Othilia Hecker

Othilia Hecker

Modified & Updated: 08 Sep 2023

Source: Facts.net

December 5th is a date that holds great significance in history, as it marks a day filled with notable events, achievements, and milestones. From groundbreaking scientific discoveries to significant political events and cultural landmarks, December 5th has witnessed a wide range of influential moments across different time periods and continents.

Exploring the events that happened on this day allows us to delve into the past, gain insights into the progression of society, and appreciate the individuals who have shaped our world. Whether it’s a momentous breakthrough in medicine, a significant historical event, or the birth of a renowned figure, each occurrence holds a story that can both educate and inspire us. Join us as we travel back in time and uncover the fascinating facts and events that took place on December 5th throughout history.

Table of Contents


  • 1492: Christopher Columbus becomes the first European to set foot on the island of Hispaniola (modern-day Haiti and the Dominican Republic).
  • 1776: The Phi Beta Kappa Society, the first academic honor society in the United States, is founded at the College of William & Mary in Virginia.
  • 1848: President James K. Polk announces that gold has been discovered in California, leading to the California Gold Rush.
  • 1933: Prohibition comes to an end in the United States as Utah becomes the 36th state to ratify the 21st Amendment to the Constitution.
  • 1995: NASA’s Galileo spacecraft arrives at Jupiter and begins its exploration of the planet and its moons.


  • 1791: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s final masterpiece, the opera “The Magic Flute,” premieres in Vienna, Austria.
  • 1872: The world’s first controlled, powered, and sustained heavier-than-air flight is achieved by the Wright brothers with their aircraft, the Wright Glider.
  • 1945: The Flight of the Gossamer Condor, the first human-powered aircraft, takes place in California.
  • 1952: Great Smog of London: A combination of cold weather and air pollution results in a severe smog that kills thousands of people and leads to environmental regulations.
  • 2001: The Human Genome Project and Celera Genomics announce the completion of the mapping and sequencing of the human genome.


  • 1776: The United States Declaration of Independence is read aloud for the first time to General George Washington’s army at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania.
  • 1933: The 21st Amendment to the United States Constitution is ratified, repealing the 18th Amendment and ending Prohibition.
  • 1955: The Montgomery bus boycott begins in Alabama, following the arrest of Rosa Parks for refusing to give up her seat to a white passenger.
  • 1989: Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and US President George H.W. Bush declare an end to the Cold War during a summit in Malta.
  • 2013: Nelson Mandela, the first black president of South Africa and anti-apartheid activist, passes away at the age of 95.


  • 1791: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s final masterpiece, the opera “The Magic Flute,” premieres in Vienna, Austria.
  • 1839: The first photograph of the Moon is taken by French photographer Louis Daguerre.
  • 1901: Walt Disney, the creator of Mickey Mouse and founder of Disneyland, is born in Chicago, Illinois.
  • 1952: The first ever “Madame Tussauds” wax museum opens in London, England.
  • 1980: Led Zeppelin officially disbands after the death of drummer John Bonham.


  • 1839: George Armstrong Custer, American general who played a role in the American Civil War and the Indian Wars.
  • 1901: Walt Disney, American entrepreneur, animator, and film producer, known for creating Mickey Mouse and founding The Walt Disney Company.
  • 1932: Little Richard, American singer-songwriter, pianist, and actor, known as one of the founding fathers of rock and roll.
  • 1979: Nick Stahl, American actor known for his roles in movies like “Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines” and “Sin City”.
  • 1985: Frankie Muniz, American actor best known for his role as Malcolm in the television sitcom “Malcolm in the Middle”.


  • 1791: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, influential and prolific composer of the Classical era.
  • 1831: Kit Carson, American frontiersman, fur trapper, and explorer.
  • 1870: Alexandre Dumas, French novelist and playwright, known for his novels “The Three Musketeers” and “The Count of Monte Cristo”.
  • 1977: Thornton Wilder, American playwright and novelist, three-time Pulitzer Prize winner.
  • 2013: Nelson Mandela, anti-apartheid activist and the first black president of South Africa.


December 5th has been a significant day throughout history, marked by various events and achievements. From historical milestones to scientific breakthroughs, political advancements, cultural highlights, and notable births and deaths, this date holds a diverse range of events worth remembering. It is a testament to the continuous progression of human endeavors, creativity, and the impact of individuals on society. The events that occurred on December 5th serve as a reminder of the rich tapestry of history and how these moments have shaped the world in profound ways.


Q: What are some significant historical events that happened on December 5th?

A: Some significant historical events that happened on December 5th include Christopher Columbus becoming the first European to set foot on Hispaniola, the founding of the Phi Beta Kappa Society, and the end of Prohibition in the United States.

Q: Are there any notable scientific breakthroughs associated with December 5th?

A: Yes, December 5th marks significant scientific breakthroughs such as the first human-powered flight, the completion of the mapping and sequencing of the human genome, and the first photograph of the Moon.

Q: What political milestones have occurred on December 5th?

A: Political milestones associated with December 5th include the reading of the United States Declaration of Independence to General George Washington’s army, the ratification of the 21st Amendment ending Prohibition, and the declaration of the end of the Cold War by Mikhail Gorbachev and George H.W. Bush.

Q: What cultural events are linked to December 5th?

A: Some cultural events associated with December 5th include the premiere of Mozart’s opera “The Magic Flute,” the opening of the first “Madame Tussauds” wax museum, and the disbandment of Led Zeppelin.

Q: Who are some notable individuals born on December 5th?

A: Notable figures born on December 5th include Walt Disney, Little Richard, Frankie Muniz, and George Armstrong Custer.

Q: Are there any notable deaths that occurred on December 5th?

A: Yes, notable deaths on December 5th include Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Alexandre Dumas, Thornton Wilder, and Nelson Mandela.