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THIS DAY IN HISTORY

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phkrause

December 2nd

2001

Enron files for bankruptcy
 
On this day in 2001, the Enron Corporation files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in a New York court, sparking one of the largest corporate scandals in U.S. history. An energy-trading company based in Houston, Texas, Enron was formed in 1985 as the merger of two gas companies, Houston Natural G... read more »
Abolitionist Movement
1859
Abolitionist John Brown is hanged »
American Revolution
1777
Philadelphia nurse overhears British plans to attack Washington's army »
Art, Literature, and Film History
1972
The Temptations earn their final #1 hit with "Papa Was A Rolling Stone" »
1997
"Good Will Hunting" premieres in theaters »
Crime
1991
William Kennedy Smith's rape trial begins »
France
1804
Napoleon crowned emperor »
Red Scare
1954
Joseph McCarthy condemned by Senate »
COLD WAR
1961
Fidel Castro declares himself a Marxist-Leninist »
U.S. Presidents
1823
Monroe Doctrine declared »
World War I
1917
Russia reaches armistice with the Central Powers »
World War II
1942
Physicist Enrico Fermi produces the first nuclear chain reaction »

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phkrause

December 3rd

1947

"A Streetcar Named Desire" opens on Broadway
 
On this day in 1947, Marlon Brando's famous cry of "STELLA!" first booms across a Broadway stage, electrifying the audience at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre during the first-ever performance of Tennessee Williams' play A Streetcar Named Desire. The 23-year-old Brando played the rough, working-class Po... read more »
American Revolution
1776
George Washington arrives at the banks of the Delaware »
Art, Literature, and Film History
1979
Eleven people killed in a stampede outside Who concert in Cincinnati, Ohio »
Cold War
1989
Bush and Gorbachev suggest Cold War is coming to an end »
Crime
1989
Forensics identify a child abductor—by his clothes »
Inventions & Science
1967
First human heart transplant »
1979
Last AMC Pacer rolls off assembly line »
1980s
1984
Explosion kills 2,000 at pesticide plant »
19th CENTURY
1818
Illinois becomes the 21st state »
World War I
1912
First Balkan War ends »

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phkrause

December 4th

1991

Hostage Terry Anderson freed in Lebanon
 
On this day in 1991, Islamic militants in Lebanon release kidnapped American journalist Terry Anderson after 2,454 days in captivity. As chief Middle East correspondent for the Associated Press, Anderson covered the long-running civil war in Lebanon (1975-1990). On March 16, 1985, he was kidnapped o... read more »
1990s
1992
President Bush orders U.S. troops to Somalia »
American Revolution
1780
George Washington's cousin tricks Loyalists »
1783
George Washington bids farewell to his officers »
Crime
1928
"Irish Godfather" killed by car bomb in St. Paul, MN »
1969
Police kill two members of the Black Panther Party »
2009
Amanda Knox convicted of murder in Italy »
Great Britain
1952
Smog kills thousands in England »
Natural Disasters & Environment
2012
Typhoon "Pablo" kills over 1,000 people in the Philippines »
Sports
1997
NBA suspends Latrell Sprewell for attacking coach »
19th CENTURY
1872
The Mary Celeste, a ship whose crew mysteriously disappeared, is spotted at sea »
Westward Expansion
1867
Oliver Kelley organizes the Grange »
World War I
1917
Psychiatrist reports on the phenomenon of shell shock »
World War II
1942
Polish Christians come to the aid of Polish Jews »

