This Day In History : December 14

1962 United States

Mariner 2 Provides First Data on Venus

In 1962, the U.S. space probe Mariner 2 approached within approximately 34,000 kilometers (21,600 miles) of Venus, becoming the first spacecraft to transmit data about the planet. This historic mission provided valuable insights into Venusian atmosphere and temperature, significantly advancing our understanding of Earth's neighboring planet.

Also on This Day in History December 14

Discover what happened on December 14 with HISTORY's summaries of major events, anniversaries,
famous births and notable deaths.

Births on This Day, December 14
  • 1914 Solomon Spiegelman

    American microbiologist and geneticist who discovered that only one of two strands of molecules that make up DNA, carried the genetic information to produce new substances.

  • 1546 Tycho Brahe

    Danish astronomer whose work in developing astronomical instruments and in measuring and fixing the positions of stars paved the way for future discoveries.

  • 1922 Nikolay Gennadiyevich Basov

    Soviet physicist, best known for the development of the maser, the precursor of the laser.

  • 1852 William Watson Cheyne

    (1st Baronet) Scottish surgeon and bacteriologist who was a pioneer of antiseptic surgical methods in Britain.

  • 1911 Hans Joachim Pabst von Ohain

    German aeronautical engineer who designed the first operational jet engine.

Deaths on This Day, December 14
  • 1905 Herman Haupt

    American civil engineer, manufacturer and inventor, known especially for his work on the Hoosac Tunnel in Massachusetts.

  • 1961 John J. Bittner

    He was an American geneticist who isolated a "Bittner milk factor" (1949) from the milk of certain mice, which strongly suggested that at least some viruses can cause cancer.

  • 1976 Donald Menzel

    Donald Howard Menzel was an American astronomer who was best known for his arguments against the existence of extraterrestrial UFO's.

  • 1976 Louis Agassiz

    He was a Swiss-American naturalist and geologist who made revolutionary contributions to the study of natural science with landmark work on glacier activity and extinct fishes.

  • 1943 John Harvey Kellogg

    American physician and health-food pioneer whose development of dry breakfast cereals was largely responsible for the creation of the flaked-cereal industry.


Voyager aircraft

In 1986, Voyager, the experimental aircraft piloted by Dick Rutan and Jeana Yeager, took off from Edwards Air Force Base in California on the first non-stop, non-refueled flight around the world.

Tanzania Joins the United Nations

On December 14, 1961, Tanzania officially joined the United Nations (UN). This marked a significant step for the newly independent country, formerly known as Tanganyika, in becoming a member of the international community and participating in global diplomacy and cooperation through the UN.

First Streamlined Steam Locomotive Introduced

On December 14, 1934, the first streamlined steam locomotive was introduced in Albany, New York. This innovation marked a significant advancement in railway technology, featuring a sleek design aimed at improving speed and efficiency in rail transport. Streamlined locomotives became iconic symbols of modernization in the transportation industry during the early 20th century.

Organization for Economic Cooperation & Development (OECD) formed

On December 14, 1960, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) was formed. Founded to promote economic growth and cooperation among member countries, the OECD facilitates policy discussions and sets international standards across various economic and social domains. Initially consisting of 20 member countries, it has since expanded to include 38 member nations, playing a crucial role in global economic governance.
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