What Happened on December 2?

  • The first permanent artificial heart was implanted in a human. (1982) Dr. William DeVries implanted the Jarvik 7 artificial heart into Dr. Barney Clark, a dentist who was on his deathbed. Dr. Clark lived for 112 days after the procedure.

  • Benazir Bhutto was sworn in as the Prime Minister of Pakistan. (1988) She was the first woman to become a government leader in a Muslim country, a process which took over ten years of campaigning, six of which she spent in prison.

  • Napoleon crowned himself Emperor of France. (1804) The ceremony was held at the Notre Dame Cathedral, and made Napoleon I the first French emperor in 1,000 years. The ceremony lasted for more than three hours, not counting several hours of parades and processions before and afterward.

  • The first nuclear chain reaction was created in the US. (1942) The controlled explosion was set off as part of the top-secret Manhattan Project. It took place in a squash court underneath the football stadium at the University of Chicago's Stagg Field, and laid the groundwork for the invention of the atomic bomb.

  • The first post-Hitler elections took place in Germany. (1990) The election was the first free and universal election since Hitler had come to power in 1932. It was also the first election that occurred after the re-unification of Eastern and Western Germany.

  • Enron filed for bankruptcy. (2001) It was the biggest bankruptcy in history at that time, and shareholders lost nearly $11 billion US Dollars (USD) when Enron shares dropped from $90 USD per share to $1 USD per share in less than a year.

  • Fidel Castro and Che Guevera landed in Cuba. (1956) This marked the start of the revolution in which Castro eventually deposed Batista as the dictator of Cuba. Nine years later, Castro would declare his intentions to lead Cuba into communism.

  • The last Chinese emperor, Pu Yi, ascended the throne. (1908) Pu Yi was two years old when he ascended the throne, and only ruled for six years before he was forced to abdicate, though he was later a puppet emperor for the Japanese.

  • The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) opened its doors. (1970) The EPA was part of President Nixon's environmental action program, and marked the environmentalist movement truly making its way into popular consciousness.

  • The first synagogue was dedicated in the US. (1762) The Touro Synagogue in Newport, Rhode Island became the only surviving synagogue from the colonial era in the US, and has operated more or less continually since its dedication.

Discussion Comments


Does anyone else find it a little disturbing that someone so young could actually ascend the throne? To me, that makes little sense. What kind of a parent would allow (or maybe even force), their two year old son to rule over the throne, especially at such a young. Overall though, I guess it's meant to show how different cultures can be, and how people have different standards than what we've come to expect. Though it does seem pretty unusual, it's still a very interesting read.


@Hazali - Not only do you make some very good points, but on the other hand, I have some of the same feelings as you, especially in regards to artificial body parts.

Many people live with artificial body parts all the time. It's quite a sight to behold, and though it might be quite difficult for them, on the other hand, they learn to live and adapt like any normal person.

However, on the other hand, the difference between an artificial limb, and an artificial heart, is the fact a heart is the source of life, and it needs to be as stable as possible.

Considering how it's supposed to pump blood through your body, it needs to be as real as possible, unlike other fake body parts.

Overall, you are right in saying that that's what makes it so important. However Hazali, who knows? Perhaps in this day and age, there are artificial hearts that are built to last a lifetime. After all, don't forget that the bullet point dates back to 1982, and technology has far advanced past that point.


Fortunately, I've never had any major surgery done, but for some reason, I still find it rather unsettling that someone would have an artificial heart transplanted in them.

Obviously, it's meant to prolong life, but on the other hand, it's not the real deal, and sadly, it's only going to keep a person around for so long.

After all, notice how in the last sentence, it's mentioned that the doctor lived for only one hundred twelve days after the procedure. In fact, if a real heart had been transplanted into him, one can only wonder how long he would have lived for.

Either way, the things that people come up with as a means to let people live longer are very interesting. However, if this had been and artificial limb, or something similar, I probably wouldn't have much of a problem with it.

Post your comments
Forgot password?