National Date Nut Bread Day
The Gift of the Magi
One dollar and eighty-seven cents. That was all. And sixty cents of it was in pennies. Pennies saved one and two at a time by bulldozing the grocer and the vegetable man and the butcher until one’s cheeks burned with the silent imputation of parsimony that such close dealing implied.
Three times Della counted it. One dollar and eighty- seven cents. And the next day would be Christmas. There was clearly nothing to do but flop down on the shabby little couch and howl. So Della did it. Which instigates the moral reflection that life is made up of sobs, sniffles, and smiles, with sniffles predominating. While the mistress of the home is gradually subsiding from the first stage to the second, take a look at the home. A furnished flat at $8 per week. It did not exactly beggar description, but it certainly had that word on the lookout for the mendicancy squad.
In the vestibule below was a letter-box into which no letter would go, and an electric button from which no mortal finger could coax a ring. Also appertaining thereunto was a card bearing the name “Mr. James Dillingham Young.” The “Dillingham” had been flung to the breeze during a former period of prosperity when its possessor was being paid $30 per week. Now, when the income was shrunk to $20, though, they were thinking seriously of contracting to a modest and unassuming D. But whenever Mr. James Dillingham Young came home and reached his flat above he was called “Jim” and greatly hugged by Mrs. James Dillingham Young, already introduced to you as Della. Which is all very good. Della finished her cry and attended to her cheeks with the powder rag.
She stood by the window and looked out dully at a gray cat walking a gray fence in a gray backyard. Tomorrow would be Christmas Day, and she had only $1.87 with which to buy Jim a present. She had been saving every penny she could for months, with this result. Twenty dollars a week doesn’t go far. Expenses had been greater than she had calculated. They always are. Only $1.87 to buy a present for Jim. Her Jim. Many a happy hour she had spent planning for something nice for him. Something fine and rare and sterling–something just a little bit near to being worthy of the honor of being owned by Jim. There was a pier-glass between the windows of the room. Perhaps you have seen a pier-glass in an $8 flat. A very thin and very agile person may, by observing his reflection in a rapid sequence of longitudinal strips, obtain a fairly accurate conception of his looks. Della, being slender, had mastered the art. Suddenly she whirled from the window and stood before the glass. her eyes were shining brilliantly, but her face had lost its color within twenty seconds. Rapidly she pulled down her hair and let it fall to its full length. Now, there were two possessions of the James Dillingham Youngs in which they both took a mighty pride. One was Jim’s gold watch that had been his father’s and his grandfather’s. The other was Della’s hair. Had the queen of Sheba lived in the flat across the airshaft, Della would have let her hair hang out the window some day to dry just to depreciate Her Majesty’s jewels and gifts. Had King Solomon been the janitor, with all his treasures piled up in the basement, Jim would have pulled out his watch every time he passed, just to see him pluck at his beard from envy. So now Della’s beautiful hair fell about her rippling and shining like a cascade of brown waters. It reached below her knee and made itself almost a garment for her. And then she did it up again nervously and quickly. Once she faltered for a minute and stood still while a tear or two splashed on the worn red carpet. On went her old brown jacket; on went her old brown hat. With a whirl of skirts and with the brilliant sparkle still in her eyes, she fluttered out the door and down the stairs to the street. Where she stopped the sign read: “Mne. Sofronie. Hair Goods of All Kinds.”
One flight up Della ran, and collected herself, panting. Madame, large, too white, chilly, hardly looked the “Sofronie.” “Will you buy my hair?” asked Della. “I buy hair,” said Madame. “Take yer hat off and let’s have a sight at the looks of it.” Down rippled the brown cascade. “Twenty dollars,” said Madame, lifting the mass with a practised hand. “Give it to me quick,” said Della. Oh, and the next two hours tripped by on rosy wings. Forget the hashed metaphor. She was ransacking the stores for Jim’s present. She found it at last. It surely had been made for Jim and no one else. There was no other like it in any of the stores, and she had turned all of them inside out. It was a platinum fob chain simple and chaste in design, properly proclaiming its value by substance alone and not by meretricious ornamentation–as all good things should do. It was even worthy of The Watch.
As soon as she saw it she knew that it must be Jim’s. It was like him. Quietness and value–the description applied to both. Twenty-one dollars they took from her for it, and she hurried home with the 87 cents. With that chain on his watch Jim might be properly anxious about the time in any company. Grand as the watch was, he sometimes looked at it on the sly on account of the old leather strap that he used in place of a chain. When Della reached home her intoxication gave way a little to prudence and reason. She got out her curling irons and lighted the gas and went to work repairing the ravages made by generosity added to love. Which is always a tremendous task, dear friends–a mammoth task. Within forty minutes her head was covered with tiny, close-lying curls that made her look wonderfully like a truant schoolboy. She looked at her reflection in the mirror long, carefully, and critically. “If Jim doesn’t kill me,” she said to herself, “before he takes a second look at me, he’ll say I look like a Coney Island chorus girl. But what could I do–oh! what could I do with a dollar and eighty- seven cents?”
At 7 o’clock the coffee was made and the frying-pan was on the back of the stove hot and ready to cook the chops. Jim was never late. Della doubled the fob chain in her hand and sat on the corner of the table near the door that he always entered. Then she heard his step on the stair away down on the first flight, and she turned white for just a moment. She had a habit for saying little silent prayer about the simplest everyday things, and now she whispered: “Please God, make him think I am still pretty.” The door opened and Jim stepped in and closed it. He looked thin and very serious. Poor fellow, he was only twenty-two–and to be burdened with a family! He needed a new overcoat and he was without gloves. Jim stopped inside the door, as immovable as a setter at the scent of quail. His eyes were fixed upon Della, and there was an expression in them that she could not read, and it terrified her. It was not anger, nor surprise, nor disapproval, nor horror, nor any of the sentiments that she had been prepared for. He simply stared at her fixedly with that peculiar expression on his face. Della wriggled off the table and went for him. “Jim, darling,” she cried, “don’t look at me that way. I had my hair cut off and sold because I couldn’t have lived through Christmas without giving you a present. It’ll grow out again–you won’t mind, will you? I just had to do it. My hair grows awfully fast. Say `Merry Christmas!’ Jim, and let’s be happy. You don’t know what a nice– what a beautiful, nice gift I’ve got for you.”
“You’ve cut off your hair?” asked Jim, laboriously, as if he had not arrived at that patent fact yet even after the hardest mental labor. “Cut it off and sold it,” said Della. “Don’t you like me just as well, anyhow? I’m me without my hair, ain’t I?” Jim looked about the room curiously. “You say your hair is gone?” he said, with an air almost of idiocy. “You needn’t look for it,” said Della. “It’s sold, I tell you–sold and gone, too. It’s Christmas Eve, boy. Be good to me, for it went for you. Maybe the hairs of my head were numbered,” she went on with sudden serious sweetness, “but nobody could ever count my love for you. Shall I put the chops on, Jim?” Out of his trance Jim seemed quickly to wake. He enfolded his Della. For ten seconds let us regard with discreet scrutiny some inconsequential object in the other direction. Eight dollars a week or a million a year–what is the difference? A mathematician or a wit would give you the wrong answer. The magi brought valuable gifts, but that was not among them. This dark assertion will be illuminated later on. Jim drew a package from his overcoat pocket and threw it upon the table. “Don’t make any mistake, Dell,” he said, “about me. I don’t think there’s anything in the way of a haircut or a shave or a shampoo that could make me like my girl any less. But if you’ll unwrap that package you may see why you had me going a while at first.” White fingers and nimble tore at the string and paper. And then an ecstatic scream of joy; and then, alas! a quick feminine change to hysterical tears and wails, necessitating the immediate employment of all the comforting powers of the lord of the flat. For there lay The Combs–the set of combs, side and back, that Della had worshipped long in a Broadway window. Beautiful combs, pure tortoise shell, with jewelled rims–just the shade to wear in the beautiful vanished hair. They were expensive combs, she knew, and her heart had simply craved and yearned over them without the least hope of possession. And now, they were hers, but the tresses that should have adorned the coveted adornments were gone. But she hugged them to her bosom, and at length she was able to look up with dim eyes and a smile and say: “My hair grows so fast, Jim!” And them Della leaped up like a little singed cat and cried, “Oh, oh!”
Jim had not yet seen his beautiful present. She held it out to him eagerly upon her open palm. The dull precious metal seemed to flash with a reflection of her bright and ardent spirit. “Isn’t it a dandy, Jim? I hunted all over town to find it. You’ll have to look at the time a hundred times a day now. Give me your watch. I want to see how it looks on it.” Instead of obeying, Jim tumbled down on the couch and put his hands under the back of his head and smiled. “Dell,” said he, “let’s put our Christmas presents away and keep ‘em a while. They’re too nice to use just at present. I sold the watch to get the money to buy your combs. And now suppose you put the chops on.” The magi, as you know, were wise men–wonderfully wise men–who brought gifts to the Babe in the manger. They invented the art of giving Christmas presents. Being wise, their gifts were no doubt wise ones, possibly bearing the privilege of exchange in case of duplication. And here I have lamely related to you the uneventful chronicle of two foolish children in a flat who most unwisely sacrificed for each other the greatest treasures of their house. But in a last word to the wise of these days let it be said that of all who give gifts these two were the wisest. O all who give and receive gifts, such as they are wisest. Everywhere they are wisest. They are the magi.
“An optimist may see a light where there is none, but why must the pessimist always run to blow it out?”
~ Michel De Saint-Pierre
chocolate-box(CHO-kuh-lit boks, CHOK-lit -) adjective Having a romanticized beautiful image; stereotypically pretty. [From the kind of pictures often seen on boxes of chocolate.]
1440 – Bluebeard the pirate was executed.
1772 – Construction of the first schoolhouse west of the Allegheny Mountains was started in Schoenbrunn, Ohio, by Moravian missionaries.
1775 – The Continental Navy was organized in the American colonies under the command of Ezek Hopkins. It consisted of two frigates, two brigs and three schooners. Sailors were paid $8 a month. The officers were Esek Hopkins, Commander in Chief of the Fleet, Captains Dudley Saltonstall, Abraham Whipple, Nicolas Biddle, and John Hopkins. Lieutenants included John Paul Jones.
1783 – Gen. George Washington resigned his military commission.
1807 – The Embargo Act, forbidding trade with all foreign countries, is passed by the U.S. Congress, at the urging of President Thomas Jefferson. It was designed to force peace between Britain and France by cutting off all trade with Europe.
1809 – The Non-Intercourse Act, lifting the Embargo Act except for the United Kingdom and France, passes the U.S. Congress.
1829 – The Baltimore & Ohio Railroad opened the first passenger railway line.
1837 – First statute authorizing activities in the field of maritime safety. Congress authorized President “to cause any suitable number of public vessels, adapted to the purpose, to cruise upon the coast, in the severe portion of the season, and to afford aid to distressed navigators.”
1841 – USS Mississippi, first U.S. ocean-going side-wheel steam warship, was commissioned at Philadelphia.
1849 – The execution of Fyodor Dostoevsky is canceled at the last second.
1864 – Civil War: Savannah, Georgia falls to General William Tecumseh Sherman, concluding his “March to the Sea”. He sent President Abraham Lincoln this message: “I beg to present you as a Christmas present the city of Savannah.”
1864 – Civil War: Dec 22-Jan 2, Raid on Morgan’s: Bardstown to Elizabethtown, Ky.
1877 – “American Bicycling Journal” first published (Boston, MA)
1882 – First string of Christmas tree lights created by Thomas Edison.
1894 – The Dreyfus affair begins, in France, when Alfred Dreyfus is wrongly convicted of treason, on antisemitic grounds.
1894 – The United States Golf Association (USGA) was founded.
1895 – German physicist Wilhelm Röntgen made the first X-ray, of his wife’s hand.
1900 – A new 35hp car built by Daimler from a design by Emil Jellinke was completed. The car was named for Jellinek’s daugher, Mercedes.
1910 – U.S. Postal savings stamps were issued for the first time. in 1914, they were discontinued.
1915 – Federal Baseball League is dissolved.
1918 – The last of the food restrictions, that had been enforced because of the shortages during World War I, were lifted.
1920 – WEAF, in New York City, aired the first broadcast of a prize fight from ringside. The fight was broadcast from Madison Square Garden where Joe Lynch defeated Peter Herman to retain the bantamweight title.
1934 – Miss Theo Trowbridge sets female bowling record 702 pins in three games. Average of 234 per game.
1937 – The Lincoln Tunnel in New York opened to traffic, passing 1.5 miles under the Hudson River and connecting Weehawken, N.J., and Manhattan in New York City. This was the first of three tubes, the next went on the north side and the last on the south side. It is the world’s only three-tube underwater tunnel for vehicles.
1939 – Gloria Jacobs became the first girl to hold a world pistol record when she shot 299 out of a possible 300 points. She was 17 years old at the time.
1941 – Jimmie Lunceford & his orchestra recorded “Blues in the Night.” It was recorded for a movie of the same name.
1941 – World War II: After continuing the bombardment of Wake Island the Japanese land 200 men on the island to fierce resistance from the 450 US Marines stationed there.
1941 – Japanese troops made an amphibious landing on the coast of Lingayen Gulf on Luzon, the Philippines.
1941 – British Prime Minister Winston Churchill arrived in Washington for a wartime conference with. President Franklin Roosevelt.
1942 – Pharmacist’s Mate First Class Thomas A. Moore performs appendectomy on Fireman Second Class George M. Platter on board USS Silversides (SS-236).
1942 – Sue Dauser takes oath of office as Superintendent of Navy Nurse Corps, becoming first woman with the relative rank of captain in U.S. Navy. She was promoted to the rank of captain on 26 February 1944.
1943 – Manufacturers get permission to use synthetic rubber for baseball core. This change was originally brought on by the rubber shortage of WW II.
1943 – W.E.B. Du Bois was the first Black American elected to the National Institute of Arts and Letters.
1944 – Commissioning of first two Black American WAVES officers, Harriet Ida Pickens and Frances F. Wills.
1944 – World War II: German troops demand the surrender of United States troops at Bastogne, Belgium, prompting the famous one word reply by General Anthony McAuliffe: “NUTS!”
1944 – World War II: Vietnam People’s Army is formed to resist Japanese occupation of Vietnam.
1944 – World War II: On Leyte, there is fighting around Palompon where the Japanese forces on the island are now concentrated.
1950 – Korean War: Largest air battle of the War, U.S. Air Force F-86 Sabres shot down six communist MiG-15s over North Korea with the loss of a single F-86. This was a fitting end to the 4th Fighter Interceptor Wing’s first week in Korea.
1951 – “Sin (It’s No Sin)” by Eddy Howard topped the charts.
1951 – CHART TOPPERS – “Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer” by Gene Autry, “White Christmas” by Bing Crosby, “Slowpoke” by Pee Wee King and “Let Old Mother Nature Have Her Way” by Carl Smith all topped the charts.
1952 – The first Corvette, a production-ready prototype, is completed. The design of the sports car, which has since become an American classic, is said to have cost between $50,000 and $60,000 to build.
1956 – Colo is born, the first gorilla to be born in captivity arrived into the world at the Columbus Zoo in Ohio.
1956 – “Singing the Blues” by Guy Mitchell topped the charts.
1958 – The Chipmunks were at the #1 position on the music charts.
1959 – Continental League awards its last franchise to Dallas-Fort Worth. The Continental League was a proposed 8-team baseball league which never got off the ground but still had significant impact on baseball.
1960 – HS-3 and HU-2 (USS Valley Forge) helicopters rescue 27 men from oiler SS Pine Ridge breaking up in heavy seas off Cape Hatteras.
1961 – James O. Davis became the first U.S. casualty in Vietnam. He was serving with the Army Security Agency (ASA) in the Second IndoChina War and was killed in a deadly VietCong ambush.
1962 – “Telstar” by the Tornados topped the charts.
1962 – The millionth point in the NBA occurred in one of three games, Detroit-Chicago, New York-Boston, or Syracuse-San Francisco being played on this day.
1964 – Comedian Lenny Bruce is convicted of obscenity.
1964 – Lockheed SR-71 spy aircraft reaches 2194 mph (record for a jet).
1965 – Director David Lean’s “Dr Zhivago” premieres. The film occurs during the Bolshevik Revolution. The cast included Omar Sharif, Julie Christie, Geraldine Chaplin, Rod Steiger, and Alec Guinness.
1965 – Vietnam: The EF-105F Wild Weasel made its first kill over Vietnam. The Republic EF-105 Thunderchief, was a supersonic fighter-bomber equipped with electronic countermeasures. The Mach 2 capable aircraft bore the brunt of strike bombing over North Vietnam during the early years of the Vietnam War.
1967 – CHART TOPPERS – “Daydream Believer” by The Monkees, “Woman, Woman” by The Union Gap, “Boogaloo Down Broadway” by The Fantastic Johnny C and “It’s the Little Things” by Sonny James all topped the charts.
1970 – Treblinka SS commander Franz Stangl (b.1908) was sentenced to life in prison. He was responsible for the murder of approximately 900,000 people in the period 1941-1943. He died in 1971 from heart failure.
1972 – Joni Mitchell earns a gold record for the album, “For the Roses.”
1972 – Diana Sue Sylvester (22) was raped and killed in the San Francisco District after walking home from University of California- SF. In 2006 John Puckett (72), a retired carpet installer in Stockton, was arrested for the murder based on DNA evidence. In 2008 Puckett (74) was convicted of first-degree murder.
1973 – “The Most Beautiful Girl” by Charlie Rich topped the charts.
1975 – CHART TOPPERS – “That’s the Way (I Like It)” by KC & The Sunshine Band, “Let’s Do It Again” by The Staple Singers, “Saturday Night” by Bay City Rollers and “Convoy” by C.W. McCall all topped the charts.
1975 – Singers Ike and Tina Turner are robbed of $86,000 when a suitcase was stolen containing concert receipts.
1976 – “Your Arm’s Too Short to Box with God” opens at Lyceum NYC for 429 performances. The play is based on the gospel of St. Matthew and is presented through song, sermon and dance.
1976 – The last show of the original “Let’s Make A Deal” was aired.
1977 – Steve Cauthen (b.1960), Kentucky-born jockey, won his 355th race at age 16 setting a new earnings record.
1977 – Thomas Helms (26) climbed to the edge of the observation deck on the eighty-sixth floor of the Empire State Building, and jumped intending to kill himself on the streets 1000’s of feet below. He only fell twenty feet before landing on a narrow ledge on the 85th floor and was knocked unconscious.
1977 – Thirty-six people were killed when a 250-foot-high grain elevator at the Continental Grain Co. plant in Westwego, La., exploded.
1979 – “Escape (The Pina Colada Song)” by Rupert Holmes topped the charts.
1980 – US Congress passed the Low-Level Radioactive Waste Policy Act to ease the burden being placed on these states. The Act gave each US state the responsibility of developing a method of disposing of their own waste by 1986.
1981 – The Cardinals release outfielder Bobby Bonds. He retired in 1981 with 332 career homers, 461 steals, and 1,757 whiffs. His 189 strikeouts in 1970 and 187 in 1969 were the top two single-season totals in baseball history when he retired.
1983 – CHART TOPPERS – “Say Say Say” by Paul McCartney & Michael Jackson, “Say It Isn’t So” by Daryl Hall-John Oates, “Union of the Snake” by Duran Duran and “Black Sheep” by John Anderson all topped the charts.
1984 – Madonna’s “Like a Virgin” single goes #1 for six weeks.
1984 – Subway vigilante Bernhard Hugo Goetz shoots four Black men on an express train in The Bronx borough of New York City. He ended up serving eight months in prison for carrying an illegal weapon but was cleared of assault and attempted murder charges.
1986 – Joe Paterno was named Sportsman of the Year by Sports Illustrated magazine. It marked only the second time a coach had won the honor. The first to do so was UCLA’s basketball legend, John Wooden.
1989 – Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate re-opens after nearly 30 years, effectively ending the division of East and West Germany.
1990 – “Because I Love You” by Stevie B topped the charts.
1990 – Twenty-one sailors returning from shore leave to the aircraft carrier USS “Saratoga” drowned when the Israeli ferry they were traveling on capsized.
1991 – CHART TOPPERS – “Black or White” by Michael Jackson, “It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday” by Boyz II Men, “All 4 Love” by Color Me Badd and “My Next Broken Heart” by Brooks & Dunn all topped the charts.
1991 – The body of Lt. Col. William R. Higgins, an American hostage murdered by his captors, was found along a highway in Lebanon.
1993 – The daughter of Cuban President Fidel Castro was granted political asylum in the United States. (Conflicting sources vary from 3-5 days.)
1994 – North Korea released the body of the slain U.S. helicopter pilot who was shot down days earlier.
1994 – US House Democrats chastised Speaker-to-be Newt Gingrich for accepting a $4.5 million book advance from Rupert Murdoch’s media empire.
1996 – Eight workers were killed in an explosion at the Wyman Gordon Forgings metal-fabricating plant in northwest Houston. They had been doing maintenance on 9-story pressurized tanks.
1996 – Kordell Stewart of the Pittsburgh Steelers ran 80 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter of an 18-14 loss to the Carolina Panthers. He set an NFL record for the longest scoring run by a quarterback.
1997 – The FDA approved Merck’s drug Propecia for countering baldness.
1997 – Actress Hunter Tylo, whose pregnancy got her fired from TV’s steamy soap “Melrose Place,” was awarded $4.9 million by jurors who agreed she was wrongfully terminated.
1998 – The Energy Dept. for the first time awarded a billion-dollar contract to the Tennessee Valley Authority to produce tritium at a TVA nuclear reactor for military use.
1998 – The women’s American Basketball League folded in the midst of its third season.
1998 – Nationwide gas stations faced this deadline to replace or improve their underground fuel tanks. Thousands of rural gas stations were expected to go out of business due to the costs.
1998 – The Bil Mar meat packing plant in Michigan recalled 35 million pounds of hot dogs and lunch meats following the deaths of 16 people due to the bacteria Listeria monocytogenes. In January another 30 million pounds were recalled from the Thorn Apple Valley plant in Arkansas.
1999 – Two astronauts from the shuttle “Discovery” went on a spacewalk to replace broken instruments in the Hubble Space Telescope.
1999 – President Clinton urged Americans not to panic despite enhanced security measures prompted by fears of terrorism.
2000 – Pres. Clinton granted Christmastime clemency to 62 people including Dan Rostenkowski, former Illinois congressman and chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee.
2001 – Richard Reid attempts to destroy a passenger airliner by igniting explosives hidden in his shoes aboard American Airlines Flight 63 travelling from Paris to Miami. It was diverted to Boston after the passengers and flight attendants subdued him.
2001 – CC the cat (carbon copy), the first cloned pet, is born. 2001 – A new “thermobaric” bomb had been developed by the Pentagon for use in caves and tunnels. The BLU-118b was capable of destroying a tunnel’s contents without collapsing the tunnel mouth.
2002 – Time magazine named Coleen Rowley, Cynthia Cooper and Sherron Watkins as Persons of the Year for their whistle-blowing efforts against the FBI, WorldCom and Enron.
2002 – North Korea said it had begun removing U.N. monitoring equipment from a nuclear reactor at the center of the communist state’s suspected pursuit of nuclear weapons.
2002 – Harris and Jerry Duckworth were shot to death at a party in the 800 block of Campbell St. in Oakland, Ca. A gang called the Nut Cases was found responsible and gang members faced trial in 2006.
2003 – A 6.5 earthquake jolted the central California coast. Marilyn Zafuto (55) and Jennifer Myrick (20) were killed in Paso Robles when the 1892 Mastagni Building and its 15-floor clock tower collapsed. Damages from the San Simeon quake were estimated at more than $100 million.
2003 – A federal judge ruled the Pentagon couldn’t enforce mandatory anthrax vaccinations for military personnel.
2004 – Thirteen U.S. soldiers and nine others were killed in a suicide bomber attack on a U.S. military dining hall near Mosul, Iraq.
2004 – A Texas woman paid $50,000 for a cloned cat, Little Nicky, created by Genetic Savings and Clone of Sausalito, Ca.
2005 – Astronomers using the Hubble Space Telescope reported the discovery of two new moons and two new rings circling Uranus.
2006 – Rape charges against three former members of the Duke University lacrosse team were dropped after the alleged victim said she couldn’t be sure she had been raped.
2006 – San Francisco police officer Bryan Tuvera (28) was shot in the head in a gunbattle that left Marlon Ruff (33), a two-year fugitive, dead in the Sunset District. Tuvera died hours later.
2006 – Space shuttle Discovery and its seven-member crew landed in Florida after a smooth, 13-day flight to rewire the International Space Station.
2008 – In Tennessee a dam broke at the Kingston Fossil Plant spilling some 5.4 million cubic yards of toxic coal ash sludge near the Emory River. TVA officials later said the spill does not threaten water in the Tennessee River, which is fed in part by the Emory River.
2008 – An Associated Press analysis found that the 116 banks that so far have received US taxpayer dollars to boost them through the economic crisis gave their top tier of executives in 2007 nearly $1.6 billion in salaries, bonuses and other benefits.
2009 – A US federal appeals court ordered Microsoft Corp. to stop selling its Word program in January and pay a Canadian software company $290 million for violating a patent, upholding the judgment of a lower court. Toronto-based i4i Inc. sued Microsoft in 2007, saying it owned the technology behind a tool in the popular word processing program.
2009 – Parker Griffith (b.1942), a Democratic congressman from Alabama, announced that he was switching parties to become a Republican.
2009 – American Airlines Flight 331 carrying 154 people skidded across a Jamaican runway in heavy rain, bouncing across the tarmac and injuring more than 40 people before it stopped just short of the Caribbean Sea.
2010 -The United States approves more than $4 billion assistance for rescuers and residents whose health was affected after the September 11 attacks in New York City in 2001.
2010 – Hillary Clinton, U.S. Secretary of State, is documented ordering all U.S. ambassadors to pressure their respective nations’ media into not being critical of the U.S. aid program in Haiti, days after the 2010 Haiti earthquake.
2011 – At least 72 people are killed and 169 wounded in a series of sixteen bombing attacks in the Iraqi capital Baghdad, shortly after the final withdrawal of American forces from Iraq.
2012 – The leader of Navy SEAL Team Four, one of the most senior commanders in the elite world of special operations, has died after apparently committing suicide in Afghanistan. Commander John W Price, 42, was found dead in his quarters with a gunshot wound just three days before Christmas. Cmdr Price was based in Naval Amphibious Base Little Creek, Virginia, near Norfolk and had been in the military for more than 23 years. He leaves behind a wife, Stephanie and a nine-year-old daughter Jillian, who both live in Virginia Beach.
1696 – James Oglethorpe, English general and founder of the state of Georgia (d. 1785)
1862 – Connie Mack, baseball executive and manager (d. 1956)
1912 – Lady Bird Johnson, First Lady of the United States
1915 – Barbara Billingsley, American actress
1917 – Gene Rayburn, American game show host (d. 1999)
1945 – Diane Sawyer, American journalist
1948 – Steve Garvey, Major League Baseball player
1949 – Maurice Gibb, English musician and a member of the Bee Gees.
DALESSONDRO, PETER J.
Rank and organization: Technical Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company E, 39th Infantry, 9th Infantry Division. Place and date: Near Kalterherberg, Germany, December 22nd, 1944.Entered service at: Watervliet, N.Y. Born: 19 May 1918, Watervliet, N.Y. G.O. No.: 73, 30 August, 1945. Citation: He was with the 1st Platoon holding an important road junction on high ground near Kalterherberg, Germany, on 22 December 1944. In the early morning hours, the enemy after laying down an intense artillery and mortar barrage, followed through with an all-out attack that threatened to overwhelm the position. T/Sgt. Dalessondro, seeing that his men were becoming disorganized, braved the intense fire to move among them with words of encouragement. Advancing to a fully exposed observation post, he adjusted mortar fire upon the attackers, meanwhile firing upon them with his rifle and encouraging his men in halting and repulsing the attack. Later in the day the enemy launched a second determined attack. Once again, T/Sgt. Dalessondro, in the face of imminent death, rushed to his forward position and immediately called for mortar fire. After exhausting his rifle ammunition, he crawled thirty yards over exposed ground to secure a light machinegun, returned to his position, and fired upon the enemy at almost pointblank range until the gun jammed. He managed to get the gun to fire one more burst, which used up his last round, but with these bullets he killed four German soldiers who were on the verge of murdering an aid man and two wounded soldiers in a nearby foxhole. When the enemy had almost surrounded him, he remained alone, steadfastly facing almost certain death or capture, hurling grenades and calling for mortar fire closer and closer to his outpost as he covered the withdrawal of his platoon to a second line of defense. As the German hordes swarmed about him, he was last heard calling for a barrage, saying, “OK, mortars, let me have it–right in this position!” The gallantry and intrepidity shown by T/Sgt. Dalessondro against an overwhelming enemy attack saved his company from complete rout
Crossword Puzzle’s Birthday
The Man and the Birds
The man to whom I’m going to introduce you was not a scrooge; he was a kind, decent, mostly good man. He was generous to his family and upright in his dealings with other men. But he just didn’t believe all that incarnation stuff which the churches proclaim at Christmas Time. It just didn’t make sense and he was too honest to pretend otherwise. He just couldn’t swallow the Jesus Story, about God coming to Earth as a man.
“I’m truly sorry to distress you,” he told his wife, “but I’m not going with you to church this Christmas Eve.” He said he’d feel like a hypocrite. That he’d much rather just stay at home, but that he would wait up for them. And so he stayed and they went to the midnight service.
Shortly after the family drove away in the car, snow began to fall. He went to the window to watch the flurries getting heavier and heavier and then went back to his fireside chair and began to read his newspaper. Minutes later he was startled by a thudding sound…Then another, and then another. Sort of a thump or a thud… It was getting later and snowing harder when he heard another thud against the picture window. Being alone in a quiet house he was startled by the sound. There was another loud thud before he was able to locate the source of the noise.
He walked over to the picture window and peered out into the growing night. Snow danced and swirled before his eyes as it fell to the ground and drifted up against the house. The light from the den lit up a small bit of yard beyond the window. There, in the snow was a small dazed bird.
While he stood there watching the little bird, he noticed that there were many birds – a small flock of them – huddling under the low shrubs, seeking shelter from the storm. They’d been caught in the storm and, in a desperate search for shelter, had tried to fly through his large landscape window.
The man had never seen birds out in this kind of weather. “They’re trying to get to the light,” he thought. “They must be freezing or they wouldn’t be out there like this.” Somehow in his heart the man knew the birds needed shelter or they would die. He couldn’t let the poor creatures lie there and freeze, he remembered the barn where his children stabled their pony. That would provide a warm shelter, if he could direct the birds to it.
Moved with pity for the small animals he put on his hat, coat and galoshes then went out into the storm. Quickly he tramped through the deepening snow to the barn. He opened the doors wide and turned on a light, but the birds did not come in. He knew that if he could get them out of the snow and the wind, they would be safe for the night. He figured food would entice them in. So he hurried back to the house, fetched bread crumbs, sprinkled them on the snow, making a trail to the yellow-lighted, wide open doorway of the barn. But to his dismay, the birds ignored the bread crumbs, and continued to flap around helplessly in the snow. The birds still ignored the lighted barn. Aware of the man’s presence they had become confused and afraid. They moved further and further away, huddling together for warmth. Occasionally one bird or another would fly toward the den window, only to end up dazed on the ground. He tried catching them…He tried shooing them into the barn by walking around them waving his arms…Instead, they scattered in every direction, except into the warm, lighted barn.
