On this day December Events

John A Silkstone

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December 1st

1640 - Portugal regained its independence, driving out the Spaniards.

1824 - The presidential election was turned over to the U.S. House of Representatives when a deadlock developed among John Quincy Adams, Andrew Jackson, William H. Crawford, and Henry Clay. John Quincy Adams was declared the winner.

1842 - Midshipman Philip Spencer, son of Secretary of War John C. Spencer, was hanged for mutiny from the yardarm of the USS Somers, the first Navy officer executed for mutiny.

1880 - A telephone was first installed in the White House.

1891 - James Naismith, a physical education teacher at a YMCA in Springfield, Massachusetts, created the indoor sport of basketball.

1913 - In Pittsburgh, the first drive-in automobile service station opened for business. It was operated by the Gulf Refining Company.

1918 - Iceland became an independent state from Denmark, though still remained under the king of Denmark.

1919 - American-born Lady Nancy Astor was sworn in as the first female member of the British Parliament. She became MP for the Sutton division of Plymouth.

1922 - Skywriting was introduced when a pilot flew over New York City and spelled out "hello."

1934 - Sergei M. Kirov, political rival of Josef Stalin, was assassinated in Leningrad, beginning Stalin's purge in which he eliminated his opponents in the Communist Party, the government, the armed forces, and the intelligentsia.

1942 - Gas rationing went into effect in the United States, as a result of World War II.

1953 - The first issue of "Playboy" magazine was published by Hugh Hefner; it featured Marilyn Monroe as the centrefold.

1955 - Rosa Parks, a black seamstress, defied the law by refusing to give up her seat to a white man on a Montgomery, Alabama city bus. Ms. Parks was arrested, setting off a yearlong boycott of the buses by blacks.

1957 - The New York City Ballet debuted "Agon," a collaboration of composer Igor Stravinsky and choreographer George Balanchine.

1959 - Twelve countries, including the United States, signed a treaty setting aside Antarctica as a scientific preserve, free from military activity.

1965 - An airlift of refugees from Cuba to the United States began in which thousands of Cubans were allowed to leave their homeland.

1969 - The United States held its first draft lottery since World War II.

1970 - Divorce became legal in Italy, in certain cases.

1978 - President Jimmy Carter put more than 56 million acres of Alaska into the national park system.

1989 - Pope John Paul II and Mikhail Gorbachev met in Rome, ending 70 years of hostility between the Vatican and the USSR.

1990 - The island of Britain was connected to the European mainland for the first time since the Ice Age when a rail tunnel was completed between them.

1991 - Ukrainians voted for independence from the Soviet Union.

1994 - U.S. Congress passed the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) treaty.

1999 - An international team of scientists announced it had virtually mapped a human chromosome.

2000 - Vicente Fox was sworn in as president of Mexico, ending 71 years of ruling-party domination.

Silky
 
December 2nd

1763 - In Newport, Rhode Island, the Touro Synagogue became the first synagogue in what was to become the United States.

1804 - Napoleon was crowned the first emperor of France.

1805 - Napoleon defeated the Austrians and Russians at the Battle of Austerlitz.

1816 - The first U.S. savings bank, the Philadelphia Savings Fund Society, opened.

1823 - President James Monroe outlined his doctrine to stop European expansion in the Western hemisphere.

1901 - King Camp Gillette patented a safety razor with a double-edged disposable blade.

1918 - Armenia proclaimed independence from Turkey.

1939 - New York La Guardia Airport opened for business.

1942 - The first self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction was achieved, at the University of Chicago.

1954 - Joseph McCarthy, senator from Wisconsin who was trying to find Communists in the government and entertainment industries, was condemned and silenced by the U.S. Senate.

1961 - Fidel Castro declared himself a Marxist-Leninist who would lead Cuba to Communism.

1969 - The first Boeing 747 jumbo jet flew from Seattle to New York City.

1970 - The Environmental Protection Agency started operations.

1970 - U.S. Senate voted to give 48,000 acres of New Mexico back to the Taos Indians.

1980 - Denali National Monument and Mount McKinley National Park were combined and established as Denali National Park and Preserve in Alaska.

1980 - Alaska's Glacier Bay National Monument, Katmai National Monument, Kenai Fjords National Park, Kobuk Valley National Park, Lake Clark National Park, and Wrangell-Saint Elias National Park and Preserve were established as national parks and preserves.

