- Oldfield Drive
- Vicars Cross
- CH3 5LL
All in the month of December
1500 years ago, on 7th December 521 that St Columba, Irish missionary who spread Christianity in Scotland, was born. He was one of the Twelve Apostles of Ireland.
250 years ago, on 25th December 1771 that Dorothy Wordsworth, writer, poet, and diarist, was born. She was sister to the poet William Wordsworth.
175 years ago, on 21 December 1846 that the first surgical operation in Europe using anaesthesia took place. Robert Liston amputated a servant’s leg at University College Hospital in London.
150 years ago, on 24th December 1871 that the world premiere of Giuseppe Verdi’s opera Aida, was held in Cairo, Egypt.
100 years ago, on 6th Dec 1921 that the Anglo-Irish Treaty was signed in London. It ended the Irish War of Independence and established the Irish Free State (with effect from December 1922.)
80 years ago, on 7th December 1941 that the Japanese made their surprise bomb attack on Pearl Harbour, Hawaii. The USA, UK, Netherlands, New Zealand, and other countries declared war on Japan the following day. The War in Europe had now become a World War.
75 years ago, on 18th December 1946, that Steve Biko, South Africa anti-apartheid activist, was born. Founder of the Black Consciousness Movement, he was beaten to death by state security officers in 1977, aged 30.
60 years ago, on 4th December 1961, that birth control pills became available on the NHS.
50 years ago, from 3rd to 16th December 1971, that the Indo-Pakistani War took place. It was one of the shortest wars in history, but still between one and three million Bangladeshis were killed. Indian victory leading to the founding of Bangladesh.
40 years ago, on 14th December 1981, that Israel annexed the Golan Heights, formerly part of Syria, which it had occupied since 1967.
30 years ago, on 25th and 26th December 1991, that Mikhail Gorbachev resigned as President of the Soviet Union, and the next day the Soviet Union was officially dissolved. The 12 remaining Soviet republics became independent states.
25 years ago, on 10th December 1996, that South African President Nelson Mandela signed a new constitution, completing the transition from white minority rule to full democracy.
Also 25 years ago, on 27th December 1996, that the first genocide trial began in Rwanda, following the 1994 civil war in which 800,000 people were killed.
20 years ago, on 2nd December 2001, that Enron, the world’s largest energy trading corporation, collapsed, sparking one of the biggest corporate accounting scandals in US history.
Also 20 years ago, on 13th December 2001, that the Pentagon released a videotape of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, in which he stated that the deaths and destruction achieved by the 9/11 attacks had exceeded his most optimistic expectations.
15 years ago, on 30th December 2006, that Saddam Hussein, President/dictator of Iraq (1979 to 2003) was executed for war crimes