December received its name because it was the tenth month in the old Roman ten month calendar. The Latin cardinal number for ten is decem. It is the twelfth and last month of the year according to the Gregorian calendar. This is used used in almost all the world today. It became the twelfth month in a later Roman calendar. Until 46 B.C., December only had 29 days. But the Roman statesman Julius Caesar added two days to December, which made it 31 days. In the northern half of the world, Winter begins on December 21 or 22, and most of December is usually warmer than other winter months.
- December has several birthstones. The traditional birthstones are turquoise, lapis lazuli and zircon. Turquoise is also listed as a modern birthstone for the month along with blue topaz. In 2002, tanzanite was added to the modern birthstone list for December.
- The flower for the month of December is the narcissus which symbolizes self-love, self-esteem and vanity. According to Greek mythology, a youth named Narcissus was gazing down at his himself in a pond of water. He fell in love with his own reflection. While kneeling beside the pond, he fell into the water and drowned. The narcissus plant sprang up from the place where he died.
- Sagittarius and Capricorn are the astrological signs for December. Birthdays from December 1st through the 21st fall under the sign of Sagittarius. December 22nd through the 30th birthdays fall under the sign of Capricorn.
- Iceland became a self-governing kingdom united with Denmark, December 1, 1918.
- The first human heart transplant was performed by Christiaan Barnard, South African surgeon, December 3, 1967.
- Martin Van Buren, eighth President of the United States, was born December 5, 1782.
- Motion-picture producer Walt Disney born December 5, 1901.
- Japanese forces attacked the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii in World War II, December 7, 1941.
- George Washington died at Mt. Vernon, December 14, 1799.
- Composer Ludwig van Beethoven born December 16, 1770.
- The Pilgrims landed at Plymouth, Mass., December 21, 1620.
- Christmas, celebrated by Christians as the birthday of Jesus Christ on December 25.
- Isaac Newton, English scientist who discovered the law of gravitation, born December 25, 1642.
- Kwanzaa is celebrated from December 26th to January 1st.
- Louis Pasteur, French chemist, was born December 27, 1822.
- Woodrow Wilson, 28th President of the United States, was born December 29, 1856.
- Andrew Johnson, 17th President of the United States, born December 29, 1808.
- William E. Gladstone, four-time prime minister of Great Britain, was born December 29, 1809.
These are only a few of the events that took place in December. There are many more, just search for December events