Today In History, 19 December: What Happened On This Day

What happened today in history (19 December): Birth of Pratibha Patil and Jake Gyllenhaal, Bill Clinton’s impeachment, the premiere of Titanic, beginning of the first Indochina War, Goa Liberation Day and more.
This day in history (19 Dec): Goa Liberation Day and Bill Clinton’s Impeachment
This day in history (19 Dec): Goa Liberation Day and Bill Clinton’s Impeachment

Today in History: Christmas week has begun. We’re a week away from Christmas and less than two weeks away from the dawn of another fateful year. Today is 19 December. While it appears to be another lazy winter day, December 19 holds an important place in world history. Many significant events happened on this day (19 Dec).

From the births of the first female president of India, one of the best actors of the 21st century and one of the greatest strikers in football, the premiere of a modern romance epic and the beginning of the first Indochina War to the end of the Goa Liberation War, December 19 is a major day in history.

Keep reading to learn what happened on this day (Dec. 19) in sports, politics and art, along with famous birthdays and deaths in world history.

Historical Events on This day

  • In 1642, four members of explorer Abel Tasman’s crew were killed at Murderers Bay in New Zealand by Maori indigenous.
  • In 1927, the conspirators of the Kakori train robbery during the Indian Independence Movement were hanged by the British. This included Ram Prasad Bismil, Ashfaqulla Khan and Roshan Singh.
  • In 1941, German dictator Adolf Hitler appointed himself head of the German army.
  • In 1946, the Vietnamese nationalist independence force Viet Minh, founded by Ho Chi Minh, began the First Indochina War against France.
  • In 1961, Portuguese colonial territories Goa and Daman & Diu became part of India after the surrender of the Portuguese forces in Operation Vijay.
  • In 1984, Chinese Premier Zhao Ziyang and British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher signed the Sino-British Joint Declaration to transfer Hong Kong back to China in 1997.
  • In 1998, US President Bill Clinton was impeached by the U.S. House of Representatives over charges of perjury and obstruction of justice.
  • In 2008, Chanda Kochhar was named the successor of K.V. Kamath as the CEO and managing director of the ICICI Bank of India. Kocchar is currently facing allegations of money laundering.
  • In 2021, Gabriel Boric won Chile's presidential election, becoming the country's youngest president at age 35.

Sports Events Today

  • In 1980, Martin Scorsese’s sports drama, Raging Bull, was released. The film was inspired by the life of boxer Jake LaMotta and starred Robert De Niro.
  • In 2000, Real Madrid and Portugal midfielder Luis Figo was named the best football player in Europe after winning the Ballon d’Or trophy.

Art and Culture Events Today

  • In 1843, Charles Dickens’ iconic novella A Christmas Carol was published.
  • In 1971, Stanley Kubrick’s dystopian drama A Clockwork Orange premiered. The film was controversial for its depiction of violence and earned a rare X rating.
  • In 1997, James Cameron’s period romance epic Titanic, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet, premiered. Inspired by the sinking of the British passenger ship Titanic in 1912, the film became the highest-grossing film at the time.

Important Days

Goa Liberation Day: On December 19, 1961, Goa, along with Daman and Diu, was liberated from the 450 years of oppressive Portuguese rule and incorporated into India.

Notable Deaths On This Day

Sr No

Death Year




Vitus Bering, Danish explorer and cartographer who served in the Russian navy and discovered the link between Asia and North America, which was later named after him as the Bering strait.



Emily Bronte, English novelist whose first and only novel Wuthering Heights became a literary classic



J.M.W. Turner, English painter and colourist who is famous for his expressive, imaginative landscapes and for pioneering Romanticism



Alois Alzheimer, German clinical psychiatrist and neuroanatomist who discovered dementia and Alzheimer’s disease



Robert Millikan, American physicist who won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1923 for the measurement of the elementary electric charge and for his work on the photoelectric effect.

Famous Birthdays On This Day

Sr No

Birth Year




Philip V, King of Spain from 1700 to 1746 and the founder of the Bourbon dynasty



Leonid Brezhnev, General Secretary of the Soviet Union from 1964 to 1982, who led the country during the Cold War era



Edith Piaf French singer and actress who performed the iconic songs like “Non, je ne regrette rien” and “La Vie En Rose”



Om Prakash, Indian character actor who starred in films like Gopi, Namak Halaal and Sharaabi



Pratibha Devi Singh Patil, Indian politician and lawyer who became the the first female President of India in 2007



Ricky Ponting, Australian cricketer, coach and a renowned batsman who led his team to two consecutive World Cup wins in 2003 and 2007



Jake Gyllenhaal, American actor who has delivered some of the greatest performances of the 21st century in films like Brokeback Mountain, Nightcrawler and Southpaw



Karim Benzema, French footballer and FIFA Ballon d’Or 2022 winner

Also Read | Today in History (18 December)

Also Read | Today in History (17 December)


What happened today in history (19 December)?

On this day, Bill Clinton was impeached, Goa was liberated from the Portuguese occupation, and the first Indo China War began in Vietnam.

Which famous personality was born on this day, 19 December?

American actor Jake Gyllenhaal, French footballer Karim Benzema and the first female President of India, Pratibha Patil were born today (19 Dec).

What major sports event happened on 19 December?

Martin Scorsese’s sports biopic Raging Bull premiered on 19 December 1980 and Portugal midfielder Luis Figo won the Ballon d’Or award in 2001.
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