Anniversaries

To illustrate the depth one can access in our collections, we have compiled relevant archival imagery to frame a diverse cultural, political and chronological retrospective of noteworthy anniversaries. Be sure to bookmark this section as the calendar is a work in progress and will continue to expand.

DecemberYearAnniversaryEvent
11862152ndTen weeks after his Emancipation Proclamation, Lincoln's State of the Union Address advocates moderation in slavery policy.
1197143rdThe war in Cambodia worsens, as Cambodian troops lock in a doomed fight with the Khmer Rouge and their North Vietnamese allies.
2191797thLed by Vladimir Lenin, the Bolsheviks arrange an armistice with the Central Powers and withdraw from war.
21881133rdPauline Canissa, a U.S. opera singer, attempts to sing at a benefit in honor of the late Pres. Garfield, but breaks down
2196153rdFidel Castro announces he is a Marxist-Leninist and will lead Cuba to Communism.
21892122ndJay Gould, unscrupulous U.S. financier who joined Daniel Drew to fight with Cornelius Vanderbilt over the railroads, dies.
31776238thGeorge Washington arrives at the banks of the Delaware River during the Revolutionary War.
31826188thBirth of George McClellan, Union general whom Lincoln promoted to Commander in Chief and then soon demoted
41861153rdLillian Russell (Helen Louise Leonard), American vocalist and actress, is born.
41892122ndFrancisco Franco, Spanish dictator, is born.
4194272ndFDR orders that the Works Progress Administration - which provided jobs during the Depression - be dismantled.
41816198thJames Monroe becomes the 5th president of the United States.
51831183rdJohn Quincy Adams, former U.S. president, becomes a member of the House of Representatives.
51791223rdWolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Austrian composer, dies.
51876138thPresident Ulysses S. Grant apologizes to Congress for mistakes he made while president.
51792222ndGeorge Washington is re-elected president and John Adams is re-elected vice president.
51782232ndMartin Van Buren, 8th U.S. president and first president born in the United States as a citizen, is born.
6191797thThe Bolsheviks imprison Czar Nicholas II and his family in Tobolsk.
6194173rdA day before Pearl Harbor, Pres. Franklin Roosevelt asks Hirohito to "prevent further death and destruction," but to no avail.
61492522ndChristopher Columbus lands on the island of Santo Domingo.
61877137thEdison makes his first sound recording, "Mary Had a Little Lamb," on his newest invention, the phonograph.
7191698thDavid Lloyd George becomes prime minister of Britain.
71796218thJohn Adams is elected the second U.S. president.
71862152ndAt Prairie Grove, AR, Union Gen. Herron's swift march with 7,000 troops helps Gen. James Blunt hold off Conf. Gen. Hindman.
7198727thSoviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev arrives in the U.S. for a summit meeting with Reagan.
71836178thMartin Van Buren is elected the eighth president of the U.S.
7194173rdJapan attacks the U.S. Pacific fleet home base at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii.
81542472ndMary Stuart, Queen of Scots, is born on this day.
81886128thThe American Federation of Labor or AFL is born in Columbus, Ohio.
8194173rdThe U.S. enters World War II, as Congress declares war on Japan.
81776238thGeneral Washington retreats across the Delaware River, from New Jersey to Pennsylvania, to flee the British
8198727thGorbachev and Reagan sign the first treaty between two world powers to reduce their arsenals of nuclear weapons.
91847167thGeorge Grossmith, English actor, is born.
9198232ndLeon Jaworski, special prosecutor in the Watergate scandal, dies.
91621393rdThe first sermon in New England is delivered at Plymouth, Massachusetts.
91641373rdAnthony Van Dyck, Flemish painter, is born today.
91861153rdThe Joint Committee on the Conduct of the War forms to monitor Lincoln's Administration after the Battle of Ball's Bluff.
91862152ndCaptured Confederate officer Benjamin Carter is incarcerated in Rock Island Union Army Prison, in Illinois.
10200212ndFormer president Jimmy Carter accepts the Nobel Peace Prize for his diplomatic efforts in the Middle East during the 1970s.
101906108thPres. Theodore Roosevelt is the first American to win the Nobel Peace Prize, for his mediation efforts in the Russo-Japanese War.
