December Historical Calendar

Learn more about the information offered in our December Historical Calendar, featured in person during the 2018 Noel Night:

December 1, 1955: Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat to a white man on a bus in Alabama.
December 2, 2018: Hanukkah begins at sundown. View our Jewish Community Archives collections.
December 3, 1949: Check out the talent at the Detroit Skating Club!
December 4, 1980: The bodies of four American women are found in El Salvador, prompting protests of United States foreign policy (TW).
December 5, 1933: Repeal Day was the end of Prohibition. Cheers!
December 1912: The Detroit Christmas tree tradition began.
December 7, 1941: Pearl Harbor Day. The United States prepares to enter World War II.
December 8, 1961: Wayne State students perform King Lear at the Bonstelle Theater.
December 9, 1920: Detroit Gaelic League formed.
December 1955: The AFL and CIO merge at a joint convention in New York City. See the Michigan AFL-CIO records.
December 11, 1934: The Kerns Hotel in Lansing, MI burns, killing 34 hotel guests and injuring many others. Among the survivors was William Palmer, a Michigan politician.
December 1980: Founding of the Michigan Coalition for Human Rights.
December 13, 1924: Samuel Gompers, AFL founder, dies. A monument to him can be seen in Washington, DC.
December 1907: First Detroit Auto Show.
December 15, 1961: The Jewish Community Council Records have many examples of public school children forced to participate in Christmas activities.
December 16, 1977: United Farm Workers lead a boycott march in Chicago.
December 17, 1956: Groundbreaking for the McGregor Memorial Conference Center on WSU campus. Learn about this and other Minoru Yamasaki buildings on campus on the Tales from the Reuther Library podcast.
December 18, 1948: WDET studios dedicated by the UAW-CIO Broadcasting Corporation.
December 19, 1973: First Noel Night held in Detroit.
December 1968: AFSCME's Lillian Roberts serves jail time for leading public employee strike over fair representation in New York.
December 21: First day of winter! View pictures of tobogganing fun at Rouge Park.
December 22, 1954: The UFW Administration Department Records include documents from early in Cesar Chavez's career, including his work prior to founding the United Farm Workers.
December 23, 1936: Workers on strike at Kelsey-Hayes Wheel Company.
December 24, 1913: In Calumet, MI, 73 men, women, and children die during a party for families of striking miners
December 25: Merry Christmas!
December 26: Happy Boxing Day, Canada! Canadian Union of Public Employees convention, December 1973.
December 1944: WSU created a Veterans Program to help solidiers returning from WWII get the most out of the GI Bill.
December 1966: The first Kwanzaa celebrated. The NAACP Detroit Branch Records have information on local celebrations of this holiday.
December 1965: Detroit Federation of Teachers and Detroit Public Schools sign their first formal contract.
December 30, 1936: Flint Sit-Down Strike begins. Take a tour of the other sit-down strikes it inspired on HistoryPin.
December 31, 1955: New Year's Hootenanny and Dance at the Pythian bar.