1982 - Dentist Barney Clark received the first permanent artificial heart, developed by Dr. Robert K. Jarvik.

1990 - West German Chancellor Helmut Kohl was elected chancellor of a united Germany.

1997 - The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the irradiation of pork, beef, and lamb in the wake of finding contaminated hamburger meat from Nebraska.

2001 - Enron filed for Chapter 11 protection in one of the largest corporate bankruptcies in U.S. history.

Silky
 
December 3rd

1762 - France ceded to Spain all lands west of the Mississippi -- the territory known as Upper Louisiana.

1775 - John Paul Jones hoisted the first seagoing American flag.

1818 - Illinois entered the United States as the 21st state.

1828 - Andrew Jackson was elected President of the United States of America.

1833 - Oberlin Collegiate Institute became the first coeducational college in the United States with an enrolment of 29 men and 15 women.

1912 - Bulgaria, Serbia, and Montenegro signed an armistice with Turkey, ending the first Balkan War.

1917 - The Quebec Bridge, the world's longest cantilever, was opened over the St. Lawrence River.

1948 - The first female U.S. Army officer not in the medical corps was sworn in.

1961 - At the Museum of Modern Art in New York, Henri Matisse's painting "Le Bateau," which had been hung upside-down for 46 days, was righted.

1967 - In Cape Town, South Africa, Dr. Christiaan Barnard performed the first human heart transplant, on Louis Washkanski. Washkanski lived 18 days with the new heart.

1979 - Eleven people were killed and others injured in a crush of fans at Cincinnati's Riverfront Coliseum, where the British rock group The Who was performing.

1984 - One of the worst industrial disasters occurred as a pesticide plant located in the densely populated region of Bhopal in central India leaked a highly toxic cloud of methyl isocyanate into the air.

1989 - United States President George Bush and Soviet Union President Mikhail Gorbachev announced the official end to the Cold War at a meeting in Malta.

1999 - Scientists failed to make contact with the Mars Polar Lander after it began its fiery descent toward the Red Planet; the spacecraft was presumed destroyed.

Silky
 
December 4th

771 - Charlemagne became sole ruler of the Frankish Empire.

1154 - The only Englishman to become a pope, Nicholas Breakspear, became Adrian IV.

1619 - The first Thanksgiving celebration took place in America when a group landed on what became Berkeley Plantation in Virginia; they celebrated and gave thanks with a meal.

1674 - French Jesuit missionary Jacques Marquette erected a mission on the shores of Lake Michigan.

1783 - General George Washington bade farewell to his officers at Fraunces Tavern in New York City.

1786 - The Franciscan Mission to the Indians was founded in Santa Barbara, California.

1786 - The National Grange, the first organized agricultural movement in the United States, was founded.

1791 - The "Observer," Britain's oldest Sunday newspaper, was first published.

1808 - Napoleon abolished the Inquisition in Spain.

1816 - James Monroe of Virginia was elected the 5th President of the United States of America.

1829 - Under British rule, suttee (whereby a widow commits suicide by joining her husband's funeral pyre) was made illegal in India.

1872 - U.S. brigantine Mary Celeste was found adrift and deserted with its cargo intact, in the Atlantic Ocean between the Azores and Portugal.

1875 - William Marcy Tweed, the "Boss" of New York City's Tammany Hall political organization, escaped from jail and fled the country.

1906 - Alpha Phi Alpha, the first national college fraternity for African-American men, was founded at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York.

1918 - President Woodrow Wilson departed Washington, D.C., on the first European trip by a U.S. president. He went to Versailles where he headed the American delegation to the peace conference seeking an official end to World War I.

1942 - President Franklin D. Roosevelt ordered the dismantling of the Works Progress Administration, which had been created to provide jobs during the Depression.

1942 - U.S. planes made the first air raids on mainland Italy.

1945 - The Senate approved United States participation in the United Nations.

1952 - The Grumman XS2F-1 made its first flight.

1965 - The U.S. launched Gemini 7 with Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Frank Borman and Navy Commander James A. Lovell aboard.

1969 - Fred Hampton, Illinois chairman of the Black Panthers, was shot and killed along with Mark Clark during an early morning police raid of the BPP's Illinois state headquarters in Chicago.

1978 - Dianne Feinstein was named to replace the assassinated George Moscone, becoming the first female mayor of San Francisco.

