Today In History...
In 1813 The British take Fort Niagara during the War of 1812.
In 1849 Bond obtains the first photograph of the moon through a telescope.
In 1865 Slavery is abolished by the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
In 1915 President Wilson, widowed the year before, marries Edith Galt.
In 1932 The Chicago Bears beat the Portsmouth Spartans, 9-0, in the first NFL playoff game.
In 1940 Adolph Hitler signs a secret directive ordering preparations for a Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union.
In 1944 A Philippine Sea storm sank three U.S. Navy destroyers, killing 790.
In 1944 The U.S. Supreme Court upholds the wartime relocation of Japanese-Americans, but also said undeniably loyal U.S. citizens of Japanese ancestry could not be detained.
In 1956 Japan is admitted to the United Nations.
In 1957 The film "Bridge Over The River Kwai" premieres in New York City.
In 1957 The Shipping port Atomic Power Station in Pennsylvania, the first nuclear facility to generate electricity, goes online.
In 1958 President Eisenhower's recorded Christmas message is the first voice heard from space.
In 1965 Borman and Lovell splash down in the Atlantic ocean ending two weeks of orbiting in Gemini VII.
In 1969 Britain's Parliament abolishes the death penalty for murder.
In 1972 America begins the so-called Christmas bombing of North Vietnam.
In 1973 Soyuz 13 is launched into earth orbit for 8 days.
In 1979 The Vatican censures the Rev. Hans Kung, a leading liberal theologian, for what it called his "contempt" for church doctrine.
In 1980 Former Soviet Premier Alexei Kosygin suffers a fatal heart attack at age 76.
In 1984 Speaking to members of the British Parliament, Soviet Politburo member Mikhail Gorbachev calls for a "breakthrough to peace," saying the Soviet Union was prepared to make radical arms cuts.
In 1985 UN Security Council unanimously condemns "acts of hostage-taking."
In 1986 Surgeons in Washington removed a cancerous tumor from the brain of CIA Director William J. Casey.
In 1987 Pakistani opposition leader Benazir Bhutto marries in a traditional Islamic ceremony to businessman Asif Ali Zardari.
In 1987 Ivan F. Boesky is sentenced to 3 years in prison for plotting Wall Street's biggest insider trading scandal.
In 1989 The FAA officially conceded that it should have acted after learning of a terrorist threat against Pan Am, 8 days before Flight 103 blew-up over Lockerbie, Scotland, in 1988.
In 1989 Robert E. Robinson, an attorney and alderman in Savannah, GA, is killed by a mail bomb similar to a device that had claimed the life of a federal judge in Alabama two days earlier. (Walter L. Moody Jr. was later convicted of federal charges in both bombings.)
In 1990 Less than a month before a UN deadline for Iraq to withdraw from Kuwait, the ruling Revolutionary Command Council in Baghdad said Iraq was "ready for the decisive showdown."
In 1991 General Motors announces it would close 21 North American plants over the next four years and slash tens of thousands of jobs.
In 1992 The UN Security Council unanimously denounces Israel's deportation of more than 400 Palestinians and demanded their immediate return.
In 1992 Kim Young-sam is elected South Korea's first civilian president in three decades.
In 1993 The U.S. and Germany pledge close cooperation to help Boris Yeltsin through Russia's political and economic crises.
In 1994 Former U.S. president Jimmy Carter arrives in Bosnia-Herzegovina on a private mission to seek an end to 32 months of war.
In 1995 A powerful fertilizer bomb is found outside an Internal Revenue Service office in Reno, NV, but fizzled before its lit fuse could do much damage.
In 1996 FBI agent Earl Edwin Pitts is arrested and accused of selling secrets to the Russians. Pitts was sentenced the following June to 27 years in prison.
In 1999 In St. Martinville, LA, Cuban inmates who'd held a jail warden and six others hostage for almost a week surrender.
In 1999 French film director Robert Bresson dies in Paris at age 98.
In 2000 The Electoral College cast its ballots, with President-elect Bush receiving the expected 271; Al Gore received 266.
In 2000 Newspaper heir Randolph A. Hearst, the last surviving son of William Randolph Hearst, dies in New York at age 85.
In 2001 A federal judge throws out the death sentence for former Black Panther Mumia Abu-Jamal and ordered a new sentencing hearing.