Today In History, 22 December: What Happened On This Day

What happened today in history (22 December): The births of Srinivasa Ramanujan and Guru Gobind Singh, the demise George Eliot, beginning of the Dreyfus affair, and more.
This day in history (22 Dec): The Birth of S. Ramanujan and Guru Gobind Singh
This day in history (22 Dec): The Birth of S. Ramanujan and Guru Gobind Singh

Today in History: We’re just a few days away from Christmas, one of the biggest festivals in the world, and the excitement can be felt in the air. As you await the arrival of Christmas, know this: December 25 is not the only important day in the month.

Today is 22 December. While it doesn’t evoke any special memories and appears to be another lazy winter day, December 22 holds a significant place in world history. Many key events took place on this day (22 Dec).

From the birth of the most influential mathematician in modern history and the tenth Sikh Guru, the demise of one of the most influential female authors and the start of a famous political crisis in France to the premiere of a classic romance movie, December 22 is an important day in history.

Dive in to find out what happened on this day (Dec. 22) in sports, politics and art, along with famous birthdays and deaths in world history.

Historical Events on This day

  • In 1851, India’s first freight train was operated from Roorkee to Piran Kaliyar.
  • In 1882, American inventor Thomas Edison created the first string of Christmas tree lights.
  • In 1885, samurai Ito Hirobumi became the first Prime Minister of Japan.
  • In 1894, the Dreyfus affair began in France after Alfred Dreyfus, a Jewish army officer, was falsely imprisoned for communicating military secrets to Germans. However, new evidence later exonerated him, but the event fiercely divided France.
  • In 1941, US President Franklin D. Roosevelt and his British counterpart Winston Churchill met in Washington, DC, to discuss World War II.
  • In 2010, US President Barack Obama signed legislation to repeal the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy, banning openly homosexual people from serving in the armed forces.
  • In 2001, British Al-Qaeda terrorist Richard Reid tried to detonate a bomb hidden in his shoes on a transatlantic flight but was thwarted by the passengers.
  • In 2018, the Anak Krakatau - the "Child of Krakatoa" volcano in Indonesia erupted, causing a tsunami that caused 400 deaths.

Sports Events Today

  • In 1998, France and Juventus midfielder Zinedine Zidane was named the best football player in Europe after winning the Ballon d’Or award.
  • In 2020, the Argentine footballer scored his 644th goal for FC Barcelona to break Brazilian legend Pele’s record for most goals for one club.

Music and Cinema Events Today

  • In 1894, iconic French composer Claude Debussy's first orchestral masterpiece, "Prélude à l'apres-midi d'un faune" premiered in Paris.
  • In 1932, the classic horror film The Mummy, starring Boris Karloff, was released.
  • In 1965, the American romance-war classic Doctor Zhivago premiered. The film was directed by David Lean and starred Julie Christie and Omar Sharif.

Important Days

  • National Mathematics Day (India): The birth anniversary of Srinivasa Ramanujan is celebrated as the National Mathematics Day in India. S. Ramanujan is an Indian mathematician who is known for ground breaking discoveries in number theory, infinite series and continued fractions.

Notable Deaths On This Day

Sr No

Death Year




Mary Ann Evans, English novelist who under the pen name George Eliot in the Victorian era and is known for her books Silas Marner and Adam Bede



Ma Rainey, American blues singer dubbed the “mother of the blues”



Beatrix Potter, acclaimed English author of children’s books responsible for creating the iconic characters Peter Rabbit, Jeremy Fisher and Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle



Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, Italian poet, editor, art theorist, and founder of the Futurist movement which depicted speed, technology, youth and violence



Samuel Beckett, Irish author, playwright and Nobel laureate who penned the iconic plays En attendant Godot and Endgame



Joe Strummer, British musician who rose to fame as the leader of the notable punk rock band The Clash

Famous Birthdays On This Day

Sr No

Birth Year




Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth and final Sikh Guru served as a warrior, spiritual master, poet and leader of Sikhs. He founded the warrior faction of Sikhs called Khalsa and also named the scripture Guru Granth Sahib as his successor.



Giacomo Puccini, Italian composer primarily known for his grand operas like Turandot, Tosco and La Boheme



Srinivasa Ramanujan, Indian mathematician who made significant contributions to number theory, infinite series and continued fractions



Diane Sawyer, popular American broadcast journalist and anchor



Jean-Michel Basquiat, American artist renowned for his new expressionist paintings depicting poverty, criticising colonialism and other social commentary



Ralph Fiennes, English actor known for playing the main antagonist in iconic films like Schindler’s List and the Harry Potter series



Meghan Trainor, American pop singer who won a Grammy award for her song “All About That Bass”

Also Read | Today in History (21 December)

Also Read | Today in History (20 December)


What happened today in history (22 December)?

Indian mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan and Sikh Guru Gobind Singh were born today (22 Dec).

Which famous personality was born on this day, 22 December?

English actor Ralph Fiennes and American pop singer Meghan Trainor were born on this day.
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