1991 - Journalist Terry Anderson, the last and longest-held American hostage in Lebanon, was freed by his Hezbollah captors after being held for 2,455 days.

1996 - Mars Pathfinder lifted off from Cape Canaveral and embarked on a successful 310 million-mile trip to explore the Red Planet's surface.

1998 - The first international space station, named Unity, was launched.

2001 - The United States froze the financial assets of organizations allegedly linked to the terrorist group Hamas ("Islamic Resistance Movement").

Silky
 
December 5th

1766 - James Christie, founder of the famous auctioneers, held his first sale in London.

1776 - The first scholastic fraternity in America, Phi Beta Kappa, was organized at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia.

1792 - George Washington was re-elected President; John Adams was re-elected Vice President.

1848 - President James Polk triggered the Gold Rush of '49 by confirming that gold had been discovered in California.

1876 - President Ulysses S. Grant apologized to Congress for mistakes he claimed he had made during his presidency.

1933 - German physicist Albert Einstein was granted a visa, making it possible for him to travel to the United States.

1933 - Prohibition came to an end in the United States as Utah became the 36th state to ratify the 21st Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America, repealing the 18th Amendment.

1955 - American Federation of Labour and the Congress of Industrial Organizations merged to form the AFL-CIO under its first president, George Meany.

1956 - Under pressure from the United States and the United Nations, British and French forces occupying the Suez Canal in Egypt began their withdrawal from Egypt.

1988 - The Reverend Jim Bakker, a popular television evangelist and founder of the PTL organization, was indicted by a federal grand jury in North Carolina on 24 counts of fraud and conspiracy.

1994 - Republicans chose Newt Gingrich to be the first GOP speaker of the House in four decades.

1996 - U.S. President Bill Clinton nominated Madeleine Albright as secretary of state; she would become the highest-ranking woman ever in the federal government.

Silky
 
December 6th

1492 - Christopher Columbus landed on the island of Santo Domingo.

1774 - Austria became the first nation to introduce a state education system.

1790 - The U.S. Congress moved from New York to the new capital in Philadelphia.

1877 - Thomas Edison made the first sound recording, of "Mary Had a Little Lamb," on the phonograph he invented.

1884 - Army engineers completed construction of the Washington Monument, placing the 3300-pound marble capstone atop it.

1907 - In Monongah, West Virginia 361 people were killed in America's worst mine disaster.

1917 - The Bolsheviks imprisoned Czar Nicholas II and his family in Tobolsk.

1921 - The Irish Free State, composing four-fifths of Ireland, was declared part of an historic peace agreement with Great Britain.

1923 - The first presidential address to be broadcast on radio was given by President Calvin Coolidge to a joint session of Congress.

1947 - Everglades National Park in Florida was dedicated by President Harry Truman.

1948 - The "Pumpkin Papers" were found on the Maryland farm of Whittaker Chambers and became evidence that State Department employee Alger Hiss was spying for the Soviet Union.

1957 - America's first attempt at putting a satellite into orbit blew up on the launch pad at Cape Canaveral, Florida.

1957 - AFL-CIO members voted to expel the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. (The Teamsters were readmitted in 1987.)

1973 - House minority leader Gerald R. Ford was sworn in as Vice President, succeeding Spiro T. Agnew.

1998 - Endeavour's astronauts connected the first two building blocks of the International Space Station in the shuttle cargo bay.

2001 - The name of the Canadian province of Newfoundland was officially changed to Newfoundland and Labrador.

Silky
 
1990 - The island of Britain was connected to the European mainland for the first time since the Ice Age when a rail tunnel was completed between them.

Some say the biggest mistake this country has ever made!
 
December 7th

43 B.C.E. - Cicero of Rome was assassinated on the orders of Marcus Antonius.

1431 - Henry VI of England was crowned King of France.

1787 - Delaware became the first state to ratify the Constitution of the United States of America, also making it the first state of the modern United States.

1796 - Electors chose John Adams to be the second President of the United States of America.

1808 - James Madison was elected President of the United States of America, succeeding Thomas Jefferson.

1836 - Martin Van Buren was elected the eighth President of the United States of America.

1842 - The New York Philharmonic gave its first concert.

1917 - The United States declared war on Austria-Hungary.

