Christmas is just around the corner now – which means our time machine is taking on the look of a sleigh of sorts, bringing back festive historical moments for you to unwrap all the way up to the end of the year. Let’s see what went down this week in years gone by!
December 17th, 1989 – ‘The Simpsons’ Premieres
Who would have thought that Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, Maggie and all manner of wacky Springfieldians would still be with us after 29 years? The very first episode of the long-running animation – a feature-length Christmas edition of shorts first aired during The Tracey Ullman Show – debuted on this day in 1989.
Famous Birthday: Pope Francis I, 82
December 18th, 2009 – ‘Avatar’ Hits Cinemas, Breaks Records
James Cameron’s eye-boggling 3D epic, Avatar, remains the highest-grossing movie of all time – and it celebrates its 9th birthday this week. Four sequels are planned – will they be just as well received?
Famous Birthday: Steven Spielberg (Director), 72
December 19th, 1932 – The BBC Expands
Yes – while the British Broadcasting Company has, of course, largely focused on bringing TV entertainment to UK viewers, it has in fact been broadcasting abroad since 1932 – 86 years ago this week.
Famous Birthday: Edith Piaf (Singer), 1915 - 1963
December 20th, 1812 – Fairy Tales Galore
The often dark and cautionary tales of the Brothers Grimm – Jacob and Wilhelm – were published for the first time on this day in 1812, and they have gone on to become fairy tales of legend for centuries since.
Famous Birthday: Jonah Hill (Actor), 35
December 21st, 1913 – The Premiere Puzzle
Crosswords have been around for longer than you think – and the first-ever was published in NY World on this day 105 years ago!
Famous Birthday: Jane Fonda (Actor), 81
December 22nd, 2010 – ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ Repealed
After 17 years, US President Barack Obama repealed a ban on homosexuals from openly serving in the US military – known by millions as the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’.
Famous Birthday: Maurice and Robin Gibb (Bee Gee Twins), both b. 1949, Maurice d. 2003, Robin d. 2012)
December 23rd, 1888 – Vincent Van Gogh Cuts off his Ear
Believe it or not, legendary artist Van Gogh didn’t cut his own left ear off to send to a prostitute as a gift – but for safe keeping, having made the cut during a fight with Paul Gauguin.
Famous Birthday: Eddie Vedder (Pearl Jam Frontman), 54
Join us for more time travelling this time next week!