. Twenty years before, the Constitution of the United States had been altered to reflect a new means of deciding […]

December 1 1913 – Ford Motor Company introduces the first moving assembly line

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December 1 1913 – Ford Motor Company introduces the first moving assembly lineRate this post Prior to the 20th century, the manufacturing of cars and other vehicles remained a cumbersome process as each was handcrafted. Automobiles remained exclusive for this reason – far beyond the reach of the common man. This meant that for almost ten years preceding the launch of the Model T by Henry Ford in October 1908, automobiles were available only to the richest Americans and the costs of production were very high. On December 1, 1913, the introduction of the first moving assembly line by the Ford Motor Company revolutionized industrial manufacturing processes, thereby cutting costs […]

December 2 1942 – Enrico Fermi Creates a Self-Sustaining Nuclear Chain Reaction for the Manhattan Project

December 2 1942 – Enrico Fermi Creates a Self-Sustaining Nuclear Chain Reaction for the Manhattan ProjectRate this post *Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons Of all the scientific advancements in the 20th century, only one could be said to have created a massive shift in the political and social realms in an instant: The Manhattan Project. The United States’ quest to develop an atomic bomb achieved the first step in a major innovation when physicist Enrico Fermi started the first self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction on December 2, 1942 in a makeshift lab at the University of Chicago. An Italian from Rome, Fermi won the Nobel Prize in Physics for 1938 with a […]

December 3 1967 – Christiaan Barnard Performs the First Successful Human-to-Human Heart Transplant

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December 3 1967 – Christiaan Barnard Performs the First Successful Human-to-Human Heart TransplantRate this post Just two months after making the first successful kidney transplant in South Africa, cardiologist Christiaan Barnard did the unthinkable: at Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town, the surgeon successfully moved the heart from one human being to another on December 3, 1967. For the first time in history, a person lived without the heart they were born with. Barnard did much of his training at Groote Schuur, spending five years there before a 24-month fellowship in cardiothoracic surgery at the University of Minnesota. Connected with advanced techniques and encouraged to experiment, Barnard gained valuable experience […]

December 4 1563 – The Council of Trent Comes to a Close After 18 Years

December 4 1563 – The Council of Trent Comes to a Close After 18 Years5 (100%) 2 votes *Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons Almost five decades after Martin Luther launched the Reformation with Ninety-Five Theses on the door of Wittenberg Church, the Council of Trent — the exhaustive Roman Catholic response to his charges — concluded with a final session on December 4, 1563. With years of fighting amongst Christians and a widening divide, bishops from all over Europe gathered for an ecumenical council that would define the Counter-Reformation and Catholic practice for centuries to come. Though Martin Luther had made his voice heard on October 31, 1517, it took 28 […]

December 5 1408 – The Golden Horde Marches into Moscow

December 5 1408 – The Golden Horde Marches into Moscow4 (80%) 2 votes *Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons Almost two centuries after Genghis Khan captured much of Asia, the remnants of the vast Mongol Empire were beginning to disintegrate. For the better part of 50 years, the khanate had been killing its own during fierce internal fighting, but on December 5, 1408, Edigu led the Golden Horde — the last successor in Eastern Europe to Genghis’ marauders of the early 13th century — into Moscow for one final show of force. Born in the Crimea, territory that now lies in the northern Black Sea to the south of Ukraine, Edigu was […]

December 6 1922 – The Irish Free State Comes into Existence One Year After the Anglo-Irish Treaty

December 6 1922 – The Irish Free State Comes into Existence One Year After the Anglo-Irish Treaty5 (100%) 1 vote *Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons Almost four years after the first battle in the Anglo-Irish War, those seeking an independent Irish Free State got what they wanted on December 6, 1922. Twelve months to the day of the Anglo-Irish Treaty, the British government granted the Irish control of the Emerald Isle. A week later, the six counties of Northern Ireland exercised their right to secede, leading to a decades-long struggle known as “the Troubles.” Irish nationalists had been in search of sovereignty for 25 years by the time of the Easter […]

December 6 1768 – Encyclopædia Britannica is published for the first time

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December 6 1768 – Encyclopædia Britannica is published for the first time5 (100%) 1 vote The iconic Encyclopædia Britannica was the brainchild of the printer and bookseller Colin Macfarquhar and the engraver Andrew Bell. In 1778, the Scottish printer and his partner formed the “Society of Gentlemen” and hired the erudite William Smellie to come up with an encyclopedia that could be alphabetically aligned. The Encyclopædia Britannica made its debut in Edinburgh in Scotland. Volume I of the first edition was released on December 6, 1768. The initial volume was sold for a price of 6 to 8 pence depending on the quality of paper. By 1771, three-volume set was […]

December 7 1941 – The Japanese Launch an Early Morning Raid on the United States Navy at Pearl Harbor

December 7 1941 – The Japanese Launch an Early Morning Raid on the United States Navy at Pearl Harbor5 (100%) 1 vote *Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons One of the most stunning and comprehensive victories in military history occurred on December 7, 1941. The Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN), launching more than 350 aircraft, inflicted heavy casualties and disastrous damage on the United States Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Intending to cripple the US Navy before it could intervene as Japan expanded operations in Asia, the assault brought the American military into the global fight. Tensions between the Japanese and American governments had been simmering for years. In 1931, the Imperial […]

December 8 1971 – The Indian Navy Launches Operation Python on Karachi, West Pakistan

December 8 1971 – The Indian Navy Launches Operation Python on Karachi, West PakistanRate this post *Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons Halfway through the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971, the Indian Navy had the major port of West Pakistan, Karachi, in its sights. Three days after Operation Trident effectively demonstrated India’s tactical advantages on the water, a larger follow-up mission — Operation Python — proved West Pakistan would not be able to last long in the conflict. For months, tension between the two factions of the Pakistani government flared dramatically, arising from the creation of East and West areas by the Radcliffe Line in 1947. When the British ended colonial rule, a […]