The man, realizing the birds’ fear, retreated in hope that they would discover the entrance to the barn – but they seemed so focused on the window they continued to fly into the glass, seemingly unaware of the light and shelter nearby. The temperature dropped even further, and the wind howled in the coming night and the snow fell even harder. The man turned up his collar against the cold and the wind. “Surely they’ll freeze to death out here,” thought the man. “There must be a way to get them inside.”
And then, he realized that they were afraid of him. To them, he reasoned, I am a strange and terrifying creature. If only I could think of some way to let them know that they can trust me…That I am not trying to hurt them, but to help them. How? Slowly he approached the birds, and as a group, the birds moved away. The man circled around the flock at a distance, placing the birds between him and the barn. Then in the dark, in the wind and the snow, on a white floor beneath a blackened sky, the dance began. The man would move one way, the birds another. Always toward the barn they moved in a crazy, zigzag pattern. Right here, then left, now stopping, now moving quickly, always veering away at the last moment only to regroup just as far from the door as when they first started. Any move he made tended to frighten them, confuse them. They just would not follow. They would not be led or shooed because they feared him.
Time and again they retraced their steps. Time and again the man thought he had succeeded in saving the birds only to be disappointed once more. A long time passed – what seemed like hours. The man was tired, cold and frustrated. No longer moved by pity, the man felt a great love for the creatures who fled before him in fear and confusion.
“I don’t understand it,” he said out loud. “They are cold and scared, in danger of dying but they won’t go in where it’s warm and safe. If I could only make them understand. If I could only somehow tell them it will be okay.
“If only I could be a bird,” he thought to himself, “and mingle with them and speak their language. Then I could tell them not to be afraid. Then I could show them the way to safety and warmth…to the safe, warm barn. But I would have to be one of them so they could see, and hear and understand.” If I could just become one of them – if only for a few minutes – I could let them know – I could show them to safety. Then they would listen – because I would be like them. If I could just be like them for a few minutes….”
(Big Pause five or ten seconds) (Restart with a lower, quieter voice)
Tears ran down his wind-chilled cheeks as he realized that God had spoken those same words in God’s own heart so long ago. He understood that 2,000 or so years ago God had done for humanity just what he wanted to do for the birds this night – that God had become one of us so that we might understand this world and not be afraid.
(Five second pause)
At that moment the church bells began to ring. The sound reached his ears above the sounds of the wind. And he stood there listening to the bells – Adeste Fidelis – “Ocome All Ye Faithful, Joyful and Triumphant – listening to the bells pealing the glad tidings of Christmas. Suddenly the man stopped talking and then slowly he fell to his knees in the swirling snow. There, kneeling in the snow, on a dark, cold, night, the man understood the meaning of Christmas for the first time in his life. And his heart was filled with joy and with the salvation of Jesus Christ.
Won’t you come out of the cold and wind? Won’t you come in to the light and warmth? Now, right here and now accept Jesus as your personal savior. Become a Christian, a follower of Christ.
“There are high spots in all of our lives and most of them have come about through encouragement from someone else. I don’t care how great, how famous or successful a man or woman may be, each hungers for applause.”
~ George M. Adams
1. Extreme nervousness; jitters
2. Delirium tremens: tremors and hallucinations caused by withdrawal from alcohol.
1620 – Plymouth Colony: William Bradford and the Mayflower Pilgrims land on what is now known as Plymouth Rock in Plymouth, Massachusetts.
1826 – American settlers in Nacogdoches, Mexican Texas, declare their independence, starting the Fredonian Rebellion.
1829 – First stone arch railroad bridge in US dedicated, Baltimore. It was the Carrollton Viaduct, straddling a wooded stretch of Gwynn’s Falls.
1848 – William Craft and his wife Ellen, slaves to separate masters, escaped under disguise from Macon, Georgia, and made their way to Philadelphia.
1849 – First skating club founded in North America. It was called “The Skater’s Club of the City and County of Philadelphia.”
1861 – Civil War: Medal of Honor: Public Resolution 82, containing a provision for a Navy Medal of Valor, is signed into law by President Abraham Lincoln.
1861 – Civil War: Lord Lyons, the British minister to the United States, meets with Secretary of State William Seward concerning the fate of James Mason and John Slidell, Confederate envoys arrested by the U.S. Navy aboard the British mail steamer Trent.
1864 – Civil War:The Confederate Navy continued vigorous efforts to save the remnants of the Savannah squadron still at that city on the eve of its capture.
1866 – Indians led by Red Cloud and Crazy Horse killed Captain William J. Fetterman and 79 other men who had ventured out from Fort Phil Kearny to cut wood. U.S. Army Captain William J. Fetterman once boasted, “Give me 80 men and I’ll march through the whole Sioux nation!”
1891 – Eighteen students play first basketball game at Springfield College in Springfield, MA.
1898 – Scientists Pierre & Marie Curie discover radium.
1909 – Introductory high schools (junior high-schools) were authorized at McKinley and Washington schools in Berkeley, CA .
1913 – Liverpudlian Arthur Wynne’s “word-cross”, the first crossword puzzle, is published in the New York World.
1914 – First feature-length silent film comedy, “Tillie’s Punctured Romance”.It was a silent film directed by Mack Sennett, the film stars Marie Dressler, Mabel Normand, and Charlie Chaplin, as well as the Keystone Kops.
1919 – J. Edgar Hoover gallantly deported anarchist, feminist Emma Goldman to Russia for agitating against forced conscription in the US.
1921 – The Supreme Court ruled that the Clayton Act does not legalize boycotts and does not protect unions against injunctions against them for restraint of trade.
1928 – President Calvin Coolidge signed the Boulder Canyon Project Act, which intended to dam the fourteen hundred mile Colorado River and distribute its water for use in Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming.
1929 – First US group hospital insurance plan instituted, Dallas TX. A group of Dallas teachers contracted with Baylor University Hospital to provide 21 days of hospitalization for a fixed $6.00 payment. The Baylor plan developed as a way to ensure that people paid their bills.
1932 – Fred Astaire & Ginger Rogers, first joint movie (“Flying Down to Rio”).
1932 – Carl McGee, Oklahoma inventor, applied for a patent for his parking meter. He had came up with the 1st coin-operated, single-space, mechanical meter to be used to free up parking spaces in downtown Oklahoma City.
1933 – Dried human blood serum was prepared for the first time in the U.S. at the school of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pa. Dried blood serum was used during WW II.
1933 – 20th Century Fox signs Shirley Temple, 5, to a studio contract.
1936 – First flight of the Junkers JU-88 bomber prototype.
1937 – The film Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1:29:47) is premiered at the Carthay Circle Theater in Los Angeles. The Carthay Circle Theater was one of the most famous movie palaces of Hollywood’s Golden Age. It opened at 6316 San Vicente Boulevard in 1926.
1942 – The US Supreme Court ruled all states had to recognize divorces granted in Nevada.
1943 – World War II: Pacific – USS Grayling (SS-208) sinks fourth Japanese ship since 18 December.
1943 – World War II: Europe – US 5th Army is heavily engaged near Monte Sammucro.
1944 – World War II: Europe – German troops surrounded the 101st Airborne Division at the Bastogne in Belgium.
1944 – World War II: Pacific – On Leyte, advances by US 10th Corps and US 24th Corps link up in the center of the Ormoc Valley. Isolated Japanese forces continue to resist in the area.
1944 – Horse racing was banned in the United States until after World War II.
1945 – Gen. George Patton died in Germany following a left-hand turn automobile accident. (See December 9, 1945)
1946 – Louis Jordan’s single, “Let the Good Times Roll,” debuted on the rhythm and blues charts.
1950 – CHART TOPPERS – “Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer” by Gene Autry, “White Christmas” by Bing Crosby, “Nevertheless” by Jack Denny and “If You’ve Got the Money Honey I’ve Got the Time” by Lefty Frizzell all topped the charts.
1950 – Cole Porter’s musical “Out of this World” premieres in New York City for 157 performances.
1950 – Korean War: Far East Air Force executed “Operation Kiddie Car” by transporting 1,000 Korean War orphans to the island of Cheju-do.
1951 – Joe DiMaggio announced his retirement from major league baseball.
1951 – Korean War: First helicopter landing aboard a hospital ship, USS Consolation.
1951 – Korean War: General Matthew Ridgway broadcast a message requesting that the Red Cross be allowed to inspect communist POW camps.
1954 – Dr. Sam Sheppard, an osteopathic surgeon, was convicted of murdering his pregnant wife, Marilyn, and was sentenced to life in prison.
1957 – “You Send Me” by Sam Cooke topped the charts.
1959 – Tom Landry accepts coaching job with Dallas Cowboys (stays until 1988).
1960 – Elvis Presley was inducted into the Los Angeles Indian Tribal Council coinciding with the opening with his movie “Flaming Star.”
1962 – A US and Cuba accord released Bay of Pigs captives.
1963 – “Dominique” by Singing Nun topped the charts.
1965 – Four pacifists were indicted in New York for burning draft cards.
1966 – CHART TOPPERS – “Snoopy Vs. The Red Baron” by The Royal Guardsmen, “Winchester Cathedral” by The New Vaudeville Band, “That’s Life” by Frank Sinatra and “Somebody Like Me” by Eddy Arnold all topped the charts.
1966 – The Beach Boys received a gold record for the single, “Good Vibrations“.
1968 – Apollo 8, crewed by Frank Borman, Jim Lovell and William Anders, is launched from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. This would be the first visit by a human to another celestial body.
1968 – “I Heard it Through the Grapevine” by Marvin Gaye topped the charts.
1968 – Crosby, Stills and Nash performed together in public for the first time.
1968 – Janis Joplin gave her first solo performance in Memphis, TN.
1969 – Diana Ross and the Supremes make their final television appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show, singing “Someday We’ll Be Together“.
1969 – Vince Lombardi (Washington Redskins) coaches his last football game, losing.
1970 – Elvis Presley went to the White House to volunteer his services to U.S. President Nixon on fighting the nation’s drug problems. He gave Nixon a chrome-plated Colt .45 and Tricky Dick gave Elvis a Narcotics Bureau badge.
1972 – Vietnam:Eight B-52 bombers and several fighter-bombers were lost since the commencement of Operation Linebacker II on December 18.
1974 – CHART TOPPERS – “Cat’s in the Cradle” by Harry Chapin, “Angie Baby” by Helen Reddy, “You’re the First, the Last, My Everything” by Barry White and “I Can Help” by Billy Swan all topped the charts.
1975 – In Vienna, Austria, Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, known as “Carlos the Jackal,” led Arab terrorists on a raid of a meeting of oil ministers from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). The terrorists killed three people, and took 70 people hostage, including 11 OPEC ministers. Sanchez evaded authorities until 1994, when French agents captured him hiding in the Sudan. He was sentenced to life imprisonment by a French jury.
1976 – The Liberian-registered tanker Argo Merchant ran aground near Nantucket Island, spilling millions of gallons of oil into the North Atlantic.
1980 – Harold Carmichael ends NFL streak of 127 consecutive game receptions.
1980 – The California Supreme Court ruled that a father has no automatic right to give his child his last name.
1980 – It was reported that the deadly red tide had given Northern California one of its worst seasons of paralytic shellfish poisoning in years.
1981 – Cincinnati defeated Bradley 75-73 in seven overtimes. The game was the longest collegiate basketball game in the history of NCAA Division I competition.
1982 – CHART TOPPERS – “Maneater” by Daryl Hall & John Oates, “The Girl is Mine” by Michael Jackson/Paul McCartney, “Steppin’ Out” by Joe Jackson and “Somewhere Between Right and Wrong” by Earl Thomas Conley all topped the charts.
1983 – Musical “Tap Dance Kid” premieres at Broadhurst Theater NYC for 669 performances.
1985 – “Born in the USA” becomes the second longest-lasting LP in the top 10.
1985 – “Say You, Say Me” by Lionel Richie topped the charts.
1986 – Atlanta center Jeff Van Note played his 246th and final NFL game as Atlanta downed Detroit, 20-6. At age 40, Van Note was the oldest player in pro football.
1988 – A bomb explodes on board Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie, Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland. It killed 270, all 243 passengers,16 crew on board and it killed 11 more people on the ground as large sections of the aircraft crashed into Lockerbie.
1989 – Kentuckian Larry Mahoney was convicted on 27 counts of manslaughter for a 1988 collision with a church bus. It was the nation’s most deadly drunken-driving accident.
1990 – CHART TOPPERS – “Because I Love You (The Postman Song)” by Stevie B, “Justify My Love” by Madonna, “Impulsive” by Wilson Phillips and “I’ve Come to Expect It from You” by George Strait all topped the charts.
1991 – El Sayyid Nosair was acquitted in New York of killing Jewish extremist Rabbi Meir Kahane. Nosair was later convicted in a federal trial.
1994 – A firebomb on the #4 train at Fulton St. New York City subway injured 48 people. Unemployed computer programmer Edward Leary was later convicted of attempted murder and sentenced to 94 years in prison.
1996 – After two years of denials, House Speaker Newt Gingrich admitted violating House ethics rules.
1996 – Singer Tony Bennett was rushed to a hospital for an emergency operation for an erupted hernia. Bennett was just arriving at the White House for a holiday dinner with U.S. President and Mrs. Clinton when he fell ill.
1997 – Detroit Lions Barry Sanders is third to run for 2,000 yards in a season.
1997 – Andrew S. Grove, chairman and CEO of Intel Corp., was named Time Magazine’s “Man of the Year.”
1998 – The first vaccine for Lyme disease was approved.
2001 – Pennsylvania Gov. Mark Schweiker announced an agreement on a state takeover of the Philadelphia school system. Plans called Edison Schools Inc. to help run the district.
2002 – Larry Mayes was released after spending 21 years in prison for a rape that maintained that he never committed. He was the 100th person in the U.S. to be released after DNA tests were performed.
2003 – Tom Ridge, head of the US Department of Homeland Security, announced that the government was elevating the national terror alert warning to “Code Orange,” an upgrade from the “Code Yellow” elevated status.
2003 – Time magazine’s named The American soldier, who bears the duty of “living with and dying for a country’s most fateful decisions,” as Person of the Year.
2005 – In Maryland two off-duty Baltimore police officers were shot to death at a suburban townhouse in Randallstown by a state officer for the Dept. of General Services. Eugene Victor Perry Jr. (33) surrendered shortly after the shootings. One of the victims was his former fiancee.
2006 – The US Census Bureau said Arizona had deposed Nevada as the fastest growing US state.
2006 – The Denver area was motionless for a second day after a powerful blizzard dumped 2 feet of snow on the region.
2010 – After days of relentless rain, Southern California is starting to feel the most intense storm system yet, with evacuations ordered, roads covered by water and mud, and residents anxiously eyeing already saturated mountainsides denuded by wildfires.
2012 – The Long Count of the Maya calendar recycles according to the most popular correlation. A minority argues it does so on December 23, 2012. The destruction of the planet did not happen or you would not be reading this!
2012 – A shooting at a highway in Blair County, Pennsylvania occurred. A man fatally shot a woman decorating for a children’s Christmas party at a tiny church hall and killed two men elsewhere in this rural township before he was shot dead in a gunfight with state troopers. Three troopers in patrol cars were injured in a pursuit after the gunman, driving a pick-up truck, fired at them. One trooper injured a wrist and then was hit in the chest but was saved by a bulletproof vest. The gunman was killed during a final exchange of gunfire after ramming his truck head-on into another police cruiser.
2012 – President Barack Obama nominates John Kerry to succeed Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State.
2012 – The Sutter’s Mill meteorite found in California on 22 April 2012 contains some of the oldest material in the Solar System, according to scientists.
2012 – The NHL announces the cancellation of the 2012–13 regular-season schedule through January 14th due to the 2012 NHL lockout bringing the total to 625 games, more than 50 percent of the entire schedule.
2013 – Two NASA astronauts,Expedition 38 Flight Engineers Rick Mastracchio and Mike Hopkins began a series of spacewalks to replace a faulty ammonia coolant pump. They finished it in a 5-hour, 28-minute spacewalk outside the International Space Station.
2014 – Veteran Florida officer Charles Kondek, 45, was killed in Tarpon Springs, Fla., about 30 miles northwest of Tampa. Kondek was reportedly responding to an early morning call when he was shot and killed.
1118 – Thomas Becket, Lord Chancellor of England and Archbishop of Canterbury (d. 1170)
1603 – Roger Williams, English theologian and colonist (d. 1684)
1734 – Paul Revere, American silversmith and patriot (d. 1818)
1804 – Benjamin Disraeli, British author, statesman.
1850 – William Wallace Lincoln, son of Abraham Lincoln (d. 1862)
1851 – Thomas Chipman McRae, American politician, 26th Governor of Arkansas (d. 1929)
1879 – Joseph Stalin (Dzhugashvili), Russian dictator.
1890 – Hermann Joseph Muller, American geneticist and Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1967)
1915 – Werner von Trapp, Austrian-American singer (d. 2007).
1918 – Donald Regan, White House Chief of Staff and United States Secretary of the Treasury (d. 2003)
1922 – Paul Winchell, American ventriloquist (d. 2005)
1926 – Joe Paterno, American Football coach
1935 – Phil Donahue, American talk show host
1937 – Jane Fonda, American actress, exercise guru, and activist; daughter of actor Henry Fonda.
1948 – Samuel L. Jackson, American actor
1954 – Chris Evert, American tennis champion.
1957 – Ray Romano, American actor and comedian. Best known for “Everybody Loves Raymond.”
1966 – Karri Turner, American actress. Best known for playing Lieutenant Harriet Sims in the television series JAG (1997–2005).
*SMEDLEY, LARRY E.
Rank and organization: Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps, Company D, 1st Battalion, 7th Marines, 1st Marine Division. Place and date: Quang Nam Province, Republic of Vietnam, December 21st, 1967. Entered service at: Orlando, Fla. Born: 4 March 1949, Front Royal, Va. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a squad leader with company D, in connection with operations against the enemy. On the evenings of 20-21 December 1967, Cpl. Smedley led his six-man squad to an ambush site at the mouth of Happy Valley, near Phouc Ninh (2) in Quang Nam Province. Later that night an estimated one-hundred Viet Cong and North Vietnamese Army regulars, carrying 122mm rocket launchers and mortars, were observed moving toward Hill 41. Realizing this was a significant enemy move to launch an attack on the vital Danang complex, Cpl. Smedley immediately took sound and courageous action to stop the enemy threat. After he radioed for a reaction force, he skillfully maneuvered his men to a more advantageous position and led an attack on the numerically superior enemy force. A heavy volume of fire from an enemy machinegun positioned on the left flank of the squad inflicted several casualties on Cpl. Smedley’s unit. Simultaneously, an enemy rifle grenade exploded nearby, wounding him in the right foot and knocking him to the ground. Cpl. Smedley disregarded this serious injury and valiantly struggled to his feet, shouting words of encouragement to his men. He fearlessly led a charge against the enemy machinegun emplacement, firing his rifle and throwing grenades, until he was again struck by enemy fire and knocked to the ground. Gravely wounded and weak from loss of blood, he rose and commenced a one-man assault against the enemy position. Although his aggressive and singlehanded attack resulted in the destruction of the machinegun, he was struck in the chest by enemy fire and fell mortally wounded. Cpl. Smedley’s inspiring and courageous actions, bold initiative, and selfless devotion to duty in the face of certain death were in keeping with the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.
*BENJAMIN, GEORGE, JR.
Rank and organization: Private First Class, U.S. Army, Company A, 306th Infantry, 77th Infantry Division. Place and date: Leyte, Philippine Islands, December 21st, 1944. Entered service at: Carney’s Point, N.J. Birth: Philadelphia, Pa. G.O. No.: 49, 28 June 1945. Citation: He was a radio operator, advancing in the rear of his company as it engaged a well-defended Japanese strong point holding up the progress of the entire battalion. When a rifle platoon supporting a light tank hesitated in its advance, he voluntarily and with utter disregard for personal safety left his comparatively secure position and ran across bullet-whipped terrain to the tank, waving and shouting to the men of the platoon to follow. Carrying his bulky radio and armed only with a pistol, he fearlessly penetrated intense machinegun and rifle fire to the enemy position, where he killed one of the enemy in a foxhole and moved on to annihilate the crew of a light machinegun. Heedless of the terrific fire now concentrated on him, he continued to spearhead the assault, killing two more of the enemy and exhorting the other men to advance, until he fell mortally wounded. After being evacuated to an aid station, his first thought was still of the American advance. Overcoming great pain he called for the battalion operations officer to report the location of enemy weapons and valuable tactical information he had secured in his heroic charge. The unwavering courage, the unswerving devotion to the task at hand, the aggressive leadership of Pfc. Benjamin were a source of great and lasting inspiration to his comrades and were to a great extent responsible for the success of the battalion’s mission.
CURREY, FRANCIS S.
Rank and organization: Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company K, 120th Infantry, 30th Infantry Division. Place and date: Malmedy, Belgium, December 21st, 1944. Entered service at: Hurleyville, N.Y. Birth: Loch Sheldrake, N.Y. G.O. No.: 69, 17 August 1945. Citation: He was an automatic rifleman with the 3d Platoon defending a strong point near Malmedy, Belgium, on 21 December 1944, when the enemy launched a powerful attack. Overrunning tank destroyers and antitank guns located near the strong point, German tanks advanced to the 3d Platoon’s position, and, after prolonged fighting, forced the withdrawal of this group to a nearby factory. Sgt. Currey found a bazooka in the building and crossed the street to secure rockets meanwhile enduring intense fire from enemy tanks and hostile infantrymen who had taken up a position at a house a short distance away. In the face of small-arms, machinegun, and artillery fire, he, with a companion, knocked out a tank with one shot. Moving to another position, he observed three Germans in the doorway of an enemy-held house. He killed or wounded all three with his automatic rifle. He emerged from cover and advanced alone to within fifty yards of the house, intent on wrecking it with rockets. Covered by friendly fire, he stood erect, and fired a shot which knocked down half of one wall. While in this forward position, he observed five Americans who had been pinned down for hours by fire from the house and three tanks. Realizing that they could not escape until the enemy tank and infantry guns had been silenced, Sgt. Currey crossed the street to a vehicle, where he procured an armful of antitank grenades. These he launched while under heavy enemy fire, driving the tankmen from the vehicles into the house. He then climbed onto a half-track in full view of the Germans and fired a machinegun at the house. Once again changing his position, he manned another machinegun whose crew had been killed; under his covering fire the five soldiers were able to retire to safety. Deprived of tanks and with heavy infantry casualties, the enemy was forced to withdraw. Through his extensive knowledge of weapons and by his heroic and repeated braving of murderous enemy fire, Sgt. Currey was greatly responsible for inflicting heavy losses in men and material on the enemy, for rescuing five comrades, two of whom were wounded, and for stemming an attack which threatened to flank his battalion’s position.
THORNE, HORACE M.
Rank and organization: Corporal, U.S. Army, Troop D, 89th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron, 9th Armored Division. Place and date: Near Grufflingen, Belgium, December 21st, 1944. Entered service at: Keyport, N.J. Birth. Keansburg, N.J. G.O. No.: 80, 19 September 1945. Citation. He was the leader of a combat patrol on 21 December 1944 near Grufflingen, Belgium, with the mission of driving German forces from dug-in positions in a heavily wooded area. As he advanced his light machinegun, a German Mark Ill tank emerged from the enemy position and was quickly immobilized by fire from American light tanks supporting the patrol. Two of the enemy tankmen attempted to abandon their vehicle but were killed by Cpl. Thorne’s shots before they could jump to the ground. To complete the destruction of the tank and its crew, Cpl. Thorne left his covered position and crept forward alone through intense machinegun fire until close enough to toss two grenades into the tank’s open turret, killing two more Germans. He returned across the same fire-beaten zone as heavy mortar fire began falling in the area, seized his machinegun and, without help, dragged it to the knocked-out tank and set it up on the vehicle’s rear deck. He fired short rapid bursts into the enemy positions from his advantageous but exposed location, killing or wounding eight. Two enemy machinegun crews abandoned their positions and retreated in confusion. His gun Jammed; but rather than leave his self-chosen post he attempted to clear the stoppage; enemy small-arms fire, concentrated on the tank, killed him instantly. Cpl. Thorne, displaying heroic initiative and intrepid fighting qualities, inflicted costly casualties on the enemy and insured the success of his patrol’s mission by the sacrifice of his life.
WARNER, HENRY F.
Rank and organization: Corporal, U.S. Army, Antitank Company, 2d Battalion, 26th Infantry, 1st Infantry Division. Place and date: Near Dom Butgenbach, Belgium, December 20th -December 21st, 1944. Entered service at: Troy, N.C. Born: 23 August 1923, Troy, N.C. G.O. No.: 48, 23 June 1945. Citation: Serving as 57-mm. antitank gunner with the 2d Battalion, he was a major factor in stopping enemy tanks during heavy attacks against the battalion position near Dom Butgenbach, Belgium, on 20-21 December 1944. In the first attack, launched in the early morning of the 20th, enemy tanks succeeded in penetrating parts of the line. Cpl. Warner, disregarding the concentrated cannon and machinegun fire from two tanks bearing down on him, and ignoring the imminent danger of being overrun by the infantry moving under tank cover, destroyed the first tank and scored a direct and deadly hit upon the second. A third tank approached to within five yards of his position while he was attempting to clear a jammed breach lock. Jumping from his gun pit, he engaged in a pistol duel with the tank commander standing in the turret, killing him and forcing the tank to withdraw. Following a day and night during which our forces were subjected to constant shelling, mortar barrages, and numerous unsuccessful infantry attacks, the enemy struck in great force on the early morning of the 21st. Seeing a Mark IV tank looming out of the mist and heading toward his position, Cpl. Warner scored a direct hit. Disregarding his injuries, he endeavored to finish the loading and again fire at the tank whose motor was now aflame, when a second machinegun burst killed him. Cpl. Warner’s gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of life above and beyond the call of duty contributed materially to the successful defense against the enemy attacks.
STRAUB, PAUL F.
Rank and organization: Surgeon. 36th Infantry, U.S. Volunteers. Place and date: At Alos, Zambales, Luzon, Philippine Islands, December 21st, 1899. Entered service at: lowa. Birth: Germany. Date of issue: 6 October 1906. Citation: Voluntarily exposed himself to a hot fire from the enemy in repelling with pistol fire an insurgent attack and at great risk of his own life went under fire to the rescue of a wounded officer and carried him to a place of safety.
Nine Ways To Achieve Unrealistically Realistic Success
“Realistic is the most commonly travelled road to mediocrity” – Will Smith
When a little boy says “I want to be an astronaut” – we smile at him and say, “Sure, honey, you can be anything you want to be!” When a twenty five year old man makes the same statement, we say, “Hey, be realistic!” Which basically means, “settle for something that brings you no satisfaction, just because you know you can get it”.
What happened in the 15 years that made a perfectly capable human-being turn into perfectly incapable grown-up, whose only choice in life is to get a degree in a highly- demanding field, find a regular job, work 30 + years and hopefully save enough money for retirement? It is as if in the course of our adulthood years instead of perfecting our skills, tripling our IQ, gaining valuable experience we are somehow getting dumber and less talented.
Common sense would suggest that if we could have accomplished everything we wanted at the age of 5, we are even more capable of doing it at the age of 25 or 50.
And since you and I are sensible people, let’s forget about the most depressing, demotivating, dream-killing cliché’s of our time to “be realistic” and go for something that we actually want and can accomplish!
Here are 9 ways to start achieving unrealistically realistic success:
1. Readjust your goals. When I first voiced my idea about quitting a regular job and starting my own website I got “worried” looks, ironic remarks and I was warned at least 700 times that it is a “crazy idea that is not going to work”. Now when I explain to people what I do I am told how lucky I am.
I honestly do not believe that success starts or is based on luck, intelligence, determination or some extraordinary talents. It starts with a big vision that is worth working for.
Take a look at your goal.
- Is it motivating?
- Is it inspiring?
- Is it the greatest goal ever?
If not, than perhaps you have made it too realistic. Psychological research shows that challenging goals lead to increased motivation and improved performance. It makes sense – the bigger the goal is, the more strongly we want to achieve it.
2. Think differently. If you do whatever everyone else is doing you will get the same results as everyone else is getting. Which is fine if this is what you want, but if you feel that you could do more/ be more/ achieve more, why settling for less?
All of the greatest discoveries, multi-billion dollar companies and break through- accomplishments were done by people, who thought differently from the rest of the world and were not afraid to put their vision into action.
3. Ignore the “realistic dudes”. They say that you should not go to a doctor whose office plants have died. Just as you should not ask a person who has achieved very little, advice on success. Before listening to “kind-hearted” advice to give up on your goals or think smaller, consider this – most people who claim to “be realistic” spend 95% of their time worrying about things that will never happen.
There is a huge difference between having your feet firmly on the ground and making Murphy’s Law “Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong” your life credo. Do not let the “realistic dudes” dampen your self-confidence and prevent you from going after your goals. Listen to yourself! You already know all the right answers!
4. See everyone as your equal. Two of the greatest fears: fear of failure and fear of success are caused by our unconscious need to compare ourselves with others. As a result we consider some groups of people to be “lower” than us and others to be “out of our league”, because we believe that they have something we have not been given. Here is the truth – no one cheated you at your birth. God did not send you to this Planet to demonstrate to you, your inferiority. You have all the intelligence, skills, tools and perfect circumstances to learn your lessons, develop and succeed. But it is up to you to figure out what success means to you and to make the maximum out of what you have been given.
5. Let go of what is holding you back. It does not matter what you have done to get where you are right now, because you cannot influence this. What matters is what you do today to get where you want to be. Let go of everything that holds you back and creates friction in your progress, be it past failures, pessimistic people or negative beliefs. They rob too much of your physical and mental energy.
6. Whatever you do, do something! Over time anything we do or do not do on a regularly basis turns into a habit. If we do not consciously try to change our behavior, our life style, opinions, and even relationships lose their excitement and become sedentary. Similar, no matter how great your ambitions are, if you do not do anything about them for a certain period of time, you develop a habit of constantly postponing your dreams for later.
I would like you to get to the end of this post, but I would also like you to commit to doing something that moves you closer to your goal as soon as you finish reading this! Momentum is the key to breaking free from the evil spells of stagnation and making your life more exciting and satisfying.
7. Know when to quit. Being unrealistic and striving for higher goals is not the same as being unreasonable and stubbornly sticking to projects that have absolutely no chances of success. Learn to concentrate on your winning ideas and drop quickly the ones that do not bring any results.
8. Use Pareto principle to amplify your achievements. The Pareto principle (also known as 80-20 rule) states that around 80% of the effects come from only 20% of the causes. It means that 80% of your achievements are direct result of 20% of your efforts. And vice versa, 80% of your problems and negative situations are provoked by only 20% of causes. Think of what events/actions/beliefs are responsible for the majority of your distress and negative emotions and which ones are making you happier and more successful? Then amplify your accomplishments by eliminating the main “negativity” triggers and concentrating on those things that bring you most joy and greater results.
