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Daily Trivia - December 21

Births

1118 - Thomas Becket, Lord Chancellor of England and Archbishop of Canterbury (d. 1170)
1401 - Tommaso Masaccio, Italian painter (d. 1428)
1596 - Petro Mohyla, Moldovan Orthodox Metropolitan Bishop of Kiev and Galicia (d. 1646)
1603 - Roger Williams, English theologian and colonist (d. 1684)
1714 - John Bradstreet, Canadian-born soldier (d. 1774)
1804 - Benjamin Disraeli, 1st Earl of Beaconsfield, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (d. 1881)
1805 - Thomas Graham, British chemist (d. 1869)
1811 - Archibald Campbell Tait, Archbishop of Canterbury (d. 1882)
1815 - Thomas Couture French painter and teacher (d. 1879)
1843 - Thomas Bracken, Irish-born New Zealander poet (d. 1898)
1850 - Zdeněk Fibich, Bohemian composer (d. 1900)
1859 - Gustave Kahn, French poet (d. 1936)
1872 - Albert Payson Terhune, American author (d. 1942)
1876 - Jack Lang (John Thomas Lang), Premier of New South Wales (d. 1975)
1878 - Jan Łukasiewicz, Polish philosopher and mathematician (d. 1956)
1879 - Joseph Stalin, Leader of the Russian Communist Party from 1928 to 1953 (d. 1953)
1889 - Sewall Wright, American biologist (d. 1988)
1890 - Hermann Joseph Muller, American geneticist and Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1967)
1892 - Walter Hagen, American golfer (d. 1969)
1892 - Rebecca West, American writer (d. 1983)
1896 - Leroy Robertson, American composer (d. 1971)
1914 - Ivan Generalić, Austro-Hungarian-born Croatian painter (d. 1992)
1917 - Heinrich Böll, German writer and Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1985)
1918 - Donald Regan, White House Chief of Staff and United States Secretary of the Treasury (d. 2003)
1918 - Kurt Waldheim, Austrian United Nations Secretary-General and Federal President of Austria
1921 - Vampira (Maila Nurmi), Finnish-born actress
1921 - Alicia Alonso (Alicia Ernestina de la Caridad del Cobre Martinez Hoya), Cuban ballerina
1922 - Paul Winchell, American ventriloquist (d. 2005)
1926 - Joe Paterno, American Football coach
1935 - John G. Avildsen, American film director and editor
1935 - Yusuf Bey (Joseph Stephens), American activist and businessman (d. 2003)
1935 - Phil Donahue, American talk show host
1937 - Jane Fonda, American actress and activist
1940 - Frank Zappa, American singer, guitarist and composer (d. 1993)
1942 - Hu Jintao, President of the People's Republic of China
1942 - Reinhard Mey, German singer
1942 - Carla Thomas, American singer
1944 - Michael Tilson Thomas, American conductor
1944 - Bill Atkinson, English footballer
1946 - Carl Wilson, American singer and guitarist (The Beach Boys) (d. 1998)
1947 - Paco de Lucía, Spanish guitarist
1947 - Bryan Hamilton, Northern Irish footballer and football manager
1948 - Samuel L. Jackson, American actor
1948 - Willi Resetarits, Austrian musician and cabaret artist
1950 - Jeffrey Katzenberg, American producer
1954 - Chris Evert, American tennis player
1955 - Jane Kaczmarek, American actress
1955 - Kazuyuki Sekiguchi, Japanese musician
1957 - Tom Henke, American baseball player
1957 - Ray Romano, American comedian and actor
1959 - Florence Griffith Joyner, American sprinter, Olympic gold medalist and 100 m & 200 m world record holder (d. 1998)
1960 - Louis Demetrius Alvanis, London-based pianist
1961 - Francis Ng, Hong Kong actor
1964 - Rob Kelly, English football manager
1965 - Andy Dick, American actor and comedian
1965 - Anke Engelke, German comedienne
1966 - Kiefer Sutherland, British-born Canadian actor
1967 - Mikhail Saakashvili, Soviet-born President of Georgia
1969 - Julie Delpy, French actress
1969 - Mihails Zemļinskis, Latvian footballer
1971 - Brett Scallions, American singer (Fuel)
1972 - Latroy Hawkins, professional baseball player
1973 - Karmen Stavec, German-born Slovenian singer
1973 - Mike Alstott, American football player
1974 - Karrie Webb, Australian golfer
1975 - Paloma Herrera, Argentine ballet dancer (American Ballet Theatre)
1977 - Jim Carson, American music producer and disc jockey
1978 - Mike Vitar, American actor
1980 - Lee Eun Ju, Korean actress (d. 2005)
1981 - Dima Bilan, Russian singer
1981 - Cristian Zaccardo,Italian footballer
1982 - Mike Gansey, American basketball player
1984 - Darren Potter, Irish international footballer
1985 - James Stewart Jr., professional motocross racer
1987 - Edward Speleers., Actor (Eragon)

