On this day:
1512 – The Spanish Crown issues the Laws of Burgos, governing the conduct of settlers with regard to native Indians in the New World.
The Leyes de Burgos (“Laws of Burgos”), promulgated on 27 December 1512 in Burgos, Kingdom of Castile (Spain), was the first codified set of laws governing the behavior of Spaniards in the Americas, particularly with regard to the Indigenous people of the Americas (‘native Caribbean Indians’). They forbade the maltreatment of the indigenous people and endorsed their conversion to Catholicism. The laws were created following the conquest and Spanish colonization of the Americas in the West Indies, where the common law of Castile was not fully applicable.
1932 – Radio City Music Hall, “Showplace of the Nation”, opens in New York City.
Radio City Music Hall is an entertainment venue located in Rockefeller Center in New York City. Its nickname is the Showplace of the Nation, and it was for a time the leading tourist destination in the city. Its interior was declared a city landmark in 1978.
Carrie Frances Fisher (October 21, 1956 – December 27, 2016) was an American actress, screenwriter, author, producer, and speaker. She was known for playing Princess Leia in the Star Wars films. Her other film roles included Shampoo (1975), The Blues Brothers (1980), Hannah and Her Sisters (1986), The ‘Burbs (1989), and When Harry Met Sally… (1989). Fisher was also known for her semi-autobiographical novels, including Postcards from the Edge and the screenplay for the film of the same name, as well as her autobiographical one-woman play and its nonfiction book, Wishful Drinking, based on the show.
Richard George Adams (9 May 1920 – 24 December 2016) was an English novelist who is best known as the author of Watership Down, Shardik and The Plague Dogs. He studied modern history at university before serving in the British Army during World War II. Afterwards, he completed his studies, and then joined the British Civil Service. In 1974, two years after Watership Down was published, Adams became a full-time author.
2016 – Liz Smith, English Actress (b. 1921)
Betty Gleadle, MBE (11 December 1921 – 24 December 2016), known by the stage name Liz Smith, was an English character actress, known for her roles as Annie Brandon in I Didn’t Know You Cared, Bette and Aunt Belle in 2point4 Children, as Norma Speakman (“Nana”) in the BBC comedy The Royle Family, Letitia Cropley in the BBC comedy The Vicar of Dibley and as Zillah In Lark Rise to Candleford.
Vera Rubin (née Cooper; July 23, 1928 – December 25, 2016) was an American astronomer who pioneered work on galaxy rotation rates. She uncovered the discrepancy between the predicted angular motion of galaxies and the observed motion, by studying galactic rotation curves. This phenomenon became known as the galaxy rotation problem. Although initially met with skepticism, Rubin’s results have been confirmed over the subsequent decades. Attempts to explain the galaxy rotation problem led to the theory of dark matter.
Williams and Chad Hugo make up the record production duo The Neptunes, producing soul, hip hop and R&B music. He is the lead vocalist and drummer of the rock-funk-hip hop band N*E*R*D, that he formed with Hugo and childhood friend, Shay Haley. He released his first single, “Frontin’“, in 2003 and followed up with his debut solo album, In My Mind in 2006. His second album, Girl, was released on March 3, 2014. This album was preceded by the commercially successful single, “Happy“. As part of the Neptunes, Williams has produced numerous hit singles for various recording artists.
Williams owns a media venture that encompasses entertainment, music, fashion, and art called i am OTHER, a multimedia creative collective and record label that serves as an umbrella for all of Pharrell Williams’ endeavors, including Billionaire Boys Club.
Williams has earned ten Grammy Awards including two with the Neptunes.