What Happened on December 10?

  • The UN adopted the Universal Declaration on Human Rights. (1948) Arising out of the atrocities committed in World War II, the Universal Declaration on Human Rights declared, among other things, that all human beings were born free and equal, everyone has the right to freedom of thought and religion, and everyone has the right to education.

  • The right to vote was granted to women for the first time in the US. (1869) The state of Wyoming gave women the right to vote in all state elections, though it would be another fifty years before the 19th Amendment, granting all American women the right to vote, was passed.

  • The first Nobel Prizes were awarded. (1901) There were five categories of prizes; physics, chemistry, medicine, literature, and peace. The ceremony took place on the fifth anniversary of Dr. Alfred Nobel, the inventor of dynamite, who established the fund for distributing the prizes out of regret for the destructive ways in which his invention was used.

  • King Edward VIII of England stepped down. (1936) He was the only British monarch to ever resign voluntarily. His reason for abdication was his desire to marry American divorcĂ©e Wallis Warfield Simpson, which had been opposed by the royal family and the Church of England. The former king and Mrs. Simpson were married the next year.

  • The Treaty of Paris ended the Spanish-American War. (1898) The treaty signaled the end of most of the Spanish influence in the Americas, and required Spain to surrender Puerto Rico, the Philippines, and Guam to the United States. Cuba was also freed but later came under US control. The US paid Spain $20 million US Dollars (USD) for the Philippines, but Puerto Rico and Guam were given freely.

  • The first traffic signals were put up. (1869) The first traffic lights were installed in London outside of the Houses of Parliament. Modeled after the railroad signals of the day, they operated with semaphore-like arms to signal traffic, and were illuminated after dark with red and green gas lamps.

  • One of the earliest mail services in America was established. (1672) The governor of New York announced that a monthly mail service would begin running between New York and Boston. There would be no "official" (i.e., British-sanctioned) mail service for another twenty years.

  • The first US domestic passenger jet flight took place. (1959) The flight was operated by National Airlines, and went from New York to Miami. The aircraft was a converted Boeing 707, and carried 111 passengers.

  • American poet Emily Dickinson was born. (1830) Though almost entirely unknown during her life, Dickinson's posthumously published poems became extremely popular in the 19th and 20th centuries. Some of her most famous poems include Hope is a Thing with Feathers, and I'm Nobody! Who Are You?

  • The Grand Ole Opry premiered. (1927) The weekly radio, and later, television show, became an extremely popular country music showcase, and has hosted country legends Hank Williams, Dolly Parton, and Kitty Wells, among others.

Discussion Comments


It's interesting how much mail services have changed over the years. Also, before it became official, I'm assuming that messengers were sent out to get the job done, right?


In relation to the second bullet point, sometimes I feel that people take voting for granted, especially after reading how women didn't even have the right to vote until 1869, something which still astounds me till this day.

Also, when I say that people tend to take voting for granted, what I basically mean is that in this day and age, I've known some people who don't really care about voting because to them, it's not even that big of a deal. Probably because they think it only counts as one little vote.

However, if they knew what people had to go through in order to vote, especially women in particular, who were beaten and locked up, then they'd probably be a lot more willing to vote.

Exercising our rights is something that we should do on a daily basis, as many people were willing to risk their lives in order to vote. In fact, has anyone seen the movie Iron Jawed Angels?

To make a long story short, it has to do with many women who were being oppressed because they weren't allowed to vote, and it goes into great detail, showing some truly horrific scenes. For example, there's one scene where the women are being force fed, because of their refusal to eat.

As hard as it was to watch, it's the truth. How does this relate to the article? It's just a little example, of what many had to go through in order to exercise their rights. We're lucky we don't have to go through that.

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