This Week in History: December 27th – January 2nd

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 27th
    • 1831- Charles Darwin sets sail on the HMS Beagle, beginning the voyage on which he would formulate his theory of evolution. (World)
    • 1932- Radio City Music Hall opens in New York City. (United States)
    • 2007- Pakistani politician Benazir Bhutto is assassinated. (World)
  • December 28th
    • 1065- Westminster Abbey opens for the first time in London. (World)
    • 1832- Citing political differences with President Andrew Jackson and a desire to fill a vacant Senate seat in South Carolina, John C. Calhoun becomes the first vice president in U.S. history to resign from office. (United States)
    • 1973- The Endangered Species Act is signed into law by President Richard Nixon. (United States)
  • December 29th
    • 1170- Archbishop Thomas Becket is murdered by knights of King Henry II of England, leading to a cessation of attempts by the king to separate the church and state in England. (World)
    • 1845- The Republic of Texas is annexed by the United States, triggering the start of the Mexican-American War. (United States/World)
    • 1890- More than 200 Sioux Indians are massacred in the area of Wounded Knee Creek in southwestern South Dakota by U.S. troops commanded by Colonel James W. Forsyth. (United States)
  • December 30th
    • 1853- The U.S. acquired nearly 30,000 square miles of additional northern Mexican territory with the signing of the Gadsden Purchase. The land would come to be a part of Arizona and New Mexico when they became states. (United States)
    • 1922- The USSR is established. (World)
    • 2006- Former dictator Saddam Hussein is executed in Iraq. (World)
  • December 31st
    • 1967- Green Bay Packers triumph over the Dallas Cowboys in the ‘Ice Bowl.’ (Wisconsin/United States)
    • 1972- Roberto Clemente, a famous Pittsburgh Pirate, dies in a plane crash en route to Nicaragua with relief supplies collected for earthquake survivors. (United States/World)
    • 1991- The Soviet Union legally ceases to exist. (World)
  • January 1st
    • 1818- Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is published for the first time. (World)
    • 1863- The Emancipation Proclamation, which freed enslaved people in the Confederacy, is issued by Abraham Lincoln. (United States)
    • 1959- Dictator Fulgencio Batista flees Cuba after his regime is toppled by rebel forces led by Fidel Castro. (World)
    • 2002- The Euro is formally introduced as the new type of currency in Europe. (World)
  • January 2nd
    • 1788- Georgia becomes the fourth state and officially enters the Union. (United States)
    • 1974- President Richard Nixon signs a national speed limit into law. (United States)
    • 1980- Détente between the U.S. and the USSR ends as President Jimmy Carter speaks out against Soviet intervention in Afghanistan. (United States/World)

Recommended Reading Related to Movies/Historical Happenings: