What Happened on December 1?

  • US President Franklin Roosevelt, UK Prime Minister Winston Churchill, and USSR leader Joseph Stalin signed the Tehran Declaration. (1943) In this agreement, the three leaders pledged their nations' friendship and loyalty to each other, and promise to work together against Hitler's Germany.

  • African-American Rosa Parks was arrested for refusing to vacate her bus seat for a white passenger. (1955) This started a major bus boycott led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. that lasted over a year, and is considered the event that started the Civil Rights Movement in America.

  • AIDS was officially recognized by the medical community. (1981) The virus was isolated two years later, and campaigns began to educate people on AIDS prevention.

  • Henry Ford introduced the first moving assembly line. (1913) The system could produce a new car every two minutes and thirty-eight seconds.

  • Lady Nancy Astor became the first woman to sit in the British Parliament. (1919) The American-born Lady Astor remained the only woman MP until 1921, and was an outspoken feminist and social critic.

  • Sherlock Holmes first appeared in print. (1887) A Study in Scarlet was the first of over 60 stories featuring the famous detective. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wrote the book in three weeks.

  • Antarctica was declared a science preserve to be used for peaceful purposes only in the Antarctic Treaty System (ATS). (1959) The ATS was signed by 12 member countries, including the US, Japan, the USSR, the UK, and Argentina.

  • The teams digging the Chunnel meet in the middle. (1990) Digging teams from France and Britain met under the English channel two years after drilling for the Channel Tunnel, or Chunnel, began. This marked the first time that England and continental Europe were connected in 8,000 years.

  • The first draft lottery was held in the US since WWII. (1969) The lottery was held to determine the order of induction into the Army to fight in the Vietnam War. It was incredibly unpopular, and spawned a movement of "draft dodgers" that moved to Canada to avoid the draft.

  • The game of basketball is said to have been invented. (1891) Canadian-born James Naismith is reported to have invented the game at the Springfield, Massachusetts YMCA to keep a rowdy class occupied indoors during the winter. The game was originally played with nine players per team, a large soccer ball, and two peach baskets for goals.

Discussion Comments

While the AIDS virus is very dangerous, on the other hand, I'm also glad that many people are educated enough to know about it, as the wrong information can lead to some serious misunderstandings. For example, what if someone (who is uneducated), started to hang out with a friend, and then later found out that he had AIDS? Since the person doesn't know a lot about the virus, they're probably going to make some pretty bad assumptions about the person, and may even stop being their friend.

In fact, reading these bullet points reminds me of an episode of Captain Planet I saw a while back, that dealt with the same issue. A boy at school was shunned by everyone because he had AIDS. However, the only reason why the school shunned him is because they thought he was contagious, until the record was set straight at the end of the episode. As dangerous as AIDS is, it's still something that we need to be much more educated about, as that can eliminate several precautions and worries.


While it's true that Rosa Parks was a very influential person, when it comes to her story about not moving from the bus, I almost feel like people tend to take it the wrong way, and twist the story around a bit, though not intentionally.

Prior to Rosa Parks being arrested, there were many other people who had refused to get up from their seats as well, which led to them being arrested, just like she was.

It wasn't specifically the fact the Rosa Parks refused to get up that made the difference, it was more based on the fact of who she was, and how well known she was, whether people loved or hated her.

In fact, let's look at it this way. On that day Rosa Parks had been arrested for refusing to get up, let's assume that instead of her, it was just a regular bystander.

More than likely, it wouldn't have made headlines, and even if it did, it wouldn't have been talked about as much. Overall, I think that's one thing that needs to be cleared up about Rosa Parks. However, I'll also admit that until a few years ago, I wasn't ware of this either.

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