December 18th History, Trivia, and Fun Facts
December 18th History Highlights
December 18th is…
Answer the Phone like Buddy The Elf Day
Bake Cookies Day
International Migrants Day
(snow) Flake Appreciation Day
Piltdown Man Hoax
In 1912, amateur archaeologist Charles Dawson found a human skull in Piltdown, England. It was the first fossil ever discovered that presented an intermediate form between apes and humans. The find created much excitement and was immediately accepted as genuine by most scientists of the time.
In 1953, Kenneth Oakley conducted chemical tests on the bones and uncovered evidence suggesting they were from two different sources: one modern human (Dawson) and one or more extinct apes (orangutan). In addition, fraudulent teeth had been added to the jawbone in an attempt to make it look more human. The Piltdown Man hoax was finally exposed and the remains were denounced as a fraud. However, the damage had already been done – this “missing link” between apes and humans helped to popularize the idea of evolution for many years.
Although the Piltdown Man was eventually exposed as a fraud, it’s an important example of how easy it is for people to be fooled by something that seems too good to be true. This hoax also highlights the importance of always checking the evidence before accepting any claim – especially when it comes to scientific discoveries. It’s also a reminder that science is constantly evolving and that new discoveries are always being made. We can never be too sure of what we know – even the most seemingly obvious facts may turn out to be wrong. So, while keeping an open mind – always question everything!
December 18th Birthday Quotes
“It is better to die for an idea that will live than to live for an idea that will die.”
“I regret to this day that I never went to college. I feel I should have been a doctor.”
“Success is a beast. And it actually puts the emphasis on the wrong thing. You get away with more instead of looking within.”
“I had to fight all my life to survive. They were all against me… but I beat the bastards and left them in the ditch.”
“It’s great to be here. It’s great to be anywhere.”
“I phoned my grandparents and my grandfather said ‘We saw your movie.’ ‘Which one?’ I said. He shouted ‘Betty, what was the name of that movie I didn’t like?”
“Art does not reproduce the visible; rather, it makes visible.”
“If you don’t know the blues… there’s no point in picking up the guitar and playing rock and roll or any other form of popular music.”
December 18th Birthdays
1707 – Charles Wesley, English missionary and composer (died in 1788)
1778 – Joseph Grimaldi, English clown, known as “The Greatest Clown in History” (died in 1837)
1863 – Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria (died in 1914)
1878 – Joseph Stalin, Georgian-Russian politician, 4th Premier of the Soviet Union (died in 1953)
1879 – Paul Klee, German/Swiss painter (died in 1940)
1886 – Ty Cobb, American baseball player (died in 1961)
1913 – Willy Brandt, German politician (died in 1992)
1916 – Betty Grable, American actress (died in 1973)
1917 – Ossie Davis, American actor (died in 2005)
1924 – Cicely Tyson, America actress
1939 – Michael Moorcock, English author and songwriter
1943 – Keith Richards, English singer-songwriter
1946 – Steve Biko, South African activist, founder of the Black Consciousness Movement (died in 1977)
1946 – Steven Spielberg, American director, producer, and screenwriter,
1953 – Elliot Easton, American guitarist, and singer
1954 – Ray Liotta, American actor
1963 – Brad Pitt, American actor
1968 – Casper Van Dien, American actor
1970 – DMX (Earl Simmons), American rapper
1978 – Katie Holmes, American actress
1980 – Christina Aguilera, American singer-songwriter
2001 – Billie Eilish, American pop singer
December 18th History
1620 – The British ship Mayflower docked at modern-day Plymouth, Massachusetts, and its passengers prepared to begin their new settlement, Plymouth Colony. Passenger William Bradford became the first governor of the colony.
1787 – New Jersey became the 3rd state.
1839 – John William Draper took a daguerreotype of the moon, the first celestial photograph made in the US.
1865 – The 13th Amendment went into effect, abolishing slavery in the US.
1878 – Joseph Swan demonstrated his carbon filament electric light, almost a year before Edison.
1892 – The premiere performance of The Nutcracker by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky in Saint Petersburg, Russia.
1961 – Based on an African sing called Mbube – The Lion Sleeps Tonight was the # 1 song on the Billboard Charts. It is probably the most well-known doo-wop song of all time. (#1 December 18, 1961 – January 12, 1962)
1968 – Chitty Chitty Bang Bang was released. It was based on Ian Fleming’s book of the same name.
1969 – On Her Majesty’s Secret Service was released, starring George Lazenby as Agent 007, James Bond.
1977 – George and Kathleen Lutz purchased their new home at their home at 112 Ocean Avenue in Amityville New York. Their 28-day adventure in the home was dramatically portrayed in the 1977 book and 1979 film, The Amityville Horror.
1982 – #1 Hit December 18, 1982 – January 14, 1983: Daryl Hall and John Oates – Maneater
1985 – Brazil was released in theaters.
1987 – Moonstruck, Broadcast News, Eddie Murphy Raw, *batteries not included, Overboard, Ironweed, and Leonard Part 6 debuted in theaters.
1996 – The Oakland, California school board unanimously passed a resolution for the incorporating of Ebonics in the classroom.
1997 – Comedian Chris Farley died from a drug overdose, at the age of 33.
1997 – HTML 4.0 was published by the World Wide Web Consortium.
1998 – The Prince of Egypt and You’ve Got Mail were released in theaters.
2002 – The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers debuted in theaters.
2009 – Avatar and Nine were released in theaters.
2013 – A&E suspended Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson for comments he made regarding homosexuality and the civil rights era in an interview with GQ magazine. He was reinstated on December 27.
2013 – Her and Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues were released in theaters.
Today’s Random Trivia and Shower Thoughts
A friend is someone who will help you move. A BEST friend is someone who will help you move a body.
Why was the Batphone in a glass casing? Was Commissioner Gordon a germ freak in the ’60s?
Due to the mild temperatures in 1949, the Rockefeller Christmas Tree was spray-painted with hundreds of gallons of silver paint in efforts to look more winter-like.
If Burger King and Dairy Queen got married, they would live in White Castle. Their first son would be named Jack. He’d live in a box.
Old Quaker Oats advertising identified the “Quaker man” as William Penn, but today he is referred to as “Larry”.
Malcolm’s last name in Malcolm in the Middle is Wilkerson. Although never spoken aloud in the series it can be seen on the name badge Francis is wearing in the pilot episode.
In Animaniacs, Dot’s full name is Princess Angelina Contessa Louisa Francesca Banana Banna Bo Besca, the Third.
Biggest film of 1916: 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (Action/Adventure) earned ~ $8,000,000
US President #40 Ronald Reagan (1981-1989) Reagan was the oldest president elected to office (aged 69). His favorite all-time job? As a teenage lifeguard!
We are about 100 million million million million million degrees away from the hottest temperature possible and only a few hundred degrees away from the coldest one.
The Capital of Andorra is Andorra la Vella
“Mother of mercy, is this the end of Rico?” – Cesare Enrico “Rico” Bandello (Edward G. Robinson) in Little Caesar, 1931
The dinner I was cooking for my family was going to be a surprise but the fire trucks ruined it.
More Pop Culture History Resources