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Old 12-08-2009, 06:57 PM
Location: Pacific Northwest
589 posts, read 7,568,296 times
Reputation: 1171


December 1


~800 – In the Vatican, Charlemagne judged the accusations laid against Pope Leo III.

~1420 – A triumphant Henry V of England entered Paris.

~1640 – The end of the Iberian Union: Portugal acclaimed João IV as king of Portugal. This ended a 60 year period of personal union of the crowns of Portugal and Spain and the end of the rule of the House of Habsburg (sometimes known as The Philippine Dynasty).

~1768 – The slave ship Fredensborg sank off Tromøy in Norway during a violent storm. All 34 aboard managed to (barely) escape the ordeal with their lives.

~1821 – The first constitution of Costa Rica was issued.

~1822 – Peter I was crowned Emperor of Brazil.

~1824 – Since no candidate had received a majority of the total electoral college votes in the election, the United States House of Representatives is given the task of deciding the winner of the 1824 US Presidential Election, in accordance with the Twelfth Amendment to the United States Constitution. The House gave the presidency to John Quincy Adams even though Andrew Jackson had received far more votes in the general election.

~1826 – French philhellene Charles Nicolas Fabvier forced his way through the Turkish cordon and ascended the Acropolis of Athens, which had been under siege.

The Acropolis of Athens

Photo by Adam Carr

~1835 - Hans Christian Andersen published his first book of fairy tales.

~1864 – In his State of the Union Address President Abraham Lincoln reaffirmed the necessity of ending slavery as ordered ten weeks earlier in The Emancipation Proclamation.

~1885 - Although the exact date is now unknown, the US Patent Office acknowledges December 1st, 1885 as the first day Dr Pepper was served.

~1900 - The very first shipment of Smith & Wesson .38 specials were shipped from the factory to gun shops and private buyers.

The original Model M&P
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/0/0b/50ft.jpg (broken link)
Photo by Mike Cumpston

~1913 – Crete, having obtained self rule from Turkey after The First Balkan War, was annexed by Greece.

~1913 - Ford Motor Company introduced the first moving assembly line, reducing chassis assembly time from 12½ hours in October to 2 hours and 40 minutes. Although Ford was not the first to use an assembly line, his successful adoption of the efficient method sparked an era of mass production.

1913 Ford Model T assembly line

Photo courtesy the Ford Company

~1918 – Transylvania united with Romania, following the incorporation of Bessarabia on March 27th and Bukovina on November 28th.

~1918 – Iceland became a sovereign state yet remained a part of the Danish kingdom. (I can only hope that there's some logic in there somewhere.)

~1918 – The Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (later known as the Kingdom of Yugoslavia) was proclaimed.

~1925 – The Locarno Treaties: The final Locarno Treaty was signed in London, establishing post World War I territorial settlements in return for normalizing relations with defeated Germany.

~1934 – In the Soviet Union, Politburo member Sergei Kirov was shot dead by an assassin at the Communist Party headquarters in Leningrad. His murder had been ordered by Joseph Stalin.

~1941 – Fiorello La Guardia, Mayor of New York City and Director of the Office of Civilian Defense, signed Administrative Order 9, creating the Civil Air Patrol (CAP) as the civilian auxiliary of the United States Air Force. In April 1943 CAP was placed under the jurisdiction of the Army Air Force.

~1952 – The New York Daily News carried a front page story announcing that Christine Jorgensen, a transsexual woman in Denmark, became the recipient of the first successful sexual reassignment operation. (Whoa! Is that a case of attempted PC or what!)

~1955 – In Montgomery, Alabama, black seamstress Rosa Parks refused to give up her bus seat to a white man and was arrested for violating the city's racial segregation laws. Baptist minister Martin Luther King, Jr. later led the successful Montgomery Bus Boycott as a result. (Go, Rosa!!!)

The National City Lines bus, No. 2857, on which Rosa Parks was riding before she was arrested (Now a museum display)

Photo courtesy the Henry Ford Museum

~1958 – The Central African Republic gained (took) its independence from France.

~1958 – The Our Lady of the Angels School Fire occurred in Chicago. 92 children and 3 nuns were killed in the blaze.

~1959 - The Antarctic Treaty was signed - 12 countries, including the United States and the Soviet Union, signed a landmark treaty, which set aside Antarctica as a scientific preserve and banned military activity on that continent. This was the first arms control agreement established during the Cold War.

~1960 – Paul McCartney and Pete Best were arrested and then deported from Hamburg, Germany, after being accused of attempted arson.

~1961 – The independent Republic of West Papua was proclaimed in (modern day) Western New Guinea.

~1963 – Nagaland became the 16th state of India.

~1964 – U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson and his top ranking advisers met to discuss plans to bomb North Vietnam into submission. After some debate, they agreed to enact a two phase bombing plan. (That scheme kinda failed to materialize, huh?)

~1964 – Malawi, Malta and Zambia joined the United Nations.

~1965 – The Border Security Force was formed in India.

~1969 – The first draft lottery in the United States was held since World War II. On January 4th, 1970, the New York Times ran the story, "Statisticians Charge Draft Lottery Was Not Random".

~1971 – Khmer Rouge rebels intensified assaults on Cambodian government positions, forcing their retreat from Kompong Thmar and nearby Ba Ray 10 kilometers northeast of Phnom Penh.

~1971 – The Indian Army recaptured part of Kashmir which had been occupied forcibly by Pakistan.

~1973 – With the Aussie’s blessings Papua New Guinea was granted its independence from Australia.

~1974 – TWA Flt. 514, a Boeing 727, crashed just northwest of Dulles International Airport killing all 92 people on board.

~1974 – Northwest Orient Airlines Flight 6231, a ferry flight enroute for Buffalo crashed northwest of John F. Kennedy International Airport shortly after takeoff. All 3 members of the flight crew were killed.

~1976 – Angola joined the United Nations. (Ooh, ooh...we can make resolutions, too!)

~1981 – A Yugoslavian Inex Adria Aviopromet DC-9 crashed into a mountain while approaching Ajaccio Airport in Corsica killing all 180 people on board. (Now just how in hell you could ever cram 180 people into a DC-9 is beyond me but...!)

~1981 – The AIDS virus was officially recognized.

~1982 – At the University of Utah, Barney Clark became the first person to receive a permanent artificial heart.

~1987 - NASA announced the names of four companies who were awarded contracts to help build the International Space Station. They were Boeing Aerospace, General Electric's Astro-Space Division, McDonnell Douglas and the Rocketdyne Division of Rockwell.

~1988 – Benazir Bhutto was appointed Prime Minister of Pakistan.

~1989 – The right wing military rebel group Reform the Armed forces Movement (RAM) attempted to oust Philippine President Corazon Aquino in a bloody coup d' etat. (They couldn't pull it off.)

~1989 - East Germany's parliament abolished the constitutional provision granting the communist party the leading role in the state.

~1990 - Channel Tunnel workers from the United Kingdom and France met 40 meters beneath the seabed of the English Channel, establishing the first ground connection between the island of Great Britain and the mainland of Europe since the last ice age.

~1991 – Ukrainian voters overwhelmingly approved a referendum for independence from the Soviet Union.

~1998 – Exxon announced a $73.7 billion USD deal to buy Mobil, creating Exxon-Mobil, the largest company on the planet.

~2001 – Captain Bill Compton brought the final Trans World Airlines flight (Flt. 220, an MD-83) into St. Louis International Airport bringing to an end 76 years of TWA operations. This following TWA’s purchase by American Airlines.

~2006 – Mexican President Felipe Calderon declared war on drug traffickers in the ongoing Mexican Drug War. (So far both sides are holding their own.)

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Old 12-08-2009, 07:17 PM
Location: Pacific Northwest
589 posts, read 7,568,296 times
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Default December 2


~1409 – It was opening day at The University of Leipzig.

~1755 – The second Eddystone Lighthouse was completely destroyed by fire. It had stood for 52 years, as opposed to the first Eddystone Lighthouse which only lasted 5 years before being obliterated by The Great Storm of 1703.

~1775 – The Grand Union Flag, which was the precursor to the Stars and Stripes, flew for the first time when it was was hoisted by John Paul Jones himself, aboard the USS Alfred.

~1804 – Napoleon Bonaparte crowned himself Emperor of the French at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. He was the first French Emperor in a millenium.

~1805 – The French Grande Armee led by Napoleon Bonaparte decisively defeated a Russo-Austrian army commanded by Tsar Alexander I after nearly 9 hours of difficult fighting at The Battle of Austerlitz, in Moravia. This resulted in the end of the Third Coalition, the abdication of Francis II Holy Roman Emperor and the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire.

"Napoléon at the Battle of Austerlitz"

Artist Francois Gerard, 1810

~1823 – US President James Monroe delivered a speech to the United States Congress that announced a new policy of forbidding European interference in the Americas and established American neutrality in future European conflicts. This would come to be called the Monroe Doctrine.

