Five People Born on December 20

dec_20Today is December 20, 2009 and the 354th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar.  There are 11 days left in the year 2009. According the Mayan calendar, there are 1096 days till the end of the current cycle.  On this date, in 1803,the Louisiana Purchase is completed between France and the U.S.  Here are five people that share a birthday on this day:

 

number1Samuel Mudd (1833-1883)
U.S. Physician born Samuel Alexander Mudd I, in Charles County, Maryland is most famous for being convicted and imprisoned for aiding John Wilkes Booth in the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln.  He was pardoned four years later by Andrew Johnson.  While it is not known of what connection he had to the assassination, Mudd certainly met with Booth on several occasions and helped fix the assassin’s leg after it was broken during the assassination.  Booth then spent the night at Mudd’s house, but it is not known if he mentioned having killed Lincoln.  In any case, when Mudd had found out, he did not immediately contact the authorities, waiting till after Easter Sunday to make Booth’s presence known.  Mudd committed perjury during the later trial and was sent to prison.  There, he tried to escape but was recaptured.  After his pardon, Mudd returned to his home in Maryland, but his reputation was forever tarnished.  Because of this, we get the phrase, “His name is Mudd.” – meaning that your name is not honorable.

 

number2Harvey Firestone (1868-1938)
U.S. Automobile Pioneer born in Columbiana, Ohio and founder of the Firestone Tire and Rubber Company – one of the first global makers of automobile tires and an important contributor to American economic growth during the twentieth century.  Firestone started in 1890 making rubber tires for carriages.  In 1904, he teamed up with Henry Ford to collaborate on the newly popular automobile.  Firestone, along with Ford and friend Thomas Edison, formed a group called “The Millionaire’s Club”.  The three helped each other out and vacationed together throughout the U.S.  This partnership was later made permanent when Firestone’s granddaughter married Ford’s grandson.  During World War 2, Firestone helped the war effort by converting his company to the making of artillery shells, aluminum kegs for food transport, and rubberized military products.

 

 

number3Peter Criss (Born 1945)
U.S. Drummer and Singer born George Peter John Criscuola in Brooklyn, New York and best known for his years with the rock band, KISS.  He became a member of the band after putting a classified ad in Rolling Stone magazine which was answered by fellow KISS band members, Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons.  He is credited for having co-wrote their famous ballad, Beth.  He is the member that wears the Cat makeup.

 

number4Jenny Agutter (Born 1952)
British Actress born in Taunton, Somerset, England.  She is an Emmy award winning actress best known for her British television series Spooks and has starred in such films as Logan’s Run and An American Werewolf in London.  She has appeared in over 30 different movies and television shows and now resides in England.

 

number5Bobby Phills (1969-2000)
U.S. Basketball Player born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  He played basketball for the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Charlotte Hornets.  Over his nine-year career, he averaged 11 points, 3.1 rebounds, and 2.7 assists per game. In January 2000, he was travelling in his Porsche in Charlotte, North Carolina when he lost control of the vehicle and crossed over into oncoming traffic.  He hit two vehicles and was pronounced dead at the scene.  The other two drivers recovered.  It was determined that he was speeding and driving recklessly.