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phkrause

December 5th

1945

Aircraft squadron disappears in the Bermuda Triangle
 
At 2:10 p.m., five U.S. Navy Avenger torpedo-bombers comprising Flight 19 take off from the Ft. Lauderdale Naval Air Station in Florida on a routine three-hour training mission. Flight 19 was scheduled to take them due east for 120 miles, north for 73 miles, and then back over a final 120-mile leg t... read more »
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Africa
2013
South African president Nelson Mandela dies at 95 »
American Revolution
1776
Phi Beta Kappa fraternity is founded »
Art, Literature, and Film History
1984
Eddie Murphy stars in "Beverly Hills Cop" »
Crime
1873
The Boston Belfry Murderer kills his first victim »
19th CENTURY
1876
Hundreds die in Brooklyn theater fire »
Sports
2002
TV producer Roone Arledge dies »
1970s
1978
U.S.S.R and Afghanistan sign "friendship treaty" »
U.S. Government
1933
21st amendment is ratified; Prohibition ends »
Vietnam War
1964
Army Captain awarded first Medal of Honor for action in Vietnam »

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phkrause

December 6th

1884

Washington Monument completed
 
On this day in 1884, in Washington, D.C., workers place a nine-inch aluminum pyramid atop a tower of white marble, completing the construction of an impressive monument to the city's namesake and the nation's first president, George Washington. As early as 1783, the infant U.S. Congress decided that... read more »
Art, Literature, and Film History
1933
"Ulysses" is ruled not obscene »
1969
Murder at the Altamont Festival brings the 1960s to a violent end »
Civil War
1865
13th Amendment ratified »
Crime
1868
Vigilantes yank train robbers from jail and hang them »
Great Britain
1921
Irish Free State declared »
Natural Disasters & Environment
1907
The Monongah coal mine disaster »
World War I
1917
The Great Halifax Explosion »
World War II
1941
FDR to Japanese emperor: "Prevent further death and destruction" »

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phkrause

December 7th

1941

Pearl Harbor bombed
 
At 7:55 a.m. Hawaii time, a Japanese dive bomber bearing the red symbol of the Rising Sun of Japan on its wings appears out of the clouds above the island of Oahu. A swarm of 360 Japanese warplanes followed, descending on the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor in a ferocious assault. The surprise attac... read more »
HISTORY Vault
World in Crisis
From Pearl Harbor to D-Day, get a front-row seat to the most dramatic moments of World War II with this HISTORY Vault collection.
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1970s
1975
Indonesia invades East Timor »
Art, Literature, and Film History
2001
"Ocean's Eleven" remake opens in theaters »
Civil War
1862
Battle of Prairie Grove, Arkansas »
Crime
1982
First execution by lethal injection »
1993
Shooter opens fire on Long Island Railroad train »
Early U.S.
1787
Delaware becomes the first state to ratify the Constitution »
Natural Disasters & Environment
1988
Earthquakes wreak havoc in Armenia »
Sports
1989
Sugar Ray Leonard fights Roberto Duran for the third and final time »
Westward Expansion
1805
Lewis and Clark temporarily settle in Fort Clatsop »
U.S. Presidents
1941
FDR reacts to news of Pearl Harbor bombing »

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phkrause

December 8th

1980

John Lennon shot
 
John Lennon, a former member of the Beatles, the rock group that transformed popular music in the 1960s, is shot and killed by an obsessed fan in New York City. The 40-year-old artist was entering his luxury Manhattan apartment building when Mark David Chapman shot him four times at close range with... read more »
American Revolution
1775
Americans begin siege of Quebec »
Art, Literature, and Film History
1894
Humorist James Thurber is born »
1982
"Sophie's Choice" opens in theaters »
Civil War
1863
Lincoln issues Proclamation of Amnesty and Reconstruction »
Great Britain
1542
Mary Queen of Scots born »
Natural Disasters & Environment
1881
Theater fire kills hundreds in Vienna »
Sports
1940
Bears beat Redskins 73-0 in NFL Championship game »
China
1949
Chinese Nationalists move capital to Taiwan »
Cold War
1987
U.S. and Soviet Union agree to reduce nuclear arsenals »
1990s
1993
NAFTA signed into law »
Vietnam War
1969
President Nixon announces Vietnam War is ending »
World War I
1914
The Battle of the Falkland Islands »
World War II
1941
The United States declares war on Japan »
1941
Jeannette Rankin casts sole vote against WWII »

