December Already?

It’s been in the news lately…

November closes its last sunset, 2016

And somehow it snuck up on me and said “Surprise!” and I said “Already?”

What, you ask? December…Quickly, I scan for images to post and everything revolves around snow, winter and the holidays. Stores have been stocking shelves since September, and their planning began back in January! Piped music has been festively holiday like since October.

So. How did it sneak up on me so quickly and ill-prepared?

What is December really all about?

I know some really special people who celebrate their birthdays and anniversaries this month, and yes, I know some who passed and were buried, but is December all about them? Every day of the year has a moment of History we can reflect on from prior years, or centuries, but is December all about them? Yes. I know. Winter starts this month, Christmas celebrates Christ’s birth, and the new year is anticipated as the old year passes into the history book…but is December all about these?

December actually clues into the number 10…but this is the 12th month of the year. Do you know why? I mean, did you know that the Roman new year originally started in March and December is their original 10th month, hence the name December (Latin for 10 is decem) (Source)

If we used Latin to name our 12th month then it may go like this: Duodecimber!

Our past is replete with changes on how we look at the days and years. For over 1500 years the Julian calendar (by Julius Caesar, of course) reigned as the premier numbering system of our days from 45 BC till 1582 AD. The Roman conquered world followed this Roman calendar. Until Pope Gregory XIII refined the calendar for numerous reasons (Source) and the last countries to migrate did so less than 100 years ago.

Of course, every other culture, country and continent (Jewish, Chinese, etc.) may have their own calendar system, but it is the Gregorian calendar that we all use to conduct business and commerce in the present world.

In the world of computers we used the Gregorian and a form of the Julian which simply numbered the days 1-365 so that it was easy to count how many days there were between corresponding Gregorian dates. A quick subroutine was called and Gregorian dates were supplied and the converted answer showed the number of days that transpired between the ranges.

So. December did sneak upon me honestly. It’s had a hard time over the past 2,000 years knowing who it truly was!

For the next 31 days I want to address some things about the Month of December. Reader, and writer, may grow weary of the exercise, but there are special reasons for every day of the this month and I do not want them to get lost in the hubbub of the frivolity of the season.

To gather the history of this day I will look for notable events and special occurrences. In no way will one event be a slight over a forgotten memory of others – it’s simply my time of research and space of writing, is limited.

Please remember, as I am an American much of my research may focus on American stories of history – and prior to Columbus sailing the ocean in 1492 there are not many stories found about the North American continent.

Today, December 1st…and surprisingly the the first thing I find of interest revolved around a presidential election!

  • In 1824 the US House of Representatives begins to settle the deadlock of a recent election for US President between John Quincy Adams and Andrew Jackson. Quick! Do you know who wins? A great time of party politics to study!
  • In 1862, Abraham Lincoln addresses the nation in his State of the Union address and reaffirms the necessity of ending slavery as ordered earlier in the Emancipation Proclamation. The Proclamation declared that slaves in territories still in rebellion as of January 1, 1863, would be free.
  • In 1913, the first drive up gas filling station opened, and Henry Ford introduced the continuous moving assembly line. Both with us today and the prices keep going up!
  • 1929 and Bingo is invented by Edwin S Lowe…
  • In 1955 (I am close to being 11 months old), Rosa Parks was arrested for not going to the back of the bus as Alabama law required. This led to the 1956 Supreme Court decision to ban segregated seating on public transportation, and a host of other paths to civil liberties being righted. (Source) We all know this did not end the problem because we still struggle with it today.
  • 1959 and we see the first color photograph of earth sent from space…
  • It’s 1964 and Houston’s Colt .45’s changes their name to the Houston Astro’s! The first thing on this list I remember and my first professional ball game to attend before the Astrodome was to see the Colt .45’s play in about 1962 or so.
  • In 1969, the US government holds its 1st draft lottery since WW II and I receive my number just four years later and they stopped the draft before me worrying about maybe having to go to the Vietnam war. Thanks to all those of you who served, and continue serving our country in military service.
  • 1973, the founding father of Israel, David Ben-Gurion, dies in Tel Aviv at 87
  • In 1982, Michael Jackson releases “Thriller”.
  • In 1987 the tunneling process to connect Britain to France begins, and they connect both sides in 1990 and is an important route between the two countries, fondly called the Chunnel.
  • It is 2001 and TWA flies it’s last and ceases operation after 76 years in Aviation.

I found a couple of interesting fact sites regarding the month that you may enjoy reading separately.

Facts from Britain 
Festive Facts
Kaplan’s Top 12 Facts About December

It’s time to close, but you are asked to share any other important events you may know about, or that impacts you specifically, or that you have feeling about a particular event…. It’s your moment to shine!

Perhaps this is what December is all about.