December 23rd History, Trivia, and Fun Facts
December 23rd History Highlights
Festivus is December 23
Frank Costanza: Many Christmases ago, I went to buy a doll for my son. I reached for the last one they had, but so did another man. As I rained blows upon him, I realized there had to be another way.
Cosmo Kramer: What happened to the doll?
Frank Costanza: It was destroyed. But out of that, a new holiday was born; a Festivus for the rest of us!
Cosmo Kramer: That must’ve been some kind of doll.
Traditional Festivus Information
Festivus was first debuted on “The Strike” episode of the hit sitcom Seinfeld, aired on December 17th, 1997. The actual holiday is celebrated every year on December 23rd and was created in despair of the commercialization of Christmas.
In place of an aromatic, flush evergreen as a Christmas tree, Festivus followers use an aluminum pole. A traditional Festivus celebration consists of the following: first, families and friends take part in the “Airing of Grievances,” where everyone vents their hostilities towards each other. After a nice meal of meatloaf or spaghetti in red sauce, it is time for the “Feats of Strength.” To take part in the “Feats of Strength,” one must be chosen by the head of the household. The chosen one must then fight the head until he/she is wrestled to the ground and admits defeat.
Seinfeld writer Daniel O’Keefe’s father found Festivus in a book that outlined observed holidays published in 1966.
Since the episode in 1997, Festivus has become a renowned holiday that is celebrated by many. Ben and Jerry had an ice cream flavor dubbed Festivus but renamed it “Gingerbread Cookie” in 2001 for reasons unknown. Festivus is the name of a red wine produced by Grape Ranch Vineyards in Oklahoma. Its holiday song, Oh Festivus, was first sung in Dallas, TX to the tune of O, Canada.
In the 2000 NFL season, the Baltimore Ravens head coach Brian Billick didn’t allow the team to use the “P-Word” (Playoffs- for those who are football ignorant) until the team got there. In its place, they had to use the word Festivus. The Ravens referred to the Superbowl as the “Festivus Maximus,” and actually went on to defeat the New York Giants 34-7 in Superbowl XXXV.
The 2006 Baltimore City Department of Public Works calendar highlights Festivus Appreciation Day. Seems like those Baltimorians really enjoy the merriments of Festivus.
December 23rd is…
December 23rd Birthday Quotes
“Welcome, newcomers. The tradition of Festivus begins with the airing of grievances. I got a lot of problems with you people! And now you’re gonna hear about it! For some people, the revelation comes too late that life is best kept to the essentials. Some people are given their last rites and that person might say in their last breath, ‘I should have celebrated Festivus.'”
“You know what my greatest personal stumbling block is? My shyness.”
“The final frontier is perhaps the most difficult, but it’s also the most important – and that’s the frontier of the human spirit. For too long, people have allowed differences on the surface; differences of color, ethnicity, and gender – to tear apart the common bonds they share. And the human spirit suffers as a result. Imagine a world in which we saw beyond the lines that divide us, and celebrated our differences, instead of hiding from them. Imagine a world in which we finally recognized that, fundamentally, we are all the same. And imagine if we allowed that new understanding to build relations between people and between nations.”
“Too many in your state [Pennsylvania], as in this [New York], love pure democracy dearly. They seem not to consider that pure democracy, like pure rum, easily produces intoxication, and with it a thousand mad pranks and fooleries.”
December 23rd Birthdays
1745 – John Jay, American politician, 1st Chief Justice of the United States (died in 1829)
1805 – Joseph Smith, American religious leader, founder of the Latter Day Saints (died in 1844)
1867 – C.J. Walker, first female American millionaire (died in 1919)
1929 – Chet Baker, American jazz trumpet and flugelhorn player (died in 1988)
1933 – Akihito, Emperor of Jpan
1943 – Harry Shearer, American actor,
1944 – Wesley Clark, American general
1946 – Susan Lucci, American actress
1952 – William Kristol, American journalist, publisher, and political pundit
1958 – Joan Severance, American actress
1963 – Jim Harbaugh, American NFL player
1964 – Eddie Vedder, American singer-songwriter
1967 – Carla Bruni, Italian-French singer-songwriter
1971 – Corey Haim, Canadian actor (died in 2010)
1988 – Mallory Hagan, Miss America 2013
December 23rd History
Every December 3rd, 23 Thousand luminaries are lit and placed at the site of the Civil War battle of Antietam, to remember the lives lost over the course of 8 hours of fighting.
1815 – The novel Emma by Jane Austen was published.
