5 December

December 5

International Volunteer Day for Economic and Social Development
The General Assembly invited Governments to observe annually, on 5 December, an International Volunteer Day for Economic and Social Development (resolution 40/212 of 17 December 1985) and urged them to take measures to heighten awareness of the important contribution of volunteer service, thereby stimulating more people in all walks of life to offer their services as volunteers, both at home and abroad.

International Volunteer Day (IVD) s a chance for volunteer-involving organizations and individual volunteers to promote their contributions to development at local, national and international levels. By merging UN support with a grassroots mandate, IVD is a unique opportunity for volunteer-involving organizations to work with government agencies, non-profit organizations, community groups and the private sector.

We can end poverty. Meeting the Millennium Development Goals will require the engagement of millions of people through volunteer action. Through an online community, Share the Story is inviting you to join the global discussion about how volunteerism can tip the balance towards meeting the Millennium Development Goals. Visit the site of the UN Volunteers for more information.

The 10th anniversary of the International Year of Volunteers, first launched in 2001, offers an exceptional opportunity to join a global effort to reinvigorate the spirit of volunteerism.


63 BC – Cicero gave the fourth and final Catiline Orations.
663 – Fourth Council of Toledo takes place.
771 – Charlemagne becomes the sole King of the Franks after the death of his brother Carloman.
1082 – Ramon Berenguer II, Count of Barcelona is assassinated.
1408 – Emir Edigu of Golden Horde reaches Moscow.
1484 – Pope Innocent VIII issues the Summis desiderantes, a papal bull that deputizes Heinrich Kramer and James Sprenger as inquisitors to root out alleged witchcraft in Germany and leads to one of the most oppressive witch hunts in European history.
1492 – Christopher Columbus becomes the first European to set foot on the island of Hispaniola, now Haiti and the Dominican Republic.
1496 – King Manuel I of Portugal issues a decree of expulsion of "heretics" from the country.
1590 – Niccolò Sfondrati becomes Pope Gregory XIV.
1757 – Seven Years' War: Battle of Leuthen – Frederick II of Prussia leads Prussian forces to a decisive victory over Austrian forces under Prince Charles Alexander of Lorraine.
1766 – In London, James Christie holds his first sale.
1775 – At Fort Ticonderoga, Henry Knox begins his historic transport of artillery to Cambridge, Massachusetts.
1776 – At The College of William and Mary, Phi Beta Kappa is founded and becomes the first American college fraternity.
1815 – Foundation of Maceió in Brazil.
1831 – Former US President John Quincy Adams takes his seat in the House of Representatives.
1847 – Jefferson Davis is elected to the US senate, his first political post.
1848 – California Gold Rush: In a message before the U.S. Congress, US President James K. Polk confirms that large amounts of gold had been discovered in California.
1865 – Chincha Islands War: Peru allies with Chile against Spain.
1876 – Brooklyn Theater Fire kills at least 278 people in Brooklyn, NY.
1914 – The Italian Parliament proclaims the neutrality of the country.
1920 – Dimitrios Rallis forms a government in Greece.
1932 – German-born Swiss physicist Albert Einstein is granted an American visa.
1933 – Prohibition in the United States ends: Utah becomes the 36th U.S. state to ratify the Twenty-first Amendment to the United States Constitution, thus establishing the required 75% of states needed to enact the amendment (this overturned the 18th Amendment which had made the manufacture, sale, or transportation of alcohol illegal in the United States).
1934 – Abyssinia Crisis: Italian troops attack Wal Wal in Abyssinia, taking four days to capture the city.
1936 – The Soviet Union adopts a new constitution and the Kirghiz Soviet Socialist Republic is established as a full Union Republic of the USSR.
1941 – World War II: In the Battle of Moscow Georgy Zhukov launches a massive Soviet counter-attack against the German army, with the biggest offensive launched against Army Group Centre.
1941 – World War II: Great Britain declares war on Finland, Hungary and Romania.
1943 – World War II: U.S. Army Air Force begins attacking Germany's secret weapons bases in Operation Crossbow.
1945 – Flight 19 is lost in the Bermuda Triangle.
1952 – Great Smog of 1952: A cold fog descends upon London, combining with air pollution and killing at least 12,000 in the weeks and months that follow.
1955 – The American Federation of Labor and the Congress of Industrial Organizations merge and form the AFL-CIO.
1955 – E.D. Nixon and Rosa Parks lead the Montgomery Bus Boycott.
1957 – Sukarno expels all Dutch people from Indonesia.
1958 – Subscriber Trunk Dialling (STD) is inaugurated in the UK by Queen Elizabeth II when she speaks to the Lord Provost in a call from Bristol to Edinburgh.
1958 – The Preston bypass, the UK's first stretch of motorway, opens to traffic for the first time. It is now part of the M6 and M55 motorways.
1964 – Vietnam War: For his heroism in battle earlier in the year, Captain Roger Donlon is awarded the first Medal of Honor of the war.
1974 – In American football, the Birmingham Americans would win what would eventually be the only World Bowl in World Football League history.
1976 – The United Nations General Assembly adopts Pakistan's resolution on security of non-Nuclear States.
1977 – Egypt breaks diplomatic relations with Syria, Libya, Algeria, Iraq and South Yemen. The move is in retaliation for the Declaration of Tripoli against Egypt.
1978 – The Soviet Union signs a "friendship treaty" with the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan.
1979 – Sonia Johnson is formally excommunicated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for her outspoken criticism of the church concerning the proposed Equal Rights Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.
1983 – Dissolution of the Military Junta in Argentina.
1983 – ICIMOD is established and inaugurated with its headquarters in Kathmandu, Nepal, and legitimised through an Act of Parliament in Nepal in the same year.
1993 – The mayor of Wien (Vienna), Helmut Zilk, is wounded by a letter bomb.
1995 – The Sri Lankan government announces the conquest of Tamil stronghold of Jaffna.
2005 – The Lake Tanganyika earthquake causes significant damage, mostly in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
2005 – The Civil Partnership Act comes into effect in the United Kingdom, and the first civil partnership is registered there.
2006 – Commodore Frank Bainimarama overthrows the government in Fiji.
2007 – Westroads Mall massacre: A gunman opens fire with a semi-automatic rifle at an Omaha, Nebraska mall, killing eight people before taking his own life.

Holidays and observances

Christian Feast Day:
Clement of Alexandria (Episcopal Church in the United States of America)
Sabbas the Sanctified
Discovery Day (Haiti and Dominican Republic)
Faunalia, in honor of Faunus (Roman Empire)
International Volunteer Day for Economic and Social Development (International)
Saint Nicholas Eve (Belgium, Czech Republic, Slovakia, the Netherlands, Hungary, Romania, Poland and the UK)
Krampus (Austria)
The King's Birthday, National Day, and Father's Day (Thailand)







For details, contact Datacentre