This Day in History

December 9


1048      Persian scholar and polymath from Khwarezm Al-Biruni dies in Ghazni, present-day Afghanistan, age 75   970
1165      Malcolm IV of Scotland dies after a reign of 12 years, age 24   853
1409      Louis II of Anjou founds the University of Aix   609
1425      The Catholic University of Leuven—oldest university in Belgium founded   593
1571      Dutch geometer and astronomer Adriaan Adriaanszoon, called Metius, born   447
1608      poet John Milton is born in London   410
1641      Flemish artist Anthony van Dyke dies, age 42   377
1718      Venetian cartographer Vincenzo Coronelli dies in Venice, age 68   300
1775      Continental Army defeats British forces at the Battle of Great Bridge—leads to the end of British power in Virginia   243
1793      New York City's first daily newspaper, the American Minerva, is established by Noah Webster   225
1798      German naturalist Johann Reinhold Forster dies, age 69   220
1814      English locksmith and inventor of the hydraulic press Joseph Bramah dies, age 66   204
1824      Peruvian independence forces decisively defeat the Royalist army in the Battle of Ayacucho—ends Spanish rule in South America   194
1835      Texian freedom fighters capture San Antonio   183
1872      P.B.S. Pinchback becomes first black governor of a state—Louisiana—serves for 35 days   146
1905      France enacts a law establishing the Separation of the Churches and the State   113
1906      computer pioneer Grace Murray Hopper born in New York City   112
1917      Ottoman held Jerusalem surrenders to British forces led by Edmund Allenby   101
1921      gasoline additive tetraethyl lead first tested   97
1935      American investigative journalist and editor Walter William Liggett is killed in a gangland murder, age 49   83
1935      first Heisman Trophy awarded—Jay Berwanger, Chicago   83
1937      Swedish industrialist and inventor and Nobel laureate (Physics 1912) Nils Gustaf Dalén dies in Stockholm, age 68   81
1946      Subsequent Nuremberg Trials, the "Doctors' Trial," begin in the Palace of Justice, Nuremberg   72
1948      U.N. unanimously adopts Genocide Convention   70
1960      prime-time soap opera Coronation Street debuts on British television   58
1962      Petrified Forest National Park is established—previously had been a National Monument   56
1965      Kecksburg UFO incident—residents report something crashed near Kecksburg, Pennsylvania—military report nothing found   53
1968      Douglas Engelbart publicly unveils the first computer mouse—"The Mother of All Demos"   50
1971      American political scientist, diplomat, and Nobel laureate (Peace, 1950) Ralph Johnson Bunche dies in New York City, age 68   47
1979      American archbishop and televangelist Fulton John Sheen dies, age 84   39
1996      British paleoanthropologist Mary Leakey dies in Nairobi, age 83   22
1998      American boxer and the longest reigning World Light Heavyweight Champion (10 yrs) Archie Moore (born Archibald Lee Wright) dies, age 81   20
2005      American science-fiction author Robert Sheckley dies, age 77   13
2006      American popular singer and vocal jazz entertainer Georgia Gibbs dies in New York City, age 87   12
2009      American stage, film, and television actor Gene Barry (born Eugene Klass) dies in Los Angeles, age 90   9
2012      inventor of the barcode Norman Joseph Woodland dies in Edgewater, New Jersey, age 91   6
2012      English amateur astronomer and writer and television presenter Patrick Alfred Caldwell-Moore (Patrick Moore) dies, age 89   6
2012      American singer, songwriter, actress, television producer, and philanthropist Dolores Janney Rivera Saavedra (Jenni Rivera) dies, age 43   6
2013      American actress Eleanor Jean Parker dies in Palm Springs, California, age 91   5
2014      American representational painter Jane Freilicher dies in New York City, age 90   4
2015      Austrian painter of the Modernism period Soshana Afroyim dies, age 88   3
2015      American statistician and medical researcher Norman Edward Breslow dies, age 74   3
2016      two schoolgirl suicide bombers attack a market area in Madagali, Northeastern Nigeria—at least 57 killed and a further 177 injured   2

Dates are always somewhat ambiguous, the exact date depends on whether local time is used (and local time where) or Universal Time—for events on the surface of the Earth, local time is probably best but for an event that spans across the planet, it is not clear which local time to use!. For events in space it is more ambiguous. Further for dates after the original adoption of the Gregorian calendar but before it became accepted in different countries, the date given may be a Julian date or a Gregorian date depending upon where the event occurred. And, even the year may be different since the first of the year has not always been January 1 in all countries! The attempt is to use a date that is the one that is typically given.

day before yesterdayyesterday tomorrowday after tomorrow