1941 - Japanese forces attacked the home base of the U.S. Pacific fleet at Pearl Harbour in Hawaii and other British and American territories and possessions in the Pacific.

1942 - U.S. Navy launched USS New Jersey, the largest battleship ever built.

1944 - The U.S. formally announced that all six Japanese aircraft carriers involved in the attack on Pearl Harbour were sunk.

1972 - America's last manned moon mission to date was launched as Apollo 17 blasted off from Cape Canaveral.

1975 - Indonesian forces launched a massive invasion of the former Portuguese half of the island of Timor, which lies between Indonesia and Australia.

1988 - A 6.9 magnitude earthquake in the Soviet Union devastated northern Armenia; official estimates put the death toll at 25,000.

2002 - Iraq handed over its arms declaration to the United Nations, denying it had weapons of mass destruction.

2004 - Hamid Karzai was sworn in as Afghanistan's first popularly elected, post-Taliban president.

Silky
 
September 8th

1776 - George Washington's retreating army in the American Revolution crossed the Delaware River from New Jersey to Pennsylvania.

1854 - Pope Pius IX declared the dogma of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary to be an article of faith.

1863 - President Abraham Lincoln announced his plan for the Reconstruction of the South.

1879 - Louisiana ratified a new state constitution and moved the capital from New Orleans to Baton Rouge.

1886 - The American Federation of Labour was founded in Columbus, Ohio.

1940 - During the Battle of Britain, the Luftwaffe (German air force) launched a massive attack on London.

1941 - The United States entered World War II as Congress declared war on Japan, a day after the attack on Pearl Harbour. Britain and Australia also declared war on Japan.

1987 - President Ronald Reagan and Soviet Union leader Mikhail Gorbachev signed the first treaty to reduce the nuclear arsenals of the two superpowers.

1991 - The leaders of Russia, Byelorussia, and the Ukraine signed an agreement forming a Commonwealth of Independent States to replace the USSR; the decision was denounced by President Mikhail Gorbachev as unconstitutional.

1993 - President Bill Clinton signed into U.S. law the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

Silky
 
December 9th

1621 - The first sermon was delivered in New England, at Plymouth, Massachusetts, by Robert Cushman.

1792 - America's first formal cremation took place near Charleston, South Carolina.

1793 - Noah Webster established New York City's first daily newspaper, "The American Minerva."

1884 - Ball-bearing roller skates were patented by Levant M. Richardson.

1907 - Christmas seals went on sale for the first time, at the Wilmington, Delaware post office; proceeds went to fight tuberculosis.

1941 - China declared war on Japan, Germany, and Italy.

1949 - Chiang Kai-shek lost control of Peking, and his Nationalist forces fled the Chinese mainland, settling on the island of Formosa, which would later become the independent Chinese republic of Taiwan.

1958 - The anti-Communist John Birch Society was formed in Indianapolis.

1975 - President Gerald Ford signed a $2.3 billion seasonal loan-authorization that officials of New York City and New York State said would prevent a city default.

1987 - In Israel, the first riots of the Palestinian intifada erupted on the occupied Gaza Strip in protest of Israeli occupation of former Arab territory in the Middle East.

1990 - In Poland, Lech Walesa, leader of the Solidarity trade union, won a landslide victory over transitional Premier Tadeusz Mazowiecki, becoming the first democratically-elected Polish leader in over six decades.

1990 - Slobodan Milosovic (Serbian Socialist Party) was elected president in Serbia's first free elections in 50 years.

1992 - Britain's Prince Charles and Princess Diana announced their separation.

2002 - United Airlines filed the biggest bankruptcy in aviation history after losing $4 billion in the previous two years.

Silky
 
December 10th

1719 - The first recorded sighting of the Aurora Borealis took place in New England.

1817 - Mississippi was admitted as the 20th state.

1845 - Pneumatic tires were patented by Scottish civil engineer Robert Thompson.

1869 - Women were granted the right to vote in the Wyoming Territory.

1898 - The Treaty of Paris was signed, officially ending the Spanish-American War and granting the United States its first overseas empire, the Philippines.

1901 - Nobel prizes were first awarded, in Oslo, Norway.

1906 - President Theodore Roosevelt became the first American to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, for helping to mediate an end to the Russo-Japanese War.

1927 - The Grand Ole Opry made its first radio broadcast from Nashville, Tennessee.

1931 - Jane Addams became a co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, the first American woman so honoured.