~1845 – Manifest Destiny: US President James Polk announced to Congress that the Monroe Doctrine would be strictly enforced and that the United States should aggressively expand into the West.

~1848 – In Olmütz, Franz Josef I became Emperor of Austria.

~1851 – Newly elected French President Charles Louis Bonaparte overthrew The Second Republic.

~1852 – Napoleon III became Emperor of the French.

~1859 – Militant abolitionist leader John Brown was hanged for his October 16th raid on Harper's Ferry.

~1899 – During The Philippine-American War, The Battle of Tirad Pass, (sometimes called The Filipino Thermopylae) was fought.

~1908 – At the ripe old age of 2 years and 10 months Emperor Pu Yi ascended the Chinese throne.

~1915 - Albert Einstein published the General Theory of Relativity, the current description of gravitation in modern physics.

~1920 – Following more than a month of The Turkish-Armenian War, the Turkish dictated Treaty of Alexandropol was concluded.

~1927 – After 19 years of Ford Model T production, the Ford Motor Company unveiled the Ford Model A as its new automobile.

1928 Ford Model A Business Coupe

Photo by Douglas Wilkinson, taken for RemarkableCars.com

~1930 – US President Herbert Hoover went before the United States Congress and asked for a US$150 million public works program to help generate jobs and stimulate the economy. (Hmmm, a US president going to Congress begging for money that will supposedly generate jobs and stimulate the economy; why does that sound familiar...?)

~1939 – New York City's La Guardia Airport opened.

~1942 – The Manhattan Project: A team led by Enrico Fermi initiated the very first self sustaining nuclear chain reaction. A coded message, "The Italian navigator has landed in the new world" was then sent to US President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

~1943 – A Luftwaffe bombing raid on the harbour of Bari, Italy, sank numerous cargo and transport ships. Included in these was an American Liberty ship, the John Harvey, with a stockpile of World War I era mustard gas aboard. The bombing caused the single (and unintentional) release of chemical weapons in the course of the war by the Allies.

~1946 – The British Government invited four Indian leaders, Nehru, Baldev Singh, Jinnah and Liaquat Ali Khan to obtain the participation of all parties in the Constituent Assembly.

~1947 – The Jerusalem Riots: Riots broke out in Jerusalem in response to the approval of the UN Partition Plan.

~1954 – The United States Senate voted 65 to 22 to condemn Joseph McCarthy for "conduct that tends to bring the Senate into dishonor and disrepute".

~1954 – The Sino-American Mutual Defense Treaty, between the United States and the Republic of China, was signed in Washington, D.C. (I probably shouldn't get started on this one...)

~1956 – The yacht Granma reached the shores of Cuba's Oriente province. Fidel Castro and Che Guevara, along with 80 other members of the 26th of July Movement disembarked to initiate The Cuban Revolution.

~1961 – In a nationally broadcast speech, Cuban leader Fidel Castro declared that he was a Marxist-Leninist and that Cuba was going to adopt Communism. (And this was supposed to be a surprise to us all?)

~1962 – After a trip to Vietnam at the request of US President John F. Kennedy, US Senate Majority Leader Mike Mansfield became the first American official not to make an optimistic public comment on the war's progress.

~1970 – The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) began operations.

~1971 – Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Fujairah, Sharjah, Dubai, and Umm Al Quwain came together to form the United Arab Emirates.

~1972 – Gough Whitlam became the first Labor Prime Minister of Australia in 23 years. He was famously sworn in on election night and his first action using executive power was to withdraw all Australian personnel from The Vietnam War.

~1975 – The communist Pathet Lao, along with Vietnam People's Army and backed by the Soviet Union, overthrew the royalist Lao government, forcing King Savang Vatthana to abdicate. He later died in captivity. Lao then established the Lao People's Democratic Republic.

~1980 – Four U.S. nuns along with churchwomen, Ita Ford, Maura Clarke, Jean Donovan, and Dorothy Kazel, were murdered by a death squad in El Salvador.

~1988 – Benazir Bhutto was sworn in as Prime Minister of Pakistan, becoming the first woman to head the government of an Islam dominated state.

~1990 – A coalition led by Chancellor Helmut Kohl won the first free all inclusive German elections to be held since 1932.

~1993 – The Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar was shot and killed in Medellín.

~1993 – Space Shuttle program STS-61: NASA launched the Space Shuttle Endeavour on a successful mission to repair an optical flaw in the Hubble Space Telescope.

The STS-61 crew servicing the Hubble Space Telescope while docked to Endeavour's cargo bay

Photo courtesy NASA

~1999 – 7 people were killed and another 51 injured in The Glenbrook Rail Accident near Sydney, New South Wales.

~1999 – The United Kingdom devolved political power in Northern Ireland to the Northern Ireland Executive.

~2000 - The Smashing Pumpkins played their final gig at The Metro in Chicago, Illinois before permanently disbanding.

~2001 – Enron Corp. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy 5 days after Dynegy cancelled an $8.4 billion buyout bid.

~2008 – Thai Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat resigned following the 2008 Thailand Political Crisis.

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Old 12-08-2009, 08:12 PM
Location: Pacific Northwest
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Default December 3


~1368 - The future king of France, Charles VI (Charles the Mad) was born.

~1533 - Died this day: Vasili III, the Grand Prince of Moscow (b. 1479).

~1800 – During The War of the Second Coalition, French General Moreau's army dealt a decisive defeat to the forces of Austrian Archduke John at The Battle of Hohenlinden, near Munich. This in addition to Napoleon's victory at Marengo forced the Austrians to sign an armistice ending the war.

~1818 – Illinois became the 21st U.S. state.

~1854 – The Eureka Stockade: In Australia, more than 20 gold miners at Ballarat, Victoria were killed by state troopers in an uprising over mining licences.

~1901 – US President Theodore Roosevelt delivered a (20,000-word) speech to the House of Representatives asking the Congress to curb the power of trusts "within reasonable limits".

~1904 – The Jovian moon Himalia was discovered by Charles Dillon Perrine at California's Lick Observatory.

~1912 – Bulgaria, Greece, Montenegro, and Serbia (The Balkan League) signed an armistice with Turkey, intended to halt the 2 month long First Balkan War. Greece, amongst other belligerents, was not a signatory to the armistice and continued military operations. Hostilities resumed expiration of the armistice on February 16, 1913.

~1917 – After nearly 20 years of planning and construction, The Quebec Bridge finally opened to traffic. The bridge had partially collapsed on September 11, 1916.

Photographs of the lifting of the center span of the Quebec Bridge into place, considered to be a major engineering achievement for the day.

As published in Popular Mechanics magazine (December 1919 edition)

The Quebec Bridge at night (from the east side, with the Pierre-Laporte bridge in the background)

Photo by Martin St-Amant (June 17th, 2005)

~1928 - In Rio de Janeiro, a seaplane sank near Cap Arcona. On board were a group of people paying homage to Alberto Santos-Dumont.

~1929 – US President Herbert Hoover announced to the U.S. Congress that the worst effects of the recent stock market crash were behind the nation and the American people had regained faith in the economy. (Hoover was well known for being a wishful dreamer.)

~1937 - The Dandy, the world's longest running comic, was first published.

~1944 – During The Greek Civil War, fighting broke out in Athens between the ELAS and government forces supported by the British Army.

~1967 - Often referred to as The Greatest Train of them All, the luxury train 20th Century Limited made its last run after more than 65 years in service. It had become uneconomical for New York Central Railroad to operate.

The 20th Century Limited of the Boston and Albany Railroad (c. 1915)

Photograher unknown

~1967 – At Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town, South Africa 53 year old Louis Washkansky became the first human to receive a heart transplant, he died 18 days later from double pneumonia. The transplant team was headed by Dr. Christiaan Barnard.

~1968 – Elvis' '68 Comeback Special aired nationwide on NBC.

~1970 – The October Crisis: In Montreal, Quebec, kidnapped British Trade Commissioner James Cross was released by the Front de Libération du Québec terrorist group after being held hostage for 60 days. Police negotiated his release and in return the Canadian government granted five terrorists from the FLQ's Chenier Cell their request for safe passage to Cuba. (It's called "caving in to the hoods", in the real world.)

~1971 – The Indo-Pakistani War of 1971: Pakistan bit off more than it could chew when it launched a pre-emptive strike against India, initiating a full scale war that lasted for only 2 weeks but resulted in over 24,000 dead and more than 14,000 wounded and injured.

~1973 – Pioneer program: Pioneer 10 sent back the first close up images of Jupiter.

Jupiter as photographed by Pioneer 10

Photo courtesy NASA

~1976 – An assassination attempt was made on Bob Marley. He was shot twice, but played a concert only two days later.

~1979 – 11 fans were killed in a crush for seats before a (general seating) Who concert at Riverfront Coliseum in Cincinnati, Ohio.

~1982 – A soil sample was taken from Times Beach, Missouri. It would be found to contain more than 300 times the safe level of dioxin.

