#TodayInHistory – December 13 min read
December 1 – Some important events on this day.
1135 👉🏼 England’s King Henry I died aged 66 after eating what was described at the time as “a surfeit of lampreys”.
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1640 👉🏼 Portugal regains independence after 60 years of Spanish rule
1821 👉🏼 Santo Domingo (Dominican Rep) proclaims independence from Spain
1913 👉🏼 Ford Motor Company institutes world’s 1st moving assembly line for the Model T Ford
1913 👉🏼 Flag of Greece officially raised at Firka Fortress, Chania Crete symbolising the union of Crete and Greece.
1918 👉🏼 Yugoslavia declares independence; monarchy established
1934 👉🏼 Leningrad mayor Sergey Kirov is assassinated and Joseph Stalin uses it as an excuse to begin his Great Purge of 1934-38
1952 👉🏼 The New York Daily News reports the first successful sexual reassignment operation
1953 👉🏼 Hugh Hefner publishes 1st edition of Playboy magazine, featuring Marilyn Monroe as the magazine’s 1st centerfold
1955 👉🏼 Rosa Parks is arrested for refusing to move to the back of a bus and give her seat to a white passenger in Montgomery, Alabama
1959 👉🏼 The 1st color photograph of Earth received from outer space
1976 👉🏼 Sex Pistols using profanity on TV, gets them branded as “rotten punks”
1988 👉🏼 Benazir Bhutto named 1st female Prime Minister of a Muslim country (Pakistan)
1988 👉🏼 First World AIDS day to raise awareness of the AIDS global epidemic
2003 👉🏼 “The Return of the King”, 3rd and final film in the Lord of the Rings series, directed by Peter Jackson and starring Elijah Wood and Ian McKellen premieres in Wellington, New Zealand
2019 👉🏼 Earliest traceable patient, a 55-year-old man, develops symptoms of a novel coronavirus (Covid-19) in Wuhan, China.
In December 2019, an outbreak of an unknown virus causing pneumonia-like symptoms was discovered in the Chinese city of Wuhan. This new coronavirus (technically named SARS-CoV-2; the disease caused by the virus is COVID-19) is thought to have originated at a ‘wet market’ in the city, where various animals, both live and dead, were sold. This was similar to how the SARS outbreak, also a coronavirus, started in 2002.
Doctors in Wuhan were at first admonished by police for reporting a new virus to their colleagues, before the Chinese government informed the World Health Organization of the mysterious infection on December 31. Among these doctors was Li Wenliang, who helped blow the whistle on the infection, before later dying of it in hospital.
COVID-19 spread around the world rapidly and led to vast and severe global economic disruption. Many countries moved into strict lockdowns to prevent the spread of the virus, and at one point as many as 99.4% of the student population across the entire planet was affected by school closures on a national or local level. These lockdowns had a severe impact on business; in the span of three weeks in the United States, almost 17 million people applied for unemployment benefits.
Vast numbers of events were postponed or cancelled due to the pandemic, including the Olympic Games, which were postponed to 2021. Other concerns have arisen out of the pandemic, including the spread of misinformation online and incidents of racism against people of Asian ethnicity.
The United Nations described the pandemic as the greatest test the world has faced since World War II.
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