This Day In History : December 5

2005 United Kingdom

UK's Civil Partnership Act of 2004 Comes into Force

On December 5, 2005, the Civil Partnership Act of 2004 came into force in the United Kingdom, granting legal recognition to same-sex partnerships. This landmark legislation provided similar rights and responsibilities as marriage, marking a significant step towards equality in partnership rights.

Also on This Day in History December 5

Discover what happened on December 5 with HISTORY's summaries of major events, anniversaries,
famous births and notable deaths.

Births on This Day, December 5
  • 1916 Hilary Koprowski

    Polish virologist and immunologist who discovered the first vaccine against poliomyelitis which was based on oral administration of attenuated polio virus.

  • 1901 Werner Heisenberg

    Werner Karl Heisenberg was the German physicist and philosopher who discovered a way to formulate quantum mechanics in terms of matrices (1925).

  • 1879 Clyde Vernon Cessna

    American Aviator, aircraft manufacturer who invented the cantilever wing and a V-shaped tail configuration and a simple, flexible monoplane design.

  • 1868 Arnold Sommerfeld

    Arnold Johannes Wilhelm Sommerfeld was a German physicist whose atomic model permitted the explanation of fine-structure spectral lines.

  • 1864 Lewis Ralph Jones

    U.S. botanist and agricultural biologist who was one of the first and most distinguished of American plant pathologists.

Deaths on This Day, December 5
  • 1995 Clair Cameron Patterson

    U.S. geochemist who in 1953 made the first precise measurement of the Earth's age, 4.55 billion years.

  • 1920 Benjamin Holt

    American inventor of the crawler track (1904) in the form of an endless chain tread for his steam traction engine.

  • 1624 Gaspard Bauhin

    Swiss physician, anatomist and botanist who introduced a scientific binomial system of classification to both anatomy and botany.

  • 1954 Charles Palache

    American mineralogist who was one of the most eminent crystallographers and mineralogists of the world, he lived in a period of revolutionary developments in mineralogical science.

  • 1965 Joseph Erlanger

    American physiologist who discovered that fibres within the same nerve cord possess different functions.


London Great Smog

In 1952, a dense smog descended on London, England, that would last four days, causing at least 4,000 deaths and chaos for transportation as visibility was reduced to a few hundred yards.

Britain's first motorway

In 1958, Britain's first stretch of motorway, the 8 mile Preston bypass was officially opened by the Prime Minister, Harold MacMillan.

ARPANET Expands to Four Nodes

In 1969, the ARPANET, funded by ARPA (now DARPA), expanded to include four nodes: UCLA, Stanford Research Institute (SRI), UC Santa Barbara, and University of Utah. This marked a significant milestone in the development of the internet, connecting multiple universities and laying the groundwork for the modern internet infrastructure.

Britain's First Motorway, Preston Bypass, Opens

On December 5, 1958, the Preston Bypass, Britain's first stretch of motorway, was officially opened by Prime Minister Harold MacMillan. Spanning 8 miles, this pioneering highway marked a significant advancement in British transportation infrastructure, revolutionizing travel and commerce across the country.
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