9. Choose the path of least resistance. As strange as it may sound, achieving bigger goals usually takes just as much time and effort as accomplishing mediocre goals. There is simply less competition at the top. Aim higher than majority of people and you will not have to waste your energy competing with 95% of the population who are going after “realistic goals”.
And if someone tries to breed doubts in your heart instead of listening to them listen to Michelangelo who said that, “The greatest danger for most of us in not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it”. He obviously knew what he was talking about!
“Determine never to be idle…It is wonderful how much may be done if we are always doing. “
~ Thomas Jefferson
Argus-eyed AR-guhs-ide, adjective:
Extremely observant; watchful; sharp-sighted.
One who is Argus-eyed is as observant as Argus, a hundred-eyed monster from Greek mythology
1606 – Three small ships, the Susan Constant, Godspeed and Discovery, departed London under the command of Capt. Christopher Newport. In May of 1607, the royally chartered company established the first permanent English settlement in America at Jamestown (Virginia).
1669 – The first American jury trial was held in Delaware. Marcus Jacobson was condemned for insurrection and sentenced to flogging, branding & slavery.
1782 – First nautical almanac in US published by Samuel Stearns, Boston.
1790 – The first successful cotton spinning machines built using American resources began production of cotton yarn in Pawtucket, Rhode Island.
1803 – The Louisiana Purchase was completed as ownership of the territory was formally transferred from France to the United States for $15 million during ceremonies in New Orleans. The massive land purchase, nearly doubled the size of the young republic, and was Thomas Jefferson’s most notable achievement as President.
1816 – First savings bank in US opens (Philadelphia Savings Fund Society).
1820 – Missouri imposes a $1 bachelor tax on unmarried men between 21 & 50.
1822 – Congress authorizes the 14-ship West Indies Squadron to suppress piracy in the Caribbean.The West Indies Squadron was a United States Navy squadron that operated in the West Indies in the early nineteenth century. It was formed due to the need to suppress piracy in the Caribbean Sea, the Antilles and the Gulf of Mexico region of the Atlantic Ocean.
1860 – South Carolina becomes the first state to secede from the United States. South Carolina voted 169-0 for Ordinance of Secession.
1862 – Civil War: A relatively small force of Southern cavalry troops made an unexpected raid on the Union Arsenal at Holly Springs, Mississippi. This caused General Grant to withdraw his entire army of 75,000 troops from Mississippi.
1862 – Civil War: Brigadier-General Nathan B. Forrest occupied Trenton, Kentucky.
1864 – Civil War: Confederate forces evacuated Savannah, GA as Union Gen. William T. Sherman continued his “March to the Sea.”
1864 – Civil War: Battle of Ft. Fisher, NC begins and lasts to the 27th.
1864 – Civil War: Boats from the U.S.S. Chicopee, Valley City, and Wyalusing under the command of Commander Macomb on an expedition to engage Confederate troops at Rainbow Bluff, North Carolina, were fired upon while dragging for torpedoes, seven miles below the Bluff.
1879 – Thomas A. Edison privately demonstrated his incandescent light at Menlo Park, New Jersey.
1880 – Electric lights were installed throughout Broadway’s theater section in New York City.
1883 – The international cantilever railway bridge at Niagara Falls was opened with a ceremony before a gathered crowd estimated at more than 10,000 persons.
1892 – The pneumatic tire was patented.
1897 – Phineas Fogg completes around world trip, according to Jules Verne.
1900 – Giacobini discovers a comet (It will be first comet visited by spacecraft)
1912 – J Hartley Manners’ “Peg O’ My Heart” premieres in New York NY.
1919 – US House of Representatives restricted immigration.
1920 – Bob Hope becomes an American citizen. Hope was born in Eltham, London, England, the fifth of seven sons.
1921 – World Series length controversy. American League votes to return to best-of-7 World Series, while National League votes best-of-9.
1924 – Adolf Hitler was released from prison after serving less than one year of a five-year sentence for treason.
1928 – First international dogsled mail leaves Minot ME for Montréal, Québec.
1928 – For the first time, a living actress in the United States had a theater named after her. The Ethel Barrymore Theatre opened in New York City.
1932 – Al Jolson recorded “April Showers” on Brunswick Records.
1933 – The film “Flying Down to Rio” was first shown in New York.
1933 – The German government announced 400,000 citizens were to be sterilized because of hereditary defects.
1938 – The kinescope, now known as the cathode-ray tube, was patented by Russian immigrant Vladimir Zworykin.
1939 – The American cruiser USS Tuscalossa arrives in New York with 579 survivors from the scuttled German liner Columbus. They disembark on Ellis Island.
1940 – Connie Mack acquires controlling interest in the Athletics for $42,000.
1941 – World War II: First battle of the American Volunteer Group, better known as the “Flying Tigers” in Kunming, China.
1941 – World War II: Japanese troops landed on Mindanao.
1942 – World War II: Bombing of Calcutta by the Japanese.
1943 – World War II: Allied aircraft drop about 2000 tons of bombs on Frankfurt, Mannheim and other cities in southern Germany. There are also raids on the V-1 ramps in France.
1944 – World War II:The 5th Panzer Army continues to advance against the US 12th Army Group. American defenders of the road junctions of St. Vith and Bastogne continue to hold their positions.
1944 – The Women’s Air Force Service Pilots were deactivated. Before deactivation 1,074 WASPs logged 60 million miles flying for the U.S. Army Air Forces.
1944 – US Congress gives General Eisenhower his 5th star.
1945 – Rationing of auto tires ends in US.
1946 – The Frank Capra film “It’s A Wonderful Life” had a preview showing for charity at New York City’s Globe Theatre, a day before its “official” world premiere. James Stewart and Donna Reed star in the film. This was Jimmy Stewart’s first film and romantic scene on-screen since he had come back from the war, and he was afraid he would be, um, out of practice, but the kiss was so passionate that the censors had to edit it. B&W Version 2:10:33 Colorized Version 2:10:54
1946 – “The Yearling,” was copyright registered.
1948 – U.S. Supreme Court announced that it had no jurisdiction to hear the appeals of Japanese war criminals sentenced by the International Military Tribunal.
1949 – CHART TOPPERS – “I Can Dream, Can’t I?” by The Tommy Dorsey Orchestra (vocal: Jack Leonard), “Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer” by Gene Autry, “White Christmas” by Bing Crosby and “Mule Train” by Tennessee Ernie Ford all topped the charts.
1949 – Maurice Ravel/John Cranko’s ballet “Beauty & the Beast” premieres.
1950 – “Harvey“, starring James Stewart, premieres in New York.
1950 – Korean War: The First Marine Division was active against enemy guerillas in Masan-Pohang-Sondong-Ansong areas. Enemy pressure lessened as Marines forced the 10th North Korean Division to abandon guerilla activity and withdraw northward.
1951 – Nuclear power first harvested when EBR-, located in Arco, Idaho powers four light bulbs.
1952 – Jimmy Boyd reached the #1 with “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus“.
1952 – United States Air Force C-124 crashes and burns in Moses Lake, Washington killing 87.
1954 – Buick Motor Company signed Jackie Gleason to one of the largest contracts ever entered into with an entertainer. Gleason agreed to produce 78 half-hour shows over a two-year period for $6,142,500.
1956 – The Montgomery bus boycott ended after the U.S. Supreme Court ruling integrating the Montgomery bus system was implemented. The boycott by Black Americans had begun on December 5, 1955.
1957 – Elvis Presley given draft notice to join US Army for National Service.
1958 – “To Know Him Is To Love Him” by The Teddy Bears topped the charts.
1959 – The Walker family murders are committed. This crime is an unsolved murder of two parents and two children which took place in Osprey, Florida. A 2013 exhumation and DNA test showed no connection to Truman Capote’s “In Cold Blood.”
1962 – The Osmond brothers debut on the Andy Williams Show.
1962 – A world indoor pole-vault record was set by Don Meyers when he cleared 16 feet, 11/4 inches.
1963 – East and West Germany negotiated a method of allowing people to cross the border. It remained open for the holiday season, but closed again on January 6, 1964. 4,000 people crossed over to visit relatives during this period.
1965 – CHART TOPPERS – “Turn! Turn! Turn!” by The Byrds, “Over and Over” by The Dave Clark Five, “I Got You (I Feel Good)” by James Brown and “Make the World Go Away” by Eddy Arnold all topped the charts.
1965 – “The Dating Game” (22:43) premiered on television.
1965 – In the largest U.S. drug bust to date, 209 lb. of heroin was seized in Georgia.
1966 – NBA awards Seattle Supersonics a franchise for 1967-68 season.
1967 – “The Graduate“, starring Dustin Hoffman & Anne Bancroft, premieres.
1968 – The Zodiac Killer kills Betty Lou Jenson and David Faraday in Vallejo, California.
1969 – Peter, Paul & Mary’s “Leaving on a Jet Plane” reaches #1.
1971 – Walt Disney World presented it’s first Candlelight Processional in the Magic Kingdom with Rock Hudson as narrator. Each evening, nearly 400 performers fill the stage to create this mainstay of Disney’s holiday festivities.
1972 – Neil Simons “Sunshine Boys” premieres in New York NY.
1973 – Bobby Darin (b.1936), singer, died during open heart surgery in Los Angeles.
1975 – “That’s the Way (I Like It)” by K. C. & the Sunshine Band hits #1.
1978 – Former White House chief of staff H.R. Haldeman was released from prison after serving 18 months for his role in the Watergate cover-up.
1980 – NBC broadcasts New York Jets’ 24-17 win over Dolphins without audio.
1980 – “Lady” by Kenny Rogers topped the charts.
1980 – Shirley Temple Black became a grandmother. Her oldest daughter gave birth to a baby
1981 – CHART TOPPERS – “Physical” by Olivia Newton-John, “Waiting for a Girl like You” by Foreigner, “Let’s Groove” by Earth, Wind & Fire and “All Roads Lead to You” by Steve Wariner all topped the charts.
1981 – The first ever on-stage performance of the award-winning Broadway musical “Dreamgirls” at Imperial Theatre on Broadway.
1983 – Julius Erving scores his 25,000th career point, becoming the ninth professional basketball player to achieve this mark.
1983 – Donald Rumsfeld visited Saddam Hussein in Iraq. Following his visit the US supplied Hussein with satellite photos of Iranian deployments and allowed shipment of a variety of materials from American suppliers.
1984 – The Summit tunnel fire is the largest underground fire in history, as a freight train carrying over 1 million litres of petrol derails near the town of Todmorden in the Pennines.
1985 – Howard Cosell retires from television sports after 20 years with ABC.
1985 – The passage of US Public Law 99-194 established the position of American Poet Laureate. In 1986 Robert Penn Warren became designated as the 1st Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry.
1986 – “Walk Like an Egyptian” by Bangles topped the charts.
1986 – White teenagers beat Blacks in Howard Beach, New York City. One of the victims, Michael Griffith, was killed when a passing motorist’s car ran over him on the Belt Parkway as he was attempting to flee from the pursuers.
1987 – “Nuts” with Barbra Streisand premieres.
1988 – NBC signs lease to stay in New York City, 33 more years (2021).
1989 – CHART TOPPERS – “We Didn’t Start the Fire” by Billy Joel, “Another Day in Paradise” by Phil Collins, “Don’t Know Much” by Linda Ronstadt (featuring Aaron Neville) and “Two Dozen Roses” by Shenandoah all topped the charts.
1989 – United States invasion of Panama called “Operation Just Cause”: US sends troops into Panama to overthrow government of Manuel Noriega. This is also the first combat use of purpose-designed stealth aircraft.
1990 – Pentagon warned Saddam that US air power was ready to attack on January 15th.
1991 – A Missouri court sentences the Palestinian militant Zein Isa and his wife Maria to death for the honor killing of their daughter Palestina.
1991 – Oliver Stone’s “JFK” opened in the U.S.
1991 – Robert Bardo, the obsessed fan who had stalked actress Rebecca Schaeffer before killing her, was sentenced in Los Angeles to life in prison without parole.
1992 – U.S. Marines and Belgian paratroopers in Somalia took control of Kismayu’s port and airport; the first truck convoy in more than a month reached the starving inland town of Baidoa.
1993 – Alina Fernandez Revuelta, a daughter of Cuban President Fidel Castro, flew to Spain, where she was granted political asylum by the U.S. Embassy.
1994 – Marcelino Corniel, a homeless man, was shot and mortally wounded by White House security officers. He had brandished a knife near the executive mansion.
1996 – NeXT merges with Apple Computer, starting the path to Mac OS X.
1998 – Green Bay’s Brett Favre connected three times with Antonio Freeman
in the first half against the Tennessee Oilers en route to a 30-22 victory this day. In doing so, Favre became the first quarterback in NFL history to pass for 30 or more touchdowns in five consecutive seasons (33 in 1994, 28 in 1995, 39 in 1996, 35 in 1997, and 30 in 1998).
1998 – In Houston, TX, a 27-year-old woman gave birth to the only known living set of octuplets.
1998 – Balloonists Fossett, Branson and Per Lindstrand successfully ran through a thunderstorm to avoid traveling over Iraq, Russia and Iran.
1999 – Vermont’s Supreme Court rules that homosexual couples are entitled to the same benefits and protections as married heterosexual couples.
1999 – A federal judge ruled that a school voucher program in Cleveland violates the Constitution’s separation of church and state.
2001 – President Bush marked the 100-day anniversary of September 11th by freezing the assets of two Pakistan-based groups suspected of terrorist support.
2002 – US Senator Trent Lott resigns as majority leader.
2002 – Ted Williams’ eldest daughter, Bobby-Jo Williams Ferrell, dropped her objections to her siblings’ decision to have the Hall of Famer’s body frozen at a cryonics lab in Arizona.
2002 – Portland Trail Blazers players, Golden State Warriors players and Warriors’ fans get involved in a melee after the Trail Blazers beat the Warriors, 113–111 in Oakland. It might be the first time in NBA history that a home team’s fans attack the visiting team during or after a game.
2002 – U.S. jets fired on two Iraqi air defense sites in the southern no-fly zone after an Iraqi jet entered the restricted air space.
2002 – Pope John Paul II brought Mother Teresa (d.1997) closer to sainthood when he approved a miracle attributed to the nun.
2003 – Friends and relatives of Michael Jackson descended on his Neverland Ranch to show their support for the entertainer as he fought child molestation charges.
2004 – Attorneys presented opening statements in the Robert Blake murder trial in Los Angeles.
2004 – Researchers said radio waves from mobile phones harm body cells and damage DNA in laboratory conditions.
2005 – New York City’s Transport Workers Union Local 100 goes on strike, shutting down all New York City Subway and Bus services. This was timed for the height of the holiday shopping and tourist season, forcing millions of riders to find new ways to get around.
2005 – US District Court Judge John E. Jones III ruled against mandating teaching “intelligent design” in his ruling of Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District. He ruled it was unconstitutional to teach schoolchildren the intelligent design theory of life as an alternative to evolution.
2005 – President Bush signed legislation to establish a national data-bank for umbilical cord blood and bone marrow.
2005 – Wyoming planned to embark on an $8.8 million, five-year cloud-seeding project that aims to bolster mountain snowpack, and possibly yield proof on whether cloud seeding actually works.
2006 – President George W. Bush signed the “Stolen Valor Act” prohibiting anyone from falsely claiming to have won a military decoration.
2006 – Pennsylvania cleared the way for two slot machine casino licenses in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.
2007 – The New Orleans City Council voted to demolish 4,500 public housing units as police used chemical spray and stun guns on dozens of protesters who tried to force themselves into the council chamber.
2007 – Bear Stearns reported the first quarterly loss in its 84-year history as it wrote down $1.9 billion in mortgage assets.
2007 – NetSuite Inc., a software maker majority-owned by Larry Ellison, rose 37% in its first day of trading after raising $161.2 million in an IPO a day earlier at $26 per share.
2008 – San Francisco Police Chief Heather Wong (52) announced her retirement. In January 2004 she became the first woman to lead the San Francisco Police Department, and the first Asian American woman to head any major metropolitan city police force. Her annual retirement salary is $277, 656.
2009 – United States Army Major General Anthony Cucolo makes pregnancy a court-martial offense for both female and male troops under his command in northern Iraq.
2009 – The US Justice Dept. said the US has transferred twelve Guantanamo detainees back to their home countries, including four to Afghanistan, two to Somalia, and six to Yemen.
2009 – A storm that blanketed large areas of the mid-Atlantic with nearly two feet of snow reached southern New England. In a weekend assault along the East Coast, it caused at least five deaths, crippled travel and left empty stores normally crammed with holiday shoppers.
2010 -GM completes $2.1 billion purchase of stock held by the U.S. Treasury .
2010 – David Paterson, Governor of New York, is fined $62,125 for accepting free gifts from a registered lobbyist—the New York Yankees.
2011 – A Socata TBM-700 small plane crashes onto Interstate 287 in northern New Jersey, killing five people. The plane is described as a high performance single engine turboprop light business and utility aircraft.
2011 – Two Earth-sized planets, Kepler-20e and Kepler-20d, are found orbiting a star 950 light-years away from Earth. In miles, that is five quadrillion, 700 trillion miles (5,700,000,000,000,000).
2011 – The NCAA announces that it is penalizing the Ohio State Buckeyes football program with a one-year bowl game ban, among other penalties, as a result of a scandal at the program.
2012 – New Jersey liberal Ronnie McMillian threatened Rep. Michele Bachmann and Governor Bobby Jindal with threatening phone calls to public officials including Louisiana’s governor and Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann was arrested today. Authorities charged 27-year-old Ronnie McMillian of Hawthorne, N.J., with two counts of transmitting threats to injure another through interstate commerce.
2012 – The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) today announced that it will again delay the deadline for states to tighten security requirements for driver’s licenses. The current deadline for states to become materially compliant with REAL ID is January 15, 2013. But DHS has announced that it will grant deferment to states that are not REAL ID compliant for an unknown period of time.
2014 – Four more detainees—Shawali Khan, Khi Ali Gul, Abdul Ghani, and Mohammed Zahir—have been repatriated in Afghanistan, according to the Pentagon, which announced the the transfer is part of a larger bid by President Barack Obama to fully shut down the prison facility at Gitmo.
2014 – Ismaaiyl Brinsley, 28, posted a message threatening police on Instagram before killing two officers, Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu as they sat in their patrol case in Brooklyn. Brinsley later killed himself in a nearby subway station.
2014 – White House says courts have NO power to review Obama’s decision-making. Obama has repeatedly taken it upon himself to decide what laws he would enforce and what ones he doesn’t want enforced. The first ones that come to mind are the Defense of Marriage Act and immigration laws.
1579 – (baptized) John Fletcher, English playwright (d. 1625)
1740 – Arthur Lee, (d. 1792) was a physician and opponent of slavery who served as an American diplomat during the American Revolutionary War.
1833 – Samuel Mudd, American physician (d. 1883)
1868 – Harvey Firestone, American businessman who founded the Firestone Tire and Rubber Company (d. 1938)
1881 – Branch Rickey, American baseball player, manager and deeply devout Christian (d. 1965)
1898 – Irene Dunne, (d. 1990) was an American film actress and singer of the 1930s, 1940s and early 1950s.
1933 – Jean Carnahan, U.S. Senator
1946 – John Spencer, American actor (d. 2005)
1976 – Adam Powell, Neopets creator
|VOSLER, FORREST T.
Rank and organization: Technical Sergeant, U.S. Army Air Corps. 358th Bomber Squadron, 303d Bomber Group. Place and date. Over Bremen, Germany, December 20th, 1943. Entered service at: Rochester, N.Y. Born: 29 July 1923, Lyndonville, N.Y. G.O. No.: 73, 6 September 1944. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry in action against the enemy above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a radio operator-air gunner on a heavy bombardment aircraft in a mission over Bremen, Germany, on 20 December 1943. After bombing the target, the aircraft in which T/Sgt. Vosler was serving was severely damaged by antiaircraft fire, forced out of formation, and immediately subjected to repeated vicious attacks by enemy fighters. Early in the engagement a 20-mm. cannon shell exploded in the radio compartment, painfully wounding T/Sgt. Vosler in the legs and thighs. At about the same time a direct hit on the tail of the ship seriously wounded the tail gunner and rendered the tail guns inoperative. Realizing the great need for firepower in protecting the vulnerable tail of the ship, T/Sgt. Vosler, with grim determination, kept up a steady stream of deadly fire. Shortly thereafter another 20-mm. enemy shell exploded, wounding T/Sgt. Vosler in the chest and about the face. Pieces of metal lodged in both eyes, impairing his vision to such an extent that he could only distinguish blurred shapes. Displaying remarkable tenacity and courage, he kept firing his guns and declined to take first-aid treatment. The radio equipment had been rendered inoperative during the battle, and when the pilot announced that he would have to ditch, although unable to see and working entirely by touch, T/Sgt. Vosler finally got the set operating and sent out distress signals despite several lapses into unconsciousness. When the ship ditched, T/Sgt. Vosler managed to get out on the wing by himself and hold the wounded tail gunner from slipping off until the other crewmembers could help them into the dinghy. T/Sgt. Vosler’s actions on this occasion were an inspiration to all serving with him. The extraordinary courage, coolness, and skill he displayed in the face of great odds, when handicapped by injuries that would have incapacitated the average crewmember, were outstanding.
|NORRIS, J. W.
Rank and organization: Landsman, U.S. Navy. Born: 1862, England. Accredited to: New York. G.O. No.: 326, 18 October 1884. Citation: Serving on board the U.S.S. Jamestown, New York Navy Yard, December 20th, 1883, Norris rescued from drowning A. A. George, who had fallen overboard.
Rank and organization: Ordinary Seaman, U.S. Navy. Born. 1853 Montreal, Canada
Citation: Serving on board the U.S.S. Jamestown, New York Navy Yard, December 20th, 1883, Sweeney rescued from drowning A. A. George, who had fallen overboard from that vessel.
Lawn darts (also called Jarts or yard darts) was a lawn game for two players or teams. A lawn dart set usually includes four large darts and two targets. The game play and objective are similar to both Horseshoes and Darts. The darts are typically 12 inches long with a weighted metal or plastic tip on one end and three plastic fins on a rod at the other end.
The darts are intended to be tossed underhand toward a horizontal ground target, where the weighted end hits first and sticks in to the ground. The target is typically a plastic ring, and landing anywhere within the ring is considered a point.
It was like any other summer day. No school, bright sun, and lots of time to kill. I don’t know what we were doing before hand, probably playing wiffle ball. It was me, my older brother and my good friend at the time Rick. We were out back setting up the Lawn Jarts set.
For those not familiar, probably because they were soon outlawed, Lawn Jarts is like Darts. Except you have two plastic rings, like hoola hoops you set far apart on the law. Then you have six big “Jarts” (see photo to the side). There were three red and three blue and you tried to throw these steel and plastic missile-type Jarts into the circle to score points. It seems pretty innocent until you get them into the hands of bored small-town kids.
I was sitting to the side on the edge of the patio waiting for my turn as Rick and my brother tossed the Jarts high into the air back and forth scoring points. The competition was heating up and I got the winner. The more they scored, they would take more steps backwards to make it a little harder.
I wasn’t paying attention because I was eating a cherry Popsicle. Then I felt it and heard it… THUD.
I looked down and blood was running down on to my shirt. I put my hand up to feel the pain on the right side of my head and there it was, the Jart had hit me and was barley dangling out of my skull. I burst into tears, shook my head and the deadly Jat fell to the grass. I remember seeing the horrified look on my brother and Rick’s faces, and then I ran inside to my Mom. She wrapped my head in a towel and pressed tightly. I felt dizzy, not uncommon for me back then, and she took care of me. For some reason though I remember I kept screaming “I want Dad, I want Dad.” Maybe because the last time something like this happened, I was at the baseball diamond, but that’s another story for later.
Rick and my brother came in the house fearing for their lives, but Mom was too busy caring for me. Dad shortly got home and checked out my Jart battle scar, come to find out the hole wasn’t that big, but it sure bled A LOT. I didn’t have to get stitches, didn’t even need to go to the doctor for that matter.
Now my hair covers the Jart scar of ’77 and I was none the worse for wear, no head damage either….well, maybe.
Banned from sale in the United States
While the tip may not be sharp enough to be obviously dangerous, when misused, these darts can cause skull punctures and other serious injuries. On December 19, 1988, all lawn darts were banned from sale in the United States by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Lawn darts, used in an outdoor game, have been responsible for the deaths of four children, the latest being in early 1997 near Elkhart, Indiana. It should be noted that the specific incident that caused lawn darts to be made illegal also involved beer. Lawn darts remain legal for use in the United Kingdom as well as other countries.
“A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort!”
~ Herm Albright
A custom, trait, or tradition originating in the United States.
A word, phrase, or idiom characteristic of English as it is spoken in the United States.
Allegiance to the United States and its customs and institutions.
211 – Publius Septimius Geta, co-emperor of Rome, is lured to come without his bodyguards to meet his brother Marcus Aurelius Antoninus (Caracalla), to discuss a possible reconciliation. When he arrives the Praetorian Guard murders him and he dies in the arms of his mother Julia Domna.
324 – Licinius abdicates his position as Roman Emperor. From his name and behavior comes the word licentious. Licentious means “lacking legal or moral restraints; especially disregarding sexual restraints or marked by disregard for strict rules of correctness.
1606 – The “Susan Constant”, the “Godspeed”, and the “Discovery” depart England carrying settlers who, at Jamestown, Virginia, would found the first of the thirteen colonies that became the United States.
1686 – Robinson Crusoe leaves his island after 28 years (as per Defoe)
1732 – Benjamin Franklin began publishing “Poor Richard’s Almanac.” The book was filled with proverbs preaching industry and prudence. It was published continuously for 25 years.
1774 – Deborah Read Franklin died at the age of 66 in Philadelphia from a stroke. Benjamin Franklin, her husband, was in England at the time. According to Leo Lemay, Deborah and Benjamin had not seen one another for the last ten years of their marriage.
1776 – Thomas Paine publishes “American Crisis”: “These are the times that try men’s souls; the summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of his country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.”
1777 – Revolutionary War: George Washington’s battle-weary and destitute Continental Army goes into winter quarters at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, 22 miles from British-occupied Philadelphia. His army of about 11,000 men camped for the winter (Dec. 19, 1777–June 19, 1778). Nearly 3000 died during that very severe time.
1823 – Georgia passed the first US state birth registration law.
1828 – Nullification Crisis: Vice President of the United States John C. Calhoun pens the South Carolina Exposition and Protest. This ordinance declared by the power of the State that the federal Tariffs of 1828 and 1832 were unconstitutional and therefore null and void within the sovereign boundaries of South Carolina.
1835 – The first issue of “The Blade” newspaper is published in Toledo, Ohio.
1842 – Hawaii’s independence was recognized by the United States.
1843 – “A Christmas Carol”, by Charles Dickens, is first published in England.
1854 – Allen Wilson of Connecticut patents sewing machine to sew curving seams.
1862 – Civil War: Nathan B. Forrest tore up the railroads in Grant and Rosecrans’ rear, causing considerable delays in the movement of Union supplies.
1862 – Civil War: Skirmish at Jackson-Salem Church, Tenn., left 80 casualties.
1863 – Civil War: Expedition including the U.S.S. Restless, U.S.S Bloomer, and U.S.S. Caroline, proceeded to St. Andrew’s Bay, Florida, to continue the destruction of salt works.
1864 – Civil War: C.S.S. Water Witch, captured from the Union on 3 June, was burned by the Confederates in the Vernon River near Savannah, in order to prevent her capture by General Sherman’s troops advancing on the city.
1870 – Coxswain William Halford reaches Hawaii to seek help for crew of USS Saginaw. It wrecked near Midway Island. Rescuers reach the 88 Saginaw survivors on 4 January 1871. Five men in a 22-foot boat had left Midway for help and Halford was the lone survivor.
1871 – Corrugated paper was patented by Albert L. Jones of New York.
1887 – Jake Kilrain & Jem Smith fight 106 round bare knuckle draw.
1890 – Start of Sherlock Holmes “Adventure of Beryl Coronet.”
1903 – The Williamsburg Bridge opened, spanning the East River between New York City and Brooklyn.. This was America’s first major suspension bridge (1600 feet). It cost $24,000,000 to build — in 1903 dollars.
1907 – A coal mine explosion in Jacobs Creek, Pennsylvania, kills 239 workers. Only one worker in the deep mine at the time survived the tragedy.
1909 – U.S. socialist women denounced suffrage as a movement of the middle class.
1910 – Edward Douglass White is sworn in as the 9th Chief Justice of the United States.
1910 – Rayon was first commercially produced by the American Viscose Company. At the time, it was known by the name of artificial silk.
1912 – William H. Van Schaick, captain of the steamship General Slocum which caught fire and killed over 1,000 people, is pardoned by President Taft after 3.5 years in Sing Sing prison .
1916 – World War I: Battle of Verdun – On the Western Front, the French Army successfully holds off the German Army and drives it back to its starting position.
1917 – National Hockey League (NHL) opens its first season.It plays in Toronto and is the first played on artificial ice.
1918 – Robert Ripley began his “Believe It or Not” column in “The New York Globe”.
1919 – The Thimble Theatre cartoon strip, by Elzie Segar (1894-1938), made its debut in the New York Journal and featured the characters Olive Oyl, Castor Oyl, and Ham Gravy, who were the comic’s leads for about a decade. Segar added Popeye in 1929.
1920 – First US indoor curling rink opens in Brookline, MA.
1924 – Last Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost rolls off the line.
1928 – First autogyro flight in US at Patco Field in Norristown, PA. This was the predecessor of the helicopter.
1939 – World War II: Pre-War: America was still neutral during this part of World War II yetthe US cruiser Tuscaloosa closely trailed the German liner Columbus. The Germans scuttled the ship some 300 miles from the American coast, to avoid capture by the approaching British destroyer HMS Hyperion.
1941 – World War II: Europe: Hitler becomes Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the German Army.
1941 – World War II: US Office of Censorship was created to control info about WW II.
1941 – World War II: US Attorney General Francis Biddle issued Circular No. 3591 to all federal prosecutors to drop references to peonage and label such files as “Involuntary Servitude and Slavery.” This was in response to Pres. Roosevelt’s fear that mistreatment of blacks would be used in propaganda by Japan and Germany.
1941 – World War II: Pacific: Japanese land 500 men from the 56th Infantry Regiment near Davao on Mindanao.
1942 – World War II: Pacific: On Guadalcanal, US forces on Mount Austen meet heavy resistance.
1943 – World War II: Pacific: The American regiment at Arawe captures the nearby Japanese airstrip and hold against counterattacks.
1944 – World War II: Pacific:The Japanese decide that their 35th Army on Leyte is no longer to be reinforced or supplied. Nonetheless, fighting continues to the north of Ormoc and throughout the northwest of the island.
1944 – World War II: Europe: During the Battle of the Bulge, American troops began pulling back from the twin Belgian cities of Krinkelt and Rocherath in front of the advancing German Army.
