Today In History...

In 1620 The Pilgrims aboard the Mayflower went ashore for the first time at

what is now Plymouth, Massachusetts.

In 1790 Samuel Slater opens the first U.S. textile factory in Rhode Island.

In 1891 Basketball is believed to have been played for the first time, at

Springfield College in Massachusetts.

In 1898 Scientists Pierre and Marie Curie discover radium.

In 1913 The first crossword puzzle is published, in the Sunday supplement of

the New York World.

In 1914 The first feature-length silent film comedy, "Tillie's Punctured

Romance," is released.

In 1929 First group hospital insurance plan goes in effect in Dallas, Texas.

In 1933 Human blood serum is first prepared.

In 1937 Walt Disney's "Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs," the first 

feature-length animated movie in Technicolor, premieres.

In 1940 Author, F. Scott Fitzgerald dies in Hollywood at age 44.

In 1942 The U.S. Supreme Court rules that all states must recognize divorces

granted in Nevada.

In 1945 General George S. Patton dies of injuries he suffered in a car

accident in Heidelberg, Germany.

In 1948 The state of Eire (formerly the Irish Free State) declares itself a

republic and withdraws from the British Commonwealth.

In 1958 Charles de Gaulle is elected to a 7-year term as the first president

of the Fifth Republic of France.

In 1968 Apollo VIII (Frank Borman, Jim Lovell and Bill Anders) is launched

on its way to make the first manned orbit around the moon.

In 1969 Vince Lombardi coaches his last football game, as his team the

Washington Redskins lose to the Dallas Cowboys, 20-10.

In 1971 The U.N. Security Council chooses Kurt Waldheim to be

secretary-general, succeeding U Thant.

In 1973 Israel, Egypt, Syria, Jordan, U.S. and USSR meet in Geneva.

In 1976 The Liberian-registered tanker Argo Merchant runs aground near

Nantucket Island, spilling millions of gallons of oil into the

Atlantic Ocean.

In 1978 33 bodies are found under mass murderer John Gacey's house in

Chicago, Illinois.

In 1980 Casey Kasem and actress Jean Thompson are married in Beverly Hills.

In 1984 Soviet Deputy Premier Ivan V. Arkhipov arrives in Beijing, becoming

the highest-ranking representative of his government to visit China

in 15 years.

In 1987 In New York, 3 white teen-agers from the Howard Beach section of

Queens are convicted of manslaughter in the death of a black man who

was chased onto a highway, where he was struck by a car.

In 1988 Pan Am flight 103 explodes over Lockerbie, Scotland, killing all 259

aboard the Boeing 747 and 11 on the ground.

In 1989 Romanian President Nicolae Ceausescu delivers what turned out to be

his final speech. (Ceausescu fled from power and was executed four

days later.)

In 1990 British Prime Minister John Major meets with President Bush at Camp

David, Maryland.

In 1991 Eleven of the twelve former Soviet republics proclaim the birth of

the Commonwealth of Independent States and the death of the Union

of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR).

In 1991 Cable TV and sports magnate Ted Turner marries actress Jane Fonda.

In 1992 Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic wins re-election.

In 1992 President-elect Clinton taps Richard Riley to be education secretary

and Hazel O'Leary to be energy secretary.

In 1994 A firebomb on a crowded New York City subway train injures 48.

Unemployed computer programmer Edward Leary was later convicted of

attempted murder.

In 1995 A train collision outside Cairo, Egypt, claims 75 lives.

In 1995 The city of Bethlehem passes from Israeli to Palestinian control.

In 1996 After two years of denials, House Speaker Newt Gingrich admits

violating House ethics rules.

In 1997 President Clinton, accompanied by his wife and daughter, leaves for

Bosnia to carry the news that he wanted U.S. troops to remain there

indefinitely as the region recovered from its devastating war.

In 1998 Israel's parliament votes for early elections, signaling the demise

of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's ailing hard-line government.

In 1999 Security is ordered tightened at American airports amid heightened

concerns about the possibility of a holiday terrorist attack.

In 2002 President Bush receives a smallpox vaccination, fulfilling a 

promise he'd made when he ordered inoculations for about a-half 

million U.S. troops. 

In 2003 More than 150 people are killed in mudslides in the Philippines.

In 2004 The Associated Press told the Bowl Championship Series to stop 

using its college football poll to determine which teams would play 

for the national title and in bowl games.

In 2016 The Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year.

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