Happy Birthday to Bob Barker, Frank Sinatra and the Motel Inn

Image credit: 

December 12 has been a rather eventful day throughout history. You may know about some of today's bigger historical events, such as Juan Diego seeing the apparition of Our Lady of Guadalupe in 1531; the first trans-Atlantic radio signal being received by Guglielmo Marconi in Newfoundland in 1901; and Delhi replacing Calcutta as India's capital in 1911. But you probably don't know about many of today's notable births and less well-known historical events, including"¦

1. Both Anne of Denmark and Marie Louise of Austria were born, the former in 1574 and the latter in 1791. Anne was the daughter of King Frederick II of Denmark and wife of King James VI of Scots, while Marie Louise was Marie Antoinette's great-niece, the second wife of Napoleon Bonaparte, and the Empress of France.

2. John Jay, the first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, was born in New York City in 1745.

3. In 1805, the abolitionist and journalist who founded the American Anti-Slavery Society and who was editor of the radical newspaper The Liberator, William Lloyd Garrison, was born.

4. Gustave Flaubert, who gained lasting fame with his first novel, Madame Bovary, was born in France in 1821.

5. The first king of the Netherlands, William I, died in Berlin in 1843 at the age of 71, just three years after abdicating the throne. Fifteen years later, Jacques Viger, the first mayor of Montreal, also died at age 71.

6. The architect Bruce Price was born in 1845. Although he was an American, he is most well-known for the stations and hotels he designed for Canadian Pacific Railway. His daughter, Emily Price, became famous as the etiquette author Emily Post.

7. In 1866, Alfred Werner, a Swiss chemist and professor who won a Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1913, was born.

8. The first black congressman, Joseph H. Rainey of South Carolina, took his seat in the U.S. House of Representatives in 1870.

9. 1876 marked the birth of Alvin Kraenzlein, an American athlete. Kraenzlein was the first sportsman to win four Olympic titles in a single Olympic game (1900, Paris).

10. Robert Browning, the British poet and playwright, died in Venice, Italy, in 1889 at the age of 77.

11. Herman Potocnik, aka Hermann Noordung, was born in Pola, Austria-Hungary (now Pula, Croatia), in 1892. Noordung was a rocket engineer and a pioneer of cosmonautics.

12. In Paris in 1904, Baron Nicolas Louise Alexandre de Gunzburg was born. He would later become editor-in-chief of Town & Country as well as fashion editor at Vogue and Harper's Bazaar.

13. Frank Sinatra, singer and Academy Award-winning actor, was born in Hoboken, New Jersey, in 1915.

14. The American cartoonist best known for developing the look of Archie Comics in the '50s and '60s, Dan DeCarlo, was born in 1919. A year later, Fred Kida, another American comic book and comic strip artist was born in New York City.

15. Bob Barker, the nineteen-time Emmy Award winner and former host of The Price is Right, was born in 1923.

16. Motel Inn, the first motel, opened in San Luis Obispo, California, in 1925.

17. Douglas Fairbanks died in 1939, after a successful career as an actor, screenwriter, director, and producer, most famous for his roles in The Mark of Zorro, The Three Musketeers, and Robin Hood.

18. The five-time Grammy Award-winning singer, United Nations Global Ambassador for the Food and Agriculture Organization, and former U.S. Ambassador of Health, Dionne Warwick, was born in 1940.

19. A six-block tract of Manhattan real estate was accepted as the site of U.N. headquarters after it was offered as a gift by John D. Rockefeller, Jr.

20. The satirist Joseph Heller, author of Catch-22 and Three Short Stories of Utter Annoyance, died at age 76 in 1999.

21. Keiko, the world's favorite killer whale, died in a Norwegian fjord in 2003.

And for all you readers born on December 12, happy birthday! Does this date hold special significance to anyone else?

December 12, 2007 - 12:39pm
webby
submit to reddit