1948 – CHART TOPPERS – “Buttons and Bows” by Dinah Shore, “On a Slow Boat to China” by The Kay Kaiser Orchestra (vocal: Harry Babbitt & Gloria Wood), “White Christmas” by Bing Crosby and “One Has My Name (The Other Has My Heart)” by Jimmy Wakely all topped the charts.
1950 – General Dwight D. Eisenhower was named Supreme Commander of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) military forces.
1950 – Korean War: The carrier USS Bataan, commanded by Captain T. N. Neale, arrived on station in Korean waters.
1955 – Carl Perkins records “Blue Suede Shoes“.
1957 – “The Music Man”, starring Robert Preston, opens at Majestic Theater New York City.
1958 – First radio broadcast from space (recorded Christmas message by President Eisenhower).
1959 – Reputed to be the last Civil War veteran, Walter Williams, a Confederate forager, died at 117 in Houston.The last survivor of the Union Army was Albert Woolson. He died on August 2, 1956 at the age of 109.
1959 – “Heartaches by the Number” by Guy Mitchell topped the charts.
1959 – The first Liberty Bowl, Penn State’s Nittany Lions beat Alabama, 7-0.
1960 – Frank Sinatra recorded “Ring-A-Ding-Ding” in his first session with Reprise Records.
1960 – Mercury- Redstone 1A (MR-1A) was launched from LC-5 at Cape Canaveral, Florida. The mission objectives of this unmanned suborbital flight were to qualify the spacecraft for space flight.
1960 – A fire aboard USS Constellation, under construction at Brooklyn, killed fifty.
1960 – Neil Sedaka’s “Calendar Girl” was released on RCA Victor Records.
1962 – Transit 5A1, first operational navigational satellite, launched.
1964 – CHART TOPPERS – “Come See About Me” by The Supremes, “I Feel Fine” by The Beatles, “Goin’ Out of My Head” by Little Anthony & The Imperials and “Once a Day” by Connie Smith all topped the charts.
1967 – Prime Minister of Australia Harold Holt is officially presumed dead. He went missing and was believed to have drowned on December 17th.
1970 – “Tears of a Clown” by Smokey Robinson & the Miracles topped the charts.
1971 – Director Stanley Kubrick’s controversial film “A Clockwork Orange” opens. Alex, a teenage hooligan in a near-future Britain, gets jailed by the police. There he volunteers as guinea pig for a new aversion therapy proposed by the government to make room in prisons for political prisoners. .
1971 – NASA launches Intelsat 4 F-3 for COMSAT Corp. Intelsat 3 spacecraft were used to relay commercial global telecommunications including live TV.
1972 – CHART TOPPERS – “Me and Mrs. Jones” by Billy Paul, “You Ought to Be with Me” by Al Green, “It Never Rains in Southern California” by Albert Hammond and “Got the All Overs for You (All Over Me)” by Freddie Hart & The Heartbeats all topped the charts.
1972 – Project Apollo: The last manned lunar flight, Apollo 17, crewed by Eugene Cernan, Ron Evans and Harrison Schmitt, returns to Earth.
1972 – Vietnam War: Hanoi’s foreign ministry, calling the new B-52 raids against Hanoi and Haiphong “extremely barbaric,” accuses the United States of premeditated intensification of the war and labels the actions “insane.”
1973 – Johnny Carson started a fake toilet-paper scare on the “Tonight Show.”
1974 – James Bond, “The Man With the Golden Gun” premieres in US.
1974 – The Altair 8800 microcomputer kit goes on sale. It was featured on the cover of the January 1975 issue of Popular Electronics. It was sold as a do-it-yourself computer kit, for $397. It used switches for input and flashing lights as a display.
1974 – Nelson A. Rockefeller is sworn is as the 41st Vice President of the United States under President Gerald Ford.
1975 – John Paul Stevens, appointed by Pres. Gerald Ford, was sworn in as a US Supreme Court judge.
1976 – Piper Cherokee crashes into Baltimore Memorial Stadium upper stands, 10 minutes after Colts lose 40-14 to Steelers; No one seriously hurt.
1977 – Pres. Jimmy Carter signed into law the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). The act made it a crime for a US citizen to pay bribes to win contracts abroad.
1979 – ESPN televised its first NHL game. The teams were the Washington Capitals and the Hartford Whales.
1980 – Iran requests $24 billion in US guarantees to free hostages. On Inauguration Day, Jan. 20, 1981, Iran agreed to accept $8 billion in frozen assets and a promise by the United States to lift trade sanctions in exchange for the release of the hostages.
1981 – “Physical” by Olivia Newton-John topped the charts.
1984 – Near Orangeville, Utah, 27 miners died in a coal mine fire due to a faulty air compressor at the Wilberg Mine.
1984 – The United States formally withdrew from UNESCO in a effort to force reform of the U.N. cultural organization’s budget and alleged Third World bias.
1984 – A group of 33 organ chorale preludes, attributed to J. S. Bach but unknown to modern Bach scholarship, has been found and authenticated by Christoph Wolff, a Harvard professor and Bach authority.
1984 – Scotty Bowman becomes NHL’s all time winningest coach. In 30 years of coaching, Bowman had a 1244-583-314 mark in the regular season and he was 223-130 in the playoffs.
1985 – Jan Stenerud announced his retirement from the NFL. The football kicker holds the record for the most career field goals with 373. He made those field goals while kicking for the Kansas City Chiefs, Green Bay Packers and Minnesota Vikings beginning in 1967.
1985 – In Minneapolis, Minnesota, Mary Lund became the first woman to receive a Jarvik VII artificial heart. Lund received a human heart transplant 45 days later; she died October 14, 1986.
1986 – Michael Sergio, who parachuted into Game Six of the 1986 World Series at New York’s Shea Stadium, is fined $500 and sentenced to 100 hours of community service.
1987 – “Faith” by George Michael topped the charts.
1988 – Lawn darts are banned from sale in the United States by the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
1988 – NASA unveils plans for lunar colony & manned missions to Mars.
1989 – Larry Bird (Celtics) begins NBA free throw streak of 71 games.
1989 – U.S. troops invaded Panama to overthrow the regime of General Noriega.
1989 – Police in Jacksonville, Fla., disarmed a parcel bomb at the local NAACP office, the fourth in a series of mail bombs to turn up in the Deep South. One bomb killed a Savannah, Ga., alderman, and another a federal judge in Alabama. Walter L. Moody Jr. was convicted in both bombings.
1995 – The Federal Reserve cut a key interest rate, turning fears to cheers on Wall Street a day after the biggest one-day stock plunge in four years.
1995 – The United States Government restores federal recognition to the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of Potawatomi Indian tribe.
1995 – A gunman opened fire inside a Bronx, New York, shoe store, killing five people.
1996 – The school board of Oakland, CA, voted to recognize Black English, also known as “ebonics.” The board later reversed its stance.
1996 – The Pentagon chose Lawrence Livermore National Labs. for a $1.1 billion super-laser project. Known as the National Ignition Facility, its goal will be to ignite a self-sustaining fusion reaction in a controlled lab setting.
1996 – The television industry unveiled a plan to rate programs using tags such as “TV-G,” “TV-Y” and “TV-M.”
1997 – The film “Titanic” is released.
1997 – B.B. King, blues guitarist, gave his electric guitar, “Lucille,” to Pope John Paul after the Vatican’s annual Christmas concert.
1997 – In New York City Reginald Bannerman died after he was struck by a train. He was fleeing a beating by six New York City narcotics detectives, who had been out drinking.
1997 – POSTAL SHOOTING: In Milwaukee a postal clerk, Anthony J. De Culit, shot and killed his supervisor, a co-worker and wounded another and then killed himself.
1998 – The United States House of Representatives forwards articles I and III of impeachment against President Bill Clinton to the Senate. (Lewinsky scandal)
1998 – Iraq War: A four-day bombing of Iraq(Operation Desert Fox) by British and American forces ended.
1999 – The shuttle Discovery was launched following nine delays from Cape Canaveral with seven astronauts on a mission to repair the Hubble Space Telescope.
2001 – The fire at the World Trade Center, as a result of the September 11, 2001 attacks, is finally extinguished after three months. The Sep 11 WTC death toll was reduced to 3,000. A revised tally put the total dead at 2,795. In 2003 the count was reduced to 2,752.
2002 – AOL Time Warner announces that they have been issued a patent for instant messaging. AOL says that they have no plans to enforce the patent.
2002 – Sen. Patty Murray of Washington told high school students that Osama bin Laden was popular in poor countries because of his charitable works and challenged the US to do the same.
2003 – New plans revealed that the signature New York City skyscraper at the World Trade Center site will be a 1,776-foot glass tower that twists into the sky, topped by energy-generating windmills and a spire that evokes the Statue of Liberty.
2003 – Flights from Vancouver International Airport bound for the U.S. are delayed following the discovery of an envelope containing suspicious white powder and a threatening note at one of the terminals.
2004 – President George Bush for the second time was chosen as Time magazine’s Person of the Year.
2004 – Rice University computer scientists find a security hole in Google’s desktop search program.
2005 – Chalk’s Ocean Airways Flight 101 flying from Miami, Florida to Bimini, Bahamas, crashes in Miami Beach, killing 18 passengers and two crew members. The 1947 Grumman G-73T Turbine Mallard crashed, and the cause was attributed to metal fatigue on the starboard wing resulting in separation of the wing from the fuselage.
2007 – President George Bush signed energy legislation he described as a major step toward reducing American dependence on foreign oil. The bill increases average fuel economy to 35 miles per gallon by 2020, a 40 percent increase, without sacrificing automobile safety.
2007 – An explosion and fire at a T2 Laboratories facility in Jacksonville, Florida, results in four deaths and 14 injuries.
2008 – IRS agents arrested Ausaf Umar Siddiqui (42), vice president of Fry’s Electronics in San Jose, Ca., for gambling with millions in stolen money. He had collected over $65 million in kickbacks from five vendors.
2008 – President George W. Bush signed a $17.4 billion rescue package of loans for ailing auto makers General Motors and Chrysler.
2008 – In Atlanta, Georgia, one worker died and at least 18 others were injured when a walkway being built collapsed at the Atlanta Botanical Garden.
2009 – Senator Ben Nelson of Nebraska agreed to provide the 60th and deciding vote for what would become known as Obamacare.
2010 – Eight people are seriously injured when a tour bus carrying a church group lost control, slid off a road and rolled onto its side on an icy highway in Colorado.
2010 – 60 Minutes, an influential news program, runs a segment with Meredith Whitney, in which she predicts hundreds of millions of dollars worth of defaults by U.S. municipalities.
2011 – Brandon McInerney is sentenced to 21 years in jail in California for the E.O. Green School shooting of gay classmate Larry King.
2012 – U.S. news magazine Time selects President Barack Obama as its 2012 Person of the Year.
2013 – A town hall meeting hosted by Al Sharpton and the National Action Network to address gun violence exploded into a revolt against “Chicago Machine” politics, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and black alderman in City Hall.
2014 – An off-duty St. Louis police officer shot multiple times in his personal vehicle by an unknown assailant. The shooting occurred near the intersection of Breman Avenue and North 25th Street in North St. Louis just before 4 p.m. St. Louis Police Captain Michael Sack said the 28-year-old officer, who has been with the department for four years, is in critical but stable condition. His injuries are believed to be non-life threatening.
1714 – John Winthrop, American astronomer (d. 1779)
1778 – Princess Marie-Thérèse-Charlotte, eldest child of Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI (d. 1851)
1817 – James Archer, Confederate general
1852 – Albert Abraham Michelson, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1931) He was a Polish-born German-American physicist known for his work on the measurement of the speed of light and especially for the Michelson-Morley experiment. In 1907 he received the Nobel Prize in Physics, the first American to receive the Nobel in the sciences.
1906 – Leonid Brezhnev, Leader of the Soviet Union (d. 1982)
1920 – David Susskind, American TV talk show host (d. 1987)
1944 – Richard Leakey, British anthropologist
1957 – Kevin McHale, American basketball player
1961 – Reggie White, American football player (d. 2004)
1972 – Warren Sapp, American football player
1974 – Jake Plummer, American football player
|GERSTUNG, ROBERT E.
Rank and organization: Technical Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company H, 313th Infantry, 79th Infantry Division. Place and date: Siegfried Line near Berg, Germany, December 19th, 1944. Entered service at: Chicago, Ill. Born: 6 August 1915, Chicago, Ill. G.O. No.: 75, 5 September 1945. Citation: On 19 December 1944 he was ordered with his heavy machinegun squad to the support of an infantry company attacking the outer defense of the Siegfried Line near Berg, Germany. For eight hours he maintained a position made almost untenable by the density of artillery and mortar fire concentrated upon it and the proximity of enemy troops who threw hand grenades into the emplacement. While all other members of his squad became casualties, he remained at his gun. When he ran out of ammunition, he fearlessly dashed across bullet-swept, open terrain to secure a new supply from a disabled friendly tank. A fierce barrage pierced the water jacket of his gun, but he continued to fire until the weapon overheated and jammed. Instead of withdrawing, he crawled fifty yards across coverless ground to another of his company’s machineguns which had been silenced when its entire crew was killed. He continued to man this gun, giving support vitally needed by the infantry. At one time he came under direct fire from a hostile tank, which shot the glove from his hand with an armor-piercing shell but could not drive him from his position or stop his shooting. When the American forces were ordered to retire to their original positions, he remained at his gun, giving the only covering fire. Finally withdrawing, he cradled the heavy weapon in his left arm, slung a belt of ammunition over his shoulder, and walked to the rear, loosing small bursts at the enemy as he went. One hundred yards from safety, he was struck in the leg by a mortar shell; but, with a supreme effort, he crawled the remaining distance, dragging along the gun which had served him and his comrades so well. By his remarkable perseverance, indomitable courage, and heroic devotion to his task in the face of devastating fire, T/Sgt. Gerstung gave his fellow soldiers powerful support in their encounter with formidable enemy forces.
Rank and organization: Technician Fourth Grade, U.S. Army, Company C, 2d Engineer Combat Battalion, 2d Infantry Division. Place and date: Near Rocherath, Belgium, December 19th, 1944. Entered service at: Houston, Tex. Birth: Madisonville, Tex. G.O. No.: 42, 24 May 1945. Citation: On 19 December 1944, as scout, he led a squad assigned to the mission of mining a vital crossroads near Rocherath, Belgium. At the first attempt to reach the objective, he discovered it was occupied by an enemy tank and at least twenty infantrymen. Driven back by withering fire, Technician 4th Grade Kimbro made two more attempts to lead his squad to the crossroads but all approaches were covered by intense enemy fire. Although warned by our own infantrymen of the great danger involved, he left his squad in a protected place and, laden with mines, crawled alone toward the crossroads. When nearing his objective he was severely wounded, but he continued to drag himself forward and laid his mines across the road. As he tried to crawl from the objective his body was riddled with rifle and machinegun fire. The mines laid by his act of indomitable courage delayed the advance of enemy armor and prevented the rear of our withdrawing columns from being attacked by the enemy.
|GAUJOT, ANTOINE A.
Rank and organization: Corporal, Company M, 27th Infantry, U.S. Volunteers. Place and date: At San Mateo, Philippine Islands, December 19th, 1899. Entered service at: Williamson, W. Va. Birth: Keweenaw, Mich. Date of issue: 15 February I911. Citation: Attempted under a heavy fire of the enemy to swim a river for the purpose of obtaining and returning with a canoe.
|GIBSON, EDWARD H.
Rank and organization: Sergeant, Company M, 27th Infantry, U.S. Volunteers. Place and date: At San Mateo, Philippine Islands, December 19th, 1899. Entered service at: Boston, Mass. Birth: Boston, Mass. Date of issue: Unknown. Citation: Attempted under a heavy fire of the enemy to swim a river for the purpose of obtaining and returning with a canoe.
National Re-gifting Day
The Colorful History of the Corkscrew
The following article is reprinted with copyright permission from Bull’s Pocket Guide to Corkscrews. The author Don Bull, is a world renown corkscrew expert, and author of several books on the subject. You can learn more about Don and his huge collection, in his corkscrew museum.
Although various references to the worme, scrue, and cork-drawer appear in 17th century literature, no one knows when the first corkscrew appeared. One of the most likely theories is that the idea came from a worm on a ramrod or cleaning rod used to draw wadding from a gun barrel. A lithograph entitled “Cork Extractors” was included in a c.1880 book The Growth of Industrial Art. The lithograph by Sackett & Wilhelms Litho Company of New York takes a rather humorous look at the evolution of the corkscrew. In nine steps it shows breaking off the bottle neck, pulling a protruding cork with teeth, lifting the cork with a nail, using two forks and, finally, five different styles of corkscrews. The bottom line, however, is that the first corkscrew, no doubt, was a rather simple device with a wood handle and a pointed and curled piece of steel. The steel was turned into the cork and brute force was used to lift the cork.
The earliest patent issued for a corkscrew was granted in 1795 in England to the Reverend Samuel Henshall. He attached a metal button between the shank and the worm. When the worm penetrated the cork, the button would contact the top, and by continuing to turn the handle, the adhesion between the cork and the bottle neck would be broken. The cork could then be easily lifted. Since then, thousands of worldwide patents have been issued to inventors seeking a better method to extract corks including improved buttons, ratchets, springs, prongs, clutches, levers, and even Teflon coated worms. Other inventors included a corkscrew as an accessory on multipurpose tools including knives, can openers, wrenches, jar openers, bottle cap lifters, and champagne cork grips. In design patents figures of devils, bums, pigs, parrots, and owls can be found.
The first US Patent (42, 784) went to Jesse L. Morrill in New York, NY. It was granted May 17th, 1864 and was actually a puller.
“A mind of the calibre of mine cannot derive its nutriment from cows.”
~George Bernard Shaw
On drinking wine.
Skinflint (SKIN-flint) noun
Someone who is stingy; a miser.
[Flint stones were used in olden times to start a fire. The term skinflint derives from the idea that a miserly person would go to the extreme and “skin a flint” or use a flint till it’s as thin as skin.]
218 BC – Second Punic War: Battle of the Trebia – Hannibal’s Carthaginian forces defeat those of the Roman Republic.
1118 – Afonso the Battler, the Christian King of Aragon captured Saragossa, Spain, a major blow to Muslim Spain.
1271 – Kublai Khan renames his empire “Yuan” (元 yuán), officially marking the start of the Yuan Dynasty of China.
1620 – Passengers on the British ship Mayflower come ashore at modern-day Plymouth, Massachusetts, to begin their new settlement, Plymouth Colony.
1642 – Abel Tasman becomes first European to land in New Zealand
1719 – Thomas Fleet publishes “Mother Goose’s Melodies For Children.”
1737 – Antonio Stradivari, the most renowned violin maker in history, died in Cremona, Italy. He made about 1200 violins of great quality of which half still survive. The quality of sound in a Stradivari violin was due to chemicals used to protect the wood from wood-eating worms.
1775 – From today until December 27, Benjamin Franklin, John Jay and Francis Daymon, members of the Committee of Secret Correspondence, met 3 times at Carpenter’s Hall in Philadelphia with French agent Chevalier Julien-Alexandre Achard de Bonvouloir regarding French support for American Independence.
1777 – The new United States celebrates its first national day of thanksgiving commemorating the American victory at the Battle of Saratoga after the surrender of General John Burgoyne and 5,000 British troops in October 1777.
1787 – New Jersey becomes the third state to ratify the United States Constitution.
1796 – The Baltimore Monitor appeared as the first US Sunday newspaper.
1799 – George Washington’s body interred at Mount Vernon.
1813 – British took Ft. Niagara in War of 1812.
1839 – First celestial photograph (the moon) made in US, John Draper, New York City.
1859 – South Carolina declared itself an “independent commonwealth.”
1862 – Civil War: Confederate cavalry leader General Nathan Bedford Forrest routs a Union force under the command of Colonel Robert Ingersoll on a raid into western Tennessee, an area held by the Union.
1862 – Civil War: Grant announced the organization of his army in the West. Sherman, Hurlbut, McPherson, and McClernand would be Corps Commanders.
1865 – The 13th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America, abolishing slavery, went into effect.
1878 – John Kehoe, the last of the Molly Maguires is executed in Pennsylvania. The Molly Maguires was a 19th-century secret society composed mainly of Irish and Irish American coal miners.
1888 – Richard Wetherill and his brother in-law discover the ancient Indian ruins of Cliff Palace in Mesa Verde, southwest corner of Colorado..
1892 – The first performance of Tchaikovsky’s ballet “The Nutcracker” is held at the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg.
1895 – The National Anti-Saloon League which was officially founded on December 18,1895 in Washington, D.C. The name of this national organization was later changed to Anti-Saloon League of America. Howard Hyde Russell was named as the first superintendent of the national league.
1898 – Count Gaston de Chasseloup-Laubat (the “Electric Count”) set the world’s first official land-speed record over a measured kilometer near Paris. The new record was set in his electric Jeantaud automobile at a hair-raising speed of 39.245mph.
1902 – Admiral of the Navy George Dewey receives orders to send his battleship to Trinidad and then to Venezuela to make sure that Great Britain’s and Germany’s dispute with Venezuela was settled by peaceful arbitration not force.
1912 – The U.S. Congress prohibited the immigration of illiterate persons.
1912 – After three years of digging in the Piltdown gravel pit in Sussex, England, amateur archaeologist Charles Dawson announced the discovery of two skulls that appeared to belong to a primitive hominid and ancestor of man. The find was proved to be a hoax in 1953.
1915 – President Woodrow Wilson, widowed the year before, married Edith Bolling Galt at her Washington home.
1916 – WW I: The Battle of Verdun ended with the French and Germans each having suffered more than 330,000 killed and wounded in ten months.
1917 – The Eighteenth Amendment to the Constitution was passed by Congress. It established the prohibition of alcoholic beverages in the US by declaring illegal the production, transport and sale of alcohol (though not the consumption or private possession).
1920 – First US postage stamps printed without the words United States or US.
1932 – The Chicago Bears defeat the Portsmouth Spartans 9-0 in the first ever NFL Championship Game. The game was played during a blizzard.
1934 – Willie Smith sang with Jimmy Lunceford & his orchestra on “Rhythm is Our Business“.
1935 – Both the face and back (reverse) of the Great Seal of the United States appeared for the first time on paper money on $1 Silver Certificates. The pyramid, on the reverse of the seal , represents permanence and strength. Its unfinished condition indicates that the United States will always grow, build, and improve with a continuous evaluation of Truth. The thirteen layers of stone in the pyramid refer to the thirteen Original States and the individual rights of States. The separate stones represent local self-government.
1936 – Su-Lin, the first giant panda to come to US from China, arrived in San Francisco.
1940 – World War II: Hitler dictated Directive No. 21 to crush Russia in a quick campaign. Adolf Hitler signed a secret directive ordering preparations for a Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union.
1941 – World War II: Defended by 610 fighting men, the American-held island of Guam fell to more than 5,000 Japanese invaders in a three-hour battle.
1941 – World War II: Censorship is imposed with the passage of the first American War Powers Act.
1941 – World War II: German submarine U-434 sank.
1943 – World War II: Europe – The US 5th Army captures Monte Lungo, threatening the German position at San Pietro. German forces launch counterattacks. San Pietro falls to the US 36th Division.
1944 – World War II: 77 B-29 Superfortress and 200 other aircraft of U.S. Fourteenth Air Force bomb Hankow China, a Japanese supply base.
1944 – World War II: US Task Force 38 is caught in a typhoon while retiring to refuel and replenish. Three destroyers, “Hull,” “Spence” & “Monaghan,” are sunk and three fleet carriers, four escort carriers and eleven destroyers sustain damage.The storm killed 778 American sailors. 62 of 264 men on the Hull , 24 of 340 men on the Spence and 6 of 251 men on the Monaghan survived.
1944 – World War II: US B-29 Superfortress bombers raid Nagoya (namely the Mitsubishi aircraft assembly works).
1944 – In a pair of rulings, the US Supreme Court upheld the wartime relocation of Japanese-Americans (Korematsu v. United States), but also said undeniably loyal Americans of Japanese ancestry could not continue to be detained (Ex parte Endo).
1946 – TV’s first network dramatic serial “Faraway Hill” ends 2 month run. For many years “A Woman to Remember” was considered the first soap opera, but actually debuted in 1949.
1947 – CHART TOPPERS – “Civilization” by Louis Prima, “How Soon” by Jack Owens, “White Christmas” by Bing Crosby, “I’ll Hold You in My Heart (Till I Can Hold You in My Arms)” by Eddy Arnold all topped the charts.
1948 – Janet Fay was hammered to death by Martha Beck and Ray Fernandez aka The Lonely Hearts Killers, in Long Island, New York. The phrase lonely hearts killer, sometimes also want-ad killer, or matrimonial bureau murderer, is a journalistic term of art that refers to a person who commits murder by contacting a victim who has either posted advertisements to or answered advertisements via newspaper classified ads and personal or lonely hearts club ads.
1950 – Korean War: U.S. Navy Patrol Squadron 892, the first all-Reserve squadron to operate in Korea’s war zone, began operations from Iwakuni, Japan.
1953 – WPTZ in Philadelphia, PA received its official FCC experimental color license, authorizing transmission of color video during regular broadcast hours. At 2:20 pm today, Philadelphians lucky enough to own color TV sets saw the nation’s first color telecast via “Skinner’s Spotlight.” A color Felso soap commercial was aired during Skinner’s program.
1953 – “Rags to Riches” by Tony Bennett topped the charts.
1954 – “Mr. Sandman” by the Chordettes topped the charts.
1955 – CHART TOPPERS – “I Hear You Knocking” by Gale Storm, “Love and Marriage” by Frank Sinatra, “Nuttin’ for Christmas” by Barry Gordon and “Sixteen Tons” by Tennessee Ernie Ford all topped the charts.
1956 – The show “To Tell the Truth” (32:22) premiered on TV. This video is actually not the premiere but a show that occurred before. Please not Mike Wallace!!!
1956 – The Israeli flag was hoisted on Mount Sinai.
1956 – Phil Rizzuto signs as New York Yankee radio-TV announcer. His popular catchphrase was “Holy Cow.” He also became known for saying “Unbelievable!” or “Did you see that?” to describe a great play, and would call somebody a “huckleberry” if someone did something Rizzuto didn’t like.
1957 – The Shippingport Atomic Power Station in Pennsylvania, the first civilian nuclear facility to generate electricity in the United States, went online. It was taken off-line in 1972 after twenty-five years.
1957 – The motion picture “The Bridge on the River Kwai” premiered at the RKO Palace Theater in New York City.
1958 – The first American communications satellite was launched. Project SCORE (Signal Communication by Orbiting Relay Equipment) was put into orbit from Cape Canaveral using an Atlas B missile, also the first successful trial of the Atlas’ space launch vehicle.
1958 – The first communications satellite broadcast was made when President Dwight Eisenhower delivered his Christmas message.
1959 – In Florida Cliff Walker, his wife and two children were murdered on a ranch in Osprey. Richard Hickock and Perry Smith, the killers of a family in Kansas on Nov 15, were later linked to the murder of the Walker family.
1961 – “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” by the Tokens topped the charts.
1961 – For 2nd consecutive year, AP names Wilma Rudolph female athlete of year.
1963 – Ron Clarke set a world record when he ran six miles in 28 minutes and 15.6 seconds.
1964 – “The Pink Panther” cartoon series premieres (Pink Phink). It was the first Pink Panther animated short released by United Artists and it won the 1964 Academy Award for Short Subjects, animated films.
1964 – The University of California Regents affirmed that university rules should follow the US Supreme Court decisions on free speech.
1965 – Astronauts Frank Borman and James Lovell splash down in Atlantic ending the 14-day Gemini VII flight. It had met up with Gemini VI and flew alongside her.
1965 – Vietnam: River Patrol Force established .
1965 – Kenneth LeBel jumped 17 barrels on ice skates.
1965 – Vietnam: U.S. Marines attacked Viet Cong units in the Que Son Valley during Operation Harvest Moon.
1965 – “Turn! Turn! Turn!” by the Byrds topped the charts.
1966 – Dr. Seuss’ “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” aired for first time on CBS.
1966 – Saturn’s moon Epimetheus is discovered by Richard L. Walker. (Definition: A Titan, husband of Pandora, who together with his brother Prometheus took part in the creation of the human race.)
1967 – Vietnam: Operation Preakness II begins in Mekong Delta.
1970 – “Me Nobody Knows” opened at Helen Hayes Theater in New York City for 587 performances.
1970 – An atomic leak in Nevada forced hundreds to flee the test site.
1971 – CBS radio cancels Saturday morning band concerts.
1971 – CHART TOPPERS – “Family Affair” by Sly & the Family Stone, “Brand New Key” by Melanie, “An Old Fashioned Love Song” by Three Dog Night and “Kiss an Angel Good Mornin’” by Charley Pride all topped the charts.
1971 – Pres. Nixon devalued the dollar, and even though the devaluation was effective immediately, only Congress could officially change the gold value of the dollar. The US dollar went off the gold standard and was devalued by 7.9%.
1971 – Capitol Reef National Park is established in Utah. It is 100 miles long but fairly narrow.
1971 – President Nixon signed into law the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA). It gave large portions of prime bear habitat to the Alutiiq people, who had hunted and fished on the island for 7,000 years. Forty-four million acres of land (10% of the state), was ceded to native tribes.
1971 – Reverend Jesse Jackson announced in Chicago the founding of Operation PUSH (People United to Save Humanity).
1972 – Vietnam War: The United States began the heaviest bombing of North Vietnam during the Vietnam War. The attack ended 12 days later.
1972 – The Broadway production “Of Mice and Men” opened. It starred James Earl Jones and featured Joe Seneca (d.1996).
1972 – Current Vice President Joe Biden’s wife and one-year-old daughter were killed in an automobile accident while Christmas shopping in Hockessin, Delaware. Neilia Biden’s station wagon was hit by a tractor-trailer as she pulled out from an intersection; the truck driver was cleared of any wrongdoing.
1976 – “A Star is Born“, with Barbra Streisand, premieres.
1976 – “Tonight’s the Night (Gonna Be Alright)” by Rod Stewart topped the charts.
1978 – The US Supreme Court ruled that national banks can charge customers throughout the country any interest rate allowed by the institution’s home state. This led financial institutions to move credit offices to states with no or very high interest caps. (Marquette vs. First Omaha Service Corp.)
1979- Stanley Barrett first to exceed land sonic speed (739.666 MPH)
1982 – “Maneater” by Daryl Hall & John Oates topped the charts.
1985 – The U.S. Congress approved the biggest overhaul of farm legislation since the Depression, trimming price supports.
1985 – “Beverly Hills Cop” became the top grossing movie of the year.
1987 – Larry Wall releases the first version of the Perl programming language.
1987 – Ivan F. Boesky was sentenced to three years in prison for plotting Wall Street’s biggest insider-trading scandal. He only served about two years of the sentence.
1989 – “I Love Lucy” Christmas episode, shown for first time in over 30 years.
1989 – A pipe bomb killed Savannah, Ga., City Councilman Robert Robinson, hours after a bomb was discovered at the Atlanta federal courthouse. A racial motive was cited in a rash of bomb incidents. Walter Leroy Moody Junior was later convicted of the bombings, and is on Alabama’s death row.