~1984 – The Bhopal Disaster: A methyl isocyanate leak from a Union Carbide pesticide plant in Bhopal, India, killed more than 3,800 people outright and injured 600,000 others. 6,000 of the injured would later die from their toxic effects. This is still considered the worst industrial disaster in history.

~1989 – In a meeting off the coast of Malta, US President George Bush and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev released statements indicating that the cold war between the two nations may be nearing an end. Media commentators from both sides exaggerated the wording and independently declared the Cold War to be over.

~1990 – At Detroit Metropolitan Airport, Northwest Airlines Flt. 1482 (a DC-9) collided with Northwest Airlines Flt. 299 (a Boeing 727) on the runway. Miraculously only 7 passengers and 1 crewmember aboard Flt. 1482 were killed. (Crashing into a 727 with a DC-9 is akin to crashing into a 3-ton truck with a Geo Metro.)

~1992 – UN Security Council Resolution 794 was unanimously passed. It approved a coalition of United Nations peacekeepers, led by the United States, to form UNITAF. Their task was to establish peace and ensure that humanitarian aid was fairly distributed in Somalia. (More resolutions with the same dismal results...)

~1992 – The Greek oil tanker Aegean Sea, carrying 80,000 tonnes of crude oil, ran aground in a storm while on approach to La Coruña, Spain. The resulting huge oil spill left the surrounding beaches and waters devastated for years.

~1997 – The Ottawa Treaty: In Ottawa, Canada representatives from 121 countries signed a treaty prohibiting manufacture and deployment of anti-personnel landmines. The United States, People's Republic of China, Israel and Russia, amongst others, did not sign the treaty. (I've seen what landmines can do to somebody firsthand, so I guess I don't have any suitable comment fit for print...)

~1999 – NASA lost radio contact with the Mars Polar Lander moments before the spacecraft entered the Martian atmosphere.

~1999 - After rowing for 81 days and 2,962 miles, 36 year old Tori Murden became the first woman to cross the Atlantic Ocean by rowboat alone when she reached Guadeloupe from the Canary Islands.

~2005 – XCOR Aerospace made the first manned rocket aircraft delivery of US Mail in Mojave, California.

The XCOR Aerospace Rocket Racer on landing roll out at Mojave

Photo by Alan Radecki

~2007 – Winter storms caused the Chehalis River to flood many cities in Lewis County, Washington. It also closed a 20 mile portion of Interstate 5 for several days. At least 8 deaths and billions of dollars in damages were blamed on the floods.

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Old 12-08-2009, 08:22 PM
Location: Pacific Northwest
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Default December 4


~306 – The martyrdom of Saint Barbara

~771 – Austrasian King Carloman died, leaving his brother Charlemagne King of the now complete Frankish Kingdom.

~1110 – Sidon was sacked in The First Crusade by the troops of King Baldwin of Jerusalem and King Sigurd of Norway.

~1259 – Kings Louis IX of France and Henry III of England agreed to The Treaty of Paris. Henry renounced his claims to French controlled territory on continental Europe, including Normandy, in exchange for Louis withdrawing his support for English rebels.

1563 – The 25th, and final, session of the Council of Trent was held (the 1st session was held 18 years earlier on December 13, 1545).

~1619 – 38 colonists from Berkeley Parish in England disembarked in Virginia and gave thanks to God; this is usually considered to be the first Thanksgiving in the Americas.

~1674 – Father Jacques Marquette founded a mission on the shores of Lake Michigan to minister to the Illiniwek. The mission later grew into the city of Chicago, Illinois.

~1676 – The Battle of Lund: A Danish army under the command of King Christian V of Denmark was defeated by the Swedish army led by Field Marshal Simon Grundel-Helmfelt.

~1745 – The army of Bonnie Prince Charlie (Charles Edward Stewart) reached Swarkestone Bridge, near Derby, its furthest point during the second Jacobite rising.

~1783 – At Fraunces Tavern in New York City, US General George Washington formally bid his officers farewell.

~1791 – The first edition of The Observer, the world's first Sunday newspaper, was published.

~1829 – In the face of fierce opposition, British governor Lord William Bentinck issued a regulation declaring that all who abetted suttee in India were guilty of culpable homicide. (He actually got that one right.)

~1864 – Sherman's March to the Sea: At Waynesboro, Georgia, forces under Union General Judson Kilpatrick prevented troops led by Confederate General Joseph Wheeler from interfering with Union General William T. Sherman's campaign destroying a wide swath of the South on his march to the Atlantic Ocean from Atlanta, Georgia. Union forces suffered more than three times the Confederate casualties.

~1867 – Former Minnesota farmer Oliver Hudson Kelley founded the Order of the Patrons of Husbandry (better known today as the Grange).

~1872 – The crewless American ship Mary Celeste was found by the British brig Dei Gratia. The ship had been abandoned for 9 days but was only slightly damaged and still seaworthy.

~1875 – Notorious New York City politician Boss Tweed escaped from prison and fled to first Cuba and then Spain.

~1881 – The first edition of the Los Angeles Times was published.

~1909 – The Canadian Football League's 1st Grey Cup game was played. The University of Toronto Varsity Blues defeated the Toronto Parkdale Canoe Club 26–6.

~1918 – U.S. President Woodrow Wilson set sail for the World War I peace talks in Versailles, becoming the first US president to travel to Europe while in office.

~1921 – The first of 3 manslaughter trials against Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle for the death of Virginia Rappe ended in a hung jury.

~1941 - The largest land based transport aircraft of WWII, the Messerschmitt Me 323 Gigant made its maiden flight.

Messerschmitt Me 323 Gigant

Photo by Menzendorf, courtesy Deutsches Bundesarchiv (German Federal Archive)

~1942 – In Warsaw, Zofia Kossak-Szczucka and Wanda Krahelska-Filipowicz set up the Żegota organization.

~1942 – During The Guadalcanal Campaign, Carlson's Patrol (also known as The Long Patrol) conducted by the 2nd Marine Raider Battalion ended.

~1943 – In Yugoslavia, resistance leader Marshal Tito proclaimed a provisional democratic Yugoslav government in exile.

~1943 – U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt closed down the Works Progress Administration, because of the high levels of wartime employment in the United States.

~1945 – By a vote of 65 to 7, the United States Senate approved US participation in the United Nations.

~1954 – The first Burger King was opened in Miami, Florida.

Burger King logo (c. 1950's)

~1958 – Dahomey, (present day Benin) became a self governing country within the French Community. (Ya shoulda gone for full independence, guys, and not waited another 2 years to pull the plug!)

~1964 - The Berkely Free Speech Movement: Police arrested over 800 students at the University of California, Berkely Camous, following their takeover and sit in at the administration building in protest over the UC Regents' decision to forbid protests on UC property.

~1969 – Black Panther Party members Fred Hampton and Mark Clark were shot and killed in their sleep during a raid by 14 Chicago police officers.

~1971 – The UN Security Council called an emergency session to consider the deteriorating situation between India and Pakistan. (Yup, they passed more resolutions...)

~1971 – The Indian Navy attacked the Pakistan Navy and Karachi harbor.

~1971 – The Montreux Casino in Montreux, Switzerland was set ablaze by a fan wielding a flare gun during a Frank Zappa concert; the incident was the basis for the Deep Purple song "Smoke on the Water".

~1971 – McGurk's Bar bombing: An Ulster Volunteer Force bomb killed 15 civilians and wounded 17 more in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

~1975 – Suriname joined the United Nations. (And what good did that do you clowns?)

~1977 – Jean-Bédel Bokassa, president of the Central African Republic, crowned himself Emperor Bokassa I of the Central African Empire. (The Empire was gone as soon as he was...)

~1977 – In Tanjong Kupang, Johor, Malaysia Airlines Flt. 653 crashed after it was hijacked. All 100 on board were killed.

~1978 – Following the murder of Mayor George Moscone, Dianne Feinstein became San Francisco, California's first female mayor.

~1979 – The Hastie Fire, in Kingston upon Hull, killed 3 schoolboys and eventually led police to arrest Bruce George Peter Lee.

~1980 – Led Zeppelin officially disbanded, following the death of drummer John Bonham on September 25th.

~1982 – The People's Republic of China adopted its current constitution.

~1984 – Hezbollah militants hijacked a Kuwait Airlines Boeing 727. They would kill 4 passengers.

~1991 – Journalist Terry Anderson was released after 7 years in captivity as a hostage in Beirut. He was the last and longest held American hostage in Lebanon.

~1991 – Captain Mark Pyle piloted Clipper Goodwill, a Pan American World Airways Boeing 727, to Miami International Airport ending 64 years of Pan Am operations.

Pan American World Airways Boeing 377 Stratocruiser (N1033V) "Cipper Seven Seas" arriving at London Heathrow on September 12, 1954 during Pan Am's heyday.

Photo by RuthAS

~1992 – President George H. W. Bush ordered 28,000 US troops to Somalia in Northeast Africa.

