This Week in History: December 13th – 19th

Welcome to this week’s edition of the staff blog’s ‘This Week in History!’ You will find historical facts, happenings, and associated books; #1 box office movies; and #1 NY Times best sellers from years gone by, all with book recommendations included based on each topic. This will be a weekly feature, so make sure to check out each week’s posting! NOTE: Click on any of the below book/movie titles to be taken to them in our online Café catalog!


NY Times Fiction Bestsellers


#1 Box Office Movies

This Week in History

  • December 13th
    • 1862- The Battle of Fredericksburg, a bloody engagement of the Civil War that is won by Confederate forces led by General Robert E. Lee, is waged. (United States)
    • 2000- Al Gore concedes the presidential election. (United States)
    • 2003- Saddam Hussein captured near Tikrit, Iraq. (World)
  • December 14th
    • 1893- Frederick Jackson Turner delivers his Frontier Address at the annual meeting of the State Historical Society of Wisconsin, in which his famous thesis, ‘Significance of the Frontier in American History,’ is first read in public. (Wisconsin/United States)
    • 1911- Norwegian Roald Amundsen becomes the first explorer to reach the South Pole. (World)
    • 2012- A 20-year-old shooter opens fire on children and staff at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, leaving 28 people dead, with 20 of them children aged 7 and under. (United States)
  • December 15th
    • 1791- The Bill of Rights, the first 10 amendments to the U.S. Constitution, is officially ratified. (United States)
    • 1847- Wisconsin’s second constitutional convention convenes in Madison. (Wisconsin)
    • 1890- The Dakota Sioux chief Sitting Bull is murdered by U.S. troops near the Grand River in South Dakota. (United States)
  • December 16th
    • 1773- The Boston Tea Party occurs in Boston Harbor, led by Samuel Adams. (United States)
    • 1944- Battle of the Bulge begins during the last Christmastime of WWII. (World)
    • 2009- Avatar, the highest-grossing movie in world history with receipts of $2.7 billion, is released for the first time. (United States/World)
  • December 17th
    • 1777- France formally recognizes the United States as a sovereign, independent nation. (United States/World)
    • 1903- Brothers Orville and Wilbur Wright made the first successful sustained flights in an airplane in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. (United States/World)
    • 2014- The United States and Cuba reestablished diplomatic relations that had been abandoned for more than 50 years. (United States/World)
  • December 18th
    • 1620- The Mayflower lands at Plymouth Harbor. (United States/World)
    • 1865- Slavery is formerly abolished in the United States as the 13th Amendment is officially ratified and added to the Constitution. (United States)
    • 1966- The TV special How the Grinch Stole Christmas! airs for the first time in America. (United States)
  • December 19th
    • 1777- George Washington leads the Continental Army into winter camp at Valley Forge. (United States)
    • 1843- English author Charles Dickens publishes A Christmas Carol for the first time in England. (World)
    • 1917- The National Hockey League (NHL) opens its first season. (United States)

Recommended Reading Related to Movies/Historical Happenings: