The month of December has been home to many historical events over the years. Here’s a look at some that helped to shape the world in December 1923.
The Gleno Dam bursts in the Province of Bergamo in the Lombardy region of Italy on December 1. More than 350 people are swept away and killed in the villages of Bueggio, Corna and Dezzo.
Universal Pictures releases the film “The Darling of New York” on December 3. The film is the first to feature five-year-old Peggy-Jean Montgomery, also known as “Baby Peggy,” who would soon be earning an annual salary of $1.5 million.
Charles Keating is born on December 4 in Cincinnati, Ohio. Keating would ultimately become one of the more infamous figures in American finance when he plays a prominent role in the savings and loan crisis of 1989.
Kentucky Governor Edwin P. Murrow commutes the death sentence of convicted murderer Steve McQueen on December 5. McQueen was a juvenile at the time of the crime and Governor Murrow had received numerous requests to commute the sentence, which he did just days before his term as governor was due to end.
On December 6, Winston Churchill is defeated in his attempt to be elected representative of Leicester West in a general election.
The Reichstag of the Weimar Republic votes to pass an enabling act on December 8. The act, which garners 313 votes to just 18 dissents, gives Chancellor Wilhelm Marx the power to implement emergency economic and welfare measures. The act lasted until the dissolution of the Reichstag in March 1924.
The National Dairy Products Corporation, which would ultimately become a conglomerate now known as Kraft Heinz, is founded on December 10.
A 5.3 magnitude earthquake strikes near the Colombia-Ecuador border on December 14. More than 300 people are killed and the Colombian village of Cumbal is destroyed.
The Liberal Party of Greek Prime Minister Stylianos Gonatas wins control of the parliament on December 16. Gonatas’ party ran on a platform of abolishing the monarchy.
James D. Cummings and J. Earl McLeod of Washington, Kansas, file a patent application for their invention, the bulldozer, on December 18. The patent is granted on January 6, 1925.
On December 18, American congressman Andrew Volstead tells a law enforcement conference in Minnesota that the American people were giving up their opposition to the Volstead Act, which established the prohibition of alcoholic beverages. In his remarks, Volstead predicts the act will never be repealed.
King George II of Greece and Queen Consort Elisabeth leave the country on December 19. Their departure is in compliance with the Greek government, which abolishes the monarchy three months later.
Nine farms in Goodhue County, Minnesota, receive electricity for the first time on December 24. The delivery of electricity is part of a project to demonstrate the economic feasibility of rural electrification in the United States.
On December 24 in Washington, D.C., United States President Calvin Coolidge presses a button and turns on 2,500 electric bulbs, thus beginning the tradition of the National Christmas Tree.
Prince Regent Hirohito of Japan survives an assassination attempt on December 27. The perpetrator, 24-year-old student Daisuke Namba, is the son of parliament member Sakunoshin Nanda. Namba is hanged on November 15, 1924.
The first patent application for Russian-born American inventor Vladimir Zworkin’s “Television System” is filed on December 29. The patent is eventually granted on December 20, 1938.