Deaths

1295 - Marguerite Berenger of Provence, wife of Louis IX of France
1308 - Henry I of Hesse (b. 1244)
1375 - Giovanni Boccaccio, Italian writer (b. 1313)
1504 - Bertold von Henneberg-Römhild, German archbishop and elector (b. 1442)
1549 - Marguerite of Navarre, wife of Henry II of Navarre (b. 1492)
1579 - Vicente Masip, Spanish painter
1597 - Petrus Canisius, Dutch Jesuit (b. 1521)
1807 - John Newton, English cleric and hymnist (b. 1725)
1824 - James Parkinson, English physician, geologist, paleontologist, and political activist (b. 1755)
1873 - Francis Garnier, French explorer (b. 1839)
1889 - Friedrich August von Quenstedt, German geologist (b. 1809)
1935 - Kurt Tucholsky, German journalist and satirist (b. 1890)
1937 - Frank B. Kellogg, United States Secretary of State, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize (b. 1856)
1940 - F. Scott Fitzgerald, American writer (b. 1896)
1945 - George S. Patton, U.S. general (b. 1885)
1957 - Eric Coates, English composer (b. 1886)
1958 - Lion Feuchtwanger, German writer (b. 1884)
1959 - Rosanjin, Japanese calligrapher, restauranteur and ceramicist (b. 1883)
1983 - Paul de Man, Belgian-born literary critic (b. 1919)
1974 - James Henry Govier, British artist (b. 1910)
1988 - Nikolaas Tinbergen, Dutch ornithologist, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (b. 1907)
1992 - Albert King, American musician (b. 1924)
1992 - Nathan Milstein, Ukrainian violinist (b. 1903)
2001 - Dick Schaap, American sports journalist (b. 1931)
2004 - Autar Singh Paintal, Indian medical scientist (b. 1925)

Events

69 - Year of the four emperors: Following Galba, Otho and Vitellius, Vespasian becomes the fourth Emperor of Rome within a year.
1620 - Plymouth Colony: William Bradford and the Mayflower Pilgrims land on what is now known as Plymouth Rock in Plymouth, Massachusetts.
1861 - Medal of Honor: Public Resolution 82, containing a provision for a Navy Medal of Valor, is signed into law by President Abraham Lincoln.
1872 - Challenger expedition: HMS Challenger, commanded by Captain George Nares, sails from Portsmouth.
1913 - Arthur Wynne's "word-cross", the first crossword puzzle, is published in the New York World.
1917 - Meiji Dairies, a Japanese dairy industry company, is founded.
1937 - The film Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is premiered at the Carthay Circle Theater in Los Angeles.
1958 - French presidential election, 1958: Charles de Gaulle is elected President of France as his Union des Démocrates pour la République party gain 78.5% of the vote.
1962 - Rondane National Park is established as Norway's first national park.
1968 - Project Apollo: Apollo 8, crewed by Frank Borman, Jim Lovell and William Anders, is launched from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
1979 - Lancaster House Agreement: An independence agreement for Rhodesia is signed in London by Lord Carrington, Sir Ian Gilmour, Robert Mugabe, Joshua Nkomo, Bishop Abel Muzorewa and Dr S C Mundawarara.
1987 - The passenger ferry Doña Paz sinks after colliding with the oil tanker Vector 1 in the Tablas Strait in the Philippines, killing 1,565.
1988 - A bomb explodes on board Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie, Dumfries and Galloway, killing 270.
1999 - The Spanish Civil Guard intercepts a van loaded with 950 kg of explosives which ETA intend to use to blow up Torre Picasso in Madrid.
2012 - The Long Count of the Maya calendar recycles according to the most popular correlation. A minority argues it does so on December 23, 2012.

Holidays

Roman festivals - Divalia in honour of Angerona
R.C. Saints - Saint Petrus Canisius; formerly feast day of Thomas the apostle
Also see December 21 (Eastern Orthodox liturgics)
The summer solstice (Southern Hemisphere) or winter solstice (Northern Hemisphere), sometimes known as Yule, occurs on or very close to this date. It is an important festival in the Chinese calendar.
     
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