~1993 – A truce was concluded between the government of Angola and UNITA rebels.

~2005 – Tens of thousands of people in Hong Kong protested for democracy and called on the Government to allow universal and equal suffrage.

~2006 – An adult giant squid was caught on video by Kubodera near the Ogasawara Islands, 1,000 km (620 miles) south of Tokyo.

~2008 – The Governor General of Canada prorogued parliament as a result of a parliamentary dispute. (Parliamentary dispute = Understatement of the year!)

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Old 12-10-2009, 12:09 AM
Location: Pacific Northwest
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Default December 5


~63 BC – Cicero read the last of his Catiline Orations.

~663 – The Fourth Council of Toledo took place at the church of Saint Leocadia in Toledo, Spain.

~1082 – Ramon Berenguer II, the Count of Barcelona was assassinated. His brother, who went on to become the sole ruler of Catalonia, is credited with having orchestrated the murder.

~1360 – The French Franc was introduced by King John II. Its name comes from the inscription reading Johannes Dei Gratia Francorum Rex ("Jean by the grace of God King of the Franks") and its value was set as one livre tournois (a money of account).

~1408 – The Mongol Emir Edigu of the Golden Horde and his forces reached Moscow.

~1484 – Pope Innocent VIII issued the Summis desiderantes, a papal bull that deputized Heinrich Kramer and James Sprenger as inquisitors to root out alleged witchcraft in Germany and led to one of the most oppressive witch hunts in European history. (I guess Innocent wasn't as innocent as he proclaimed.)

~1492 – Christopher Columbus became the first European to set foot on the island of Hispaniola.

~1496 – King Manuel I of Portugal issued a decree of expulsion of heretics from the country.

~1560 – France’s King Francis II died at only age 16 and was succeeded by his 10 year old brother, Charles IX. (Only in France...)

~1590 – Niccolò Sfondrati became Pope Gregory XIV.

~1746 – In Genoa a revolt erupted against Spanish rule.

~1757 – The Seven Years' War: A Prussian army under Frederick the Great defeated Austrian forces under Prince Charles Alexander of Lorraine at The Battle of Leuthen in Leuthen, present day Poland.

~1766 – In London, James Christie held his first auction. He would later go on to found Christie's, the world's oldest auction house.

~1775 – At Fort Ticonderoga, Henry Knox began his historic transport of artillery to Cambridge, Massachusetts.

~1776 – In the Apollo Room of the Raleigh Tavern in Williamsburg, Virginia, students from the College of William and Mary met for the first time founding Phi Beta Kappa, the first scholastic fraternity in the United States.

~1791 - In Vienna an impoverished Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart died at the age of 35.

Wolfgang Amedeus Mozart (circa 1780)

Painting by Johann Nepomuk della Croce

~1815 – The founding of the coastal city of Maceió, in Brazil.

~1831 – Former US President John Quincy Adams took his seat in the House of Representatives.

~1839 - George Armstrong Custer was born. (Mr. and Mrs. Custer's charming little yellow-haired bouncing baby boy!)

~1847 – Jefferson Davis was elected to the US senate, his first political post.

~1865 – The Chincha Islands War: Peru allied with Chile against Spain.

~1873 - In Boston, Massachusetts, Warren Avenue Baptist Church sexton Thomas Piper strangled and beat to death his first victim, Bridget Landregan. The press soon dubbed the then unknown serial killer "The Boston Belfry Murderer".

~1876 – The Brooklyn Theater Fire killed 278 people in Brooklyn, NY.

Brooklyn Theatre, looking east down Johnson Street toward Adams Street, shortly after the December 5th, 1876 fire.

Photographer unknown

~1914 – The Italian Parliament proclaimed the neutrality of the country. (That one sure didn't last...)

~1920 – Dimitrios Rallis formed a government in Greece following the general election.

~1926 - Sergei Eisenstein's silent movie classic Battleship Potemkin, debuted in New York.

~1932 – German born Swiss physicist Albert Einstein was granted an American visa.

~1933 – Prohibition in the United States ended when Utah became the 36th U.S. state to ratify the Twenty first Amendment to the United States Constitution. This established the required 75% of states needed to enact the amendment overturning the 18th Amendment which had made the manufacture, sale, or transportation of alcohol illegal in the United States.

~1934 – The Abyssinia Crisis: Italian troops attacked Wal Wal in Abyssinia. It took 4 days to capture the city in spite of the fact that it was undefended and virtually unarmed.

~1936 – The Soviet Union adopted a new constitution and the Kirghiz Soviet Socialist Republic was established as a full Union Republic of the USSR. (Oh! That’ll make things better under Uncle Joe!)

~1941 – During The Battle of Moscow Soviet general Georgy Zhukov launched a massive Soviet counter attack against the German army, with the biggest offensive launched against Army Group Centre.

Soviet Offensive near Moscow. Troops in winter gear, supported by tanks, counter attack German forces. December, 1941

Artist unknown

~1941 - John Steinbeck's nonfiction book Sea of Cortez was published. Steinbeck used knowledge gained writing this book to develop the marine biologist character Doc in Cannery Row.

~1941 – Great Britain declared war on Finland, Hungary and Romania.

~1943 – The U.S. Army Air Force began attacking Germany's secret weapons bases in Operation Crossbow.

~1944 – Allied troops occupied Ravenna, Italy.

~1945 – Flight 19 was lost in the Bermuda Triangle. Flight 19 was the designation of 5 TBM Avenger torpedo bombers that disappeared during a US Navy authorized overwater navigation training flight from Naval Air Station Fort Lauderdale.

Grumman TBF Avengers

Photo courtesy US Navy archives

~1952 - Regarded amongst the most influential comedy programs in history, The Abbott and Costello Show starring comedians Bud Abbott and Lou Costello, debuted on television.

~1952 – The Great Smog of 1952: A cold smog descended upon London that today is seen as the worst air pollution event in the history of the United Kingdom. It was responsible for at least 12,000 deaths.

Nelson's Column during the Great Smog of 1952

Photo by N T Stobbs

~1955 – The American Federation of Labor and the Congress of Industrial Organizations merged to form the AFL-CIO.

~1955 – E.D. Nixon and Rosa Parks led the Montgomery Bus Boycott. (Give 'em hell, Rosa!)

~1957 – Sukarno (Kusno Sosrodihardjo) expelled all people of Dutch descent from Indonesia.

~1958 – Subscriber Trunk Dialling was inaugurated in the UK by Queen Elizabeth II when she spoke to the Lord Provost in a call from Bristol to Edinburgh.

~1958 – The Preston Bypass, Britain's first stretch of motorway, opened to traffic for the first time. It is now part of the M6 and M55 motorways.

~1964 - For his heroism in battle earlier in the year, Captain Roger Donlon of Saugerties, New York was awarded the first Medal of Honor of The Vietnam War.

~1974 - A sad day. The final episode of Monty Python's Flying Circus aired on the BBC. (There's never been anything like it since.)

~1976 – The United Nations General Assembly adopted Pakistan's resolution on security of non-Nuclear States.

~1977 – Egypt broke off diplomatic relations with Syria, Libya, Algeria, Iraq and South Yemen. The move was in retaliation for the Declaration of Tripoli against Egypt.

~1978 – The Soviet Union signed a "friendship treaty" with the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan. (NO!!! Don't do it, guys...it's a trick!)

~1979 – Sonia Johnson was 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 – The Military Junta in Argentina was formally dissolved.

~1983 – ICIMOD was established and inaugurated with its headquarters in Kathmandu, Nepal. It was legitimised through an Act of Parliament in Nepal before year's end.

~1993 – The mayor of Vienna, Helmut Zilk, was wounded by a letter bomb.

~1995 – The Sri Lankan government announced the conquest of the Tamil stronghold of Jaffna.

~2003 - Johannes Heesters, the world's oldest living actor, turned 100. Today was his 106th birthday. (I wish him well.)

~2005 – The magnitude 6.8 Lake Tanganyika Earthquake caused significant damage, mostly in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

~2005 – The Civil Partnership Act came into effect in the United Kingdom, and the first civil partnership was registered there.

~2006 – Commodore Frank Bainimarama overthrew the government in Fiji.

~2007 – The Westroads Mall Massacre: A gunman opened fire with a semi-automatic rifle at an Omaha, Nebraska mall. He killed 8 people before taking his own life.

~2008 – Human remains previously found in 1991 were finally identified by Russian and American scientists as those of Tsar Nicholas II.

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Old 12-10-2009, 12:31 AM
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Default December 6


~1060 – Béla I of Hungary was crowned king of Hungary. He would reign for only 2 years and died when his throne's canopy collapsed. It is suspected that the collapse may not have been an accident.

~1240 – The Mongol invasion of Rus: Kiev fell to the Mongol army under Batu Khan.

~1534 – Over 200 Spanish settlers led by conquistador Sebastián de Belalcázar founded what is now the city of Quito, Ecuador.

~1648 – Pride's Purge: Colonel Pride of the New Model Army purged the Long Parliament of MPs sympathetic to King Charles I of England, in order for the King's trial to go ahead.

Colonel Pride refusing admission to the Presbyterian members of the Long Parliament.
Engraving by Unbekannt (c. 1652)

~1745 – The army of Bonnie Prince Charlie (Charles Edward Stewart) began its retreat during The Second Jacobite Rising.

~1768 – The first edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica was published.

~1790 – The U.S. Congress moved from New York City to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

~1849 – American abolitionist Moses (Harriet Tubman) escaped from slavery. She would go on to become the most famous conductor in The Underground Railway and was known for never having lost a "passenger".

Harriet Tubman (circa 1870)

Photo by H. B. Lindsley

~1865 – The Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, banning slavery, was ratified.

~1877 – The very first edition of the Washington Post was published.

~1884 – The Washington Monument in Washington D.C. was completed.

~1897 – London became the world's first city to institute licencing for taxicabs. (And the London cabbies are still terrorizing their passengers to this day!)

~1907 – The Monongah Mine Disaster: In Monongah, West Virginia a coal mine explosion took place that has been described as the worst mining disaster in American History. The explosion was thought to have been caused by the ignition of firedamp (methane), which ignited the coal dust in mines number 6 and 8. 362 men and boys are believed to have died; to this day the exact death toll remains unknown.

~1916 – During World War I, the Central Powers captured Bucharest.

~1917 – Finland declared its independence from Russia.

~1917 – The Halifax Explosion: The city of Halifax, Nova Scotia was devastated by the huge detonation of the SS Mont-Blanc, a French cargo ship fully loaded with wartime explosives, which accidentally collided with the Norwegian SS Imo in "The Narrows" section of the Halifax Harbour. Over 2,000 people were killed by flying debris, the resulting fires, or collapsing buildings and it is estimated that more than 9,000 others were injured. This is still the world's largest man made accidental explosion.

View of the Halifax Explosion mushroom cloud possibly taken from Bedford Basin at the head of the Halifax Narrows looking to the southeast around 15 to 20 seconds after the blast from 13 miles (21 km) away.

Photographer unknown

~1921 – The Anglo-Irish Treaty was signed in London between the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and representatives of the de facto Irish Republic. It concluded The Irish War of Independence.

~1922 – One year to the day after the signing of The Anglo-Irish Treaty, the Irish Free State came into existence.

~1933 – U.S. federal judge John M. Woolsey ruled that the James Joyce's novel Ulysses was not obscene.

~1941 – World War II: Britain reluctantly declared war on Finland in support of the Soviet Union during The Continuation War.

~1947 – US President Harry S Truman dedicated the Everglades National Park in Florida. (One of the few things he ever managed to get right.)

~1957 – Project Vanguard: A launchpad explosion of Vanguard TV3 thwarted the first United States attempt to launch a satellite into Earth orbit.

~1962 - Storks R Us arrived at Gus And Greta's house with fussy little Margaret. (Happy 47th, Maggie!)

~1965 – Pakistan's Islamic Ideology Advisory Committee recommended that Islamic Studies be made a compulsory subject for Muslim students from primary to graduate level.

~1969 – The Altamont Incident took place in Northern California during a Rolling Stones concert at the Altamont Speedway in California. Marred by violence, 4 people died including 18 year old Meredith Hunter who was stabbed to death by Hells Angels' members that had been hired as site security by the Stones.

~1971 – Pakistan severed diplomatic relations with India following New Delhi's recognition of Bangladesh.

~1975 – The Balcombe Street Siege: An IRA Active Service Unit took a couple hostage in Balcombe Street, London during a standoff with London's Metropolitan Police Service. The seige lasted until December 12th and finally ended with the surrender of the 4 IRA volunteers and the release of their 2 hostages. The events were televised and watched by millions.

~1978 – Spain approved its current constitution in a referendum.

~1982 – The Droppin Well Bombing: The Irish National Liberation Army detonated a bomb in Ballykelly, Northern Ireland that killed 11 British soldiers and 6 civilians.

~1988 – Music legend Roy Orbison died of a heart attack.

~1989 – The École Polytechnique Massacre: A gunman armed with a a semi-automatic assault rifle killed 14 young women and wounded 14 other people on a Montreal, Quebec campus before finally turning the gun on himself and ending his own meaningless existence on the planet.

~1991 – In Croatia, forces of the Yugoslav People's Army bombarded Dubrovnik after laying siege to the city since the previous May.

~1992 – In Ayodhya, India, extremist right wing Hindu activists belonging to the nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party and allied organizations demolished the Babri Masjid, a 16th century mosque which they claimed was built upon the birth place of Lord Rama.

A view of the Babri Mosque, pre-1992

Photo by Shaid Khan

~1997 – A Russian Antonov An-124 transport cargo plane crashed into an apartment complex near Irkutsk, Siberia, killing 67 people.

An 124-100

Photo by David Ramirez

~1998 – Hugo Chávez Frías, Venezuelan military officer and politician, was elected President of Venezuela with the largest percentage of the popular vote (56.2%) in 4 decades. (Well...I guess the Venezuelans brought it all upon themselves then, didn't they.)

~1999 - Digitally Imported (http://www.di.fm/), one of the largest internet radio stations dedicated to electronic dance music, was created by Ari Shohat.

~2005 – Several dozen villagers were shot dead by the People's Armed Police during protests in Dongzhou, China.

~2006 – NASA revealed photographs taken by Mars Global Surveyor suggesting the presence of liquid water on Mars.

This image, taken by Mars Global Surveyor, spans a region about 1,500 m (4,921 ft) across. It shows gullies on the walls of Mars' Newton Basin in Sirenum Terra. Similar channels on Earth are formed by flowing water, but on Mars the temperature is normally too cold and the atmosphere too thin to sustain liquid water. Nevertheless, many scientists hypothesize that liquid groundwater can sometimes surface on Mars, erode gullies and channels, and pool at the bottom before freezing and evaporating.

Photo courtesy of NASA

~2008 – The 2008 Greek Riots broke out following the murder of a 15 year old boy, Alexandros Grigoropoulos, by a police officer.

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Old 12-10-2009, 01:05 AM
Location: Pacific Northwest
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Default December 7

Hang on all, there was a hell of a lot that went down on Decenber 7th:

~43 BC – The great Roman orator and prose stylist Marcus Tullius Cicero was assassinated.

~1696 – Connecticut Route 108, the third oldest highway in Connecticut was laid out to Trumbull.

~1724 – The Tumult of Thorn: Religious unrest was followed by the execution of nine Protestant citizens and the mayor of Thorn (Toruń) by Polish authorities.

~1732 – The first Royal Opera House opened at Covent Garden in London. It was destroyed by fire in 1808.

The auditorium of the first theatre drawn shortly before it burned down.

Drawn by Augustus Pugin and Thomas Rowlandson for Ackermanns' Microcosm of London (1808-11)

~1776 – Marquis de Lafayette attempted to enter the American military as a major general.

~1787 – Delaware became the first state to ratify the US Constitution.

~1808 - James Madison was elected the 4th President of the United States.

~1815 - Michel Ney, Marshal of France, was executed by firing squad after being convicted of treason by the Bourbon Restoration government of Louis XVIII for his support of Napoleon Bonaparte during The Hundred Days.

~1817 - Died this day: William Bligh, the British naval officer who lost HMS Bounty to mutineers on May 28th, 1788.

~1836 - Martin Van Buren was elected the 8th President of the United States.

~1842 - The first concert of the New York Philharmonic took place in the Apollo Rooms on lower Broadway before an audience of 600. Led by American born conductor Ureli Corelli Hill, the concert opened with Beethoven's Symphony No. 5.

~1862 - The Battle of Hartsville was fought in northern Tennessee at the opening of The Stones River Campaign. The result was a lopsided Confederate victory.

~1862 – The Battle of Prairie Grove was fought in Arkansas. The battle itself was a tactical stalemate but it essentially secured northwest Arkansas for the Union.

~1889 - Gilbert & Sullivan's Gondoliers premiered at the Savoy Theatre in London and ran for 554 performances (at that time the fifth longest running piece of musical theatre in history) before closing on 30 June 1891. This was the 12th comic opera collaboration of 14 between Gilbert and Sullivan.

~1895 - The Battle of Amba Alagi was fought. During The First Italo-Ethiopian War the Rasses Makonnen, Welle Betul and Mangesha Yohannes commanded an assault of Emperor Menelik's vanguard that annihilated the Italian forces.

~1900 – Max Planck, in his home on the outskirts of Berlin, discovered the law of black body emission.

~1909 - Dr. Leo Bakeland of Yonkers, New York patented Bakelite. It was the first thermosetting plastic.

~1915 - Born this day: Eli Wallach. Best known for his portrayal of the character Tuco in the 1966 western film classic The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly. (Aged 94 and apparently doing quite well, thank you.)

~1916 - David Lloyd George became Prime Minister of Britain.