1948 - The United Nations General Assembly adopted its Universal Declaration on Human Rights.

1950 - Ralph J. Bunche was presented the Nobel Peace Prize, the first black American to receive the award.

1958 - The first domestic passenger jet flight took place in the United States as a National Airlines Boeing 707 flew passengers from New York City to Miami.

1964 - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. received the Nobel Peace Prize during ceremonies in Oslo, Norway.

1980 - U.S. Representative John W. Jenrette (D-SC) resigned to avoid being expelled from the House following his conviction on charges relating to the FBI's ABSCAM investigation.

1996 - South Africa's President Nelson Mandela signed into law a new democratic constitution.

2002 - Former President Jimmy Carter accepted the Nobel Peace Prize for his diplomacy in the Middle East in the 1970s.

2003 - Iranian democracy activist Shirin Ebadi, became the first Muslim woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize.

Silky
 
December 11th

1769 - Edward Beran of London patented Venetian blinds.

1816 - Indiana became the 19th U.S. state.

1844 - Nitrous oxide was first used in dentistry.

1872 - Pinckney Benton Stewart Pinchback became acting governor of Louisiana, becoming the first black governor of the United States.

1929 - The Empire State Building's design was announced.

1936 - Edward VIII abdicated to marry Wallis Warfield Simpson, an American-born divorcee. The Duke of York, his brother, became King George VI.

1941 - Germany and Italy declared war on the United States; the United States responded in kind.

1946 - The United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) was established.

1961 - President John F. Kennedy ordered helicopter crewmen to South Vietnam to provide training and support for the South Vietnamese forces.

1967 - The Concorde, created by the British and French and the world's first supersonic airliner, was unveiled in Toulouse, France.

1980 - President Jimmy Carter signed into a law legislation creating a $1.6 billion environmental "Superfund" to pay for cleaning up chemical spills and toxic waste dumps.

1994 - Russian forces invaded the breakaway republic of Chechnya.

1997 - More than 150 countries agreed to control the Earth's greenhouse gases at a global warming conference in Kyoto, Japan.

1998 - Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee pushed through three articles of impeachment against President Bill Clinton, over the minority Democratic objections.

2001 - U.S. prosecutors charged Zacarias Moussaoui, a French citizen of Moroccan descent, with conspiring to murder thousands in the Sept. 11 suicide hijackings.

Silky
 
December 12th

1787 - Pennsylvania became the second state to ratify the Constitution of the United States of America.

1870 - Joseph H. Rainey, Republican of South Carolina, became the first black lawmaker sworn into the U.S. House of Representatives.

1896 - Guglielmo Marconi gave the first public demonstration of radio at Toynbee Hall, London.

1899 - The golf tee was patented by George F. Grant of Boston.

1901 - Italian physicist Guglielmo Marconi sent the first wireless signal, from England to Newfoundland, 2232 miles away.

1913 - The "Mona Lisa" painting, stolen in 1911 from the Louvre in Paris, was recovered in Florence, Italy.

1917 - Boys Town was founded by Father Edward Flanagan in Omaha, Nebraska.

1925 - The first motel, the "Motel Inn," opened in San Luis Obispo, California.

1937 - During the battle for Nanking in the Sino-Japanese War, the U.S. gunboat Panay was attacked and sunk by Japanese warplanes in Chinese waters.

1947 - The United Mine Workers union withdrew from the American Federation of Labour.

1955 - British engineer Christopher Cockerell patented the first hovercraft.

1998 - The House Judiciary Committee approved a fourth and final article of impeachment against President Bill Clinton and submitted the case to the full House.

2000 - The U.S. Supreme Court halted the presidential recount in Florida, effectively making Republican George W. Bush the winner.

Silky
 
December 13th

1474 - Isabella and her husband, Ferdinand of Aragon, were proclaimed Queen and King of Castile.

1577 - Sir Francis Drake of England set out with five ships on a nearly three-year journey around the world.

1621 - The first American furs to be exported from the continent left for England aboard the Fortune, under the care of Robert Cushman.

1642 - Dutch navigator Abel Tasman arrived in present-day New Zealand.

1769 - Dartmouth College, in New Hampshire, received its charter.

1862 - Confederate General Robert E. Lee's vastly outnumbered army defeated Union General Ambrose Burnside and his troops in the Battle of Fredericksburg.

