This Day In History : December 1

1959 United States

Twelve Nations Sign Antarctic Treaty for Scientific and Peaceful Use

On December 1, 1959, twelve nations signed the Antarctic Treaty, committing to the scientific exploration and peaceful use of Antarctica. This landmark agreement established the continent as a demilitarized zone dedicated to international cooperation in scientific research and environmental protection.

Also on This Day in History December 1

Discover what happened on December 1 with HISTORY's summaries of major events, anniversaries,
famous births and notable deaths.

Births on This Day, December 1
  • 1925 Martin Rodbell

    American biochemist (1994 Nobel Prize for medicine or Physiology for discovery of G-proteins)

  • 1743 Martin Heinrich Klaproth

    German chemist who discovered uranium (1789), zirconium (1789), cerium (1803)

  • 1912 Architect Minoru Yamasaki

    American architect who designed the World Trade Center

  • 1792 Nikolai Lobachevsky

    Russian mathematician (Lobachevskian geometry)

  • 1941 Federico Faggin

    Italian physicist and inventor (microprocessor)

Deaths on This Day, December 1
  • 2020 Norman Abramson

    American computer scientist who created ALOHANET

  • 1964 John Burdon Sanderson Haldane

    British-Indian geneticist (primordial soup theory)

  • 1935 Bernhard Voldemar Schmidt

    German optical instrument maker (inventor of the Schmidt telescope)

  • 1990 Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit

    Indian diplomat and politician who was the 1st woman to hold a cabinet post in India

  • 2023 Sandra Day O'Connor

    American lawyer and judge, 1st woman Supreme Court Justice (1981- 2006)


United Nations Proclaims December 1 as World AIDS Day, 1988

In 1988, the United Nations proclaimed December 1 as World AIDS Day. This annual observance aims to raise awareness about the AIDS pandemic, honor those who have died from the disease, and support ongoing efforts to combat HIV/AIDS through education, prevention, and treatment initiatives worldwide.

Arecibo telescope collapse

On December 1, 2020, the Arecibo Telescope in Puerto Rico, a renowned facility for radio astronomy, collapsed. The incident marked the end of an era for the observatory, which had contributed significantly to scientific research, including the search for extraterrestrial intelligence and studies of planetary systems, for nearly six decades.

Lady Nancy Astor sworn-in as 1st female member of British Parliament

On December 1, 1919, Lady Nancy Astor was sworn in as the first female member of the British Parliament. Her groundbreaking achievement marked a significant milestone in the history of women's political participation in the United Kingdom, paving the way for future generations of women in politics.

Ford Motor Company institutes world's 1st moving assembly line for the Model T Ford

On December 1, 1913, the Ford Motor Company instituted the world's first moving assembly line for the Model T in the United States. This revolutionary manufacturing process significantly reduced production time and costs, making automobiles more affordable and transforming industrial production methods globally.
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