10193183rdJane Addams is the first U.S. woman to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for her work with the poor.
10191797thThe International Red Cross, founded in 1863 by Henri Dunant of Switzerland, receives the Nobel Peace Prize.
101872142ndP. B. S. Pinchback of Louisiana becomes the first African American governor of a U.S. state.
101817197thMississippi is admitted as the 20th state in the Union.
11194173rdGermany and Italy declare war on the U.S.
111781233rdSir David Brewster, Scottish physicist, inventor, and writer, is born.
111862152ndThe Union Army occupies Fredericksburg, Virginia.
111872142ndBuffalo Bill Cody makes his first stage appearance.
111777237thThe British delay General George Washington's march to his winter camp in Valley Forge.
111792222ndLouis XVI goes before the revolutionary Convention to face charges of treason.
11196153rdPres. Kennedy orders helicopter crewmen to South Vietnam to provide training for South Vietnamese forces.
121896118thGuglielmo Marconi, Italian physicist, gives the world's first public demonstration of radio in London.
121806208thStand Watie, Cherokee chief and Confederate general of the Cherokee Cavalry, is born.
121901113rdNobel-prize winner Guglielmo Marconi sends the first wireless signal, from Great Britain to Newfoundland.
12194767thThe United Mine Workers Union withdraws from the American Federation of Labor.
131776238thGen. Charles Lee, fond of women and wine, abandons his Patriot troops to go to Widow White's tavern in New Jersey
13199123rdNorth Korea and South Korea sign a peace treaty, ending the Korean War, 38 years after the fighting stopped.
131862152ndLee's vastly outnumbered Confederate troops defeat Burnside from their position on Marye's Heights at the battle of Fredericksburg.
141897117thPolitician Margaret Chase Smith, first U.S. woman elected to both the House of Representatives and the Senate, born.
14196153rdPres. Kennedy steps up U.S. involvement with South Vietnam.
141861153rdPrince Albert, husband of Queen Victoria, dies in London.
151791223rdThe Bill of Rights goes into effect when it is ratified by Virginia on this day
151831183rdFranklin Sanborn, U.S. social reformer, abolitionist, and journalist, is born.
15191698thThe French defeat the Germans at the Battle of Verdun, in WWI
15196153rdNazi official Adolf Eichmann is sentenced to death by an Israeli court.
151832182ndAlexandre Gustave Eiffel, French engineer who designed the Eiffel Tower in Paris, is born.
16196153rdYoung Pres. Kennedy begins his South American tour to enthusiastic cheers in Caracas, Venezuela.
17199123rdBoris Yeltsin's supporters declare the Soviet Union will cease to exist.
171797217thJoseph Henry, eminent U.S. physicist and first secretary of the Smithsonian Institute, born.
171807207thJohn Greenleaf Whittier, U.S. poet and abolitionist, founder of the Liberal Party, born.
171862152ndUlysses S. Grant expels the Jews from his Department when he learns that friends of his father's are cotton speculators.
181892122ndTchaikovsky's "Nutcracker Ballet" is first performed, by the Russian Imperial Ballet.
18195658thJapan is admitted to the United Nations.
181886128thThe Battle of Verdun, in France, ends.
181886128thTy Cobb, U.S. baseball star and first man elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame, is born.
181862152ndAt the Battle of Lexington, Nathan Forrest, ordered by Bragg to cut Union supplies, routs Robert Ingersoll's forces in Union territory.
19194173rdHitler takes charge of the German army.
191842172ndHawaii's sovereign independence is recognized by the U.S.
191817197thJames J. Archer, Confederate brigadier general captured at Gettysburg and imprisoned on Johnson's Island, Ohio, is born
191777237thGen. Washington leads his army of 11,000 to Valley Forge for the winter, during which nearly 3,000 troops die.
191732282ndBenjamin Franklin begins publishing "Poor Richard's Almanack."
191776238thAnglo-American political theorist Thomas Paine publishes "American Crisis", which says: "These are the times that try men's souls."
201862152ndIn a raid on Holly Springs, MS, Van Dorn attacks Union supply lines in order to thwart Grant's efforts to capture Vicksburg.
201881133rdBranch Rickey, the U.S. baseball executive who will hire the first black players, is born.
211811203rdArchibald Campbell Tait, Archbishop of Canterbury, is born.