1903 - Molds for ice cream cones were patented by Italo Marcione of New York.

1937 - The Japanese army occupied Nanking, China -- the beginning of the "Rape of Nanking."

1973 - Great Britain cut the work week to three days to save energy.

1978 - The Philadelphia Mint began stamping the Susan B. Anthony dollar.

1981 - Poland's Communist government declared martial law, arrested Lech Walesa and other Solidarity leaders, and declared the Solidarity trade union illegal. (Martial law formally ended in 1983. )

1989 - South African President F.W. de Klerk met for the first time with imprisoned African National Congress leader Nelson Mandela, in Cape Town.

1991 - North Korea and South Korea signed a treaty of reconciliation and nonaggression, formally ending the Korean War 38 years after fighting ceased in 1953.

1998 - Voters in Puerto Rico rejected U.S. statehood in a non-binding referendum.

2000 - Republican George W. Bush claimed the presidency 36 days after Election Day; Democrat Al Gore conceded defeat.

2001 - President George W. Bush formally announced the United States withdrawal from the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty.

2001 - The Pentagon released a videotape of Osama bin Laden in which the al-Qaeda leader said the September 11 attacks exceeded his "most optimistic" expectations.

2003 - A tip led U.S. soldiers to a farm outside Tikrit, Iraq, where they found Saddam Hussein hiding in a hole and arrest him; the capture is announced to the world the following day.

2004 - A jury in Redwood City, California, recommended the death penalty for Scott Peterson for the murders of his wife and unborn child.

Silky
 
December 14th

1819 - Alabama joined the Union as the 22nd state. At that point, there were 11 slave states and 11 free states.

1900 - German physicist Max Planck published his groundbreaking study of the effect of radiation on a "blackbody" substance, and the quantum theory of modern physics was born.

1911 - Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen became the first man to reach the South Pole, beating out an expedition led by Robert F. Scott.

1939 - The Soviet Union was dropped from the League of Nations.

1946 - The United Nations General Assembly voted to establish United Nations headquarters in New York. They also voted to accept a gift of more than $8 million from American philanthropist John D. Rockefeller, Jr., to be used toward the establishment of permanent the United Nations headquarters along New York City}'s East River.

1962 - U.S. Mariner II sent the first close-up pictures of the planet Venus back to Earth.

1981 - Israel annexed the Golan Heights, which it had seized from Syria in 1967.

1985 - Wilma Mankiller became the first woman to lead a major Native American tribe, becoming principal chief of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma.

1995 - In Paris, leaders from the former Yugoslavia signed the Bosnia peace treaty, formally ending four years of conflict and creating two entities within Bosnia: a Muslim-Croat federation and a Serb republic.

2000 - America Online and Time Warner merge in an $111 billion deal.

Silky
 
December 15th

1654 - A meteorological office established in Tuscany, Italy, began recording daily temperature readings.

1791 - The Bill of Rights, the first 10 amendments to the Constitution of the United States of America, went into effect following ratification by Virginia.

1890 - Sioux Indian Chief Sitting Bull and 11 other tribe members were killed in Grand River, South Dakota, in a fight with Indian police.

1916 - The French defeated the Germans in the World War I Battle of Verdun.

1938 - Groundbreaking ceremonies for the Jefferson Memorial took place in Washington, D.C.

1939 - Nylon was first produced commercially, in Delaware.

1948 - Former State Department official Alger Hiss was indicted by a federal grand jury in New York on charges of perjury.

1973 - Jean Paul Getty III, the grandson of American billionaire J. Paul Getty, was found alive in southern Italy five months after his kidnapping. Getty, who was named the richest man in the world in 1957, initially refused to pay his grandson's 3.2-million dollar ransom, and only cooperated after the boy's severed right ear was sent to a newspaper in Rome. The elder Getty was born on this day in 1892.

1986 - Carnegie Hall reopened after its $50 million renovation.

1996 - Boeing and McDonnell Douglas aircraft manufacturers announced that they would merge, creating the world's largest aerospace company.

Silky
 
December 16th

1653 - Oliver Cromwell became lord protector of England, Scotland, and Ireland.

1773 - The Boston Tea Party took place as American colonists boarded a British ship and dumped more than 300 chests of tea overboard to protest tea taxes.

1809 - Napoleon was granted a divorce from his wife Josephine; he divorced her because she had not produced children.