1991 – General Motors announced it would close 21 plants and eliminate 74,000 jobs in four years to offset record losses.
1995 – A powerful fertilizer bomb was found outside an Internal Revenue Service office in Reno, Nevada, but fizzled before its lit fuse could do much damage.
1995 – The Dow industrials dropped 101.52 points, its biggest one-day loss in four years amid investor worries over the budget stalemate between Congress and President Clinton.
1996 – TV industry executives agree to adopt a ratings system.It was designed to be a voluntary rating system designed to give parents information about the content of television programs.
1996 – Aides to President Clinton disclosed that Asian-American businessman Charles Yah Lin Trie, who delivered $460,000 in questionable donations to the Clintons’ legal defense fund, had been to the White House at least 23 times since 1993.
1996 – The Oakland, California school board passes a resolution officially declaring “Ebonics” a language or dialect.
1996 – Earl Edwin Pitts, a senior US FBI agent, was arrested on espionage charges. He was most active as a Russian spy from 1987-1992.
1997 – HTML 4.0 is published by the World Wide Web Consortium.
1997 – MASS SHOOTING: In California a fired California highway employee, Arturo Reyes Torres, shot and killed four people at the Caltrans maintenance yard in Orange and was himself killed by police.
1997 – President Clinton extended indefinitely the deadline for withdrawal of U.S. troops helping with the U.N. peacekeeping effort in Bosnia.
1998 – The new electronic Rocket Book by NuvoMedia weighed 22 ounces and stored 10 books.
1998 – The House of Representatives began the debate on the four articles of impeachment concerning President Bill Clinton. It was only the second time in U.S. history that that process had begun.
1998 – US and British struck Iraq for a third day with little resistance. The US B-1 bomber was used to drop bombs. Gen’l. Henry Shelton, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said more cruise missiles were launched in the first 2 days than the 289 in the 1991 Gulf War.
1998 – In South Carolina the 500th execution took place since capital punishment was resumed in 1977. Andrew Lavern Smith died by lethal injection for his 1983 murder of an elderly couple.
1999 – NASA launches into orbit the Terra platform carrying five Earth Observation instruments, including ASTER, CERES, MISR, MODIS and MOPITT.
1999 – After living atop an ancient redwood in Humboldt County, CA, for two years, environmental activist Julia “Butterfly” Hill came down, ending her anti-logging protest.
1999 – In St. Martinville, Louisiana, Cuban inmates who’d held a jail warden and six others hostage for almost a week, surrendered.
2000 – US electors voted for their party’s candidates. In the 224 years of the Electoral College only nine electors had switched votes. The DC elector withheld her vote to protest lack of representation. Bush won 271 votes, one over the constitutional minimum, and became the official president-elect.
2000 – Randolph Apperson Hearst, billionaire newspaper heir and the last surviving son of William Randolph Hearst, died at age 85 in New York.
2001 – Mark Oliver Gebel, a Ringling Bros. Circus star, went on trial for animal abuse. The charges stemmed from an incident with an elephant that was marching too slowly into a circus performance on August 25, 2001. He was acquitted on December 21, 2001.
2001 – A fire damaged New York City’s St. John Cathedral. The cathedral is the largest in the United States.
2002 – 2003 California recall: Governor of California Gray Davis announces that the state would face a record budget deficit of $35 billion, roughly double the figure reported during his reelection campaign one month earlier.
2002 – Nine competing designs for the World Trade Center site were unveiled. The Lower Manhattan Development Corp. expected to choose a design by January 31, 2003.
2002 – Robert Johnson, the billionaire founder of Black Entertainment Television, became the first African-American to own a major sports team. The NBA awarded him rights to the expansion franchise in Charlotte.
2003 – Teenager Lee Malvo was convicted of murder in the Washington area sniper attacks. His adult companion, John Muhammad, was convicted earlier by a jury that recommended the death penalty.
2003 – An Ohio school district suspended classes after bullet holes were found in two of its buses.
2003 – A federal judge in New York ruled that President Bush does not have the power to order that a US citizen captured in this country be held indefinitely as an enemy combatant.
2003 – Michael Jackson was formally charged with child molesting and administering an intoxicating agent.
2003 – The US Census Bureau reported the population had grown to 291 million, and would reach 300 million in four years.
2005 – Time magazine named Bill and Melinda Gates and rock star Bono its “Persons of the Year,” citing their charitable work and activism aimed at reducing global poverty and improving world health.
2006 – The US FBI reported that violent crime for the 1st 6 months of 2006 had increased 3.7% with robberies up 9.7%. This reversed a dropping trend from the 1990s.
2006 – Thirteen US states sued the EPA to force it to cut fine-particle air pollutants.
2006 – A new study said US growers produce nearly $35 billion worth of marijuana annually, making the illegal drug the country’s largest cash crop, bigger than corn and wheat combined.|
2006 – The NBA suspended seven players for their roles in a brawl between Denver and New York; each team was fined $500,000.
2007 – The US Federal Reserve endorsed new rules that would give people taking out home mortgages new protections against shady lending practices.
2007 – PG&E reported plans to support the first commercial wave power plant off California’s Humboldt County coast. 8 power generating buoys, to built by Canada’s Finavera Co., was expected to begin operations in 2012. The project was rejected in 2008.
2008 – W. Mark Felt, Deep Throat of Watergate, dies at 95. Mr. Felt was the No. 2 official at the F.B.I. when he helped bring down President Richard M. Nixon by resisting the Watergate cover-up and becoming Deep Throat, the most famous anonymous source in American history.
2008 – The US FDA cleared Stevia, a shrub and an artificial sweetener extracted from it, for public use.
2009 – US bank regulators shut down seven banks including two in California. This brought to 140 the number of US banks closed down to the weak economy and mounting loan defaults.
2009 – General Motors announced that it would shut down its Saab brand.
2009 – A Paris court ruled that Google was breaking French law with its policy of digitizing books and fined the company a $14,300-a-day fine until it rids its search engine of them.
2010 – James Cameron’s movie “Avatar” was released in the United States. On January 26, the movie became the highest-grossing film worldwide.
2010 – Bank of America bans Wikileaks payments as a result of news of an upcoming release of information on banks in the United States that could leave an impact.
2010 – The United States Senate repeals “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” by a vote of 65-35. The bill will now be sent to President Barack Obama to be signed.
2011 – More than fifty Occupy Wall Street protesters are arrested as they attempted to establish a new encampment.
2011 – The last convoy of United States Army soldiers withdraws from Iraq, marking the formal end of the Iraq War.
2012 – NBC News Chief Foreign Correspondent Richard Engel and his production team are freed after 5 days of captivity in northern Syria.
2012 – The bodies of Richard Hickock and Perry Smith, the murderers who were the subject of Truman Capote’s non-fiction novel In Cold Blood, are exhumed in Kansas to help solve a cold case in Florida from December 1959.
2013 – OBAMACARE: At the request of the White House, insurers agree to accept payment for coverage as late as 10 days after policies take effect on Jan. 1. “The president is rewriting law on a whim.”—House Speaker John Boehner
1707 – Charles Wesley, co-founder of the Methodist movement, was born.
1825 – Charles Griffin (general), American general (d. 1876) He was a career officer in the United States Army and a Union general in the Civil War.
1863 – Franz Ferdinand, Archduke of Austria (d. 1914) He was an Archduke of Austria. His assassination in Sarajevo precipitated the Austrian declaration of war which triggered World War I.
1886 – Ty Cobb, American baseball player (d. 1961)
1888 – Robert Moses, American public works planner who supervised construction of many New York City landmarks.
1890 – Edwin Armstrong, American inventor (d. 1954) He was an American electrical engineer and inventor. Armstrong was the inventor of the FM radio.
1897 – Fletcher Henderson, American pianist, bandleader, arranger and composer (d. 1952)
1912 – Benjamin O. Davis Jr., (d. 2002) was an American United States Air Force General and commander of the World War II Tuskegee Airmen.
1913 – Willy Brandt, Chancellor of Germany and Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1992)
1916 – Betty Grable, American actress (d. 1973)
1943 – Keith Richards, British guitarist (The Rolling Stones)
1946 – Steven Spielberg, American film director
1954 – Ray Liotta, American actor
1956 – Ron White, American comedian
1963 – Brad Pitt, American actor
1964 – Stone Cold Steve Austin, American wrestler, actor, and producer
1980 – Christina Aguilera, American singer
1989 – Ashley Victoria Benson, American actress
1992 – Bridgit Mendler, American singer-songwriter, musician, producer and actress.
BARNUM, HARVEY C., JR.
Rank and organization: Captain (then Lt.), U.S. Marine Corps, Company H, 2d Battalion, 9th Marines, 3d Marine Division (Rein). Place and date: Ky Phu in Quang Tin Province, Republic of Vietnam, December 18th, 1965. Entered service at: Cheshire, Conn. Born: 21 July 1940, Cheshire, Conn. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. When the company was suddenly pinned down by a hail of extremely accurate enemy fire and was quickly separated from the remainder of the battalion by over five-hundred meters of open and fire-swept ground, and casualties mounted rapidly. Lt. Barnum quickly made a hazardous reconnaissance of the area, seeking targets for his artillery. Finding the rifle company commander mortally wounded and the radio operator killed, he, with complete disregard for his safety, gave aid to the dying commander, then removed the radio from the dead operator and strapped it to himself. He immediately assumed command of the rifle company, and moving at once into the midst of the heavy fire, rallying and giving encouragement to all units, reorganized them to replace the loss of key personnel and led their attack on enemy positions from which deadly fire continued to come. His sound and swift decisions and his obvious calm served to stabilize the badly decimated units and his gallant example as he stood exposed repeatedly to point out targets served as an inspiration to all. Provided with two armed helicopters, he moved fearlessly through enemy fire to control the air attack against the firmly entrenched enemy while skillfully directing one platoon in a successful counterattack on the key enemy positions. Having thus cleared a small area, he requested and directed the landing of two transport helicopters for the evacuation of the dead and wounded. He then assisted in the mopping up and final seizure of the battalion’s objective. His gallant initiative and heroic conduct reflected great credit upon himself and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the U.S. Naval Service.
BELL, BERNARD P.
Rank and organization: Technical Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company I, 142d Infantry, 36th Infantry Division. Place and date: Mittelwihr, France, December 18th, 1944. Entered service at: New York, N.Y. Birth: Grantsville, W. Va. G.O. No.: 73, 30 August 1945. Citation: For fighting gallantly at Mittelwihr, France. On the morning of 18 December 1944, he led a squad against a schoolhouse held by enemy troops. While his men covered him, he dashed toward the building, surprised two guards at the door and took them prisoner without firing a shot. He found that other Germans were in the cellar. These he threatened with hand grenades, forcing twenty-six in all to emerge and surrender. His squad then occupied the building and prepared to defend it against powerful enemy action. The next day, the enemy poured artillery and mortar barrages into the position, disrupting communications which T/Sgt. Bell repeatedly repaired under heavy small-arms fire as he crossed dangerous terrain to keep his company commander informed of the squad’s situation. During the day, several prisoners were taken and other Germans killed when hostile forces were attracted to the schoolhouse by the sound of captured German weapons fired by the Americans. At dawn the next day the enemy prepared to assault the building. A German tank fired round after round into the structure, partially demolishing the upper stories. Despite this heavy fire, T/Sgt. Bell climbed to the second floor and directed artillery fire which forced the hostile tank to withdraw. He then adjusted mortar fire on large forces of enemy foot soldiers attempting to reach the American position and, when this force broke and attempted to retire, he directed deadly machinegun and rifle fire into their disorganized ranks. Calling for armored support to blast out the German troops hidden behind a wall, he unhesitatingly exposed himself to heavy small-arms fire to stand beside a friendly tank and tell its occupants where to rip holes in walls protecting approaches to the school building. He then trained machineguns on the gaps and mowed down all hostile troops attempting to cross the openings to get closer to the school building. By his intrepidity and bold, aggressive leadership, T/Sgt. Bell enabled his eight-man squad to drive back approximately one-hundred-fifty of the enemy, killing at least eighty-seven and capturing forty-two. Personally, he killed more than twenty and captured thirty-three prisoners.
Rank and organization: Chief Gunner’s Mate, U.S. Navy. Place and date: Off Provincetown, Mass., December 18th, 1927. Entered service at: Rhode Island. Born: 7 April 1887, Scotland. Other Navy award: Navy Cross. Citation: For display of extraordinary heroism in the line of his profession above and beyond the call of duty on 18 December 1927, during the diving operations in connection with the sinking of the U.S.S. S-4 with all on board, as a result of a collision off Prividencetown, Mass. On this occasion when Michels, Chief Torpedoman, U.S. Navy, while attempting to connect an air line to the submarine at a depth of 102 feet became seriously fouled, Eadie, under the most adverse diving conditions, deliberately, knowingly, and willingly took his own life in his hands by promptly descending to the rescue in response to the desperate need of his companion diver. After two hours of extremely dangerous and heartbreaking work, by his cool, calculating, and skillful labors, he succeeded in his mission and brought Michels safely to the surface.
Wright Brothers Day
The Basics - Snowflakes form when temperature in the atmosphere drops below freezing. The atmosphere must also have enough humidity for water droplets to condense (i.e. in a cloud). You can have very cold temperatures or a lot of humidity, but if you don’t have both, snowflakes won’t form. As soon as these conditions are met, though, the water droplets in the air freeze and condense onto microscopic dust particles that are floating around, creating an ice crystal. Depending upon the conditions, it can be a very quick process growing from one crystal to a full snowflake (with as many as hundreds of individual ice crystals), because crystals will continue to condense onto the original as it “falls” towards the ground. Sometimes, when temperatures fluctuate around the freezing point, ice crystals can form and melt repeatedly.
It is interesting is that all snowflakes have six sides. Why is this? As the two hydrogen and one oxygen (H²O) molecules in the water freeze and become ice, they automatically align into a lattice structure. The temperature, humidity, and amount of dust particles in the air determine exactly how the structure forms (i.g. the final shape), but the lattice structure is limited to a six sided structure. The crystals might be shaped like spikes, hollow columns, flat plates, or stars.
So which snow IS the best for snowball fights? Powdery snow has low moisture content and is full of air. The crystals are big and sparkly. It falls on days that are well below freezing temperatures. Powdery snow doesn’t pack well (but, you can always dig down and get the snow closest to the ground since this snow will have been warmed by the Earth and naturally packed by the weight of the snow on top of it). The very best snow for packing into snowballs is denser, moister snow that falls when it is near freezing. If you wake up to a blanket of white snow and it’s about 30° outside, you’ll most likely have optimal snowball fight conditions!
A snowball is a ball of snow, usually created by scooping snow with the hands and compacting it into a roughly fist-sized ball. The snowball is necessary to hold a snowball fight. The pressure exerted by the hands on the snow determines the density of the final result. Reduced pressure leads to a light and soft snowball.
A snowball may also refer to a large ball of snow formed by rolling a smaller snowball on a snow-covered surface. The smaller snowball grows by picking up additional snow as it rolls. The term snowball effect is named after this process. A higher pressure cause the snow to melt, turning into liquid water. Once the pressure is removed, the water turns again into ice, leading to a more compact and hard snowball, which eventually can be considered harmful during a snowball fight.
Large snowballs are necessary when building your snow fort. Snow forts, like any other fort, are needed to protect the antagonists in a neighborhood snow fight. They are made by taking small snow balls and rolling them into larger ones. The best size for snow fort construction is a size that can be lifted and moved fairly easily. In the construction line these balls straight for about eight feet then add another three of four feet to form sides. Continue to manufacture these balls and place them on the row below using standard construction methods of offsetting the row below. Depending on the size of the ball, bring them up to three or four feet giving a place to hide and a place to store snowballs.
Snowball fights are known to have been a medieval pastime.
On March 5, 1770, the pelting of occupying British soldiers with snowballs eventually led to the Boston Massacre, which helped eventually spark the Revolutionary War.
In 1959 a Yale student snowball fight on city streets got out of hand and resulted in arrests by the New Haven, Connecticut police. Students then pelted police officers with snowballs during the St. Patrick’s Day parade. The so-called “snowball riot” attracted national media attention and was a kind of town-and-gown riot.
“I think about the cosmic snowball theory. A few million years from now the sun will burn out and lose its gravitational pull. The earth will turn into a giant snowball and be hurled through space. When that happens it won’t matter if I get this guy out.”
Bill Lee (William Francis Lee III) (born December 28, 1946), (nicknamed “Spaceman“), is a retired Major League Baseball pitcher. He played for the Boston Red Sox from 1969-1979 and the Montreal Expos from 1980-1982.
reticent \RET-ih-suhnt\, adjective:
1. Inclined to keep silent; reserved; uncommunicative.
2. Restrained or reserved in style.
3. Reluctant; unwilling.
Reticent comes from the present participle of Latin reticere, “to keep silent,” from re- +tacere, “to be silent.”
1577 – Francis Drake sails from Plymouth, England, on a secret mission to explore the Pacific Coast of the Americas for English Queen Elizabeth I.
1777 – George Washington’s army returned to winter quarters in Valley Forge, Pa.
1777 – The French foreign minister, Charles Gravier, count of Vergennes, officially acknowledges the United States as an independent nation.
1787 – New Jersey was counted as the third state to enter the United States of America.
1790 – Aztec calendar stone discovered in México City. This circular carved stone is 3 feet thick, approximately 12 feet in diameter and weights more than 24 tons. According to recent revelations about the calendar, it is supposed to “run out” in 2012.
1791 – New York City traffic regulation creates first one-way street.
1796 – The Monitor of Baltimore, Maryland was published as the first Sunday newspaper.
1798 – The first impeachment trial against a US senator, William Blount of Tennesee, began.He was expelled from the Senate for treason and the only Senator expelled outside of the Civil War.
1812 – War of 1812: U.S. forces attack a friendly Lenape village in the Battle of the Mississinewa.
1821 – Kentucky abolished debtor’s prisons.
1843 – Charles Dickens’s classic: “A Christmas Carol” published.
1846 – Mexican War: Ships under Commodore Matthew Calbraith Perry capture Laguna de Terminos during Mexican War.
1861 – Civil War: Flag Officer Foote, Commanding U.S. Naval Forces, Western Waters, issued General Order regarding observance of Sunday on board ships of his flotilla: “It is the wish. . . that on Sunday the public worship of Almighty God may be observed . . . and that the respective commanders will either themselves, or cause other persons to pronounce prayers publicly on Sunday. . .”
1861 – Civil War: The Stonewall Brigade began to dismantle Dam No. 5 of the C&O Canal near Martinsburg, W.Va.
1862 – The first orthopedic hospital was organized — in New York City. It was called the Hospital for Ruptured and Crippled.
1862 – Civil War: General Ulysses S. Grant issues General Order No. 11, expelling Jews from Tennessee, Mississippi, and Kentucky.
1863 – Civil War: Lieutenant Commander Fitch, U.S.S. Moose, reported that he had sent landing parties ashore at Seven Mile Island and Palmyra, Tennessee, where they had destroyed distilleries used by Confederate guerrilla troops.
1886 – At a Christmas party, Sam Starr shot his old enemy Sheriff Frank West. West died immediately and Sam died from a chest wound shortly thereafter. Sam Starr was the husband of the famous Belle Starr.
1895 – Anti-Saloon League of America was formed in Washington, DC.The Anti-Saloon League was the leading organization lobbying for prohibition in the United States in the early 20th century.
1895 – George Brownell from Massachusetts, patents a machine to make paper twine. It twisted strips or ribbons of paper into cord which was as strong as any known steel of the time.
1896 – Pittsburgh’s Schenley Park Casino, which was the first multi-purpose arena with the technology to create an artificial ice surface in North America, was destroyed in a fire.
1900 – New Ellis Island Immigration station completed costing $1.5 million. It replaced the one that burned in 1897.Officials calculated that no more than one-half million immigrants a year would pass through New York on their way to new lives in America. It was a gross miscalculation.
1903 – The Wright Brothers make the first powered heavier-than-air flight in the Wright Flyer at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.
1920 – American League votes to allow pitchers who used the spitball in 1920 to continue using it as long as they are in the league. The National League will do the same.
1924 – First US diesel electric locomotive enters service, Bronx NY. Daily in use today and is the nation’s first diesel-electric locomotive.
1925 – Colonel William “Billy” Mitchell court-martialed for insubordination. Mitchell was persistently critical of the low state of preparation of the tiny Air Service and of the poor quality of its equipment. He received the Medal of Honor 20 years after his death.
1926 – Benny Goodman featured with Ben Pollack and His Californians on “He’s the Last Word“.
1933 – NFL starts keeping official statistics as Bears beat Giants 23-21 in championship game. The game was played at Wrigley Field.
1935 – First flight of the Douglas DC-3 airplane.
1935 – A $1 silver certificate was issued. It was the first currency to depict the front and back sides of the Great Seal of the United States.
1936 – Ventriloquist Edgar Bergen & dummy Charlie McCarthy, make their radio debut. Bergen made his first radio appearance on Rudy Vallee’s “The Royal Gelatin Hour”, for which he received the sum of one hundred and fifty dollars.
1936 – Su Lin arrived in San Francisco, California. She was the first giant panda to come to the U.S. from China. The bear was sold to the Brookfield Zoo for $8,750.
1938 – Otto Hahn discovers the nuclear fission of the heavy element uranium, the scientific and tecnological basis of nuclear energy – thus opening the “Atomic Age” in the history of mankind.
1939 – World War II: Battle of the River Plate – The Admiral Graf Spee is scuttled by Captain Hans Langsdorff outside Montevideo.
1941 – World War II: Admiral Chester W. Nimitz named Commander in Chief, US Pacific Fleet, to relieve Admiral Husband Kimmel. Kimmel was blamed for the quantity losses at Pearl Harbor.
1941 – World War II: North Africa – German troops led by Rommel began to retreat in North Africa.
1942 – World War II: Europe- The Navy credited the Coast Guard Cutter Ingham with attacking and sinking the submerged U-boat U-626 south of Greenland.
1942 – World War II: North Africa – Heavy US air attacks continue on Tunis and Gabes and other German air bases in Tunisia.
1943 – World War II: Europe – German forces withdraw from San Pietro and other positions further north. The US 5th Army capture Monte Sammucro.
1944 – World War II: Battle of the Bulge – Malmedy massacre – Seventy-one American 285th Field Artillery Observation Battalion POWs are shot by Waffen-SS Kampfgruppe Peiper. German forces capture 9000 Americans at Echternach.
1944 – World War II: Europe – The Germans renewed their attack on the Belgian town of Losheimergraben against the American Army during the Battle of the Bulge.
1944 – World War II: Pacific – On Mindoro, American forces capture San Jose Airfield. On Leyte, parts of US 10th and 24th Corps record advances against Japanese positions.
1944 – World War II: U.S. Major General Henry C. Pratt issues Public Proclamation No. 21, declaring that, effective January 2, 1945, Japanese American “evacuees” from the West Coast could return to their homes.
1947 – CHART TOPPERS – “Civilization” by Louis Prima, “How Soon” by Jack Owens, “White Christmas” by Bing Crosby and “I’ll Hold You in My Heart (Till I Can Hold You in My Arms)” by Eddy Arnold all topped the charts.
1947 – First flight of the Boeing B-47 Stratojet strategic bomber.
1948 – The Smithsonian Institution accepted the Wright brothers’ plane, the Kitty Hawk.
1949 – “Mule Train” by Frankie Laine topped the charts.
1950 – Korean War: U.S. Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Bruce H. Hinton, commander of the 336th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron, earned the distinction of becoming the first F-86 Sabre fighter pilot to shoot down a MiG-15 during the Korean War.
1954 – In Gary IN was built the first fully automated railroad freight yard.
1955 – Carl Perkins wrote and recorded “Blue Suede Shoes“.This was the first song to hit the US Pop, Country, and R&B charts at the same time. “Blue Suede Shoes” was the only hit for Perkins.
1955 – CHART TOPPERS – “I Hear You Knocking” by Gale Storm, “Love and Marriage” by Frank Sinatra, “Nuttin’ for Christmas” by Barry Gordon and “Sixteen Tons” by Tennessee Ernie Ford all topped the charts.
1957 – First successful intercontinental ballistic missile launched, Atlas A flight to the full range of 1100 km (600 nm).
1959 – The film “On the Beach” premiered in New York City and in 17 other cities. It was the first motion picture to debut simultaneously in major cities around the world.
1960 – “Are You Lonesome Tonight?” by Elvis Presley topped the charts.
1960 – A Convair C-131D Samaritan operated by the United States Air Force crashed on a flight from Munich, Germany to RAF Northolt, west London, United Kingdom shortly after take-off from Munich-Riem Airport due to fuel contamination. All 20 passengers and crew on board as well as 32 people on the ground were killed.
1961 – “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” by The Tokens (Wimoweh for you purists) was a chart topper.
1965 – Largest newspaper-Sunday New York Times at 946 pages (50¢).
1965 – Gemini VII splashed down in the western Atlantic Ocean with command pilot Frank Borman and pilot Jim Lovell Jr. on board.
1965 – Astrodome opens, first event is Judy Garland & Supremes concert.
1966 – “Winchester Cathedral” by the New Vaudeville Band topped the charts.
1969 – Project Blue Book: The USAF closes its study of UFOs, stating that sightings were generated as a result of ‘A mild form of mass hysteria, Individuals who fabricate such reports to perpetrate a hoax or seek publicity, Psychopathological persons, and misidentification of various conventional objects’.
1969 – An estimated 50 million TV viewers watched singer Tiny Tim marry his fiancee, Miss Vicky (Budinger), on NBC’s “Tonight Show.”
1969 – “Chicago Transit Authority” (1:08:10) earns a gold record.
1971 – James Bond, “Diamonds are Forever” premieres in US.
1971 – CHART TOPPERS – “Family Affair” by Sly & The Family Stone, “Brand New Key” by Melanie, “An Old Fashioned Love Song” by Three Dog Night and “Kiss an Angel Good Mornin’“ by Charley Pride all topped the charts.
1972 – Helen Reddy received a gold record for the song that became an anthem for women’s liberation, I Am Woman.
1974 – The 1,000,000th trademark was registered to Cumberland Packing Corp, for a simple G clef and staff design used on “Sweet’n Low”.
1975 – Lynette Fromme was sentenced to life in prison for her attempt on the life of U.S. President Ford. She was sentenced to life imprisonment for the attempted assassination and was released on parole on August 14, 2009, after serving 34 years.
1977 – “You Light Up My Life” by Debbie Boone topped the charts.
1978 – OPEC decided to raise oil prices by 14.5% by the end of 1979.
1979 – Budweiser rocket car reaches 740 mph (record for wheeled vehicle). The speed was never official because it had to be a two-way run and the vehicle only did on-way. It never raced again.
1979 – Arthur McDuffie, a black insurance executive, was fatally beaten after a police chase in Miami, FL. Four white police officers were later acquitted of charges stemming from McDuffie’s death.
1981 – U.S. Brigadier General James L. Dozier is abducted by the Red Brigade in Verona, Italy.
1983 – The IRA bomb Harrods Department Store in London, killing seven people. (See Harrods bombing) .
1983 – “Say, Say, Say” by Paul McCartney & Michael Jackson topped the charts.
1986 – Wayne “Danke Schoen” Newton won a $19.2 million suit against NBC News. NBC had aired reports claiming a link between Newton and mob figures. The reports were proven to be false.
1986 – The Doobie Brothers reunited for a benefit in Palo Alto, CA.
1986 – Davina Thompson became the world’s first recipient of a heart, lungs, and liver transplant.
1986 – A federal jury in Detroit cleared automaker John DeLorean of all 15 charges in his fraud and racketeering trial.
1986 – Richard Kuklinsky, a Mafia hitman known as the Iceman, was arrested in New Jersey. He was found guilty of all charges May 25, 1988.
1988 – USS Tennessee, first sub to carry Trident 2 missiles, commissioned.
1988 – “Look Away” by Chicago topped the charts.
1989 – The first episode of The Simpsons, “Simpsons Roasting On An Open-Fire”, airs on FOX.
1990 – Olivia Newton-John appeared in the TV movie “A Mom For Christmas.”
1990 – President Bush pledged “no negotiation for one inch” of Kuwaiti territory would take place as he repeated his demand for Iraq’s complete withdrawal.
1991 – Soap opera “One Life To Live” airs its 6,000th episode.
1991 – Cleveland Cavaliers beat Miami Heat 148-80, by record 68 points.
1991 – Michael Jordan is named 1991 Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year.
1992 – President George H.W. Bush, Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney and Mexican President Carlos Salinas de Gortari signed the North American Free Trade Agreement.
1992 – President-elect Clinton tapped former San Antonio Mayor Henry Cisneros to be Secretary of Housing.
1993 – 2/14 Infantry, 10th Mountain Division, departs Somalia.
1993 – So-called “suicide doctor” Jack Kevorkian was released from jail in Oakland County, Mich., after promising not to help anyone end their lives for the time being.
1993 – Six shots were fired at the White House by an unidentified gunman.
1994 – North Korea shot down a U.S. Army helicopter which had strayed north of the demilitarized zone – – the co -pilot, Chief Warrant Officer David Hilemon, was killed; the pilot, Chief Warrant Officer Bobby Hall, was captured and held for nearly two weeks.
1997 – President Clinton signed the No Electronic Theft Act. The act removed protection from individuals who claimed that they took no direct financial gains from stealing copyrighted works and downloading them from the Internet.
1997 – A new Montana law, effective today, made the entire state an offshore banking center, allowing foreign interests to anonymously stash their cash. Depositors could not be US citizens and a minimum of $200,000 was required.
1997 – A US court ordered Cuba to pay $187.6 million for three men killed when their planes were shot down in 1996 by MiG fighters.
1998 – US and British forces launched more missiles on the second day of attacks against Iraq.
2000 – Terrell Owens (San Francisco 49ers) caught an NFL-record 20 passes for 283 yards and a touchdown against the Chicago Bears. The previous record was held by Tom Fears (Los Angeles Rams) with 18 catches on December 3, 1950.
2000 – President-elect Bush was named Time magazine’s Person of the Year.
2000 – President-elect Bush named Condoleeza Rice (46) of Stanford to be his national security advisor and Texas Supreme Court Justice Alberto Gonzales as White House counsel.
2001 – US Marines raised the Stars and Stripes over the long -abandoned American Embassy in Kabul, inaugurating what U.S. envoy James F. Dobbins promised would be a long commitment to the rebuilding.
2002 – McDonald’s Corp. warned that they would report its first quarterly loss in its 47-year history.
2002 – The insurance and finance company Conseco Inc. filed for Chapter 11 protection. It was the third-largest bankruptcy in U.S. history.
2002 – President George W. Bush ordered the military to begin deploying a national missile defense system with land – and sea -based interceptor rockets to be operational in 2004.
2002 – Mohammed Jawad allegedly attacked US troops with a grenade. He was arrested and later transferred to Guantanamo Bay.
2003 – SpaceShipOne flight 11P, piloted by Brian Binnie, makes the first privately-funded manned supersonic flight.
2003 – The US CDC reported that the average age of US women for their first child was 25.1 years, up from 21.4 in 1970.
2003 – The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King is released worldwide.
2003 – George Ryan, former governor of Illinois, was indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of racketeering. Ryan was also convicted and sentenced to 6 1/2-years in federal prison sentence for racketeering.