211861153rdPresident Lincoln signs into law a Navy medal, the Medal of Valor.
211861153rdThe Trent Affair escalates during the Civil War and England nearly goes to war with the U.S.
221807207thJefferson's Embargo Act, designed to force peace between Britain and France as well as keep the US out of their war, is passed.
22194173rdBritish Prime Minister Churchill arrives in Washington to confer with Pres. Franklin Roosevelt at the Arcadia Conference.
23192193rdPres. Warren Harding frees socialist Eugene Debs and other political prisoners.
231862152ndConfederate president Jefferson Davis declares Union Gen. Butler a felon for harassing the women of New Orleans.
24197242ndComedian Bob Hope gives his last show to entertain U.S. troops in Vietnam.
241822192ndMatthew Arnold, British poet and essayist, born.
241871143rdGiuseppe Verdi's opera "Aida" premieres in Cairo, Egypt, for the opening of the Suez Canal.
241851163rdThe Library of Congress is ravaged by fire, two thirds of its collection destroyed.
251821193rdClara Barton, founder of the American Red Cross, is born in Oxford, Massachusetts.
25199123rdSoviet President Mikhail Gorbachev announces his resignation.
25192688thHirohito becomes emperor of Japan.
251776238thGeneral Washington and his troops crossed the Delaware River to surprise the Hessian forces in New Jersey.
253361678thThe first known Christmas celebrated on Dec. 25, in Rome, is set on the birthday of the sun god, Mithras.
251862152ndLt. Elisha Rhodes, one of the most famous Civil War diarists, writes in his journal, "I should like to be home this Christmas night."
25197737thCharlie Chaplin, English-born comedian, actor, director and producer, dies at age 88.
261791223rdCharles Babbage, British mathematician and inventor, born.
26194173rdWinston Churchill is the first British prime minister to address the U.S. Congress.
26197242ndHarry S. Truman, 33rd U.S. president, dies.
261837177thAdmiral George Dewey, U.S. naval commander, is born.
261776238thThe British suffer a major defeat at the Battle of Trenton during the Revolutionary War.
261492522ndColumbus establishes the first Spanish settlement in the Americas, on the island of Haiti.
261861153rdMason and Slidell are freed from their Boston jail, in exchange for Union prisoners of war, in the Trent Affair
271822192ndLouis Pasteur, French scientist who developed pasteurization as well as a rabies vaccination, is born.
271831183rdNaturalist Charles Darwin sets out from England for a 5-year survey of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans aboard the HMS Beagle.
281856158thWoodrow Wilson, 28th president of the U.S., is born in Staunton, VA.
281832182ndJohn Calhoun becomes the first US vice president to resign, due to differences with Pres. Andrew Jackson.
291837177thCanadian militiamen destroy the Caroline, a US steamboat docked at Buffalo, NY.
29198628thFormer British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan dies at age 92.
291851163rdThe first U.S. branch of the YMCA (Young Men's Christian Association) is established in Boston.
291607407thChief Powhatan spares John Smith's life because of the pleas of his daughter, Pocahontas.
291862152ndAt Chickasaw Bluffs, 6,000 Confederates defeat 37,000 Union troops, thwarting Union Gen. Sherman's attempt to take Vicksburg.
30192292ndLenin proclaims the establishment of the USSR.
301862152ndThe Union ironclad USS Monitor sinks off Cape Hatteras.
30191698thGrigory Rasputin, Russian mystic and favorite of Czar Nicholas II, is murdered by a group of Russian nobles.
301816198thPoet Percy Bysshe Shelley and novelist Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin marry
311897117thBrooklyn's last day as a separate entity from New York City, before becoming a borough.
31194668thPresident Harry S. Truman declares World War II officially over.
31196153rdAmerica's Marshall Plan ends, after distributing more than $12 billion in foreign aid since 1948.
311781233rdAmerica's first modern bank, the Bank of North America, opens in Philadelphia, as conceptualized by Robert Morris
311862152ndAt the Battle of Stones River, Rosecrans and Bragg begin a fight in the bitter cold that will last 3 days before a Union victory.
311862152ndAt Parker's Crossroads, Nathan Forrest barely escapes capture but his raid forces Grant to give up on capturing Vicksburg.