Today In History...
In 1732 Benjamin Franklin begins publication of "Poor Richard's Almanac."
In 1776 Thomas Paine publishes his first "American Crisis" essay, in which he wrote, "These are the times that try men's souls."
In 1777 George Washington and his 11,000 man Continental Army begin their grim winter encampment at Valley Forge, PA.
In 1843 Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" is first published in England.
In 1871 Corrugated paper is patented.
In 1907 239 workers die in a coal mine explosion in Jacobs Creek, PA.
In 1932 The British Broadcasting Corporation begins transmitting overseas with its Empire Service to Australia.
In 1946 War breaks out in Indochina as Ho Chi Minh attacks the French.
In 1950 General Dwight D. Eisenhower is named military forces commander of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).
In 1971 NASA launches Intelsat 4 F-3 for the COMSAT Corporation.
In 1972 Apollo XVII, the last flight to land men on the moon, returns to earth.
In 1974 Nelson A. Rockefeller is sworn in as the 41st U.S. vice president.
In 1977 Nellie Taylor Ross, the first woman governor dies at age 101.
In 1978 Jury selection begins in Salem, OR, in the case of John J. Rideout, accused of raping his wife, Greta. (Rideout was acquitted.)
In 1980 The prime interest rate is raised to a record 21.5%.
In 1983 Greyhound strikers vote in favor of a proposed 3-year contract with the bus company, ending a 7-week strike.
In 1984 A fire at the Wilberg Mine near Orangeville, Utah, kills 27 people.
In 1984 Britain and China sign an accord returning Hong Kong to the Chinese by 1997.
In 1985 In Minneapolis, Mary Lund became the first woman to receive a Jarvik VII artificial heart. Lund received a human heart transplant 45 days later; she died in October 1986.
In 1986 The USSR frees dissident Andrei Sakharov from internal exile, and pardoned his wife, Yelena Bonner.
In 1986 Lawrence E. Walsh is appointed independent counsel to investigate the Iran-Contra affair.
In 1988 Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir agrees to a Likud-Labor coalition to govern the Jewish state.
In 1989 Police in Jacksonville, FL, disarm a parcel bomb at the local NAACP office, the fourth in a series of mail bombs to turn up in the Deep South.
In 1990 Iraq urges its people to stockpile oil to avoid shortages should war break out, and Saddam Hussein declares he was "ready to crush any attack."
In 1991 The failed Bank of Credit and Commerce International agrees to settle racketeering charges by forfeiting all its U.S. assets.
In 1991 Patricia Bowman, who had accused William Kennedy Smith of raping her, tells ABC's "Prime Time Live" she was shocked by his acquittal.
In 1993 Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres and senior PLO officials end two days of closed-door talks in Oslo, Norway, regarding Palestinian self-rule in the occupied territories.
In 1994 Former President Jimmy Carter, on a peace mission to Bosnia-Herzegovina, met with Bosnian Serb leaders, who offered a four-month cease-fire.
In 1994 CNN publicly acknowledges it had wrongfully disobeyed a judge's order in broadcasting former Panamanian military ruler Manuel Noriega's jailhouse telephone conversations.
In 1995 Yigal Amir, the confessed assassin of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, goes on trial.
In 1995 A gunman opens fire inside a shoe store in the Bronx, a borough of New York City, killing five people.
In 1996 The television industry unveils a plan to rate programs using "TV-G," "TV-Y" and "TV-M."
In 1996 The school board in Oakland, CA, votes to recognize black English, also known as "Ebonics."
In 1996 Actor Marcello Mastroianni dies in Paris at age 72.
In 1998 Two days after his confession of marital infidelity, Bob Livingston tells the House he wouldn't serve as its next speaker.
In 1998 President Clinton halts air-strikes against Iraq after a fourth day of attacks.
In 1999 The space shuttle Discovery and seven astronauts is launched toward the crippled Hubble Space Telescope.
In 1999 Macau spends its last day under Portuguese control before being handed back to China, ending 442 years of colonial rule.
In 1999 Actor Desmond Llewelyn, who'd starred as the eccentric gadget expert Q in a string of James Bond films, was killed in a car crash in East Sussex, England; he was 85.
In 2000 President-elect Bush and President Clinton meet in Washington.
In 2000 The UN Security Council votes to impose broad sanctions on Afghanistan's Taliban rulers unless they closed "terrorist" training camps and surrender U.S. embassy bombing suspect Osama bin Laden.
In 2001 Argentina's president, Fernando De la Rua, decrees a state of siege after his country's economic crisis triggered violence.
In 200C Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi agrees to halt his nation's drive to develop nuclear and chemical weapons.
In 2004 Time names President Bush its Person of the Year for the second time.