World Facts

What Happened On December 1st In...?

Charlemagne defended a Pope, Ford Motors unveiled its moving assembly line, and Ukrainians voted to leave the Soviet Union.

There is an old adage that history is made every day. While this is true, most people do not stop and reflect on the everyday historical events that can happen, barring something monumental in scale occurring. This article will discuss important events that occurred on December 1st from events that were significant right went they occurred to events whose importance could really only be gauged with the passage of time.

History Made on December 1st in the Year...


In 795, Pope Leo III (who live from 750-816) was elected to be the 96th Pope of the Roman Catholic Church. Following his election as pope relatives of the previous Pope Adrian I (700-795) formed a plot and in April 799 Leo was attacked by a group of armed men, but was rescued after being injured. Following this event Leo's enemies then accused him of committing perjury and adultery, arguing that he was unfit to be Pope. King Charlemagne (742-814) ordered these accusers to meet him and Pope Leo in Paderborn, but no decision was made on the accusations. Following this Charlemagne went to Rome and on December 1st held a council there with representatives of the Pope and the accusers. This council culminated on December 23rd with Leo taking the oath of purgation, freeing him of charges, and his opponents being exiled.


The Hundred Years' War (fought from 1337 to 1453) had moved into its third phase with the first part of the Lancastrian War (1415-1420). During this phase King Henry V (1386-1422) had retaken most of the French region of Normandy and had made a formal alliance with the Duchy of Burgundy (1032-1477), which had taken Paris in 1419. Henry then met with the French King Charles VI (1368-1422) in May 1420 to sign the Treaty of Troyes which enabled Henry's heirs to inherit the French throne. It was then on December 1st of that year that King Henry V and his military forces officially entered the city of Paris.


In the United States, no presidential candidate in the 1824 election received the majority required in the Electoral College to win the election. Since no one won the majority needed from the Electoral College, the 12th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution decrees that the House of Representatives must decide who the president would be. The House of Representatives started this process on December 1st and it took them until February 9th of the following year to make a decision. Despite Andrew Jackson (1767-1845) receiving 10.5% more of the popular vote, receiving 15 more Electoral College votes and winning 5 more states in the election the House of Representatives elected his opponent John Quincy Adams (1767-1848) as president. Since the Speaker of the House and presidential candidate Henry Clay (1777-1852), threw his support behind Adams and then became Secretary of State. Jackson and his supports accused that a Corrupt Bargain had taken place between the two, but this was never proven, although it haunted Adam's presidency.


In the United States, in the city of Raleigh, North Carolina only a few months after the end of the American Civil War which had been waged from 1861 to 1865, a Baptist minister from Massachusetts named Henry Martin Tupper (1831-1893) came down to the southern city. His goal was to act as a missionary and educator to the freed slaves of the South. December 1st was the day of Tupper's first bible study class at the Guion Hotel and is considered the day that Shaw University was founded. In short time this temporary location had been outgrown and Tupper used his own money to buy a plot of land where he built a building to serve as a dual school and church called Raleigh Institute. In a few years this site was also outgrown and donations came into to buy more land, with the school being renamed Shaw University after the single largest donor Elijah Shaw. The school was the first historically black university to be founded in the United States after the Civil War.


In the United States, industrialist Henry Ford (1863-1947) installed the first ever moving assembly line, allowing for the mass productions of his line of automobiles. Ford has introduced his famous Model T back in 1908 but had been searching for a way to increase the output from his factories since then. Drawing inspiration from the production methods of other industries, Ford came up with his moving assembly line. Over the following decade the assembly line improved and got faster, leading to millions of Model T's being made and helping to ushered in the era of the automobile across America.


On this day in Japan, Emperor Hirohito (1901-1989) gave his final approval for his armed forces' commanders to officially move forward with military actions against the United States of America. This resulted six days later in the surprise attack on the United States naval base of Pearl Harbor in Hawaii, killing more than 2,300 Americans and damaging or destroying over 300 ships. This would lead to America entering World War Two (1939-1945) the next day, the internment of Japanese Americans, the Atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the defeat of the Empire of Japan and the liberation of East and Southeast Asia.


In the United States in the city of Montgomery, Alabama a woman named Rosa Parks (1913-2005) boarded a public bus that day. She sat in the first row of the black section in the bus and refused to give up her seat for a white man after the white driver of the bus demanded that she do so. This caused Parks to be jailed for refusing to give up her seat and led to the year long Montgomery Bus Boycott starting four days later, after talk by civil rights leaders of planning a challenge to the racist bus laws had been ongoing for months prior. The boycott would lead to the U.S. Supreme Court striking down Alabama state and Montgomery city bus segregation laws, leading to the first big victory in the nonviolent civil right movement and making Parks a symbol of the movement.


The Vietnam War (1954-1975) had been going on for over a decade and had been quickly escalating in the years prior. It was on December 1st that the Selective Service System conducted two draft lotteries to decide the order of call to military service in the Vietnam War. This was the first military conscription draft lottery done by the United States since World War Two, as the U.S. felt it need to increase it personnel fighting in Vietnam. This led about 650,000 young man being drafted into a war that most had no interest in fighting, led to higher tensions in anti-war demonstrations and caused some to leave the country to avoid being drafted.


The Soviet Union had been falling apart since the middle of 1980s, and by the second half of the year 1991 its dissolution rapidly accelerated. The final end for the Soviet Union came on December 1st, 1991 when 92% of Ukrainian votes opted for independence for the Soviet Union. The day after this event Ukraine started to be officially recognized as an independent state. Ukraine leaving also ended any last small chance of keeping the Soviet Union together in some way, like Mikhail Gorbachev wanted, since they were the second most powerful republic in the Soviet Union.


On December 1st of 2013, the Chinese launched an unmanned lunar rover named Yutu, or Jade Rabbit, as part of their Chang'e 3 mission to the Moon. Yutu was China's first ever lunar rover, the first rover to operate on the Moon since 1973 and the first to make a soft landing on the Moon since 1976. The rover reached the Moon's surface on December 14th but after a month had operational issues and then a month after that it was unable to move. Despite this the rover continued to gather useful information until it finally ceased to operate in July 2016.

Why History is Important Every Day of the Year

I hope that by reading this article you learned some new facts about a few events that have happened on December 1st through history, some of which you may have not known before. History has a reputation as something that is boring, but it is so important to learn and know. Knowing history cause one to known how society and culture in a country, region and worldwide has changed overtime. What happened in the past also illustrates why things are the way they are in the present and how they can be in the future.

What Happened On December 1st In...?

Notable Events Occurring on December 1st in HistoryYear
Charlemagne defends Pope Leo III before a council from accusations.from his rivals.
King Henry V's English military forces enter the besieged city of Paris.1420
John Quincy Adams is elected U.S. President by the House of Representatives after no candidate receives a majority in the Electoral College.1824
The first historically black university in the U.S. is founded as Shaw University in Raleigh, North Carolina.1865
Ford Motors begins to use a breakthrough moving assembly line in its mass production of automobiles.1913
Day before the attack on Pearl Harbor, Japanese Emperor Hirohito approves military action against the United States.1941
Rosa Parks refuses to give up her seat to a white man on a Montgomery, Alabama bus, setting the stage for the Montgomery Bus Boycott.1955
The first military conscription draft lottery since World War II is held in the U.S. to bolster its personnel in the Vietnam War.1969
Ukrainian voters pass a referendum to leave the Soviet Union.1991
China launches its first lunar rover, dubbed the "Jade Rabbit".2013

More in World Facts