2004 – President George W. Bush signed into law the largest overhaul of U.S. intelligence gathering in 50 years. The bill aimed to tighten borders and aviation security. It also created a federal counter-terrorism center and a new intelligence director.
2005 – President George W. Bush acknowledged he signed a secret order after the September 11th attacks to allow the surveillance of people in the United States.
2005 – The Mexican government slammed the US Congress for approving an immigration bill that would tighten border controls and make it harder for undocumented immigrants to get jobs.
2006 – A roadside bomb kills three United States Army soldiers and wounds another north of Baghdad.
2006 – A climber, Kelly James of Dallas, who had been one of three climbers lost on Oregon’s Mount Hood is found dead in a snow cave minutes after rescuers were exploring a nearby cave containing other related equipment.
2006 – In Kirksville, Missouri, a 911 call reporting a “strange odor” from a duplex apartment led police to the bodies of seven people.
2007 – New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine signed into law a measure that abolished the death penalty, making New Jersey the first US state in a long time to reject capital punishment.
2007 – A US judge ruled that the White House visitor logs are public.
2007 – A military judge said the US must hold court hearings to determine whether suspected terrorists imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay are prisoners of war or unlawful enemy combatants in a ruling that could delay war crimes trials.
2008 – Microsoft said will release an emergency patch today to fix a perilous software flaw allowing hackers to hijack Internet Explorer browsers and take over computers.
2008 – In Minnesota two freight trains collided sending an engineer and some cars into the Mississippi River.
2008 – A U.S. State Department panel recommends that Blackwater Worldwide should be dropped as the main private security contractor for American diplomats in Iraq.
2009 – The Obama administration handed out the first $182 million of a $7.2 billion pot of stimulus money that will be used toward building high-speed Internet networks and encouraging more Americans to use them.
2010 – The states of Arizona and Nevada sued Bank of America Corp., accusing the largest US bank of routinely misleading consumers about home loan modifications.
2010 – President Obama signed into law a tax bill extending cuts for all Americans. The $858 billion package included 13 months of extended benefits to the unemployed and a boost for renewable power companies.
2011 – The United States Senate votes in favor of extending the payroll tax cut for two months.
2012 – NASA’s twin GRAIL spacecraft will crash into a mile-high cliff near the Lunar North Pole to close out a successful mission to map the Moon’s gravity field with unprecedented precision. NASA will provide live commentary of the scheduled lunar surface impacts.
2012 – The owner of Thai Noodle House in Austin, Texas posted a racially-charged and offensive Facebook status regarding the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. “I don’t care if a bunch of white kids got killed,” the restaurant’s owner Eddie Nimibutr wrote. When kids from minority groups get shot, nobody cares. Why should I care about people who don’t give a damn about me?”
2012 – Two inmates – Kenneth Conley and Joseph Banks – broke the window of their cell at a Federal loop jail in Chicago, tied together bed sheets, attached the sheets to the bars of their cell window, and proceeded to rappel down 17 stories to freedom.
2012 – The Iowa Supreme Court ruled that employers in the state can legally fire workers they find too attractive. In a unanimous decision, the court held that a dentist did not violate the state’s civil rights act when he terminated a female dental assistant whom his wife considered a threat to their marriage. The dental assistant, Melissa Nelson, who worked for dentist James Knight for more than 10 years and had never flirted with him.
2014 – President Barack Obama declared the end of America’s ‘outdated approach’ to Cuba, announcing the re-establishment of diplomatic relations as well as economic and travel ties with the communist island.
1632 – Anthony Wood, English antiquarian (d. 1695)
1770 – (Baptism) – Ludwig van Beethoven, German composer (d. 1827)
1778 – Sir Humphry Davy, British chemist and physicist (d. 1829)
1807 – John Greenleaf Whittier, American poet and abolitionist (d. 1892)
1853 – Émile Roux, French physician (d. 1933)
1892 – Sam Barry, American basketball coach (d. 1950)
1894 – Arthur Fiedler, American conductor (d. 1979)
1903 – Ray Noble, British bandleader, composer, arranger and actor (d. 1978)
1908 – Willard Frank Libby, American chemist and Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1980) He won a Nobel Prize for his part in creating the carbon-14 method of dating artifacts.
1916 – Ruth Elizabeth Grable (Betty Grable) Hollywood’s most universally-known star and archetypal pinup girl of the 1940s.
1922 – Alan Voorhees, American engineer and urban planner (d. 2005)
1929 – William Safire, American columnist
1982 – Craig Kielburger, child labour activist
*COWAN, RICHARD ELLER
Rank and organization: Private First Class, U.S. Army, Company M, 23d Infantry, 2d Infantry Division. Place and date: Near Krinkelter Wald, Belgium, December 17th, 1944. Entered service at: Wichita, Kans. Birth: Lincoln, Nebr. G.O. No.: 48, 23 June 1945. Citation: He was a heavy machinegunner in a section attached to Company I in the vicinity of Krinkelter Wald, Belgium, 17 December 1944, when that company was attacked by a numerically superior force of German infantry and tanks. The first six waves of hostile infantrymen were repulsed with heavy casualties, but a seventh drive with tanks killed or wounded all but three of his section, leaving Pvt. Cowan to man his gun, supported by only fifteen to twenty riflemen of Company I. He maintained his position, holding off the Germans until the rest of the shattered force had set up a new line along a firebreak. Then, unaided, he moved his machinegun and ammunition to the second position. At the approach of a Royal Tiger tank, he held his fire until about eighty enemy infantrymen supporting the tank appeared at a distance of about 150 yards. His first burst killed or wounded about half of these infantrymen. His position was rocked by an 88mm. shell when the tank opened fire, but he continued to man his gun, pouring deadly fire into the Germans when they again advanced. He was barely missed by another shell. Fire from three machineguns and innumerable small arms struck all about him; an enemy rocket shook him badly, but did not drive him from his gun. Infiltration by the enemy had by this time made the position untenable, and the order was given to withdraw. Pvt. Cowan was the last man to leave, voluntarily covering the withdrawal of his remaining comrades. His heroic actions were entirely responsible for allowing the remaining men to retire successfully from the scene of their last-ditch stand.
LOPEZ, JOSE M.
Rank and organization: Sergeant, U.S. Army, 23d Infantry, 2d Infantry Division. Place and date: Near Krinkelt, Belgium, December 17th, 1944. Entered service at: Brownsville, Tex. Birth: Mission, Tex. G.O. No.: 47, 18 June 1945. Citation: On his own initiative, he carried his heavy machinegun from Company K’s right flank to its left, in order to protect that flank which was in danger of being overrun by advancing enemy infantry supported by tanks. Occupying a shallow hole offering no protection above his waist, he cut down a group of ten Germans. Ignoring enemy fire from an advancing tank, he held his position and cut down twenty-five more enemy infantry attempting to turn his flank. Glancing to his right, he saw a large number of infantry swarming in from the front. Although dazed and shaken from enemy artillery fire which had crashed into the ground only a few yards away, he realized that his position soon would be outflanked. Again, alone, he carried his machinegun to a position to the right rear of the sector; enemy tanks and infantry were forcing a withdrawal. Blown over backward by the concussion of enemy fire, he immediately reset his gun and continued his fire. Single-handed he held off the German horde until he was satisfied his company had effected its retirement. Again he loaded his gun on his back and in a hail of small arms fire he ran to a point where a few of his comrades were attempting to set up another defense against the onrushing enemy. He fired from this position until his ammunition was exhausted. Still carrying his gun, he fell back with his small group to Krinkelt. Sgt. Lopez’s gallantry and intrepidity, on seemingly suicidal missions in which he killed at least one-hundred of the enemy, were almost solely responsible for allowing Company K to avoid being enveloped, to withdraw successfully and to give other forces coming up in support time to build a line which repelled the enemy drive.
SODERMAN, WILLIAM A.
Rank and organization: Private First Class, U.S. Army, Company K, 9th Infantry, 2d Infantry Division. Place and date: Near Rocherath, Belgium, December 17th, 1944. Entered service at: West Haven, Conn. Birth: West Haven, Conn. G.O. No.: 97, 1 November 1945. Citation: Armed with a bazooka, he defended a key road junction near Rocherath, Belgium, on 17 December 1944, during the German Ardennes counteroffensive. After a heavy artillery barrage had wounded and forced the withdrawal of his assistant, he heard enemy tanks approaching the position where he calmly waited in the gathering darkness of early evening until the five Mark V tanks which made up the hostile force were within pointblank range. He then stood up, completely disregarding the firepower that could be brought to bear upon him, and launched a rocket into the lead tank, setting it afire and forcing its crew to abandon it as the other tanks pressed on before Pfc. Soderman could reload. The daring bazookaman remained at his post all night under severe artillery, mortar, and machinegun fire, awaiting the next onslaught, which was made shortly after dawn by five more tanks Running along a ditch to meet them, he reached an advantageous point and there leaped to the road in full view of the tank gunners, deliberately aimed his weapon and disabled the lead tank. The other vehicles, thwarted by a deep ditch in their attempt to go around the crippled machine, withdrew. While returning to his post Pfc. Soderman, braving heavy fire to attack an enemy infantry platoon from close range, killed at least three Germans and wounded several others with a round from his bazooka. By this time, enemy pressure had made Company K’s position untenable. Orders were issued for withdrawal to an assembly area, where Pfc. Soderman was located when he once more heard enemy tanks approaching. Knowing that elements of the company had not completed their disengaging maneuver and were consequently extremely vulnerable to an armored attack, he hurried from his comparatively safe position to meet the tanks. Once more he disabled the lead tank with a single rocket, his last; but before he could reach cover, machinegun bullets from the tank ripped into his right shoulder. Unarmed and seriously wounded he dragged himself along a ditch to the American lines and was evacuated. Through his unfaltering courage against overwhelming odds, Pfc. Soderman contributed in great measure to the defense of Rocherath, exhibiting to a superlative degree the intrepidity and heroism with which American soldiers met and smashed the savage power of the last great German offensive.
Rank and organization: Chief Boatswain’s Mate, U.S. Navy. Born: 7 July 1886, Bridgeport, Conn. Accredited to: Massachusetts. G.O. No.: 391, 1918. Citation: For extraordinary heroism while serving on board the U.S.S. Remlik, on the morning of December 17th, 1917, when the Remlik encountered a heavy gale. During this gale, there was a heavy sea running. The depth charge box on the taffrail aft, containing a Sperry depth charge, was washed overboard, the depth charge itself falling inboard and remaining on deck. MacKenzie, on his own initiative, went aft and sat down on the depth charge, as it was impracticable to carry it to safety until the ship was headed up into the sea. In acting as he did, MacKenzie exposed his life and prevented a serious accident to the ship and probable loss of the ship and the entire crew.
BEAUMONT, EUGENE B.
Rank and organization: Major and Assistant Adjutant General, Cavalry Corps, Army of the Mississippi. Place and date: At Harpeth River, Tenn., December 17th,1864; at Selma, Ala., 2 April 1865. Entered service at: Wilkes Barre, Pa. Birth: Luzerne County, Pa. Date of issue: 30 March 1898. Citation: Obtained permission from the corps commander to advance upon the enemy’s position with the 4th U.S. Cavalry, of which he was a lieutenant; led an attack upon a battery, dispersed the enemy, and captured the guns. At Selma, Ala., charged, at the head of his regiment, into the second and last line of the enemy’s works.
Rank and organization: First Lieutenant, 4th U.S. Cavalry. Place and date: Near Harpeth River, Tenn., December 17th, 1864. Entered service at: Ohio. Birth: Ohio. Date of issue: 5 April 1898. Citation: At the head of his regiment charged a field battery with strong infantry supports, broke the enemy’s line and, with other mounted troops, captured three guns and many prisoners.
National Chocolate Covered Anything Day
Hannukah 2014: December 16 -December 24
The Boston Tea Party
1773, Britain passed the Tea Act. By this Act, about 17 million pounds of surplus tea (assets of the East India Company, India) was proposed to be sold in America, by under selling it. Since the tea would be sold at an extremely cheap rate by bypassing the traders, the wholesalers in America were going to be seriously affected. For this reason, the Act was fiercely resisted by the colonies. Since British tea was already being boycotted because of the heavy duties on it, the Act in America was seen as a bribe from the British Authorities. In Boston, the opposition against the Tea Act took a dramatic form. Here some men dressed as Indians boarded a ship containing tea, at the Harbor and dumped the entire consignment into the sea. This incident is known as the Boston Tea Party. While the people in Boston rejoiced, the British Parliament passed certain laws to punish the colony. They passed what the colonists popularly called the Intolerable Acts in 1774. Under these Acts, the Boston port was closed until due compensation was paid to the government (London) for the lost tea. Further, the British troops were re-stationed in the city.
The men who dumped tea into Boston Harbor were from many different backgrounds. About one-third of them were skilled artisans such as carpenters, masons and shoemakers. A much smaller number were merchants, doctors, clerks, and the like. The occupations of all the participants are not known, but the majority of them were probably apprentices and common laborers. Alongside side them were participants of English descent and they were men of Irish, Scottish, French, African and Portuguese origins. The Tea Party was also the work of young people. Two-thirds of those whose ages were known were under 20, including 16 teenagers. Only nine are known to have been older than forty. Most of the men were from Boston and vicinity, but some came from as far away as Worcester and Maine. Listed below are named of patriots recorded to have been involved in the Tea Party protest. Not all of the participants are known, as some carried the secret of their participation to
the end of their days.
SETH INGERSOLL BROWN
JAMES FOSTER DONDY
THOMAS CRAFTS, Jr
GEORGE T. HEWES
EDWARD C. HOWE
RICHARD HUNNEWELL, JR
JOHN MAY MEAD
“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”
~ John Quincy Adams
Pandiculation pan-ˌdik-yə-ˈlā-shən\ noun
a stretching and stiffening especially of the trunk and extremities (as when fatigued and drowsy or after waking from sleep)
You do this. You just don’t know that you do. When you’re tired to the extent of yawning in fatigue, you may stretch your arms and neck to ease them. That’s pandiculation.
1653 – English Interregnum: The Protectorate – Oliver Cromwell becomes Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland and Ireland.
1689 – English Parliament adopted a Bill of Rights after Glorious Revolution. The Bill of Rights included a right to bear arms. This also ended the “Divine Right of Kings.”
1773 – Revolutionary War: Boston Tea Party – The protestors were led by Samuel Adams, and included Paul Revere, Patrick Henry, and John Hancock. They called themselves The SONS of LIBERTY, and they objected to being ruled by the British and having to PAY them TAX. Members of the Sons of Liberty disguised as Mohawks dump crates of tea into Boston harbor as a protest against the Tea Act.
1811 – A massive earthquake rocked the southern United States. At the time it was called the GREAT EARTHQUAKE and it made church bells in Philadelphia ring. One writer of the time said it appeared to make the Mississippi River current stop. Other reports said it actually ran backward. The first shock was today at Magnitude ~7.7 with hundreds of aftershocks Six aftershocks in the first two days in the range of M5.5 to M6.3. The second was January 23, 1812 at Magnitude ~ 7.5 and the third was February 7, 1812 at Magnitude ~ 7.7. Until 1813, hundreds of quakes were felt. We now call this the New Madrid Earthquake.
1821 – LT Robert F. Stockton and Dr. Eli Ayers, a naval surgeon and member of American Colonizing Society, induce a local African king to sell territory for a colony which became the Republic of Liberia.
1835 – A fire swept New York City, razing 600 buildings and causing $20 million damage. It was America’s first major disaster. Approaching the scene, firemen were confronted with wind, the 17 below zero cold, and the snow-laden streets.
1859 – The schooner Clotilde (or Clotilda) was the last known U.S. slave ship to bring slaves from Africa to the United States, arriving at Mobile Bay.
1859 – John Copeland and Shields Green, two Black members of Johns Brown’s band, hanged at Charleston.
1863 – Civil War: Confederate President Jefferson Davis names General Joseph Johnston commander of the Army of Tennessee.
1864 – Civil War: Franklin-Nashville Campaign – Battle of Nashville – Major General George H. Thomas’s Union forces defeat Lieutenant General John Bell Hood’s Confederate Army of Tennessee.
1864 – Civil War: Acting Master Charles A. Pettit, U.S.S. Monticello, performed a dangerous reconnaissance off New Inlet, North Carolina, removing several Confederate torpedoes and their firing apparatus near the base of Fort Caswell.
1893 – Antonín Dvořák’s Symphony No. 9 in E minor, Op. 95, “From The New World” was given its world premiere at Carnegie Hall.
1897 – First submarine with an internal combustion engine demonstrated.
1899 – Brooklyn Children’s Museum opens.
1901 – “Peter Rabbit”, by Beatrix Potter, was printed for the first time.
1903 – Women ushers were employed for the first time at the Majestic Theatre in New York City.
1905 – “Variety”, covering all phases of show business, first published. The publisher was Sime Silverman.
1907 – The “Great White Fleet” sails from Hampton Downs on its World Cruise. The four squadrons of warships, dubbed the “Great White Fleet,” were manned by 14,000 sailors and Marines under the command of Rear Adm. Robley “Fighting Bob” Evans.
1907 – Eugene H Farrar is first to sing on radio. He sang from the Brooklyn Navy Yard in New York.
1908 – St. Mary’s Bank Credit Union became the first credit union chartered in America.
1910 – During a ground test of his Coandă-1910 plane, Henri Coandă, caught unaware by the power of the engine, finds himself briefly airborne and loses control of the machine which crashes to the ground.
1912 – First US postage stamp picturing an airplane, 20¢ parcel post, issued.
1913 – British actor Charles Chaplin reported to work at Keystone Studios in Hollywood to launch a legendary film career.
1915 – Albert Einstein publishes his “General Theory of Relativity.”
1922 – Mutual Association of Eastern Colored Baseball Clubs formally organizes.
1929 – First NHL game at Chicago Stadium; Chicago Blackhawks beat Pittsburgh Pirates, 3-1.
1935 – The movie “A Tale of Two Cities” was copyright registered.
1937 – Theodore Cole and Ralph Roe attempt to escape from Alcatraz island. Both men entered the bay on December 16th, neither was ever seen again.
1940 – Bob Crosby and his Bobcats backed up brother Bing on “New San Antonio Rose.”
1941 – World War II: USS Swordfish becomes first US sub to sink a Japanese ship.
1942 – World War II: Holocaust: Porajmos – Heinrich Himmler orders that Roma candidates for extermination should be deported to Auschwitz. Under Adolf Hitler’s rule, both Roma and Jews were defined by the Nuremberg laws as “enemies of the race-based state.”
1942 – World War II: Pharmacist’s Mate First Class Harry B. Roby, USNR, performs an appendectomy on Torpedoman First Class W. R. Jones on board USS Grayback (SS-208). It is the second appendectomy performed on board a submarine.
1944 – World War II: Battle of the Bulge – General Dwight D. Eisenhower’s allied forces and Field Marshall Gerd von Rundstedt’s German army engage in the Belgian Ardennes. It was the final major German counteroffensive and deadliest battle in he European campaign. It lasted until January 25, 1945 and resulted in more than 90,000 Allied casualties and more than 100,000 German casualties.
1945 – CHART TOPPERS – “It Might as Well Be Spring” by The Sammy Kaye Orchestra (vocal: Billy Williams), “White Christmas” by Bing Crosby, “It’s Been a Long, Long Time” by The Harry James Orchestra (vocal: Kitty Kallen) and “Silver Dew on the Blue Grass Tonight” by Bob Wills all topped the charts.
1946 – The first coining honoring a Black and designed by a Black was issued. The fifty-cent piece, which became available on this day, contained the bust of Booker T. Washington.
1950 – “The Tennessee Waltz” by Patti Page topped the charts.
1950 – Korean War: Truman proclaims state of emergency against “Communist imperialism”. The U.S. concern was in the increased Chinese influence in Korea.
1950 – Korean War: The U.S. 24th Infantry Division received the Distinguished Unit Citation (now the Presidential Unit Citation) for “extraordinary heroism in combat against a numerically superior enemy.”
1951 – “Dragnet” debuts on NBC-TV. It was given a special review on “Chesterfield Sound Off Time”.
1953 – Chuck Yeager set an airborne speed record when he flew a Bell X-1A rocket-fueled plane at more than 1,600 miles an hour.
1957 – “April Love” by Pat Boone topped the charts.
1960 – Lucille Ball stars in the Broadway production of “Wildcat.”
1960 – New York air disaster: While approaching New York’s Idlewild Airport, a United Airlines Douglas DC-8 collides with a TWA Lockheed Super Constellation in a blinding snowstorm over Staten Island, killing 134.
1961 – Martin Luther King Jr & 700 demonstrators arrested in Albany GA.
1962 – New York Giant YA Tittle sets NFL season touchdown pass record at 33.
1965 – Vietnam War: Gen. William Westmoreland, Commander of U.S. Military Assistance Command Vietnam, sends a request for more troops.
1966 – Jimi Hendrix Experience releases its first single, “Hey Joe“, in the UK.
1967 – The Lemon Pipers released “Green Tambourine.”
1967 – “Daydream Believer” by the Monkees topped the charts.
1969 – CHART TOPPERS – “Leaving on a Jet Plane” by Peter, Paul & Mary, “Someday We’ll Be Together” by Diana Ross & The Supremes, “Down on the Corner/Fortunate Son” by Creedence Clearwater Revival and “ (I’m So) Afraid of Losing You Again” by Charley Pride all topped the charts.
1969 – “Hello Dolly” with Barbra Streisand premieres.
1971 – Melanie (Safka) received a gold record for the single, “Brand New Key.”
1972 – “Me and Mrs. Jones” by Billy Paul topped the charts.
1972 – Paul McCartney’s single, “Hi, Hi, Hi,” was released.
1972 – Miami Dolphins become first undefeated NFL team (14-0-0). The Dolphins went on to defeat the Washington Redskins in Super Bowl VII.
1973 – O J Simpson becomes first NFLer to rush 2,003 yards in a season. He broke Jim Brown’s single-season rushing record in the NFL. Brown had rushed for 1,863 yards.
1976 – Government halts swine flu vaccination program following reports of paralysis. Reports of the vaccine touching off neurological problems, especially rare Guillain-Barre syndrome, the government suspended the program, having inoculated 40 million people for a flu that never came.
1976 – President Jimmy Carter appoints Andrew Young ambassador to the UN.
1977 – The “Saturday Night Fever” film debuted.
1978 – “You Don’t Bring Me Flowers” by Neil Diamond & Barbra Streisand topped the charts.
1978 – Ronald Reagan denounces President Jimmy Carter’s recognition of China People’s Republic.
1979 - Libya joined four other OPEC nations in raising the price of crude oil. Since the U.S. bought much of its oil from Libya, the price hike had an almost immediate effect on American gas prices.
1985 – CHART TOPPERS – “Broken Wings” by Mr. Mister, “Say You, Say Me” by Lionel Richie, “Party All the Time” by Eddie Murphy and “Nobody Falls Like a Fool” by Earl Thomas Conley all topped the charts.
1985 – Mafia: In New York City, Paul Castellano and Thomas Bilotti are shot dead on the orders of John Gotti, who assumes leadership of the Gambino family.
1989 – “We Didn’t Start the Fire” by Billy Joel topped the charts.
1989 – Federal Judge Robert Vance is instantly killed by a powerful explosion after opening a package mailed to his house in Birmingham, Alabama.
1991 – United Nations General Assembly: UN General Assembly Resolution 4686 revokes UN General Assembly Resolution 3379 after Israel makes revocation of resolution 3379 a condition of its participation in the Madrid Peace Conference of 1991.
1991 – Nearly 300 members of the 8th Marines arrived at Guantanamo Bay to participate in Haitian humanitarian efforts for 6,000 refugees.
1995 – President Clinton and congressional Republicans traded accusations as their budget impasse led to a second shutdown of the federal government.
1996 – The US Supreme Court ruled that states must let parents appeal orders terminating such rights even when they cannot afford court fees.
1996 – Intel announced the world’s fastest computer capable of 1 trillion operations per second.
1997 – SCHOOL SHOOTING: Fourteen year old Joseph Todd opened fire wounding two classmates at the Stamps High School, Stamps, AR. Todd was in the eighth grade at the time and shot an older girl & boy because he was tired of being picked on by stronger schoolmates, some of whom extorted money from him in exchange for sparing him a beating.
1997 – Typhoon Paka makes landfall on the island of Guam with 150 mph winds. During that storm the highest wind speed ever measured — 236 mph — was recorded at Anderson Air Force Base .
1997 – The Pokémon episode Electric Soldier Porygon triggers attacks of photosensitive epilepsy in hundreds of Japanese children.
1997 - The Galileo spacecraft flew to within 124 miles of the surface of Europa, a Jupiter moon, and recorded images.
1998 – Iraq disarmament crisis: Operation Desert Fox – U.S. and British jetfighters began a four-night campaign of bombing more than 100 Iraqi military targets. The long threatened action came after the allies concluded Iraq wouldn’t cooperate with U.N. weapons inspectors.
1998 – Federal prosecutors in New York City charged five men in the Aug 7th bombing of the American Embassy in Tanzania. Mustafa Mohamed Fadhil of Egypt, Khalfan Khamis Mohamed and Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani of Tanzania, and Fahid Mohammed Ally Msalam and Sheik Ahmed Salim Swedan of Kenya. A 6th man, “Ahmed the German,” detonated the explosive device and was killed.
2000 – U.S. President-elect George W. Bush selected Colin Powell to be the first African-American secretary of state.
2000 – In Alabama tornadoes hit the state and ten people were killed at a Tuscaloosa trailer park. A total of twelve people were killed and fifty were injured.
2000 – Researchers announced that information from NASA’s Galileo spacecraft indicated that Ganymede appeared to have a liquid saltwater ocean beneath a surface of solid ice.
2001 – Cleveland Browns fans threw thousands of bottles onto the field after officials overturned a last-minute call, a decision that helped the Jacksonville Jaguars win the game 15-10.
2001 – It was reported that all the anthrax spores mailed to Capital Hill were identical to stocks from the US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases at Fort Detrick, Md.
2002 – A jury in Baltimore acquitted former altar boy Dontee Stokes of attempted murder in the shooting of a Roman Catholic priest he’d claimed molested him a decade earlier.
2002 – The EPA issued a water-pollution rule to cover animal waste from “factory farms.”
2003 – President George Bush signed legislation authorizing the creation of a museum honoring African-Americans.
2003 – Pres. Bush signed a measure that made WW II Filipino American veterans eligible for full Veterans Affair health care. Previous benefits were at half the rate of US veterans. Veterans in the Philippines did not qualify.
2003 – The third film episode of “Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring” opened.
2004 – Bobbie Jo Stinnet (23) was found strangled to death in Maryville, Mo., with her baby girl cut from her womb. Police within days arrested Lisa M. Montgomery (36) of Melvern, Kansas. The baby was rescued alive.
2005 – The last scheduled edition of US radio program The Howard Stern Show is broadcast on terrestrial radio.
2005 -US Senate Democrats blocked passage of a new Patriot Act to combat terrorism at home, depicting the measure as a threat to the constitutional liberties of innocent Americans. The result was a revised Patriot Act signed by Bush in March 2006.
2006 – Residents of the Pacific Northwest struggled to stay warm after the worst windstorm in more than a decade knocked out power to more than 1.5 million homes and businesses and killed at least six people.
2006 – A rocket carrying two experimental satellites blasted off in the first launch from the mid-Atlantic region’s commercial spaceport. The Virginia Commercial Space Flight Authority, a state agency, built the commercial launch pad in 1998 on land leased from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility.
2007 – Street and highway crews were at work trying to clear roads across the Great Lakes states into New England as a storm blamed for three deaths spread a hazardous mix of snow, sleet and freezing rain.
2008 – The publisher of the Detroit Free Press and the Detroit News confirmed plans to cut home delivery to three days a week and cut close to 900 jobs.
2008 – Three Guantanamo prisoners were flown to Bosnia and released to their families.
2009 – President Obama, by amending Executive Order 12425 grants INTERPOL, the International Police Organization, full immunity from U.S. law.
2009 – The US Federal Trade Commission voted to sue Intel Corp. over its business practices, saying it engaged in anti-competitive behavior by abusing its dominant market position.
2009 – South Carolina lawmakers voted to formally rebuke Gov. Mark Sanford, sparing him from impeachment over secret trips to his Argentine mistress and his use of state planes.
2010 – President Barack Obama said the United States will start withdrawing US troops from Afghanistan in July as promised.
2010 – Lorillard Tobacco Co. was ordered to pay $81 million in punitive damages to the estate and son of a Boston woman who started smoking at age 13.
2012 – Gunfire broke out in a San Antonio movie theater. Moviegoers rushed to exits and ducked for cover as a lone gunman, Jesus Manuel Garcia, began shooting in a China Garden that spilled over into an attached movie complex. The gunman was eventually shot and struck by an off-duty police officer, Lisa Castellano, who was working at the theater that night.
2013 – DC District Court Judge Richard Leon handed down a ruling that the National Security Agency’s bulk data collection of metadata violates the Fourth Amendment and has issued a preliminary injunction against the entire program, but has stayed the order pending appeal.
2013 – United States District Court Judge Brian Cogan ruled that the Affordable Care Act cannot force religious nonprofit organizations to pay for birth control for their employees.
1485 – Catherine of Aragon, Queen of England (d. 1536)
1584 – John Selden, English jurist and oriental scholar (d. 1654)
1714 – George Whitefield, British-born Methodist leader (d. 1770)
1770 – Ludwig van Beethoven, German composer (d. 1827)
1775 – Jane Austen, British writer (d. 1817)
1863 – George Santayana, Spanish philosopher and writer (d. 1952)
1882 – Walther Meissner, German physicist (d. 1974)
1883 – Max Linder, French pioneer of silent film (d. 1925)
1899 – Sir Noel Coward, British playwright, actor and composer (d. 1973)
1917 – Sir Arthur C. Clarke, British writer
1941 – Lesley Stahl, American journalist
1943 – Steven Bochco, American television producer and writer
1962 – William Perry, American football player Nickname:”Refrigerator”
Rank and organization: Technical Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company L, 393d Infantry, 99th Infantry Division. Place and date: Near Krinkelt, Belgium, December 16th, 1944. Entered service at: Model, Tenn. Born: 1 December 1921, Right, Tenn. G.O. No.: 6, 11 January 1946. Citation: He was painfully wounded in an artillery barrage that preceded the powerful counteroffensive launched by the Germans near Krinkelt, Belgium, on the morning of 16 December 1944. He made his way to an aid station, received treatment, and then refused to be evacuated, choosing to return to his hard-pressed men instead. The fury of the enemy’s great Western Front offensive swirled about the position held by T/Sgt. McGarity’s small force, but so tenaciously did these men fight on orders to stand firm at all costs that they could not be dislodged despite murderous enemy fire and the breakdown of their communications. During the day the heroic squad leader rescued 1 of his friends who had been wounded in a forward position, and throughout the night he exhorted his comrades to repulse the enemy’s attempts at infiltration. When morning came and the Germans attacked with tanks and infantry, he braved heavy fire to run to an advantageous position where he immobilized the enemy’s lead tank with a round from a rocket launcher. Fire from his squad drove the attacking infantrymen back, and 3 supporting tanks withdrew. He rescued, under heavy fire, another wounded American, and then directed devastating fire on a light cannon which had been brought up by the hostile troops to clear resistance from the area. When ammunition began to run low, T/Sgt. McGarity, remembering an old ammunition hole about 100 yards distant in the general direction of the enemy, braved a concentration of hostile fire to replenish his unit’s supply. By circuitous route the enemy managed to emplace a machinegun to the rear and flank of the squad’s position, cutting off the only escape route. Unhesitatingly, the gallant soldier took it upon himself to destroy this menace single-handedly. He left cover, and while under steady fire from the enemy, killed or wounded all the hostile gunners with deadly accurate rifle fire and prevented all attempts to reman the gun. Only when the squad’s last round had been fired was the enemy able to advance and capture the intrepid leader and his men. The extraordinary bravery and extreme devotion to duty of T/Sgt. McGarity supported a remarkable delaying action which provided the time necessary for assembling reserves and forming a line against which the German striking power was shattered.
