December 20 in Pop Culture History

December 20th History, Trivia, and Fun Facts

December 20th History Highlights

  • 1832 – England’s HMS Clio, under the command of Captain Onslow, arrived at Port Egmont, taking possession of the Falkland Islands
  • 1971 – The international aid organization Doctors Without Borders was founded by Bernard Kouchner and a group of journalists in Paris, France.
  • 1989 – The United States invasion of Panama deposed Manuel Noriega.
  • 2007 – Elizabeth II became the oldest monarch of the United Kingdom, surpassing Queen Victoria, who lived for 81 years and 243 days
  • If you were born on December 20th,
    You were likely conceived the week of… March 28th (same year)

National Sangria Day

Sangria can be drunk by itself but is also great mixed with other drinks. Many people enjoy their Sangria over ice! You can even use it as a mixer for parties or get-togethers, adding vodka or rum to the mix so everyone has their own unique drink.

Whether you’re looking to celebrate National Sangria Day on December 20th, are just celebrating the fact that you made it this far into December (cheers!), or looking for an interesting new way to spice up your party repertoire – grab yourself some red wine and start mixing! And remember: no one ever got too drunk off of sangria alone… unless they were drinking straight shots of brandy instead of sitting down properly while sipping sangrias.

December 20th is…

Go Caroling Day
International Human Solidarity Day
National Sangria Day
Sacagawea Day

National Hard Candy Day

December 19th is National Hard Candy Day! Childhood memories are often linked to these sweet treats so it only stands to reason that we celebrate it. It’s not just young children that enjoy a well-made piece of candy but people of all ages… some are even known for it. Can’t you think of someone who can always be counted on to have a piece of candy on them?


We don’t know exactly when hard candy was first invented but evidence of candy has been linked to the ancient Egyptians. They would mix honey with fruit and nuts for a sweet treat. The first modern candy was produced in the 16th century. In Southeast Asia, “khanda” was made by boiling sugarcane juice. The 19th century is when candy production really took off. The most famous candies of the time were peppermints and lemon drops. World War I was a bit of a turning point for hard candy when it was produced in smaller pieces to make it easier for soldiers to carry with them. After the war, more than 40,000 different kinds were produced!

Making It

Hard candy is made today by bringing sugar to 300 – 310 degrees Fahrenheit or the “hard crack” stage. Plant extracts, coloring, and other ingredients are added to produce the various flavors. The melted sugar/flavor mixture is then poured into molds and when it cools… BAM!… you have hard candy. It’s just that easy!

Some people, for various reasons, choose to avoid eating sugar. The good news is, you don’t have to be left out of the fun! Due to the advent of sugar-free sweeteners, you can even find hard candy containing no sugar! 

How To Celebrate

This December 19th, you can make some with your friends and family or buy your favorite kind at the store. You can explore new options or learn more about the history of candy. Regardless of what you do, take the day to enjoy a piece and share with those you love.

December 20th Birthday Quotes

“It’s always better to shock people and change people’s expectations than to give them exactly what they think you can do.”
– Jonah Hill

“Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean and nasty place, and I don’t care how tough you are, it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard you hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward; how much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done! Now, if you know what you’re worth, then go out and get what you’re worth. But you gotta be willing to take the hits, and not pointing fingers saying you ain’t where you wanna be because of him, or her, or anybody. Cowards do that and that ain’t you. You’re better than that!”
– Rocky Balboa

“A virtue never tested is no virtue at all.”
– Billy Bragg

“The environment doesn’t change that radically. You are still going to go home at night and NBC is going to be there, ABC and CBS will still be there.”
– Dick Wolf

“I have lived in the canyon for 20 years and the sound of a pack of coyotes yipping still makes my hairs stand on end.”
-Jackie Fox

“The call is never being recorded for quality purposes. It’s being recorded for their legal protection.”
– Jackie Fox

