December 19 – Some important events on this day.
1642 👉🏼 4 of explorer and seafarer Abel Tasman’s crew killed at Wharewharangi (Murderers) Bay by Māori; Tasman’s ships depart without landing
1732 👉🏼 Benjamin Franklin under the name Richard Saunders begins publication of “Poor Richard’s Almanack”
1776 👉🏼 Thomas Paine publishes his 1st “American Crisis” essay beginning”These are the times that try men’s souls” (date disputed)
1783 👉🏼 William Pitt the Younger becomes the youngest ever British Prime Minister at age 24
1842 👉🏼 US recognizes independence of Hawaii
1843 👉🏼 “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens is published, 6,000 copies sold
1922 👉🏼 Theresa Vaughn, 24, confesses in court in Sheffield, England, to being married 61 times over 5 years in 50 cities in three countries
1932 👉🏼 British Broadcasting Corp begins transmitting overseas
1941 👉🏼 Hitler takes command of the German army
1950 👉🏼 Chinese invasion of Tibet forces the Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama to flee
1958 👉🏼 1st radio broadcast from space, US President Dwight D. Eisenhower Christmas message “to all mankind, America’s wish for peace on Earth and goodwill to men everywhere”
1971 👉🏼 Stanley Kubrick’s X-rated film “A Clockwork Orange” based on the book by Anthony Burgess and starring Malcolm McDowell premieres.
A Clockwork Orange was one of the most controversial films of the 1970s from one of cinema’s most enigmatic directors, the great Stanley Kubrick. Fresh from the success of 2001: A Space Odyssey, released in 1968, Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange tells the story of a crime spree of a psychopathic youth gang in a dystopian Britain. The film was based on the 1962 novel of the same name.
The film was acclaimed in America and was a box office success. In the UK however, the film was pulled by Kubrick from circulation after a media frenzy over the violence in the movie. The film was connected to several murders committed by young people in Britain at the time. Kubrick’s wife Christiane later recalled that the family received death threats and protestors outside their home.
A Clockwork Orange was also banned in Ireland, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea and parts of Canada. In response to allegations that the film was causing violence, Kubrick replied: “To try and fasten any responsibility on art as the cause of life seems to me to put the case the wrong way around. Art consists of reshaping life, but it does not create life, nor cause life. Furthermore, to attribute powerful suggestive qualities to a film is at odds with the scientifically accepted view that, even after deep hypnosis in a posthypnotic state, people cannot be made to do things which are at odds with their natures.”
1972 👉🏼 Last lunar-landing mission ends
1984 👉🏼 Chinese Premier Zhao Ziyang and British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher sign the Sino-British Joint Declaration to transfer Hong Kong back to China in 1997
2000 👉🏼 Ballon d’Or: Real Madrid’s Portuguese midfielder Luís Figo is named best football player in Europe ahead of Juventus midfielder Zinedine Zidane and Milan striker Andriy Shevchenko
2019 👉🏼 Earliest fossilized trees, 386 million years old, found at a quarry in Cairo, New York, study published in “Current Biology”