~1917 – The United States became the 13th country to declare war on Austria-Hungary during World War I.

~1925 - Noel Coward's play Easy Virtue made its New York premiere.

~1925 - A New York icon, The Biltmore Theater, opened at 261 W. 47th St.

~1926 - Gas refrigeration was patented.

~1934 - Wiley Post discovered the jet stream. (A case can be made that this was first detected in 1922 by Japanese meteorologist Wasaburo Ooishi.)

~1930 – W1XAV in Boston, Massachusetts broadcast video from the CBS radio orchestra program, The Fox Trappers. The broadcast also included the first television commercial in the United States, an advertisement for I.J. Fox Furriers who sponsored the radio show. (Whoa! A TV show with only 1 commercial...man, those were the days!)

~1937 - Dutch Minister Romme proclaimed that, "For the stability of the nation, married women are forbidden to work outside of the home." (I'd like to see him try and get away with saying that today...)

~1939 - At only the age of 36, Lou Gehrig was elected to The National Baseball Hall of Fame.

~Sunday December 7th, 1941 – The Pearl Harbor Attack: In the pre-dawn hours a Japanese naval strike force consisting of 6 aircraft carriers under the command of admiral Chuichi Nagumo arrived at their assigned position some 275 miles north of the Hawaiian Islands. An unprovoked surprise attack was then launched, without a declaration of war, on the US Pacific Fleet moored at the naval base in Pearl Harbor, along with its defending Army Air Forces and Marine air forces.

The US losses in the attack were:
4 battleships sunk
4 battleships damaged including 1 run aground
2 destroyers sunk, 1 damaged
1 other ship sunk, 3 damaged
3 cruisers damaged
188 aircraft destroyed
155 aircraft damaged

And most importantly:
2,345 military personnel killed
1,247 military personnel wounded
57 civilians killed
35 civilians wounded

The Japanese losses were:
4 midget submarines sunk
1 midget submarine run aground
27 aircraft destroyed
55 airmen killed
9 submariners killed

Zeroes of the second wave preparing to take off from Shokaku for Pearl Harbor

Photo believed to be from the Japanese Naval Archives

Photograph from a Japanese aircraft of Pearl Harbor including Battleship Row at the beginning of the attack. The explosion in the center is a torpedo strike on the USS West Virginia

Photo believed to be from the Japanese Naval Archives

Sailors in a motor launch rescue a survivor from the water alongside the sunken USS West Virginia (BB-48) during the Japanese raid on Pearl Harbor. USS Tennessee (BB-43) is inboard of the sunken battleship. Note extensive distortion of West Virginia's lower midships superstructure, caused by torpedoes that exploded below that location.

Photo courtesy US Navy

The forward magazines of the U.S. Navy battleship USS Arizona (BB-39) explode shortly after 08:00 hrs during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor (My cousin is still on board that ship)

Photo courtesy US Navy

~1942 - The Bell P-63 Kingcobra took to the air for the first time.

The Bell P-63 Kingcobra in flight (circa 1943)

Photo courtesy US Air Force archives

~1945 - Raytheon received a patent for the microwave oven, created by engineer Percy Spencer.

~1946 – A fire at the Winecoff Hotel in Atlanta, Georgia killed 119 people, this is still the deadliest hotel fire in U.S. history.

~1949 – During The Chinese Civil War, Chiang Kai Shek and the governing Kuomintang regime were forced to flee from Nanking to Taipei on the island of Formosa (Taiwan).

~1962 – Prince Rainier III of Monaco revised the principality's constitution, devolving some of his power to advisory and legislative councils.

~1965 – Pope Paul VI and Patriarch Athenagoras simultaneously lifted mutual excommunications that had been in place since 1054.

~1966 – A fire at an army barracks in Erzurum, Turkey killed 68 people.

~1970 – The first ever general election, on the basis of direct adult franchise, was held in Pakistan for 313 National Assembly seats.

~1971 – Pakistan President Yahya Khan announced the formation of a Coalition Government at Centre with Nurul Amin as Prime Minister and Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto as Vice-Prime Minister.

~1972 – Apollo 17, was launched. It was the first night launch of a U.S. human spaceflight and the sixth and final lunar landing mission of The Apollo Program. The crew took the famous photograph known as "The Blue Marble" as they left the Earth.

Apollo 17 lift off at 12:33 a.m. EST on December 7th, 1972

Photo courtesy of NASA

~1975 – Indonesian forces began a bloody invasion of East Timor.

~1982 – A Texas murderer became the first person to be executed by lethal injection in the United States.

~1983 – An Iberia Airlines Boeing 727 collided with an Aviaco DC-9 that had accidentally entered the runway as the Iberia flight was taking off in dense fog at Madrid Barajas International Airport. 93 people were killed in the mishap.

~1987 – Pacific Southwest Airlines Flt. 1771 crashed near Paso Robles, California, killing all 43 on board. This after a disgruntled passenger shot his ex-boss traveling on the flight and then shot both pilots before turning the weapon on himself.

~1988 – The Spitak Earthquake: In Soviet Armenia an earthquake measuring 6.9 on the Richter scale killed nearly 25,000 and injured another 15,000. The quake left upwards of 400,000 homeless.

~1988 – Yasser Arafat recognized the right of Israel to exist. (Doesn't mean the murderous pinhead agreed with that right...just that he recognized it.)

~1989 - In the third and final installment of their historic boxing trilogy, Sugar Ray Leonard and Roberto Duran fought an incredibly boring bout in Las Vegas; Leonard retained the WBC Super Middleweight championship of the world with a 12 round decision.

~1993 – The Long Island Rail Road Massacre: A passenger pulled a gun and murdered 6 people while injuring 19 others on the LIRR in Nassau County, New York.

~1994 – Norfolk Southern ended its steam excursion program. This was the last time that the famed Norfolk and Western 611 was under steam.

Norfolk & Western Railway's #611 (a 4-8-4) in 1993

Photo by Jet Lowe, courtesy United States National Park Service

~1995 – The Galileo spacecraft arrived at Jupiter and began taking photos, a little more than 6 years after it was launched by Space Shuttle Atlantis during Mission STS-34.

The four largest moons of Jupiter, as photographed by Galileo

Photo/images courtesy NASA

~1999 – The RIAA filed a lawsuit against the Napster file sharing client, on charges of copyright infringement.

~2003 – The Conservative Party of Canada was officially recognized after the merger of the Canadian Reform Party and Progressive Conservative Party of Canada. (It was originally going to be named the Conservative Reform Alliance Party until someone noticed what the acronym would be...)

~2005 – Rigoberto Alpizar, a passenger on American Airlines Flt. 924 who is alleged to have claimed he had a bomb, was shot and killed by a team of U.S. federal air marshals at Miami International Airport in a case that, to this day, has the overbearing stench of a cover up to it.

~2006 – A tornado struck Kensal Green in northwest London, seriously damaging approximately 150 properties.

~2007 – The Hebei Spirit Oil Spill began in South Korea after a crane barge being towed by tug collided with the VLCC (Very Large Crude Carrier) Hebei Spirit.

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Old 12-10-2009, 01:26 AM
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Default December 8


~1609 – In Milan, the Biblioteca Ambrosiana opened its reading room. It was the second public library in Europe.

~1659 – The Mexican border town Ciudad Juárez was founded by Fray García de San Francisco.

~1660 – Margaret Hughes became the first actress to appear on an English public stage, playing the role of Desdemona in a production of Shakespeare's play Othello. (Judging by her portrait, she also appeared in adult rated shows.)

~1794 – In Vermont, the first issue of the Rutland Herald was published.

~1813 - Ludwig von Beethoven premiered his 7th Symphony in A. The work was premiered in Vienna at a charity concert for soldiers wounded in The Battle of Hanau, with Beethoven himself conducting and double featured with the patriotic Wellington's Victory Symphony.

~1854 – Pope Pius IX proclaimed the dogma of Immaculate Conception, which holds that the Virgin Mary was born free of original sin.

~1864 – In Bristol, England, The Clifton Suspension Bridge over the River Avon was officially opened.

The Clifton Bridge

Photo by Adrian Pingstone (October 2003)

~1869 – Timothy Eaton founded Eaton's the T. Eaton Co. Limited in Toronto, Canada. (Catalogs have never been the same since.)

~1874 – The James gang pulled off a train heist near Muncie, Kansas and made off with $30,000.

~1886 – The American Federation of Labor was founded in Columbus, Ohio.

~1904 – Konservativ Ungdom (Young Conservatives) was founded by Carl F. Herman von Rosen in Denmark. Still existing today, it is the oldest political youth organization in Denmark and believed to be one of the oldest in the world.

~1907 – King Gustaf V of Sweden ascended the throne of Sweden.

~1912 – The First Balkan War: The Greek army captured Korçë from the ruling Ottomans.

~1913 - Construction began in San Francisco on the Palace of Fine Arts.