1811 - In the Mississippi River Valley near New Madrid, Missouri, the greatest series of earthquakes in United States history occurred with a quake of an estimated 8.6 magnitude on the Richter scale. The earthquake greatly changed the topography of the region, but it was sparsely inhabited at the time and there were no known fatalities.

1925 - One of the deadliest earthquakes in history hit the Gansu province of midwestern China, and caused massive landslides and the deaths of over 200,000 people. It measured 8.5 on the Richter scale.

1944 - The Battle of the Bulge, the last major offensive of German forces against the Allies, began as German forces launched a surprise counterattack against Allied forces in Belgium during World War II.

1960 - A United Airlines DC-8 and a TWA Super Constellation collided over New York City, killing 134 people.

1978 - Cleveland became the first U.S. city to default since the Depression.

1996 - Britain's agriculture minister announced the slaughter of an additional 100,000 cows thought to be at risk of contracting BSE (mad cow disease) in an effort to persuade the EU to lift its ban on British beef.

2000 - President-elect George W. Bush selected Colin Powell to become the first African-American secretary of state.

Silky
 
December 17th

1777 - France recognized American independence.

1903 - Orville Wright and Wilbur Wright went on the first successful manned and self-propelled airplane flights, at Kill Devil Hills near Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.

1957 - The United States successfully test-fired the Atlas intercontinental ballistic missile.

1969 - An estimated 50 million TV viewers watched singer Tiny Tim marry his fiancée, Miss Vicky, on NBC's "Tonight Show."

1996 - Kofi Annan of Ghana was appointed United Nations Secretary-General.
Births

Silky’s notes

Who out there remembers Tiny Tim? To me he was the only man who couldn’t sing, yet was a chart topper on both sides of the Atlantic with his cracked falsetto voice and ukulele playing singing his 1968 rendering of 'Tiptoe Through The Tulips With Me'.

I don’t normally writing anything to the days events, but there is so little that happened on this date that I thought I’d give you something else to read.
 
December 18th

1787 - New Jersey became the third state to ratify the Constitution of the United States of America.

1865 - The 13th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America, abolishing slavery, went into effect.

1912 - The discovery of the Piltdown Man in East Sussex was announced; it was proved to be a hoax in 1953.

1915 - President Woodrow Wilson, widowed the year before, married Edith Bolling Galt at her Washington home.

1940 - Adolf Hitler signed a secret directive ordering preparations for a Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union.

1956 - Japan was admitted to the United Nations.

1957 - The Shippingport Atomic Power Station in Pennsylvania, the first civilian nuclear facility to generate electricity in the United States, went online.

1958 - The first communications satellite broadcast was made when President Dwight Eisenhower delivered his Christmas message.

1979 - The sound barrier was broken on land for the first time by Stanley Barrett, driving at 739.6 mph, in California.

Silky
 
December 19th

1154 - Henry II was crowned king of England.

1562 - The French Wars of Religion between the Huguenots and the Catholics began with the Battle of Dreux.

1732 - Benjamin Franklin began publishing "Poor Richard's Almanac."

1777 - General George Washington led his army of about 11,000 men to Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, to camp for the winter. Nearly 3000 died during the very severe winter.

1842 - Hawaii's independence was recognized by the United States.

1843 - "A Christmas Carol" by Charles Dickens was published.

1871 - Corrugated paper was patented by Albert L. Jones of New York.

1903 - The Williamsburg Bridge opened, spanning the East River between New York City and Brooklyn.

1950 - General Dwight D. Eisenhower was named Supreme Commander of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) military forces.

1972 - Apollo 17, the sixth and last of the Apollo landing missions, safely returned to Earth.

1984 - Britain and China signed an accord to return Hong Kong to Chinese sovereignty on July 1, 1997.

1997 - The epic movie "Titanic," the highest grossing film ever made, opened in American movie theatres.

1998 - U.S. President Bill Clinton was impeached by the Republican-controlled House for perjury and obstruction of justice, becoming only the second chief executive to be ordered to stand trial in the Senate. Andrew Johnson, like Clinton, was impeached and acquitted.

2000 - The U.N. Security Council voted to impose broad sanctions on Afghanistan's Taliban rulers unless they closed terrorist training camps and surrendered U.S. embassy bombing suspect Osama bin Laden.

Silky
 

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