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phkrause

December 9th

1992

U.S. Marines storm Mogadishu, Somalia
 
On this day in 1992, 1,800 United States Marines arrive in Mogadishu, Somalia, to spearhead a multinational force aimed at restoring order in the conflict-ridden country. Following centuries of colonial rule by countries including Portugal, Britain and Italy, Mogadishu became the capital of an indep... read more »
1990s
1990
Lech Walesa elected president of Poland »
Art, Literature, and Film History
1854
"The Charge of the Light Brigade" by Alfred, Lord Tennyson is published »
1983
"Scarface," starring Al Pacino, opens in theaters »
Crime
1981
Policeman Daniel Faulkner found dead »
Great Britain
1992
Separation of Charles and Diana announced »
Inventions & Science
1979
Smallpox is officially declared eradicated »
Middle East
1987
Intifada begins on Gaza Strip »
Red Scare
1958
John Birch Society founded »
Vietnam War
1971
Paris peace talks break down »
Westward Expansion
1835
The Texan Army captures San Antonio »
World War I
1917
Jerusalem surrenders to British troops »

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phkrause

December 10th

1901

First Nobel Prizes awarded
 
The first Nobel Prizes are awarded in Stockholm, Sweden, in the fields of physics, chemistry, medicine, literature, and peace. The ceremony came on the fifth anniversary of the death of Alfred Nobel, the Swedish inventor of dynamite and other high explosives. In his will, Nobel directed that the bul... read more »
1950s
1950
American diplomat Ralph Bunche receives Nobel Peace Prize »
American Revolution
1778
John Jay is elected president of the Continental Congress »
Art, Literature, and Film History
1830
Emily Dickinson is born »
1967
Soul legend Otis Redding dies in a plane crash near Madison, Wisconsin »
2009
"Avatar" makes its world premiere in London »
Civil War
1864
General William T. Sherman completes March to the Sea »
Colonial America
1690
First paper currency is issued in the Colonies »
Crime
1963
Frank Sinatra Jr. endures a frightening ordeal »
France
1898
Treaty of Paris ends Spanish-American War »
Inventions & Science
1915
Ford builds its 1 millionth car »
Women's History
1869
Wyoming grants women the right to vote »
Cold War
1977
Soviets arrest dissidents on United Nations Human Rights Day »
U.S. Presidents
1920
Woodrow Wilson awarded Nobel Peace Prize »
U.S. Politics
1974
Sex scandal leads to political fallout for Arkansas congressman »
World War I
1917
Red Cross is awarded Nobel Peace Prize »

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phkrause

December 11th

1936

Edward VIII abdicates
 
After ruling for less than one year, Edward VIII becomes the first English monarch to voluntarily abdicate the throne. He chose to abdicate after the British government, public, and the Church of England condemned his decision to marry the American divorcée Wallis Warfield Simpson. On the eve... read more »
1990s
1994
Russian forces enter Chechnya »
American Revolution
1777
British delay Washington's march to Valley Forge »
Art, Literature, and Film History
1964
Sam Cooke dies under suspicious circumstances in LA »
Crime
1978
Millions stolen from JFK Airport in infamous 'Lufthansa Heist' »
2008
Billionaire conman Bernard Madoff arrested »
Cold War
1969
Soviets declare nudity a sign of "western decadence" »
Vietnam War
1961
First U.S. helicopters arrive in South Vietnam »
Westward Expansion
1872
Buffalo Bill Cody makes his first stage appearance »
World War I
1915
Yuan Shih-kai accepts Chinese throne »
World War II
1941
Germany declares war on the United States »
1946
UNICEF founded »