The Palace Fine Arts (circa 1919)

Photo by James D. Givens (Courtesy the Library of Congress)

~1914 – The Battle of the Falkland Islands: The Kaiserliche Marine Admiral Graf Maximilian von Spee, commanding a German squadron of armoured cruisers, light cruisers and auxiliaries attempted to raid the British supply base at Stanley on the Falkland Isles. There he encountered a larger British squadron of battlecruisers, armoured cruisers and light cruisers that had arrived in the port only the day before. In avenging the British mauling at The Battle of Colonel (November 1st, 1914) the German cruisers Scharnhorst, Gneisenau, Nurnberg, and Liepzig were all sunk by gunfire from the British force.

The Battle of the Falkland Islands
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/3/32/Cfbattlepainting.jpg (broken link)
Artist unknown

~1923 – During The German Hyperinflation a salary and price freeze was imposed in Germany, it failed miserably.

~1930 – The Broadway Theater opened at 1681 Broadway, New York.

~1930 - Cole Porter's musical "NYCers" premiered in New York.

~1941 - United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt delivered his famous Day of Infamy speech to Congress as the US went to war with Japan.


~1941 - Great Britain declared war on Japan.

~1941 – The Republic of China declared war on Japan.

~1941 – Japanese forces invaded the British Crown Colony of Hong Kong, British Malaya and the Dutch East Indies. They also invaded the portions of Shanghai administered by European powers and bombed American bases in the Philippines.

~1941 – The first Japanese attack on Wake Island took place.

~1941 – Gas vans were first used as a means of execution by the Nazis, at the Chelmno extermination camp near Łódź in Poland.

~1941 - The Soviet Counterattack: The Russian 16th army recaptured Krijukovo from the Germans.

~1948 - Jordan annexed Arabic Palestine.

~1952 - French troops opened fire on peaceful demonstrators in Casablanca, killing 50.

~1953 – Dwight D. Eisenhower gave the Atoms for Peace speech.

~1962 – In Delft, the funeral for Queen Wilhelmina of Holland was held.

~1963 – Pan Am Flt. 214, a Boeing 707, crashed near Elkton, Maryland, killing all 81 people on board. While in a holding pattern, the aircraft was hit by lightning which ignited fuel vapors in the #1 PRT (port reserve tank) causing an explosion.

~1966 – The Greek ferry ship SS Heraklion sank during a storm in the Aegean Sea, killing over 200.

~1972 – United Airlines Flt. 553, a Boeing 737-222, crashed after aborting its landing attempt at Chicago Midway International Airport, killing 43 of the 61 aboard and another 2 on the ground.

~1974 – A plebiscite resulted in the abolition of the monarchy in Greece.

~1980 – John Lennon was shot and killed by a gunma in front of The Dakota apartment building in New York City.

~1982 – Activist Norman Mayer threatened to blow up The Washington Monument, before being killed by United States Park Police.

~1982 – In Suriname the military, then under the leadership of Desi Bouterse, rounded up several prominent citizens who were alledged to have plotted against the government. They were then tortured and killed.

~1987 – In Washington The Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty was signed.

US President Reagan and Soviet General Secretary Gorbachev signing the INF Treaty in the East Room of the White House.

Photo courtesy the White House Photographic Office

~1987 – The Queen Street Massacre: A gunman armed with a sawn-off M1 carbine shot and killed 8 people and wounded 5 others at the offices of Australia Post in Melbourne before being killed himself.

~1987 – Alianza Lima Air Disaster: A Peruvian Navy Fokker F27-400M, chartered by Peruvian football club Alianza Lima, plunged into the Pacific Ocean 6 miles short of its destination, off the Ventanilla District of the city of Callao, in Peru. On board the flight were a total of 44 players, managers, staff, cheerleaders, and crewmembers, of whom only the pilot survived the accident.

Fokker F27-400M

Photo by Pedro Escobal

~1991 – The leaders of Russia, Belarus and Ukraine signed an agreement dissolving the Soviet Union and establishing the Commonwealth of Independent States. (That didn't last very long then, did it...)

~1991 – The current Romanian Constitution was adopted in a referendum.

~1992 - NBC announced that the current season would be the last for "Cheers". (Series finale aired on May 20th, 1993)

~1993 – The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was signed into law by US President Bill Clinton.

~1993 – A fierce early winter storm hit Western Europe, in England alone 11 were killed.

~1994 - 324 people, 288 of them school children, lost their lives to a cinema fire in Karamay, China.

~1998 – The Tadjena Massacre: 81 people were killed by armed groups in Algeria.

~2004 – The Cuzco Declaration was signed in Cuzco, Peru, establishing the South American Community of Nations.

~2004 - Heavy metal guitarist Dimebag Darrell, of Pantera, was shot and killed on stage in Columbus, Ohio while performing with Damageplan.

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Old 12-10-2009, 01:43 AM
Location: Pacific Northwest
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Default December 9


~536 – Having captured Naples earlier in the year, Byzantine General Belisarius enters Rome while the Ostrogothic garrison peacefully leaves the city, returning the old capital to its empire.

~1165 - Died this day, Malcolm IV King of Scotland, aged 24, he was succeeded by his younger brother, William I the Lion.

~1425 – The University of Leuven: Pope Martin V issued a papal bull founding the University in Leuven as a Studium Generale. It is the world's oldest Catholic university still in existence today.

~1640 - Settler Hugh Bewitt, was banished from the Massachusetts colony when he declared himself to be free of "original sin". (But if it had been the Pope who'd said that about old Hughey...)

~1793 – New York City's first daily newspaper, the American Minerva, was established by Noah Webster.

~1805 - Comet 3D/1805 V1 (Biela) approached to within 3.4 million miles of Earth.

~1824 – Patriot forces led by General Antonio José de Sucre defeated a Royalist army at The Battle of Ayacucho, putting an end to the Peruvian War of Independence and effectively ending Spanish rule in South America.

~1835 – Troops of what would later become The Republic of Texas captured San Antonio.

~1854 - Lord Tennyson's poem, Charge of the Light Brigade was published.

The Charge of the Light Brigade at The Battle of Balaclava on October 25th, 1854

Painting by Richard Caton Woodville,

~1856 – The Iranian city of Bushehr surrendered to occupying British forces.

~1861 – The American Civil War: The Joint Committee on the Conduct of the War was established by the U.S. Congress.

~1872 – In Louisiana, P.B.S. Pinchback became the first serving non-white governor of a U.S. state.

~1875 – The Massachusetts Rifle Association, America's second oldest gun club was founded.

~1884 - Levant Richardson of Chicago, Illinois patented the ball bearing roller skate. (Truly one of mankind's greatest accomplishments!)

~1897 – Activist Marguerite Durand founded the feminist daily newspaper, La Fronde, in Paris.

~1898 - Born this day: Circus clown Emmett Kelly (Weary Willie), in Sedan, Kansas. (d. 1977)

~1900 – Russia’s Czar Nicholas V rejected Boer Paul Kruger's pleas for aid in South Africa against the British.

~1903 - The Norwegian parliament voted unanimiously for female suffrage.

~1905 - An Act for the Separation of Church and State became law in France, rescinding Napoleon's Concordat of 1801. The new law guaranteed freedom of conscience, but also severed all religious groups from any further economic support by the national government.

~1908 - A child labour bill, passed in the German Reichstag, forbade work for children under the age of 13.

~1916 - Born this day: Actor Kirk Douglas.

~1917 – In Palestine, the British forces of Field Marshal Edmund Allenby captured Jerusalem.

~1920 - The Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to US President Woodrow Wilson.

~1922 – Gabriel Narutowicz was announced as the first president of Poland. He took office on December 11th and was assassinated just 5 days later.

~1926 - Benny Goodman’s had his first recording session. He played clarinet with the Ben Pollack Orchestra on a tune titled Downtown Shuffle, on Victor Records. Goodman, was all of 17 years old.

~1931 – The Constituent Cortes approved the constitution that established the Second Spanish Republic.

~1935 – Walter Liggett, American investigative newspaper editor, died after being machine gunned in the alley behind his home. His wife and daughter witnessed the assassination as did several neighbors. All identified Kid Cann as the shooter. Cann was indicted but poor investigative work and a careless trial earned him an aquittal.

~1937 – During The Second Sino-Japanese War, at The Battle of Nanjing Japanese troops under the command of Lt. Gen. Asaka Yasuhiko launched an assault on the Chinese city of Nanjing. It was here that a Japanese air strike sank the USS Panay on December 12th.

~1940 – Operation Compass: British and Indian troops under the command of Major General Richard O'Connor attacked the Italian forces near Sidi Barrani in Egypt. They took well over 1,000 prisoners in the sudden thrust.

~1941 – The Provisional Government of the Republic of Korea, along with the Philippine Commonwealth, declared war on Germany and Japan.

~1941 - The first US World War II bombing mission in the Far East took place at Luzon, Philippines.

~1946 – The Subsequent Nuremberg Trials began with the "Doctors' Trial", prosecuting doctors alleged to be involved in human experimentation.