“The revolution is just a T-shirt away.”
– Billy Bragg

December 20th Birthdays

1868 – Harvey Firestine, American inventor (Firestone tires)
1898 – Irene Dunne, American actress (died in 1990)
1922 – George Roy Hill, American director (died in 2002)
1924 – Charlie Callas, American actor, and comedian (died in 2011)
1932 – John Hillerman, American actor (died in 2017)
1945 – Peter Criss, American singer-songwriter and drummer
1946 – Uri Geller, Israeli-English magician and psychic
1946 – Dick Wolf, American TV producer
1948 – Alan Parsons, English keyboard player, and producer
1957 – Billy Bragg, English singer
1952 – Jenny Agutter, English actress
1956 – Anita Ward, American singer
1959 – Jackie Fox (Jacqueline Louise Fuchs), American attorney, Jeopardy! champ and bass player- The Runaways
1983 – Jonah Hill, American actor
1990 – JoJo, American singer

December 20th History

1803 – Although officially signed in April 1803, the French flag came down and the United States’ flag rose in New Orleans, completing the Louisiana Purchase.

1880 – New York’s Broadway was first lighted by electricity, built by Charles F. Brush, and became known as the “Great White Way.”

1938 – The Cathode-Ray Tube was patented by Vladimir Zworykin

1946 – It’s a Wonderful Life, starring Jimmy Stewart, premiered in New York City.

1955 – Cardiff was declared the capital city of Wales, United Kingdom. It is also the city where much of the action in the modern Doctor Who television show takes place.

1957 – Elvis Presley was drafted. He served between March 1958 and March 1960. His army serial number was 53 310 761.

1965 – ABC brought The Dating Game and Supermarket Sweep to daytime TV.

1968 – The Zodiac Killer murdered Betty Lou Jenson and David Faraday in Vallejo, California.

1969 – #1 Hit December 20, 1969 – December 26, 1969: Peter, Paul & Mary – Leaving on a Jet Plane

1981 – Broadway Show – Dreamgirls (Musical) December 20, 1981

On December 20, 1980, NBC tried to televise an NFL Game without any announcers, between the New York Jets and the Miami Dolphins, relying on increased use of graphics (this was pre-CGI) and by the Orange Bowl’s Public Announcements. 
The Jets won, 24-17, but But Viewership Dropped, NBC never tried it again.

1985The Color Purple, Out of Africa, and Enemy Mine were released in theaters.

1985 – Pope John Paul II announced the institution of World Youth Day.

1986 – #1 Hit December 20, 1986 – January 16, 1987: The Bangles – Walk Like An Egyptian

1991Father of the Bride was released in theaters.

2002 – The Wild Thornberrys, Gangs of New York, and Two Weeks Notice debuted in theaters.

2004 – A gang of thieves stole £26.5 Million from the Donegall Square West headquarters of Northern Bank in Belfast, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom, one of the largest bank robberies in British history.

2006Rocky Balboa debuted in theaters.

Today’s Random Trivia and Shower Thoughts

Every Christmas morning, when my kids were little, I read them the nativity story out of the big family bible. When my son was old enough to talk, he asked me what a stable was. I thought for a moment how to explain it to him in terms he could understand, then told him, “It’s something like your sister’s room, but without a stereo.”

Always borrow money from a pessimist… He won’t expect it back.

Instead of dividing the backing vocals (low, medium, and high), Freddie Mercury, Brian May, and Roger Taylor, of the band Queen, would record each background part together in unison, twice. 2×3 part harmony.

The Capital of Algeria is Algiers

TV Quotes… “De plane! De plane!” (Tattoo) on Fantasy Island.

It all comes down to one guy to save the world. #moviecliches

“I know you don’t approve, but it’s like a shot of gin. It makes your blood race, your face numb and your spirits soar.” – Charlie Allnut #moviequotes

ROTHBARD’S LAW: everyone specializes in his own area of weakness.

The Scary Statistic: Snake, Bee or other Venomous Bite or Sting odds: 1-in-100,000

1982’s original Tron movie didn’t win any special effects awards because the Motion Picture Academy thought they “cheated” by using computer graphics.

What to do: Body armor works, also: venomous creatures don’t like the cold either.

The biggest film of 1921: The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse earned ~ $9,200,000

If rap stands for rhythm and poetry, if Apollo is the god of music and poetry, and if music is defined as instrumental, vocal, or mechanical sounds having rhythm, melody, or harmony, then Apollo is the true rap god.

The Capital of Albania is Tirana

“They’re here!” – Carol Anne Freeling (Heather O’Rourke) in Poltergeist, 1982

More Pop Culture History Resources