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phkrause

December 12th

1980

Da Vinci notebook sells for over $5M
 
On this day in 1980, American oil tycoon Armand Hammer pays $5,126,000 at auction for a notebook containing writings by the legendary artist Leonardo da Vinci. The manuscript, written around 1508, was one of some 30 similar books da Vinci produced during his lifetime on a variety of subjects. It con... read more »
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Africa
1963
Kenya declares independence from Britain »
American Revolution
1787
Pennsylvania ratifies the Constitution »
Art, Literature, and Film History
1913
Stolen "Mona Lisa" recovered in Florence »
1967
"Guess Who's Coming to Dinner" opens in theaters »
1970
"Tears of a Clown" gives Smokey Robinson & The Miracles their first #1 pop hit »
Crime
1989
Real estate mogul Leona Helmsley sentenced to prison »
1997
14–year–old indicted for school shooting »
Sports
1965
NFL rookie Gale Sayers ties single-game TD record »
Inventions & Science
1901
First radio transmission sent across the Atlantic Ocean »
U.S. Presidents
1963
JFK memorial album sets record for sales »
World War II
1937
USS Panay sunk by Japanese »

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phkrause

December 13th

2000

Al Gore concedes presidential election
 
Vice President Al Gore reluctantly concedes defeat to Texas Governor George W. Bush in his bid for the presidency, following weeks of legal battles over the recounting of votes in Florida, on this day in 2000. In a televised speech from his ceremonial office next to the White House, Gore said that w... read more »
American Revolution
1776
General Charles Lee leaves his troops for Widow White's Tavern »
Art, Literature, and Film History
1925
Dick Van Dyke born »
China
1937
The Rape of Nanking »
Civil War
1862
Battle of Fredericksburg »
Crime
2000
Texas Seven prison break »
Exploration
1577
Explorer Francis Drake sets sail from England »
Middle East
2003
Saddam Hussein captured »
U.S. Presidents
1918
Woodrow Wilson arrives in France for peace talks »
World War I
1916
Soldiers perish in avalanche as World War I rages »
World War II
1942
Joseph Goebbels complains of Italians' treatment of Jews »

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phkrause

December 14th

1911

Roald Amundsen becomes first explorer to reach the South Pole
 
Norwegian Roald Amundsen becomes the first explorer to reach the South Pole, beating his British rival, Robert Falcon Scott. Amundsen, born in Borge, near Oslo, in 1872, was one of the great figures in polar exploration. In 1897, he was first mate on a Belgian expedition that was the first ever to w... read more »
Art, Literature, and Film History
1977
"Saturday Night Fever" premieres in LA »
Civil War
1863
President Lincoln pardons his sister-in-law »
Crime
1874
Burglar confesses to high-profile kidnapping case »
2012
Sandy Hook school shooting »
Inventions & Science
1900
The birth of quantum theory »
1909
Indy "Brickyard" is completed »
U.S. Presidents
1799
George Washington dies »
Vietnam War
1961
President Kennedy announces intent to increase aid to South Vietnam »
World War II
1939
USSR expelled from the League of Nations »

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phkrause

December 15th

2011

U.S. declares an end to the War in Iraq
 
In a ceremony held in Baghdad on this day in 2011, the war that began in 2003 with the American-led invasion of Iraq officially comes to an end. Though December 15, 2011 was the official end date of the Iraq War, violence continued and in fact worsened over the subsequent years. The withdrawal of Am... read more »
Holocaust
1961
Architect of the Holocaust sentenced to die »
1970s
1973
Kidnapped grandson of Getty billionaire found »
Art, Literature, and Film History
1944
Legendary bandleader Glenn Miller disappears over the English Channel »
1993
"Schindler's List" opens, wins Steven Spielberg his first Oscar »
Crime
1988
James Brown begins his prison sentence »
Landmarks
2001
Leaning Tower of Pisa reopens »
Sports
1973
Jockey Sandy Hawley wins record 500th race »
Native Americans
1890
Sitting Bull killed by Indian police »
Cold War
1978
United States announces that it will recognize communist China »
U.S. Presidents
1998
U.S. House of Representatives recommends impeaching Clinton »
United States Constitution
1791
Bill of Rights is finally ratified »
World War II
1945
General MacArthur orders end of Shinto as Japanese state religion »

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