December 12th History, Trivia, and Fun Facts
December 12th History Highlights
December 12th is…
Gingerbread House Day
National Ambrosia Day
National Ding-A-Ling Day
National Poinsettia Day
Our Lady of Guadalupe
Our Lady of Guadalupe is honored on December 12, which is also Mexico’s national holiday, El Día de la Virgen de Guadalupe. On this day, many Mexican Catholics attend Mass and processions in her honor. The Virgin of Guadalupe is also celebrated as a patron saint of the Americas. In addition, she is considered a patron saint of the unborn and of mothers.
The first church dedicated to Our Lady was built at this shrine in 1709, and the current basilica was begun in 1754. The shrine became a place of pilgrimage for many Catholics in Mexico after apparitions of the Virgin Mary were reported there in 1531. Our Lady of Guadalupe is one of the most popular religious devotions in Mexico, and her image has played an important role as a national symbol of Mexico.
The name “Guadalupe” refers to the site on Tepeyac Hill where Our Lady of Guadalupe appeared before Juan Diego. It is derived from “Guadalupe”, a Spanish form for Nahuatl, or Aztec language words meaning “river of pebbles.”
The name of the basilica refers to the apparition of Our Lady of Guadalupe to Juan Diego, a Nahua man who was speaking to his uncle on Tepeyac Hill outside Mexico City. According to Diego’s account, he had been asked by the Virgin Mary to build a church on that spot.
He told his story to the Spanish bishop Juan de Zumárraga, who instructed him to return to Tepeyac Hill and ask for a sign to prove the apparitions were real. Diego did as requested and he was told by the Virgin Mary to pick roses from the hill. When he returned to where he had been left his uncle, Diego found that his uncle had died, but the roses were miraculously growing from his chest.
The bishop reported their conversation to Pope Eugene IV in a letter that was later reproduced at A Decade of Disasters: Letters and Reports on Mexico, 1540-1549 by García Icazbalceta (1891).
The Virgin of Guadalupe is often depicted in Mexican art as a mestiza, a woman of mixed Indigenous and European ancestry. In the late 20th century, she began to be also portrayed as a dark-skinned Madonna, reflecting the Indigenous heritage of most Mexicans. The image on her cloak has been interpreted by some as a kind of a loom, with the Virgin as Mary weaving her own people.
In Mexico City, there is a street named Our Lady of Guadalupe that begins behind the basilica and ends at Chapultepec Park in central Mexico City, just blocks from where Diego grew up. It has been claimed by some Mexicans to be the longest street in the world.
Our Lady of Guadalupe holds a special place in the religious life of Mexico and is one of the most popular religious devotions in the world. Her image has played an important role as a national symbol of Mexico for centuries, and her shrine in Mexico City is a popular destination for pilgrims. In addition, she is considered a patron saint of the unborn and of mothers. December 12th is celebrated as El Día de la Virgen de Guadalupe in Mexico, with Masses and processions being held throughout the country in her honor.
December 12th Birthday Quotes
“From my rotting body, flowers shall grow and I am in them and that is eternity.”
“You punch me, I punch back. I do not believe it’s good for one’s self-respect to be a punching bag.”
“I have no fear of photography as long as it cannot be used in heaven and in hell.”
“I don’t want to say everything happens for a reason, but every day is lined up right next to the other one for a reason. The best you can do is do each day well with kindness and as a good person.”
“The best revenge is massive success.”
“Without anxiety and illness, I should have been like a ship without a rudder.”
“Cock your hat – angles are attitudes.”
December 12th Birthdays
1805 – Henry Wells, American businessman, co-founder of Wells Fargo and American Express (died in 1878)
1863 – Edvard Munch, Norwegian painter, and illustrator (died in 1944)
1893 – Edward G. Robinson, American actor (died in 1973)
1915 – Frank Sinatra, American singer, and actor (died in 1998)
1923 – Bob Barker, American game show host
1924 – Ed Koch, American politician, 105th Mayor of New York City (died in 2013)
1938 – Connie Francis, American singer, and actress
1943 – Dickey Betts, American singer-songwriter
1943 – Grover Washington, Jr., American singer-songwriter, and saxophonist (died in 1999)
1947 – Wings Hauser, American actor
1949 – Bill Nighy, English actor
1952 – Cathy Rigby, American gymnast
1957 – Sheila E. (Sheila Cecelia Escovedo), American singer-songwriter and drummer
1975 – Mayim Bialik, American actress
1994 – Otto Warmbier, American student imprisoned in North Korea (died in 2017)
1996 – Lucas Hedges, American actor
December 12th History
1531 – The Virgin of Guadalupe first appeared to Juan Diego at Tepeyac, Mexico City.
1787 – Pennsylvania became the second state to ratify the U.S. Constitution.
December 12, 1872 Birthday (fictional) Henry Jones, Sr, Indiana Jones, Film
1917 – Father Edward J. Flanagan founded Boy’s Town in Omaha, Nebraska.
1925 – The Mo-Tel of San Luis Obispo, California (between Los Angeles to San Francisco) opened as the first motel. The word Motel is a combination of the words ‘Motorist’ and ‘Hotel.’
1953 – Chuck Yeager established the speed record (Mach 2.5) record flying a Bell X-1A, a slightly larger, but a much-modified version of the Bell X-1
1964 – #1 Hit December 12, 1964 – December 18, 1964: Bobby Vinton – Mr. Lonely
1967 – Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner, starring Katharine Hepburn, Spencer Tracy, Sidney Poitier, and Katharine Houghton, opened in theaters.
1970 – #1 Hit December 12, 1970 – December 25, 1970: Smokey Robinson & the Miracles – The Tears of a Clown
1980 – Leonardo da Vinci’s Leicester Codex was sold to Armand Hammer for $5.12 million. Bill Gates later bought it from the Hammer Estate for 30.8 million in 1994.
1986 – The Golden Child, King King Lives, and Three Amigos debuted in theaters.
1987 – #1 Hit December 12, 1987 – January 8, 1988: George Michael – Faith
1989 – 69-year-old Leona Helmsley, the “Queen of Mean”, received a four-year prison sentence, along with750 hours of community service, and a $7.1 million tax fraud fine in New York.
2003 – Keiko the Orca (or killer whale), star of the Free Willy movies died in his home of Taknes fjord, in Norway.
2008 – The Day the Earth Stood Still and Gran Torino debuted in theaters.
2012 – 12/12/12/ The Concert for (Hurricane) Sandy Relief took place at Madison Square Garden.
Today’s Random Trivia and Shower Thoughts
What did one snowman say to the other snowman?
What to do: Don’t kill anyone while committing a crime, even accidentally.
The time zone used on the International Space Station is “Coordinated Universal Time” (UTC), which is equivalent to GMT.
The Capital of The Bahamas is Nassau
TV Quotes… “Norm!” (cast) on Cheers.
A group of Scorpions is called a Bed or Nest.
There are more species of beetles than species of plants, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and roundworms combined.
A 2×4 lumber has the dimensions 1.5×3.5 inches.
“You don’t have to do something every day that scares you. There’s no fun in being terrified. Do one thing every day that makes you happy.” – Jodi Ann Bickley
Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.
The reason school buses are required to stop at all railroad crossings is because of a 1938 accident in South Jordan/Sandy, UT.
During the filming of “Katchoo” for The Brady Bunch, when Jan is thought to be allergic to the family dog, Tiger, was taken for a walk and killed by a driver between takes. The trainer then went through local animal shelters to find a dog that resembled Tiger enough to finish taping.
The Capital of Azerbaijan is Baku
More Pop Culture History Resources