MURRAY, CHARLES P., JR.
Rank and organization: First Lieutenant, U.S. Army, Company C, 30th Infantry, 3d Infantry Division. Place and date: Near Kaysersberg, France, December 16th, 1944. Entered service at: Wilmington, N.C. Birth: Baltimore, Md. G.O. No.: 63, 1 August 1945. Citation: For commanding Company C, 30th Infantry, displaying supreme courage and heroic initiative near Kaysersberg, France, on 16 December 1944, while leading a reinforced platoon into enemy territory. Descending into a valley beneath hilltop positions held by our troops, he observed a force of 200 Germans pouring deadly mortar, bazooka, machinegun, and small arms fire into an American battalion occupying the crest of the ridge. The enemy’s position in a sunken road, though hidden from the ridge, was open to a flank attack by 1st Lt. Murray’s patrol but he hesitated to commit so small a force to battle with the superior and strongly disposed enemy. Crawling out ahead of his troops to a vantage point, he called by radio for artillery fire. His shells bracketed the German force, but when he was about to correct the range his radio went dead. He returned to his patrol, secured grenades and a rifle to launch them and went back to his self-appointed outpost. His first shots disclosed his position; the enemy directed heavy fire against him as he methodically fired his missiles into the narrow defile. Again he returned to his patrol. With an automatic rifle and ammunition, he once more moved to his exposed position. Burst after burst he fired into the enemy, killing twenty, wounding many others, and completely disorganizing its ranks, which began to withdraw. He prevented the removal of three German mortars by knocking out a truck. By that time a mortar had been brought to his support. 1st Lt. Murray directed fire of this weapon, causing further casualties and confusion in the German ranks. Calling on his patrol to follow, he then moved out toward his original objective, possession of a bridge and construction of a roadblock. He captured ten Germans in foxholes. An eleventh, while pretending to surrender, threw a grenade which knocked him to the ground, inflicting eight wounds. Though suffering and bleeding profusely, he refused to return to the rear until he had chosen the spot for the block and had seen his men correctly deployed. By his single-handed attack on an overwhelming force and by his intrepid and heroic fighting, 1st Lt. Murray stopped a counterattack, established an advance position against formidable odds, and provided an inspiring example for the men of his command.
EDWARDS, WALTER ATLEE
INTERIM 1920- 1940
Rank and organization: Lieutenant Commander, U.S. Navy. Place and date: Sea of Marmora, Turkey, December 16th, 1922. Born: 8 November 1886, Philadelphia, Pa. Accredited to: Pennsylvania. G.O. No.: 123, 4 February 1924. (Medal presented by President Coolidge at the White House on 2 February 1924.) Other Navy award: Navy Cross. Citation: For heroism in rescuing 482 men, women and children from the French military transport Vinh-Long, destroyed by fire in the Sea of Marmora, Turkey, on 16 December 1922. Lt. Comdr. Edwards, commanding the U.S.S. Bainbridge, placed his vessel alongside the bow of the transport and, in spite of several violent explosions which occurred on the burning vessel, maintained his ship in that position until all who were alive were taken on board. Of a total of 495 on board, 482 were rescued by his coolness, judgment and professional skill, which were combined with a degree of heroism that must reflect new glory on the U.S. Navy.
ANDERSON, MARION T.
Rank and organization: Captain, Company D, 51st Indiana Infantry. Place and date: At Nashville, Tenn., December 16th, 1864. Entered service at: Kokomo, Ind. Birth: Decatur County, Ind. Date of issue: 1 September 1893. Citation: Led his regiment over 5 lines of the enemy’s works, where he fell, severely wounded.
Rank and organization: Corporal, Company D, 124th Ohio Infantry. Place and date: At Nashville, Tenn., December 16th, 1864. Entered service at: ——. Birth: Stark County, Ohio. Date of issue: 24 February 1865. Citation: Recapture of U.S. guidon from a rebel battery.
Rank and organization: First Lieutenant, Company G, 95th Ohio Infantry. Place and date: At Nashville, Tenn., December 16th, 1864. Entered service at:——. Birth: Champaign County, Ohio. Date of issue: 24 February 1865. Citation: Capture of flag.
Rank and organization: Sergeant, Company G, 41st Ohio Infantry. Place and date: At Nashville, Tenn., December 16th, 1864. Entered service at:——. Birth: England. Date of issue: 24 February 1865. Citation: With several companions dashed forward, the first to enter the enemy’s works, taking possession of four pieces of artillery and captured the flag of the 13th Mississippi Infantry (C.S.A.).
GERE, THOMAS P.
Rank and organization: First Lieutenant and Adjutant, 5th Minnesota Infantry. Place and date: At Nashville, Tenn., December 16th, 1864. Entered service at: ——. Birth: Chemung County, N.Y. Date of issue: 24 February 1865. Citation: Capture of flag of 4th Mississippi (C.S.A.).
Rank and organization: Private, Company A, 41st Ohio Infantry. Place and date: At Brentwood Hills, Tenn., December 16th,1864. Entered service at: ——. Birth: Hartford, Ohio. Date of issue. 22 February 1865. Citation. Capture of Confederate guidon.
Rank and organization: Corporal, Company F, 12th lowa Infantry. Place and date: At Nashville, Tenn., December 16th, 1864. Entered service at: Honey Creek, lowa. Birth: Germany. Date of issue: 24 February 1865. Citation: Capture of flag, of 44th Mississippi Infantry (C.S.A.).
Rank and organization: Private, Company H, 32d lowa Infantry. Place and date: At Nashville, Tenn., December 16th, 1864. Entered service at: Maysville, Franklin County, lowa. Birth: Pennsylvania. Date of issue: 24 February 1865. Citation: Ran ahead of his regiment over the enemy’s works and captured from its bearer the flag of Bonanchad’s Confederate battery (C.S.A.).
McCLEARY, CHARLES H.
Rank and organization: First Lieutenant, Company C. 72d Ohio Infantry. Place and date: At Nashville, Tenn., December 16th, 1864. Entered service at: ——. Birth: Sandusky County, Ohio. Date of issue: 24 February 1865. Citation: Capture of flag of 4th Florida Infantry (C.S.A.), while in advance of his lines.
MOORE, WILBUR F.
Rank and organization: Private, Company C, 117th Illinois Infantry. Place and date: At Nashville, Tenn., December 16th, 1864. Entered service at: Lebanon, St. Clair County, Ill. Birth: Lebanon, St. Clair County, Ill. Date of issue: 22 February 1865. Citation: Captured flag of a Confederate battery while far in advance of the Union lines.
PARKS, JAMES W.
Rank and organization: Corporal, Company F, 11th Missouri Infantry. Place and date: At Nashville, Tenn., December 16th, 1864. Entered service at: Xenia, Clay County, Ill. Birth: Lawrence County, Ohio. Date of issue: 24 February 1865. Citation: Capture of flag.
POST, PHILIP SIDNEY
Rank and organization: Colonel, 59th Illinois Infantry. Place and date: At Nashville, Tenn., 15-December 16th, 1864. Entered service at: Galesburg, Ill. Born: 19 March 1833, Flordia, Orange County, N.Y. Date of issue: 18 March 1893. Citation: Led his brigade in an attack upon a strong position under a terrific fire of grape, canister, and musketry; was struck down by a grapeshot after he had reached the enemy’s works.
SIMMONS, WILLIAM T.
Rank and organization: Lieutenant, Company C, 11th Missouri Infantry. Place and date: At Nashville, Tenn., December 16th, 1864. Entered service at: ——. Born: 29 January 1843, Green County, Ill. Date of issue: 24 February 1865. Citation: Capture of flag of 34th Alabama Infantry (C.S.A ). Being the first to enter the works, he shot and wounded the enemy color bearer.
SLOAN, ANDREW J.
Rank and organization: Private, Company H, 12th lowa Infantry. Place and date: At Nashville, Tenn., December 16th,1864. Entered service at: Colesburg, Delaware County, lowa. Birth: Bedford County, Pa. Date of issue: 24 February 1865. Citation: Captured flag of 1st Louisiana Battery (C.S.A.).
SMITH, OTIS W.
Rank and organization: Private, Company G, 95th Ohio Infantry. Place and date: At Nashville, Tenn., December 16th, 1864. Entered service at:——. Birth: Logan County, Ohio. Date of issue: 24 February 1865. Citation: Capture of flag of 6th Florida Infantry (C.S.A.).
Rank and organization: Private, Company C, 122d Illinois Infantry. Place and date: At Nashville, Tenn., December 16th, 1864. Entered service at: Jerseyville, Ill. Birth. England. Date of issue: 24 February 1865. Citation: Capture of flag.
WELCH, GEORGE W.
Rank and organization: Private, Company A, 11th Missouri Infantry. Place and date: At Nashville, Tenn., December 16th, 1864. Entered service at: Keokuk, Lee County, lowa. Birth: Brown County, lowa. Date of issue: 24 February 1965 Citation: Captured the flag of the 13th Alabama Infantry (C.S.A.).
Has anyone built a better mousetrap?
James Henry Atkinson was the British inventor who in 1897 invented the prototype mousetrap called the “Little Nipper”. The Little Nipper is the classic snapping mousetrap that we are all familiar with that has the small flat wooden base, the spring trap, and the wire fastenings.
The Little Nipper slams shut in 38,000s of a second and that record has never been beaten. This is the design that has prevailed until today. This mousetrap has captured a sixty percent share of the British mousetrap market alone, and an estimated equal share of the international market.
James Atkinson sold his mousetrap patent in 1913 for $2,500 to Procter, the company that has been manufacturing the “Little Nipper” ever since, and has even erected a 150-exhibit mousetrap museum in their factory headquarters. The Patent Office has issued over 4400 mousetrap patents, however, only about twenty of those patents have made any money?
Mousetraps are not the only thing ever invented that we use every day and here is another of these inventions where someone created something that changed everything we do.
Scotch tape was invented by an American inventor who worked for Johnson and Johnson, Permacel Co., and 3M in St. Paul, Minnesota, by the name of Richard Drew. When Drew joined 3M in St. Paul, Minnesota in 1924, it was a modest manufacturer of sandpaper. While testing their new Wet or dry sandpaper at auto shops, Drew was intrigued to learn that the two-tone auto paintjobs so popular in the Roaring Twenties were difficult to manage at the border between the two colors.As a result and in response to customer need he invented the first masking tape, a two-inch-wide tan paper strip backed with a light, pressure sensitive adhesive. The first tape had adhesive along its edges but not in the middle. In its first trial run, it fell off the car and the frustrated auto painter growled at Drew, “Take this tape back to those Scotch bosses of yours and tell them to shove it!” (By “Scotch,” he meant “cheap”.) The nickname stuck, both to Drew’s improved masking tape, and to his 1930 invention, Scotch Brand cellulose tape.
“One isn’t necessarily born with courage, but one is born with potential. Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can’t be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest.”
~ Maya Angelou
pe·nul·ti·mate / [pi-nuhl-tuh-mit–adjective
next to the last: the penultimate scene of the play.
1766 – Oliver Goldsmith’s “Poems for Young Ladies” is published.
1791 – The United States Bill of Rights becomes law when ratified by the Virginia legislature. It became known as the Bill of Rights because they contained freedoms that Americans held to be their inalienable rights.
1791 – First US law school established at University of Pennsylvania.
1792 – First life insurance policy issued in US (Philadelphia).
1811 – A 7.3 earthquake struck the central US on the Mississippi River. It was centered at New Madrid, Missouri, and reversed the course of the Mississippi for a while. Aftershocks continued into 1812.
1815 – Jane Austen’s “Emma” was published.
1820 – First general pharmacopoeia in US was published in Boston, MA. It was the first book of drug standards from a professional source to have achieved a nation’s acceptance.
1836 – A fire destroyed the U.S. Patent Office. All records of over 10,000 patents issued over 46 years were lost, most forever, and the patent models filed with them.
1849 – California’s first legislature convened in San Jose.
1854 – First street-cleaning machine in US was first used in Philadelphia. It was a series of brooms attached to a cyclinder mounted on a cart was turned by a chain driven by the turning of the cart’s wheels.
1862 – Civil War: Nathan B. Forrest crossed the Tennessee River at Clifton with 2,500 men to raid the communications around Vicksburg.
1864 – Civil War: The Confederate Army of Tennessee is nearly destroyed when a Union army commanded by General George Thomas swarms over the Rebel trenches around Nashville.
1864 – Civil War: An expedition under Acting Master William G. Morris, including U.S.S. Coeur De Lion and U.S.S. Mercury, seized and burned more than thirty large boats. The Confederates had been massing them on the Coan River, Virginia.
1877 – Thomas Edison patents phonograph. It was first a machine that would transcribe telegraphic messages through indentations on paper tape, which could later be sent over the telegraph repeatedly. More refinements ended up in the phonograph.
1890 – The great Sioux chief and holy man Sitting Bull(Tatanka Iyotake) is killed by Indian police at the Standing Rock reservation in South Dakota.
1891 – James Naismith introduces the first version of basketball, with thirteen rules, a peach basket nailed to either end of his school’s gymnasium, and two teams of nine players.
1909 – Thomas J Lynch becomes president of baseball’s National League.
1909 – San Francisco’s Palace Hotel re-opened. It had survived the 1906 earthquake but was gutted by the following fire.
1914 – The outbreak of fighting in Europe triggered the closing of the New York Stock Exchange, as market officials looked to prevent a rapid-fire liquidation of the European account, then worth roughly $2.4 billion.
1916 – Dr. Ben Reitman is again arrested for distributing illegal birth control literature at one of Emma Goldman’s lectures in Rochester, NY.
1925 – First road with a depressed trough (Texas) opens to traffic.
1933 – In San Francisco Lloyd J. Evans became the first worker on the Bay Bridge to die. He had been working 112 feet down on the bay bottom and experienced decompression sickness. An 11-hour effort to revive him in a recompression chamber failed.
1938 – Groundbreaking begins for Jefferson Memorial in Washington DC. The total cost of the monument was a little over $3 million. It occupies 2.5 acres in the National Mall. The distance to the top of the dome is over 129 feet, while the thickness of the dome is 4 feet.
1939 – Gone with the Wind premieres in Atlanta, Georgia. Spotlights swept the sky with huge beacons of light. Peachtree at Pryor Street was closed to traffic. An enormous crowd, numbering 300,000 people according to the Atlanta Constitution, lined the streets on this ice-cold night.
1939 – Nylon yarn was sold to hosiery mills to make women’s stockings, marking the first use of commercial yarn for apparel.
1941 – Lena Horne records “Stormy Weather“.
1941 – President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed into practice Bill of Rights Day.
1941 -World War II: Holocaust: Annihilation of Jews in Kharkiv, Ukraine: in the proximity of the Rogan works. They were herded five miles in temperatures near 5 degrees F. from Kharkiv to “Drobitsky Ravine” (Drobitsky Yar). Over 15,000 Jews were shot.
1942 – World War II: Pacific – Japanese Admiral Tanaka’s supply flotilla begins missions to aid the building of an airfield on New Georgia to support the Japanese positions on Guadalcanal.
1942 – Massachusetts issues first US vehicular license plate tabs (made from plastic)
1943 – World War II: Europe – The US 5th Army begins new attacks. The 2nd Corps renews its drive toward San Pietro and Monte Lungo. To the right the 6th Corps attacks as well. The 1st Moroccan Division performs well.
1943 – World War II: Pacific- The US 112th Cavalry Regiment (General Cunningham), with Coast Guard support, lands at Arawe, off the island of New Britain. This is a diversionary operation.
1944 – World War II: Pacific – American forces invaded Mindoro Island in the Philippines.
1944 – World War II: Europe – The US 7th Army enters Germany, along the Palatinate frontier, from Alsace between Wissembourg and Lauterbourg.
1944 – World War II: Europe – In Hungary a gold train departed Budapest on orders from Adolf Eichmann. In May it was intercepted by American forces in Austria.
1944 – The US Senate approved the promotions of Henry H. Arnold, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Douglas MacArthur and George C. Marshall to the five-star rank of General of the Army and the nominations of William D. Leahy, Ernest J. King and Chester W. Nimitz as Admirals of the Fleet.
1944 – Dr. R. Townley Paton and a small group of doctors laid the groundwork for the Eye-Bank for Sight Restoration.
1944 – Bandleader, Major Glenn Miller, lost over English Channel. His grave marker is in Arlington National Cemetery, Washington, DC.
1944 – CHART TOPPERS – “White Christmas” by Bing Crosby, “The Trolley Song” by The Pied Pipers, “I’m Making Believe” by Ella Fitzgerald & The Ink Spots and “Smoke on the Water” by Red Foley all topped the charts.
1945 – Occupation of Japan: General Douglas MacArthur orders that Shinto be abolished as state religion of Japan.
1946 – The 1946 National Football League championship game was between the New York Giants and the Chicago Bears. Giants fullback Merle Hapes was suspended before the game for not reporting a bribe attempt, and Giants quarterback Frank Filchock threw six interceptions as the Bears won, 24-14. Both were suspended.
1948 – The Secretary of the Navy signed a “Memorandum of Agreement” with the State Department which laid the basis for the modern Marine Security Guard program at U.S. embassies throughout the world.
1948 – Former state department official Alger Hiss indicted in NYC for perjury.
1949 – After a decade on radio, Captain Midnight was heard for the final time. It was re-started on TV in 1954 sponsored by Ovaltine.
1950 – Korean War: The F-86 Sabre jets of the U.S. Air Force’s 4th Fighter-Interceptor Wing flew their first missions of the war.
1951 – “Sin (It’s No Sin)” by Eddy Howard topped the charts.
1952 – CHART TOPPERS – “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” by Jimmy Boyd, “Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer” by Gene Autry, “White Christmas” by Bing Crosby and “Back Street Affair” by Webb Pierce all topped the charts.
1954 – Davy Crockett, Indian Fighter was featured on Walt Disney’s TV series for the first time. Crockett was played by Fess Parker.
1954 – Fordham University scraps football team for financial reasons.
1956 – “Singing the Blues” by Guy Mitchell topped the charts.
1959 – Everly Brothers record “Let It Be Me“. It was recorded in New York City and was the first time they recorded outside of Nashville and it was the first time they recorded with strings.
1960 – CHART TOPPERS – “Are You Lonesome Tonight?” by Elvis Presley, “A Thousand Stars” by Kathy Young with The Innocents, “Wonderland by Night” by Bert Kaemphert and “Wings of a Dove” by Ferlin Husky all topped the charts.
1960 – Richard Paul Pavlick (February 13, 1887 – November 11, 1975) is arrested for attempting to blow up and assassinate the 35th U.S. President, John F. Kennedy only four days earlier.
1961 – In Jerusalem, Adolph Eichmann is sentenced to death after being found guilty of 15 criminal charges, including charges of crimes against humanity, crimes against the Jewish people and membership of an outlawed organization.
1961 – Equal access rule, political parties get TV broadcasting time. The Equal Time Rule, requires broadcasters to afford equal opportunity to candidates seeking political office, and formally included provisions for rebuttal of controversial viewpoints under the contested Fairness Doctrine.
1962 – “Big Girls Don’t Cry” by the Four Seasons topped the charts.
1962 – The first record album to poke fun at a U.S. President became the #1 LP in the country. Vaughn Meader’s The First Family made the humorist a household word. The album stayed at #1 for three months.
1962 – Bob Cousy of the Boston Celtics set a NBA record as he made his 5,926th field goal.
1964 – A patent was granted to Kenneth Olsen for “magnetic core memory.” Magnetic core memory, or ferrite-core memory, is an early form of computer memory. It uses small magnetic ceramic rings, the cores, to store information via the polarity of the magnetic field they contain.
1965 – Gemini program: Gemini 6A, crewed by Wally Schirra and Thomas Stafford, is launched from Cape Kennedy, Florida to meet up with Gemini 7.
1965 – The film The Sound of Music is released.
1965 – In the first raid on a major North Vietnamese industrial target, U.S. Air Force planes destroy a thermal power plant at Uong Bi, l4 miles north of Haiphong. The plant reportedly supplied about 15 percent of North Vietnam’s total electric power production.
1967 – The Silver Bridge across the Ohio River collapsed during rush hour. Dozens of cars fell into the icy water. Forty-six people lost their lives in the accident, and many others were injured. Personal note: The editor’s grandmother, Henrietta Church was the last car off the bridge before the collapse.
1967 – Beatles release “Christmas Time is Here Again”
1967 – The US Age Discrimination Employment Act became public law.
1968 – CHART TOPPERS – “I Heard It Through the Grapevine” by Marvin Gaye, “For Once in My Life” by Stevie Wonder, “Abraham, Martin and John” by Dion, “Born to Be with You” by Sonny James all topped the charts.
1971 – Pres. Nixon signed the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burro Act. An $18 million Wild Horse and Burro Program, headed by the Bureau of Land Management, was designed to find homes for wild horses.
1973 – Jean Paul Getty III, the grandson of American billionaire J. Paul Getty, is found alive near Naples, five months after his kidnapping by an Italian gang.
1973 – “The Most Beautiful Girl” by Charlie Rich topped the charts.
1974 – Bert Jones, quarterback of the Baltimore Colts, set an NFL record by completing seventeen consecutive passes in a game against the New York Jets.
1976 – CHART TOPPERS – “Tonight’s the Night (Gonna Be Alright) “ by Rod Stewart, “The Rubberband Man” by Spinners, “You Don’t Have to Be a Star (To Be in My Show)” by Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis, Jr. and “Thinkin’ of a Rendezvous” by Johnny Duncan all topped the charts.
1977 – Charles Finley sold his Oakland A’s baseball team to Marvin Davis for a reported $12.5 million.
1978 – President Jimmy Carter states that as of January 1, 1979, the United States will formally recognize the communist People’s Republic of China (PRC) and sever relations with Taiwan.
1978 – Cleveland, OH became the first major US city since the Great Depression to default on its loans.
1979 – World Court in Hague rules Iran should release all US hostages.
1979 – “Babe” by Styx topped the charts.
1981 – The U.S. Congress passed $200 billion spending bill. At the time it was the largest in U.S. history.
1982 – Paul “Bear” Bryant announced his retirement as head football coach at the University of Alabama.
1983 – Wendy Wasserstein’s “Isn’t It Romantic” premieres in New York, NY.
1983 – The last 80 U.S. combat soldiers in Grenada withdrew. It was just over seven weeks after the U.S.-led invasion of the Caribbean island.
1984 – CHART TOPPERS – “Out of Touch” by Daryl Hall & John Oates, “The Wild Boys” by Duran Duran, “Like a Virgin” by Madonna and “Nobody Loves Me Like You Do” by Anne Murray (with Dave Loggins) all topped the charts.
1988 – Singer James Brown was sentenced to a six-year jail term for leading police on a late-night, two-state car chase. He was released on February 27, 1991.
1989 – Mt. Redoubt erupted in Alaska and sent baseball-sized pieces of pumice over 20 miles from the volcano. A 747 jet flew into its ash cloud, lost all four engines and dropped 4,000 feet before it recovered. No one was hurt but the plane sustained $80 million in damage.
1990 – “Because I Love You” by Stevie B topped the charts.
1992 – IBM announced it would eliminate 25-thousand employees in the coming year.
1994 – The web browser Netscape Navigator 1.0 is released.
1996 – The Tyco Toys “Tickle Me Elmo” stuffed animal that giggles and says “that tickles” when squeezed retailed for $30 and was flying out of stores.
1996 – Boeing Co. announced plans to pay $13.3 billion to acquire rival aircraft manufacturer McDonnell Douglas Corp.
1997 – San Francisco 49ers retire Joe Montana’s #16.
1997 – In Missouri the nation’s last workable Minuteman II missile silo was destroyed in Dederick.
1997 – Pres. Clinton answered a written discovery posed by Ms. Jones to identify all women who were state or federal employees since 1986 that he had had sexual relations with. His response under oath was none.
1998 – U.S. House of Representatives’ Committee on the Judiciary releases a 265-page report recommending the impeachment of President Bill Clinton for high crimes and misdemeanors.
1999 – In North Korea a US led consortium signed a $4.6 billion deal to build 2 nuclear reactors in Kumho.
2000 – New York Senator-elect Hillary Rodham Clinton agreed to accept an $8 million book deal with Simon & Schuster. The advance was the highest ever to be paid to a member of the U.S. Congress.
2000 – Derwin Brown (46), the sheriff-elect of DeKalb County, Georgia, was gunned down in what police called an assassination. Brown had promised to clean up the sheriff’s dept. and fire 38 employees.
2001 – With a crash and a large dust cloud, a 50-foot tall section of steel, the last standing piece of the World Trade Center’s facade, was brought down in New York.
2001 – Italy’s Leaning Tower of Pisa reopens after a team of experts spent 11 years and $27 million to fortify the tower without eliminating its famous lean.
2002 – The digital radio station BBC7 is launched by the comedian Paul Merton.
2003 – Charles Cullen (43), a former nurse, was charged with murder after telling prosecutors that he killed 30-40 severely ill patients in Pennsylvania and New Jersey since 1987 by injecting them with drugs.
2004 – A US interceptor missile failed to fire in a test flight from the Marshall Islands. It was the first test flight for the missile defense system in two years.
2004 – Section 404 of the 2002 Sarbanes-Oxley Act came into effect. It required the chief executive and chief financial officers of public companies to appraise internal controls and report any weaknesses within 75 days of the company’s fiscal year.
2004 – A walking, talking child-size robot from Honda Motor Co. managed an easy, although comical, jog in the Japanese automaker’s latest quest to imitate human movement.
2005 – The 43rd known Mersenne prime is discovered by Dr. Curtis Cooper & Dr. Steven Boone of USA, participants of the Great Internet Mersenne Prime Search distributed computing project. The prime number is 2nd largest known prime and has more than nine million digits.
2005 – The futuristic F-22A “Raptor” fighter jet, designed to dominate the skies well into the 21st century, joined the US combat fleet.
2005 – The US Interior Dept. said it plans to open 20 million acres in 9 Western states to wind farms.
2006 – The US military published a new Army and Marines field manual titled “FM 3-24 Counterinsurgency.” It said the American Army’s main objective is to protect the population rather than kill the enemy.
2007 – It was reported that Google is testing a new service called Knol, that enlists selected users to write about the breadth of human knowledge in competition with Wikipedia.
2008 – California Senator Diane Feinstein (75) was tapped as the chairwoman of the US Senate Intelligence Committee.
2009 – The Boeing 787 ‘Dreamliner’ wide-body passenger airliner takes its maiden flight, travelling from Paine Field to Boeing Field, in Washington State.
2010 – U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was shot and killed by an untraceable assault weapon that was deliberately handed to Mexican drug lords by U.S. officials via Operation Fast and Furious.
2010 – Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is TIME’s 2010 Person of the Year. WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange wins top place in the reader’s poll.
2010 – The Obama administration launches legal action against BP and its partners to recover the cost of cleaning up the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
2011 – Associated Press reported that according to the 2010 United States Census one in two people are classified as low-income or poor.
2012 – The founder of Domino’s Pizza is suing the federal government over mandatory contraception coverage in the health care law. Tom Monaghan, a devout Roman Catholic, says contraception isn’t health care but a “gravely immoral” practice. He filed a lawsuit Friday in federal court. It also lists as a plaintiff Domino’s Farms, a Michigan office park complex that Monaghan owns.
37 – Nero, Roman Emperor of the Julio-Claudian dynasty (d. 68)
1832 – Gustave Eiffel, French engineer and architect (Eiffel tower) (d. 1923)
1860 – Abner Powell, American baseball player (d. 1953) 1861 – Charles Duryea, American automobile pioneer (d. 1938)
1911 – Stan Kenton, American musician (d. 1979)
1916 – Buddy Cole, American pianist (d. 1964)
1918 – Jeff Chandler, American actor (d. 1961)
1933 – Tim Conway, American actor and comedian
1942 – Dave Clark, British musician (The Dave Clark Five)
1949 – Don Johnson, American actor
Rank and organization: Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company D, 1st Battalion (Airmobile), 12th Cavalry, 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile). Place and date: Near My An (2), Binh Dinh province, Republic of Vietnam, December 15th, 1967. Entered service at: Chicago, Ill. Born: 28 October 1945, Chicago, Ill. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Sgt. Lynch (then Sp4c.) distinguished himself while serving as a radio telephone operator with Company D. While serving in the forward element on an operation near the village of My An, his unit became heavily engaged with a numerically superior enemy force. Quickly and accurately assessing the situation, Sgt. Lynch provided his commander with information which subsequently proved essential to the unit’s successful actions. Observing three wounded comrades Lying exposed to enemy fire, Sgt. Lynch dashed across fifty meters of open ground through a withering hail of enemy fire to administer aid. Reconnoitering a nearby trench for a covered position to protect the wounded from intense hostile fire, he killed two enemy soldiers at point blank range. With the trench cleared, he unhesitatingly returned to the fire-swept area three times to carry the wounded men to safety. When his company was forced to withdraw by the superior firepower of the enemy, Sgt. Lynch remained to aid his comrades at the risk of his life rather than abandon them. Alone, he defended his isolated position for two hours against the advancing enemy. Using only his rifle and a grenade, he stopped them just short of his trench, killing five. Again, disregarding his safety in the face of withering hostile fire, he crossed seventy meters of exposed terrain five times to carry his wounded comrades to a more secure area. Once he had assured their comfort and safety, Sgt. Lynch located the counterattacking friendly company to assist in directing the attack and evacuating the three casualties. His gallantry at the risk of his life is in the highest traditions of the military service, Sgt. Lynch has reflected great credit on himself, the 12th Cavalry, and the U.S. Army.
