December 22 is the 356nd day of the year (357nd in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar. There are 9 days remaining.
- 1775 - The United States Navy is formed
- 1807 - The Embargo Act, forbidding trade with all foreign countries, is passed by the United States Congress, at the urging of President Thomas Jefferson
- 1809 - The Non-Intercourse Act, lifting the Embargo Act except for the United Kingdom and France, passes the United States Congress
- 1849 - The execution of Fyodor Dostoevsky is canceled at the last second
- 1864 - Savannah, Georgia falls to General William Tecumseh Sherman
- 1877 - Wilhem Röntgen[?] made the first X-ray.
- 1895 - The Dreyfus affair begins in France
- 1937 - The Lincoln Tunnel opens to traffic
- 1944 - German troops demand the surrender of United States troops at Bastogne, Belgium. See Battle of the Bulge
- 1964 - Comedian Lenny Bruce is convicted of obscenity
- 1974 - Grande Comore[?], Anjouan and Moheli[?] vote to become the independent nation of Comoros. Mayotte remains under French administration.
- 1989 - After a week of bloody demonstrations, Ion Iliescu takes over as president of Romania, ending Nicolae Ceauşescu's Communist dictatorship.
- 1990 - Lech Walesa sworn in as President of Poland[?]
- 1639 - Jean Racine, dramatist (other sources report december 21st as his birth date) (+ 1699)
- 1723 - Karl Friedrich Abel, German baroque composer.
- 1858 - Giacomo Puccini, composer (+ 1924).
- 1862 - Connie Mack[?], baseball executive (+ 1956)
- 1866 - Käthe Paulus[?], Germany's first femal parachutist (+ 1935).
- 1874 - Franz Schmidt, composer
- 1876 - Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, poet and editor (+ 1944).
- 1887 - Srinivasa Aaiyangar Ramanujan, Indian mathematician (+ 1920).
- 1888 - J. Arthur Rank[?], producer (+ 1972)
- 1899 - Gustav Gründgens[?], actor and film director (+ 1963).
- 1905 - Pierre Brasseur[?], actor (+ 1972).
- 1907 - Dame Peggy Ashcroft[?], actress (+ 1991)
- 1907 - Doris Miles Disney[?], writer
- 1912 - Lady Bird Johnson, First Lady
- 1917 - Gene Rayburn, game show host (+ 1999).
- 1922 - Barbara Billingsley[?], actress
- 1922 - Ruth Roman[?], actress (+ 1999)
- 1945 - Diane Sawyer[?], journalist
- 1946 - Rick Nielsen, musician (Cheap Trick)
- 1948 - Lynne Thigpen, actress
- 1949 - Robin Gibb, musician (The Bee Gees)
- 1949 - Maurice Gibb, musician (The Bee Gees) (+ 2003)
- 1951 - Charles DeLint[?], writer
- 1951 - Gerald Cavendish Grosvenor[?], Duke of Westminster
- 1962 - Ralph Fiennes, actor
- 1969 - Myriam Bédard, biathlon athlete
- 1828 - William Hyde Wollaston, noted English chemist
- 1880 - George Eliot, writer
- 1884 - John Chisum[?], cattle baron[?]
- 1902 - Richard von Krafft-Ebing[?], sexologist
- 1940 - Nathanael West[?], writer
- 1943 - Beatrix Potter, writer
- 1969 - Joseph von Sternberg[?], director (+ 1969)
- 1979 - Darryl F. Zanuck, producer
- 1980 - Karl Dönitz, Nazi politician
- 1989 - Samuel Beckett, writer, winner of the Nobel Prize in literature 1969
- 1995 - Butterfly McQueen[?], actress
- 2002 - Joe Strummer, musician
Holidays and Observances:
December 21 - December 23 - November 22 - January 22 -- listing of all days
January, February, March, April, May, June, July,
August, September, October, November, December
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