~1953 – The Red Scare: General Electric announced that all communist employees would be fired from the company.

~1956 – (In memory of Captain A. Jack Clark) Trans-Canada Air Lines Flt. 810: In extremely poor weather a Canadair North Star crashed at high speed into the 3rd peak of Mount Slesse near Chilliwack, British Columbia due (primarily) to excessive icing. The plane was flying in near zero visibility and, unbeknownst to the flight crew, was several miles off course; all 62 people on board were killed on impact. The wreckage of Flt. 810 is still visible today.

A Trans-Canada Airlines North Star

Photo by Ruth AS

~1957 - Born this day: Singer (and Danny Bonaduce’s favorite punching bag) Donny Osmond, in Ogden, Utah.

~1958 - In Indianapolis, retired Boston candy manufacturer Robert H. W. Welch Jr. and 11 other men established the John Birch Society. The right wing organization was dedicated to fighting what it perceived to be the extensive infiltration of communism into American society.

~1960 – The first episode of Britain's longest running television soap opera Coronation Street was broadcast.

~1961 – Tanganyika (now part of Tanzania) was granted its independence from Britain.

~1962 – The Petrified Forest National Park was established in Arizona.

The Agate Bridge, a petrified log that spans a sandstone wash at the Petrified Forest National Park in Arizona.

Photo by Doug Dolde

~1965 – The Kecksburg UFO incident: A fireball was seen from Michigan to Pennsylvania. Witnesses reported something crashing into the woods near Pittsburgh. In 2005 NASA admitted that it had examined an object.

~1965 - The television debut of the comic strip Peanuts gang, in A Charlie Brown Christmas. Nearly 45 years later it is still a perennial favorite.

~1966 - Barbados became the 122nd member of the United Nations.

~1967 - Nicolae Ceausescu became President (ruthless dictator) of Romania.

~1967 - Following her retirement, the Cunard liner HMRMS Queen Mary was permanently moored at Long Beach, California.

~1968 – NLS (a system for which hypertext and the computer mouse were developed) was publicly demonstrated for the first time in San Francisco.

~1969 - Charles Manson was formally charged in connection with the August 1969 Tate/LaBianca Murders.

~1971 – The United Arab Emirates joined the United Nations.

~1979 – The eradication of the smallpox virus was certified making smallpox the first, and to date only, human disease driven to extinction.

~1983 - US Attorney General (and world class idiot) Edwin Meese said, "People go to soup kitchens because the food is free and that's easier than paying for it".

~1985 - OPEC oil ministers abandoned the struggle to control production and prices of crude, setting the stage for a global oil price war.

~1985 - Former Argentine president Jorge Videla and his fellow junta member, Admiral Emilio Massera, were sentenced to life imprisonment for their part in the "dirty war" against left wing guerrillas in which up to 9,000 people disappeared.

~1987 – The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: The First Intifada began in the Gaza Strip and West Bank.

~1988 – The Michael Hughes Bridge in Sligo, Ireland was officially opened.

~1990 – Lech Wałęsa became the first directly elected president of Poland.

~1991 - It was revealed that £420 million was missing from pension funds controlled by newspaper tycoon Robert Maxwell.

~1992 - Cincinnati Red owner Marge Schott apologized for her racist remarks. (That’s OK, Maggie...we all know how feeble minded you were!)

~1994 - President Clinton fired US Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders for suggesting that masturbation should be taught in the schools. (OK...don't even get me started on this one!)

~2000 – The United States Supreme Court stayed the Florida Recount.

~2003 – A blast in the center of Moscow killed 6 people and injured several more.

~2006 – The Moscow Hospital Fire occurred. It was the city's worst fire since 1977; 45 women were killed in a drug rehabitation center.

~2008 – The Governor of Illinois, Rod Blagojevich, was arrested by federal officials for a number of alleged crimes including attempting to sell the United States Senate seat being vacated by President-elect Barack Obama's election to the Oval Office.

~2340 - Born this day: The Klingon, Worf of "Star Trek the Next Generation" fame.
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Old 12-10-2009, 01:59 PM
Location: Pacific Northwest
589 posts, read 7,568,296 times
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Default December 10


~1041 – Empress Zoe of Byzantium elevated her adopted son to the throne of the Eastern Roman Empire as Michael V. (Whoa! Did that ungrateful little snot ever turn on her!)

~1508 – The League of Cambrai was formed by Pope Julius II, Louis XII of France, Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor and Ferdinand II of Aragon as an alliance against Venice.

~1520 – Martin Luther burned his copy of the papal bull Exsurge Domine outside Wittenberg's Elster Gate.

The title page of the first printed edition of Pope Leo X's Bull, Exurge Domine, threatening to excommunicate Martin Luther

~1541 – Thomas Culpeper and Francis Dereham were executed for having affairs with Catherine Howard, Queen of England and wife of Henry VIII. (Hope she was worth it, guys.)

~1665 – The Royal Netherlands Marine Corps was founded by Michiel de Ruyter.

~1684 – Isaac Newton's derivation of Kepler's laws from his theory of gravity, contained in the paper De motu corporum in gyrum, was read to the Royal Society by Edmund Halley.

~1817 – Mississippi was admitted to the Union as the 20th U.S. state.

~1864 – Sherman's March to the Sea: Major General William Tecumseh Sherman's Union Army troops reached Savannah, Georgia.

~1868 – The first traffic lights were installed, outside the Palace of Westminster in London. Resembling railway signals, they used semaphore arms and were illuminated at night by red and green gas lamps.

~1896 – Died this day: Alfred Nobel, Swedish inventor and founder of the Nobel Prize (b. 1833).

~1898 – The Treaty of Paris was signed, officially ending The Spanish–American War.

~1901 – The first Nobel Prizes were awarded.

~1902 – Women were given the right to vote in Tasmania.

~1906 – U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt won the Nobel Peace Prize, becoming the first American to win a Nobel Prize.

~1907 – The worst night of The Brown Dog Riots in London, when 1,000 medical students clashed with 400 police officers over the existence of a memorial for animals who had been vivisected.

~1927 – The immensely popular radio program Barn Dance changed its name to Grand Ole Opry.

~1928 - What has become a classic automotive legend the Duesenburg Model J made its debut at the 1928 New York Car Show. Featuring state of the art mechanicals and engineering for the time she also encompassed a degree of luxury that has seldom been matched.

1930 Duesenberg J Walker Legrande Torpedo Phaeton from the Auto Collections at the Imperial Palace (Las Vegas)

Photo by Matthew Brown

~1932 – Thailand adopted a Constitution and became a constitutional monarchy.

~1935 – The Downtown Athletic Club Trophy, later renamed the Heisman Trophy, was awarded for the first time. The recipient was halfback Jay Berwanger of the University of Chicago.

~1936 – Faced with the refusal of Parliament to codone his proposed marriage to Wallis Simpson under any circumstances, and pressure applied by the Church of England, Britain's King Edward VIII signed the Instrument of Abdication. (Not willing to give her up, Edward instead gave up the British throne, told them all to go to hell, and married his Mrs. Simpson.)

~1941 – The Royal Navy capital ships HMS Prince of Wales and HMS Repulse were sunk by Imperial Japanese Navy torpedo bombers near Malaya.

The King George V class battleship HMS Prince of Wales (circa 1941)

Photo by U.S. Navy, now in the collections of the National Archives.

The Renown class battlecruiser HMS Repulse leaving Singapore (circa 1941)

Photo courtesy The Imperial War Museum

~1941 – The Battle of the Philippines: Imperial Japanese forces under the command of General Masaharu Homma landed on the Philippine mainland.

~1948 – The UN General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. (Too bad they've never really gotten around to enforcing it...)

~1955 – The Mighty Mouse Playhouse premiered on the small screen as part of CBS's Saturday morning cartoon lineup.

~1968 – Japan's biggest heist, the still unsolved "300 million yen robbery", was pulled off in Tokyo. (And nobody got hurt, either; nice haul, nice getaway, good style...I'm impressed.)

~1978 – Prime Minister of Israel Menachem Begin and President of Egypt Anwar Sadat were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

~1981 – The United Nations General Assembly approved Pakistan's proposal for establishing a nuclear free-zone in South Asia. (In light of Pakistan's present status a world nuclear power, one might call that blatant hypocrisy...)

~1983 – With the ousting of the military junta, democracy was restored in Argentina upon the assumption of President Raúl Alfonsín.

~1989 – Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj announced the establishment of Mongolia's democratic movement. It would go on to change the world's second oldest communist country into a democracy.

~1993 – The last shift left Wearmouth Colliery in Sunderland. The closure of the 158 year old pit marked the end of the old County Durham coalfield, which had been in operation since the Middle Ages.

~1996 – The Rwandan Genocide: Military advisor to the United Nations Secretary General (and head of the Military Division of the Department of Peacekeeping Operations of the United Nations) Maurice Baril recommended that the UN multi-national forces in Zaire stand down.

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