1823 – A Visit From St. Nicholas, also known as The Night Before Christmas, was published. Clement Clarke Moore acknowledged authorship in 1837.
1888 – Suffering from severe depression, Vincent Van Gogh cut off the lower part of his left ear with a razor in Arles, France.
1913 – The Federal Reserve Act was signed into law by President Woodrow Wilson, creating the Federal Reserve System.
December 23, 19** Birthday (fictional) Billy and Mary Batson were born, Fawcett/DC Comics.
December 23, 1944 (fiction) Hellboy (Anug Un Rama) was summoned by Rasputin, Hellboy, Comics
1947 – Walter H. Brattain and John Bardeen at Bell Laboratories first demonstrated the transistor.
1954 – Dr. John P. Merrill led the first successful kidney transplant between identical twins at Peter Bent Hospital, Boston, Mass. His identical twin, Ronald, donated the kidney to Richard Herrick, 23.
1959 – Early rocker Chuck Berry was arrested for bringing a 14-year-old girl from Mexico to Missouri.
1970 – The North Tower of the World Trade Center in Manhattan, New York, New York reached 1,368 feet, making it the tallest building in the world at that time.
1972 – NFL’s “Immaculate Reception” – Franco Harris of the Pittsburgh Steelers grabbed a deflected pass from quarterback Terry Bradshaw to score a touchdown, winning the game for the Steelers 13-7 over the Oakland Raiders.
December 23, 1979 Birthday (fictional) Peter Petrelli, Heroes, TV
1986 – Experimental aircraft Voyager, piloted by Dick Rutan and Jeana Yeager, landed at Edwards Air Force Base in California, completing the first nonstop flight, just over nine hours, around the globe on a single load of fuel.
1988 – Working Girl, Beaches, Dangerous Liaisons, The Accidental Tourist, and Hellbound: Hellraiser II were released in theaters.
1989 – #1 Hit December 23, 1989 – January 19, 1990: Phil Collins – Another Day in Paradise
1989 – To celebrate the fall of the Berlin Wall, Leonard Bernstein and an international orchestra & chorus performed in Berlin a version of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, in which Freude (Joy) was changed to Freiheit (Freedom).
1992 – Scent of a Woman was released in theaters.
1994 – Legends of the Fall and Nobody’s Fool were released in theaters.
1997 – As Good As It Gets was released in theaters.
2009 – Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel was released in theaters.
2011 – We Bought A Zoo was released in theaters.
#1 Hit December 23, 2017 – January 26, 2018: Ed Sheeran solo or duet with Beyoncé – Perfect
Today’s Random Trivia and Shower Thoughts
Veni, Vedi, Visa. I Came. I Saw. I Did a Little Shopping.
Daughter: “Mommy, why did Mrs. Santa Claus drive by on a tractor?” Mommy: “Rain, dear”
Raw materials on earth haven’t changed much. Dinosaurs could have had iPhones if they had been smarter.
What if when pirates were sailing the ocean blue all that time looking for hidden treasure, the real treasure was in the friendships they were making?
The first movie to gross over $100 million was Jaws, 1975.
Since 1987 the fictional license plate # 2GAT123 has appeared in dozens of commercials and over 20 films
“Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.” – Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart)
In a 1931 exhibition game between the New York Yankees and the Chattanooga Lookouts, a 17-year-old girl named Jackie Mitchell struck out baseball greats Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig.
Creator Chuck Jones said he created the Coyote-Road Runner cartoons as a parody of traditional “cat and mouse” cartoons like Tom and Jerry.
The first nativity scene staged was by St Francis of Assissi in 1223. He got permission from Pope Honorious III to set up a manger with hay and two live animals—an ox and an ass – in Grecio, an Italian village. He invited villagers to view it while he preached.
Biggest film of 2016: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (Action/Adventure) earned ~ $532,000,000
“Cinderella story. Outta nowhere. A former greenskeeper, now, about to become the Masters champion. It looks like a mirac… It’s in the hole! It’s in the hole! It’s in the hole!” – Carl Spackler (Bill Murray) in Caddyshack, 1980
People with higher incomes generally prefer their toilet paper to come over the roll, while those with lower incomes prefer it to go under.
Due to an error by one of the creators of the HTTP specification, every web page request made contains the misspelling ‘Referer’.
“Alright, alright, Mickey’s a mouse, Donald’s a duck, Pluto’s a dog. What’s Goofy?” – Gordie in Stand By Me #moviequotes
“Your desire is not up to your decision, your decision is not up to your determination, your determination is not up to your destiny.” – Oladosu Feyikogbon
More Pop Culture History Resources