This Day In History : December 9

1978 United States

Pioneer Venus 2 Drops Probes into Atmosphere of Venus

On December 9, 1978, the Pioneer Venus 2 mission successfully deployed five probes into the atmosphere of Venus. This mission was part of NASA's Pioneer Venus program, aimed at studying Venus's atmosphere, surface, and overall climate through atmospheric entry probes and orbiter missions.

Also on This Day in History December 9

Discover what happened on December 9 with HISTORY's summaries of major events, anniversaries,
famous births and notable deaths.

Births on This Day, December 9
  • 1886 Clarence Birdseye

    American inventor and founder of the modern frozen food industry (Birdseye)

  • 1868 Fritz Haber

    German physicist and chemist (Nobel 1918 for process to synthesize ammonia)

  • 1742 Carl Wilhelm Scheele

    Swedish chemist who discovered oxygen in 1772

  • 1667 William Whiston

    English Anglican priest and mathematician

  • 1717 Johann Winckelmann

    German archaeologist (History of Ancient Art)

Deaths on This Day, December 9
  • 2012 Norman Joseph Woodland

    American inventor who co-created the bar code

  • 1937 Gustaf Dalén

    Swedish physicist and industrialist (AGA, Nobel Prize in Physics 1912)

  • 1938 Johannes van Laar

    Dutch chemist (thermodynamics)

  • 1814 Joseph Bramah

    British inventor and locksmith who invented the beer pump

  • 1996 Mary Leakey

    British archaeologist and anthropologist who discovered the earliest human footprints 3.6 million years old


The Genocide Convention Adopted in Britain

On December 9, 1948, the Genocide Convention was adopted in Britain. This historic treaty, formally known as the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, established the legal framework to prevent and punish acts of genocide, marking a crucial step in international human rights law.

Tanganyika gained independence

On December 9, 1961, Tanganyika, a territory in East Africa, gained independence from British colonial rule. This milestone marked the beginning of self-governance and sovereignty for the people of Tanganyika, who subsequently formed the modern-day nation of Tanzania through a union with Zanzibar in 1964.

Smallpox declared eradicated

On December 9, 1979, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared smallpox eradicated worldwide. This historic achievement was the result of a concerted global effort involving numerous countries and organizations, demonstrating the effectiveness of international cooperation in public health and disease eradication efforts.

9 Dec 1582 was the last date using the Julian calendar in France

In 1582, December 9th was indeed the last day using the Julian calendar in France. Following this date, France transitioned to the Gregorian calendar, aligning with other European countries that had already made the switch earlier that year. This adjustment aimed to correct discrepancies in the Julian calendar, improving accuracy in calculating leap years and aligning with astronomical events more effectively.
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