On Your Birthday: December 21



1620 – The “Mayflower” and its passengers, pilgrims from England, landed at what is now known as Plymouth Rock in Plymouth, MA.

1891 – The first game of basketball, invented by faculty member James Naismith, is believed to have been played at Springfield College in Massachusetts.

1898 – The radioactive element radium is discovered by scientists Pierre and Marie Curie.

1913 – Arthur Wynne published a new “word-cross” puzzle in the “New York World” in England. The name was later changed to “crossword.”

1914 – Marie Dressler, Charlie Chaplin, Mabel Normand and Mack Swain appeared in the first six-reel, feature-length comedy — “Tillie’s Punctured Romance”.

1937 – Walt Disney debuted the first, full-length, animated feature in Hollywood, CA. The movie was “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs”.

1944 – Horse racing was banned in the United States until after the end of World War II.

1951 – Joe DiMaggio announced his retirement from major league baseball.

1967 – Louis Washkansky, the first man to undergo a heart transplant, died in Cape Town, South Africa. He lived for 18 days after the transplant.

1967 – “The Graduate”, starring Dustin Hoffman, premieres in New York, NY.

1968 – Apollo 8 was launched from the Kennedy Space Center on a mission to orbit the moon. It was the first visit to another celestrial body by humans. The craft landed safely in the Pacific Ocean on December 27th.

1970 – Elvis Presley goes to the White House to volunteer his services to President Richard Nixon in the fight against drugs.

1978 – Police in Des Plaines, IL, arrested John W. Gacy Jr. and began unearthing the remains of 33 men and boys that Gacy was later convicted of having murdered.

1979 – Willie Nelson makes his acting debut in “The Electric Horseman”, starring with Robert Redford and Jane Fonda.

1988 – A terrorist bomb went off on Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland. All 259 passengers on board, and 11 people on the ground, were killed.

1991 – Oliver Stone’s “JFK” opens in theaters.

1998 – The first vaccine for Lyme disease was approved.

2001 – Congress passes a $20 billion package to finance the “war against terrorism” being fought in Afghanistan.

2002 – Larry Mayes was released after spending 21 years in prison for a rape that maintained that he never committed. He was the 100th person in the U.S. to be released after DNA tests were performed.

2012 – The Walt Disney Company completed its acquisition of Lucasfilm and of the “Star Wars” franchise.



Freddie Hart 1926 – Country singer (“Easy Loving”)

John Avildsen 1935 – Director (“Rocky”, “Joe”, “Save the Tiger”, “Fore Play”, “The Formula”, “Neighbors”, “For Keeps”, “Lean on Me”, “The Power of One”, “8 Seconds”, “Inferno”, “Rocky V”, the first three “The Karate Kid” movies)

Phil Donahue 1935 – TV host (“The Phil Donahue Show”)

Jane Fonda 1937 – Actress, activist, fitness guru (“Klute”, “Coming Home”, “They Shoot Horses Don’t They?”, “Julia”, “The Morning After”, “The China Syndrome”, “On Golden Pond”, “9 to 5”, TV’s “The Newsroom”, “Grace and Frankie”)

Jared Martin 1941 – Actor (“The New Gladiators,” “Karate Warrior”, TV’s “Dallas”)

Gwen McCrae 1943 – Singer (“Rockin’ Chair”)

Josh Mostel 1946 – Actor (“Jesus Christ Superstar”, “Harry and Tonto”, “Sophie’s Choice”, “City Slickers”, “illy Madison”, “Big Daddy”)

Samuel L. Jackson 1948 – Actor (“Pulp Fiction,” “A Time to Kill,” “Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones,” “Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith”, “Jungle Fever”, “Jurassic Park”, “Die Hard With a Vengeance”, “Jackie Brown”, “XXX”, “Snakes on a Plane”, “Black Snake Moan”, “Captain America”, “Soul Men”, “The Other Guys)

Nick Gilder 1951 – Musician (Sweeney Todd, “Hot Child in the City”)

Chris Evert 1954 – Tennis player

Jane Kaczmarek 1955 – Actress (TV’s “Malcolm in the Middle”, “Raising the Bar”)

Ray Romano 1957 – Actor, comedian (TV’s “Everybody Loves Raymond”, “Men of a Certain Age”, “Ice Age” movies)

Andy Dick 1965 – Actor, comedian (TV’s “News Radio”, “Less That Perfect”)

Kiefer Sutherland 1966 – Actor (“Stand By Me”, “The Lost Boys,” “Young Guns,” “A Time to Kill”, “Flatliners”, “A Few Good Men”, “The Vanishing”, “Truth or Consequences, NM”, TV’s “24”)

Khrystyne Haje 1968 – Actress (TV’s “Head of the Class”)

Julie Delpy 1969 – Actress (“Europa Europa”, “Voyager”, “Three Colors: White”, “Before Sunrise”, “An American Werewolf in Paris”, “Before Sunset”, “2 Days in Paris”, “Before Midnight”)

Steven Yeun 1983 – Actor (TV’s “The Walking Dead”)



Crossword Puzzle Day

Don’t Make Your Bed Day

Flashlight Day

Humbug Day

International Dalek Remembrance Day

Look On The Bright Side Day

Ribbon Candy Day

Short Girl Appreciation Day

Short Story Day


For additional information check out websites like: www.on-this-day.comwww.born-today.com, www.famousbirthdays.com, and www.daysoftheyear.com.