Rank and organization: Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company K, 126th Infantry, 32d Infantry Division. Place and date: Near Limon, Leyte, Philippine Islands, December 15th, 1944. Entered service at: Oakdale, La. Birth: Caney Creek, La. G.O. No.: 83, 2 October 1945. Citation: He was squad leader of a nine-man patrol sent to reconnoiter a ridge held by a well-entrenched enemy force. Seeing an enemy machinegun position, he ordered his men to remain behind while he crawled to within six yards of the gun. One of the enemy crew jumped up and prepared to man the weapon. Quickly withdrawing, Sgt. Johnson rejoined his patrol and reported the situation to his commanding officer. Ordered to destroy the gun, which covered the approaches to several other enemy positions, he chose three other men, armed them with hand grenades, and led them to a point near the objective. After taking partial cover behind a log, the men had knocked out the gun and begun an assault when hostile troops on the flank hurled several grenades. As he started for cover, Sgt. Johnson saw two unexploded grenades which had fallen near his men. Knowing that his comrades would be wounded or killed by the explosion, he deliberately threw himself on the grenades and received their full charge in his body. Fatally wounded by the blast, he died soon afterward. Through his outstanding gallantry in sacrificing his life for his comrades, Sgt. Johnson provided a shining example of the highest traditions of the U.S. Army.
Rank and organization: Private First Class, U.S. Army, 126th Infantry, 32d Infantry Division. Place and date. Near Limon, Leyte, Philippine Islands, December 15th, 1944. Entered service at: Grand Rapids, Mich. Birth: Maple Lake, Minn. G.O. No.: 60, 26 June 1946. Citation: He displayed conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty when an American roadblock on the Ormoc Road was attacked by a group of enemy tanks. He left his covered position, and with a rocket launcher and six rounds of ammunition, advanced alone under intense machinegun and 37-mm. fire. Loading single-handedly, he destroyed the first tank, killing its occupants with a single round. As the crew of the second tank started to dismount and attack him, he killed one of the foe with his pistol, forcing the survivors to return to their vehicle, which he then destroyed with a second round. Three more hostile tanks moved up the road, so he flanked the first and eliminated it, and then, despite a hail of enemy fire, pressed forward again to destroy another. With his last round of ammunition he struck the remaining vehicle, causing it to crash down a steep embankment. Through his sustained heroism in the face of superior forces, Pfc. Vlug alone destroyed five enemy tanks and greatly facilitated successful accomplishment of his battalion’s mission.
Rank and organization: Seaman, Engineer’s Force, U.S. Navy. Born: 1844, Philadelphia, Pa. Accredited to: Pennsylvania. G.O. No.: 169, 8 February 1872. Citation: On board the U.S.S. Shenandoah during the rescue of a shipmate at Villefranche, December 15th, 1871. Jumping overboard, Sapp gallantly assisted in saving Charles Prince, seaman, from drowning.
Rank and organization: Corporal, Company G, 2d Illinois Light Artillery. Place and date: At Nashville, Tenn., December 15th, 1864. Entered service at: DeKalb County, Ill. Birth: Rutland County, Vt. Date of issue: 20 January 1897. Citation: When the fire of the enemy’s batteries compelled the men of his detachment for a short time to seek shelter, he stood manfully at his post and for some minutes worked his gun alone.
National Bouillabaisse Day
The Heisman Trophy or the Heisman is awarded annually to the most outstanding player in college football in the United States whose performance best exhibits the pursuit of excellence with integrity. Winners epitomize great ability combined with diligence, perseverance, and hard work. It is presented by the Heisman Trophy Trust in early December before the postseason bowl games.
The award was created in 1935 for the “most valuable football player in the East” by the Downtown Athletic Club (now the Downtown Club). After the death of the Club’s athletic director, John Heisman, the award was named in his honor and broadened to include players west of the Mississippi. Heisman had been active in college athletics as a football player; a head football, basketball, and baseball coach; and an athletic director. It is the oldest of several overall awards in college football, including the Maxwell Award, Walter Camp Award, and the AP Player of the Year. The Heisman and the AP Player of the Year honor the most outstanding player, while the Maxwell and Walter Camp awards recognize the best player, and the Archie Griffin Award recognizes the most valuable player.
There are many notable achievements in the history of the Heisman:
Larry Kelley and Clint Frank of Yale were the first teammates to win the Heisman Trophy, in 1936 and 1937.
Nile Kinnick of Iowa was the only Heisman Trophy winner (1939) to have a stadium named after him. In 1972, the University of Iowa renamed its football complex Kinnick Stadium.
Doc Blanchard was the first junior to win the Heisman Trophy when he led Army to the national title in 1945.
Paul Hornung was the only player to win the Heisman Trophy as a player for a losing team. He took the award at Notre Dame 1956, when the Irish finished a dismal 2-8 on the year.
John David Crow of Texas A&M holds the distinction of being Bear Bryant’s only Heisman Trophy winner (1957).
Ernie Davis was the first Black player to win the Heisman Trophy. He attended Syracuse University and was the overall first round draft pick in 1962, yet never played a game in the NFL as he was diagnosed with leukemia and died in 1963.
Terry Baker was the only player to win the Heisman Trophy and play in the Final Four in the NCAA Basketball Tournament in the same school year (1962-1963).
Archie Griffin of Ohio State is the only player to receive the award twice, winning it as a junior in 1974 and a senior in 1975.
Steve Spurrier, the 1966 recipient as a Florida Gator, became the first Heisman Trophy winner to coach a winner in 1996 (Danny Wuerffel, also of the University of Florida).
Charlie Ward of Florida State was the only player to win the Heisman Trophy (1993) and play in the National Basketball Association.
Charles Woodson of the University of Michigan is the only primarily defensive player to win the award, beating out Heisman-favorite Peyton Manning, quarterback for the University of Tennessee, in 1997. He was a standout cornerback, but also occasionally played as a wide receiver and punt returner.
In 2007, Tim Tebow was the first sophomore to win the Heisman.
In 2012, Johnny Manziel became the first redshirt freshman to win the award.
In 2013, Jameis Winston became the youngest player to ever win the award, at 19 years and 342 days old.
Ohio State and Notre Dame have the most number of Heisman trophies won, each with seven; Ohio State has had six different players win the award.
The player who received the most votes (by percentage) was Reggie Bush of USC in 2005, which has now been vacated. Bush gave up the Heisman when he was accused of receiving “illegal benefits) during his playing time. USC elected to leave it open rather that have someone to fill the award.
The player who won by the widest margin was Troy Smith of Ohio State in 2006. The closest margin of votes was in 2009 between winner Mark Ingram of Alabama and Toby Gerhart of Stanford.
You were born to win, but to be a winner, you must plan to win, prepare to win, and expect to win.
~ Zig Ziglar
par·si·mo·ni·ous adjective \ˌpär-sə-ˈmō-nē-əs\
: very unwilling to spend money
exhibiting or marked by parsimony; especially : frugal to the point of stinginess
1287 – St. Lucia’s flood: The Zuiderzee sea wall in the Netherlands collapses, killing over 50,000 people.
1774 – First incident of the Revolution-400 attack Fort William & Mary, New Hampshire. Mr. Samuel Cutts of the Portsmouth committee, announced that troops were to be sent to reinforce the fort.
1782 – The Montgolfier brothers’ first balloon lifts off on its first test flight.
1782 – Charleston, SC, was evacuated by British.
1793 – First state road authorized, Frankfort KY to Cincinnati OH.
1799 – The first president of the United States, George Washington, died of acute laryngitis at the age 67.
1814 – War of 1812: The British Royal Navy seizes control of Lake Borgne, Louisiana.
1814 – The steamboat Enterprise, designed by keelboat captain Henry Miller Shreve, arrived in New Orleans with guns and ammunition for Gen. Jackson. It was immediately commandeered for military service.
1819 – Alabama becomes the 22nd U.S. state. This made eleven slave states and eleven free states.
1836 – The Toledo War unofficially ends. This war was the almost bloodless boundary dispute between the U.S. state of Ohio and the adjoining territory of Michigan.
1854 – Congress authorized appointment of first lifeboat station keepers at $200 per year each and superintendents for Long Island and New Jersey serving under Secretary of Treasury.
1863 – Gen. James Longstreet attacked Union troops at Bean’s Station, TN.
1863 – Civil War: General Beauregard, CSA, ordered Lieutenant Dixon, CSA, to proceed with submarine H. L. Hunley to the mouth of Charleston harbor and “sink and destroy any vessel of the enemy with which he can come in conflict.”
1863 – President Lincoln announces a grant of amnesty for Mrs. Emilie Todd Helm, Mary Lincoln’s half sister and the widow of a Confederate general. The pardon was one of the first under Lincoln’s Proclamation of Amnesty and Reconstruction.
1864 – Union gunboats supporting General Sherman aided in the capture of Forts Beaulieu and Rosedew in Ossabaw Sound, Georgia, the outer defenses of Savannah.
1900 – Quantum mechanics: Professor Max Planck presents a theoretical derivation of his black-body radiation law.
1902 – The Commercial Pacific Cable Company started laying the first Pacific telegraph cable, from San Francisco to Honolulu. The “Silverton” started out today.
1903 – The Wright brothers make their first attempt to fly with the Wright Flyer at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. The engine stalled during take-off and the plane was damaged in the attempt. Three days later, after repairs were made, the modern aviation age was born when the plane stayed aloft for 12 seconds and flew 102 feet.
1907 – The schooner Thomas W. Lawson runs aground and founders near the Hellweather’s Reef within the Isles of Scilly in a gale. All but two of her eighteen crew and a harbor pilot already aboard died. Her cargo of 58,000 barrels of light paraffin oil caused perhaps the first large marine oil spill.
1911 – Roald Amundsen’s team, comprising himself, Olav Bjaaland, Helmer Hanssen, Sverre Hassel, and Oscar Wisting, becomes the first to reach the South Pole.
1915 – Jack Johnson is the first black world heavyweight boxing champion.
1916 – People of Denmark voted to sell Danish West Indies to United States for $25 million.
1926 – TILT-A-WHIRL was trademark registered. TILT-A-WHIRL is the famous theme park ride invented by Herbert Sellner.
1928 – America’s original Funny Girl, Fanny Brice, recorded “If You Want the Rainbow (You Must Have the Rain)” on Victor Records.
1934 – The first streamlined locomotive, nicknamed the “Commodore Vanderbilt”, was introduced by the New York Central Railroad. The locomotive was quite impressive: 228 tons and 4,075 horsepower.
1941 – First NFL division playoff, Bears beat Packers 33-14. The Bears went on to defeat the Giants 37-9 for the NFL championship, December 21.
1941 – World War II: Japan signs a treaty of alliance with Thailand.
1941 – U.S. Marines made a stand in battle for Wake Island. Wake Island defenders were left with one aircraft surviving Japanese attacks.
1944 – MGM released the movie “National Velvet“. Elizabeth Taylor starred as Velvet Brown.
1944 – Major-league baseball representatives, who were meeting in New York City, decided to allow ball clubs to play night games any day except Sundays and holidays, providing the visiting team agreed.
1944 – Congress established the rank of General of Army, the 5-star General and the Rank of Fleet Admiral, U.S. Navy (five star admiral).
1944 – The former NYK liner Oryoku Maru left Manila with 1619 American POWs packed in the holds. U.S. Navy planes from the “Hornet” attacked, causing the Hell Ship to sink the following day. Only 200 of the men survived.
1944 – US Task Force 38 (Admiral McCain) launches air strikes on airfields throughout Luzon. TF38 includes 13 carriers, 8 battleships and numerous cruisers and destroyers. The attacks are in support of the American landing on Mindoro.
1945 – Captain Sue S. Dauser receives the first Distinguished Service Medal awarded to a nurse.
1945- World War II: Holocaust: Josef Kramer, known as “the beast of Belsen,” and 10 others were executed in Hamelin for the crimes they committed at the Belsen and Auschwitz Nazi concentration camps.
1946 – The United Nations General Assembly votes to establish its headquarters in New York, New York.
1951 – CHART TOPPERS – “Sin (It’s No)” by Eddy Howard, “Slowpoke” by Pee Wee King”, “Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer” by Gene Autry and “Let Old Mother Nature Have Her Way” by Carl Smith all topped the charts.
1952 – President-elect Eisenhower announced a new policy of firmness in dealing with the communists on his return from Korea.
1953 – Sandy Koufax, age 19, was signed by the Brooklyn Dodgers. In the next 12 seasons, Koufax posted 167 wins, 87 losses and 2,396 strikeouts, becoming a baseball legend!
1955 – Tappan Zee Bridge in New York opens to traffic. The Bridge opens carrying 18,000 vehicles per day. It was designed to accommodate 100,000 vehicles a day.
1957 – “You Send Me” by Sam Cooke topped the charts.
1959 – J B Jordan in F-104C (Starfighter) sets world altitude record, 103,395 feet (19.58 miles).
1960 – A U.S. B-52 bomber set a 10,000 mile non-stop record without refueling.
1960 – Expansion draft for the Washington Senators and Los Angeles Angels.
1961 – Jimmy Dean’s “Big Bad John” is first country song to get a gold record.
1962 – Bob Dylan’s first single, “Mixed-Up Confusion“, was released.
1962 – NASA’s Mariner 2 becomes the first spacecraft to fly by Venus. It transmitted information about the planet’s atmosphere and surface temperature.
1963 – “Dominique” by Singing Nun topped the charts. It was the first time that a single topped the Hot 100 as the same time that its LP topped the Billboard album chart.
1963 – The dam containing the Baldwin Hills Reservoir bursts, killing five people and damaging hundreds of homes in Los Angeles, California.
1964 – American Civil Rights Movement: Heart of Atlanta Motel v. United States – The Supreme Court of the United States rules that Congress can use the Constitution’s Commerce Clause to fight discrimination.
1964 – Vietnam War: Operation Barrel Roll, the name given to the first phase of the bombing plan approved by President Lyndon B. Johnson on December 1, begins with U.S. planes attacking “targets of opportunity” in northern Laos.
1966 – The Elvis Presley film “Spinout” premiered.
1967 – CHART TOPPERS – “Daydream Believer” by The Monkees, “The Rain, the Park & Other Things” by The Cowsills, “I Say a Little Prayer” by Dionne Warwick and “It’s the Little Things” by Sonny James all topped the charts.
1967 – DNA created in a test tube.
1968 – Tommy James and the Shondells released “Crimson & Clover.”
1968 – Marvin Gaye was number one in the U.S. with “I Heard It Through the Grapevine“.
1969 – Jackson Five made their first appearance on “Ed Sullivan Show.”
1970 -George Harrison received a gold record for his single, “My Sweet Lord“.
1972 – Apollo program: Eugene Cernan is the last person to walk on the moon, after he and Harrison Schmitt complete the third and final extra-vehicular activity (EVA) of the Apollo 17 mission.
1973 – Jerry Quarry defeated Ernie Shavers in 2 minutes, 21 seconds of the first round of their heavyweight boxing match in New York.
1974 – “Kung Fu Fighting” by Carl Douglas topped the charts.
1975 – CHART TOPPERS – “Fly, Robin, Fly” by Silver Convention, “Let’s Do It Again” by The Staple Singers, “Saturday Night” by Bay City Rollers and “Love Put a Song in My Heart” by Johnny Rodriguez all topped the charts.
1977 – “Saturday Night Fever“, starring John Travolta, premieres in New York City.
1982 – Marcel Dionne, Los Angeles CA, becomes 9th NHLer to score 500 goals.
1983 – CHART TOPPERS – “Say Say Say” by Paul McCartney & Michael Jackson, “Say It Isn’t So” by Daryl Hall-John Oates, “Union of the Snake” by Duran Duran and “Tell Me a Lie” by Janie Fricke all topped the charts.
1984 – Howard Cosell retired from the NFL’s Monday Night Football.
1985 – “Broken Wings” by Mr. Mister topped the charts.
1985 – Wilma Mankiller became the first woman to lead a major American Indian tribe as she formally took office as principal chief of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma.
1985 – America’s winningest high school football coach called it quits this day. Gordon Wood, 71, of Brownwood High School in Central Texas retired after 43 years. Wood sported a career record of 405 wins, 88 losses and 12 ties. The football stadium at Brownwood High has since been rebuilt and named for him.
1986 – The experimental aircraft Voyager, piloted by Dick Rutan and Jeana Yeager, took off from California on the first non-stop, non-refueled flight around the world. The trip took nine days to complete.
1987 – Chrysler pled no contest to federal charges of selling several thousand vehicles as new when Chrysler employees had driven the vehicles with the odometer disconnected.
1988 – NBA’s Miami Heat wins first game ever.
1988 – The first transatlantic underwater fiber-optic cable went into service.
1990 – Right to Die case permits Nancy Cruzan to have her feeding tube removed, she dies 12 days later
1991 – CHART TOPPERS – “Black or White” by Michael Jackson, “It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday” by Boyz II Men, “All 4 Love” by Color Me Badd and “For My Broken Heart” by Reba McEntire all topped the charts.
1991 – 57th Heisman Trophy Award: Desmond Howard, Michigan (WR)
1993 – A judge in Colorado struck down the state’s voter-approved Amendment Two prohibiting gay rights laws, calling it unconstitutional.
1993 – The United Mine Workers approved a five-year contract that ended a strike that had reached seven states and involved some of the nation’s biggest coal operators.
1995 – Classified documents from the White House were released that revealed the FBI had spied on John Lennon and his anti-war activities during the early ’70s in a possible attempt to have Lennon deported.
1995 – AIDS patient Jeff Getty received the first-ever bone-marrow transplant from a baboon. Mr. Getty died of heart failure after treatment for cancer and a long struggle with AIDS on October 9, 2006.
1995 – An agreement for peace in Bosnia, reached at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio, was formally signed.
1996 – “Don’t Speak” by No Doubt topped the charts.
1996 – 62nd Heisman Trophy Award: Danny Wuerffel, Florida (quarterback)
1996 – The disabled freighter “Bright Field” rammed a crowded New Orleans riverfront mall on the Mississippi River. Quick action by the vessel’s pilot may have averted disaster. The pilot sent off a last-second warning blast of the horn and tried to redirect the ship by dropping an anchor. The ship slammed bow-first into the busy riverfront shopping complex, injuring dozens of people, but no one was killed.
1997 – Mike Gartner (Phoenix Coyotes) became only the fifth player in National Hockey League (NHL) history to score 700 career goals.
1999 – In Seattle Ahmed Ressam (32) was arrested after crossing the border at Port Angeles from Canada with a car trunk with over 150 pounds of bomb-making materials that included 200 pounds of urea, timing devices and a bottle of RDX, cyclotrimethylene trinitramine. He was carrying these for what became known as the Millennium Plot.
2004 – Pres. Bush awarded the Presidential Medal of Honor to Gen. Tommy Franks, Paul Bremer, and George Tenet, for their efforts in the war in Iraq.
2008 – Muntadhar al-Zaidi throws his shoes at then-U.S. President George W. Bush during a press conference in Baghdad, Iraq.
2012 – Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting: Twenty-eight people, including the gunman, are killed in Sandy Hook, Connecticut.
1503 – Physician, astrologer and clairvoyant Nostradamus was born at St. Remy, Provence, France. |
1884 – Jane Cowl, American actress and playwright (d. 1950) Actress Jane Russell was name after tis actress.
1896 – Jimmy Doolittle, American pilot and general, Medal of Honor recipient (d. 1993) was an American aviation pioneer.
1897 – Margaret Chase Smith, American educator and politician (d. 1995) She was the first woman to serve in both houses of the United States Congress, and the first woman to represent Maine in either.
1902 – Frances Bavier, ”Aunt Bea” from Mayberry RFD. American actress (d. 1989)
1911 – Spike Jones, American singer, actor, and bandleader (d. 1965)
1917 – June Taylor, American dancer and choreographer (d. 2004) Best known as the founder of the June Taylor Dancers, who were featured on Jackie Gleason’s various television variety programs.
1922 – Don Hewitt, American journalist and producer, created 60 Minutes (d. 2009)
1922 – Junior J. Spurrier, American sergeant, Medal of Honor recipient (d. 1984)
1925 – Sam Jones, American baseball player (d. 1971)
1932 – Abbe Lane, American actress, singer, and dancer
1932 – Charlie Rich, American singer-songwriter and guitarist (d. 1995)
1935 – Lee Remick, American actress (d. 1991)
1941 – Ellen Willis, American journalist, critic, and academic (d. 2006)
1946 – Patty Duke, American actress and singer
1946 – Joyce Vincent Wilson, American singer (Tony Orlando and Dawn and Former Ladies of the Supremes)
1962 – Ginger Lynn, American model and actress
1963 – Cynthia Gibb, American actress and singer
1971 – Tia Texada, American actress and singer
1971 – Michaela Watkins, American actress
1972 – Marcus Jensen, American baseball player and coach
1974 – Billy Koch, American baseball player
1975 – Justin Furstenfeld, American singer-songwriter, guitarist, and producer (Blue October and The Last Wish)
1975 – KaDee Strickland, American actress
1976 – Leland Chapman, American bounty hunter
NEPPEL, RALPH G.
Rank and organization: Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company M, 329th Infantry, 83d Infantry Division. Place and date: Birgel, Germany, December 14th, 1944. Entered service at: Glidden, lowa. Birth: Willey, lowa. G.O. No.: 77, 10 September 1945. Citation: He was leader of a machinegun squad defending an approach to the village of Birgel, Germany, on 14 December 1944, when an enemy tank, supported by 20 infantrymen, counterattacked. He held his fire until the Germans were within 100 yards and then raked the foot soldiers beside the tank killing several of them. The enemy armor continued to press forward and, at the pointblank range of 30 yards, fired a high-velocity shell into the American emplacement, wounding the entire squad. Sgt. Neppel, blown 10 yards from his gun, had 1 leg severed below the knee and suffered other wounds. Despite his injuries and the danger from the onrushing tank and infantry, he dragged himself back to his position on his elbows, remounted his gun and killed the remaining enemy riflemen. Stripped of its infantry protection, the tank was forced to withdraw. By his superb courage and indomitable fighting spirit, Sgt. Neppel inflicted heavy casualties on the enemy and broke a determined counterattack.
|NETT, ROBERT B.
Rank and organization: Captain (then Lieutenant), U.S. Army, Company E, 305th Infantry, 77th Infantry Division. Place and date: Near Cognon, Leyte, Philippine Islands, December 14th,1944. Entered service at: New Haven, Conn. Birth: New Haven, Conn. G.O. No.: 16, 8 February 1946. Citation: He commanded Company E in an attack against a reinforced enemy battalion which had held up the American advance for 2 days from its entrenched positions around a 3-story concrete building. With another infantry company and armored vehicles, Company E advanced against heavy machinegun and other automatic weapons fire with Lt. Nett spearheading the assault against the strongpoint. During the fierce hand-to-hand encounter which ensued, he killed 7 deeply entrenched Japanese with his rifle and bayonet and, although seriously wounded, gallantly continued to lead his men forward, refusing to relinquish his command. Again he was severely wounded, but, still unwilling to retire, pressed ahead with his troops to assure the capture of the objective. Wounded once more in the final assault, he calmly made all arrangements for the resumption of the advance, turned over his command to another officer, and then walked unaided to the rear for medical treatment. By his remarkable courage in continuing forward through sheer determination despite successive wounds, Lt. Nett provided an inspiring example for his men and was instrumental in the capture of a vital strongpoint.
|*THOMAS, CHARLES L.
Rank and Organization: Major United States Army, 761st Tank Battalion
614th Tank Destroyer Battalion Born: Alabama April 17, 1920 Died February 15, 1980 (aged 59) Detroit, Michigan Place and Date: December 14th, 1944 near Climbach, France.
Citation: Near Climbach, France. While riding in the lead vehicle of a task force organized to storm and capture the village of Climbach, France, then First Lieutenant Thomas’s armored scout car was subjected to intense enemy artillery, self-propelled gun, and small arms fire. Although wounded by the initial burst of hostile fire, Lieutenant Thomas signaled the remainder of the column to halt and, despite the severity of his wounds, assisted the crew of the wrecked car in dismounting. Upon leaving the scant protection which the vehicle afforded, Lieutenant Thomas was again subjected to a hail of enemy fire which inflicted multiple gunshot wounds in his chest, legs, and left arm. Despite the intense pain caused by these wounds, Lieutenant Thomas ordered and directed the dispersion and emplacement of two antitank guns which in a few moments were promptly and effectively returning the enemy fire. Realizing that he could no longer remain in command of the platoon, he signaled to the platoon commander to join him. Lieutenant Thomas then thoroughly oriented him on enemy gun dispositions and the general situation. Only after he was certain that his junior officer was in full control of the situation did he permit himself to be evacuated. First Lieutenant Thomas’ outstanding heroism were an inspiration to his men and exemplified the highest traditions of the Armed Forces.
Rank and organization: Sergeant, Company G, 6th U.S. Cavalry. Place and date: At Simon Valley, Ariz., December 14th, 1877. Entered service at: ——. Birth: Ireland. Date of issue: 9 January 1880. Citation: Engaged singlehanded two renegade Indians until his horse was shot under him and then pursued them so long as he was able.
(See also 3rd Sunday in July)
My favorite part about euphemisms is the fact that, if you look into their origins, colorful euphemisms such as “kick the bucket” or “let the cat out of the bag” often reference something much worse than the topic the speaker is trying to avoid. I have a neat little book about the origins of some of these euphemisms, and I thought I’d share a few:
First, the best. “Kicking the Bucket.” = “to die.” Kicking the bucket goes back to the time when cattle were slaughtered manually. This was done by tying the cow in a hanging position and slitting it open so that the guts fell out into a bucket. Oftentimes, however, the still-living animal would jerk when it was sliced and kick said bucket.
“Letting the Cat out of the Bag.”= “revealing a secret.” In Elizabethan times, suckling pigs were a great delicacy. they were, however, expensive, so people took to selling them on the black market. Black marketers would meet their patrons in alleys with the animal in a bag… only sometimes, they’d try to trick the buyer by placing a cat inside rather than a pig. Obviously, if the cat got out, the cover was blown and the seller would be in trouble.
“Jerry rigging”= “fixing something in an impromptu way.” This is a nautical reference. When a ship ran into a storm, sails, masts, and other rather important parts of the boat were often lost. In order to keep going, the sailors would have to fix the ship with whatever they had – they had to “injury rig” it. In time, ‘injury’ was shortened to ‘jury’ and then mispronounced to ‘jerry.’
And then there is the subject of people with extra weight on their bodies. From a huge list of euphemisms come: Aisle Blocker, Big-Boned, Bodus Rotundus, Chub Scout, Crisco Kid, Full bodied, Full-Figured, Generously Proportioned, Gluttinus Maximus, Gravitationally Challenged, Heroically Proportioned, Gravitationally Challenged, Plus-Sized, Rubenesque, There’s More Of Me To Love, …..
Euphemisms can eventually become taboo words themselves through a process called the euphemism treadmill, a term coined by linguist Steven Pinker. Words originally intended as euphemisms may lose their euphemistic value, acquiring the negative connotations of the items they are trying to describe. In some cases, they may be used mockingly and become dysphemistic. For example “concentration camp” was used by the Third Reich as an expression for their death camps. Since then new terms have been invented as euphemisms for them, such as internment camps, resettlement camps, fortified villages, etc.
The term toilet as used in the phrase “I have to go to the toilet” has been replaced with bathroom and rest room. Excuse me? You need a room to rest in or to take a bath in?
Connotations easily change over time. Idiot was once a neutral term, and moron a similar one. Negative senses of a word tend to crowd out neutral ones, so the word retarded was used to replace them and idiot has been relegated to a pure insult.. Now that too is considered rude, and as a result, new terms like mentally-challenged or special have replaced it. In a few decades, calling someone special may well be a grave insult, and indeed among many young school students, it is already a common term of abuse, “Oh well, now aren’t you special.” A similar progression occurred with crippled which became disabled which became handicapped and now differently-abled.
The euphemism treadmill also occurs with notions of profanity and obscenity, but in the reverse direction. Words once called “offensive” were later described as “objectionable,” and later “questionable.”
A complementary “dysphemism treadmill” exists, but is more rarely observed. One modern example is the word “sucks.” “That sucks” began as American slang for “that is very unpleasant”, it has gone from an extremely vulgar phrase to near-acceptability and some use the term “inhales vigorously.”
“Magic is believing in yourself. If you can do that, you can make anything happen.”
~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
A person or thing that isn’t properly able to function, especially one that was previously proficient.
The description of ‘lame duck’ is often applied to politicians who are known to be in their final term of office, when colleagues and electors look toward a successor. It is also sometimes used to describe office-holders who have lost an election but have not yet left office.
1204 – Maimonides (b.1135), Spanish-born Jewish scholar, died in Cairo. His books included the “Mishnah Torah,” the single most important Jewish book after the Bible and Talmud.
1545 – The Church Council of Trent began with the meeting of thirty bishops. It lasted three years but took eighteen years to complete its work.
1577 – Sir Francis Drake sets out from Plymouth, England, on his round-the-world voyage.
1621 – The first American furs to be exported from the continent left for England aboard the Fortune, under the care of Robert Cushman.
1636 – The Massachusetts Bay Colony organizes three militia regiments to defend the colony against the Pequot Indians. This organization is recognized today as the founding of the United States National Guard.
1759 – First music store in America opens (Philadelphia).
1769 – Dartmouth College founded by the Rev. Eleazar Wheelock, with a Royal Charter from King George III, on land donated by Royal Governor John Wentworth.
1774 – Four hundred colonials attacked Ft. William & Mary, NH.
1775 – Continental Congress authorizes the building of thirteen frigates, mounting twenty-four and thirty-six guns.
1809 – The first abdominal surgical procedure was performed in Danville, KY, on Jane Todd Crawford. The operation was performed without an anesthetic.
1814 – War of 1812: General Andrew Jackson announced martial law in New Orleans, Louisiana, as British troops disembark at Lake Borne, 40 miles east of the city.
1816 – Patent for a dry dock issued to John Adamson in Boston.
1843 – “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens published, 6,000 copies sold.
1861 – Civil War: Battle of Alleghany Summit, WV.
1862 – Civil War: At the Battle of Fredericksburg, Confederate General Robert E. Lee defeats the Union Major General Ambrose E. Burnside. An estimated 11,000 Northern soldiers were killed or wounded.
1864 – Civil War: Battle of Ft. McAllister, Ga.
1864 – Civil War: The Union fleet massed for the bombardment of Fort Fisher departed Hampton Roads for Wilmington.
1884 – Percy Everitt received a patent for the first coin-operated weighing machine.
1903 – Molds for ice cream cones were patented by Italo Marcione of New York.
1913 – The Federal Reserve System was established as the first U.S. central bank.
1918 – President Wilson arrived in France, becoming the first chief executive to visit a European country while holding office.
1918 – US army of occupation crossed the Rhine and entered Germany.
1920 – Betelgeuse became the first star to have its diameter measured by means of the beam interferometer invented by Albert A. Michelson. If Betelgeuse were at the center of the Solar System, its surface would extend past the asteroid belt, possibly to the orbit of Jupiter and beyond, wholly engulfing Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars.
1921 – Britain, France, Japan and the United States signed the Pacific Treaty. This treaty promised to respect each other’s rights in their island possessions in the Pacific and agreed not to build any new battleships, cruisers, or aircraft carriers for ten years.
1922 – Charles Ebbets proposes putting numbers on players’ sleeves or caps.
1928 – George Gershwin’s musical work “An American in Paris” (18:17) premiered at Carnegie Hall in New York.
1928 – Clip-on tie designed.
1929 – Hoagy Carmichael records “Rockin’ Chair” with Louis Armstrong.
1930 – George Sisler’s career ends when Boston Braves release him. Sisler won two batting titles, hitting over .400 both times, and amassed an astounding total of 257 hits in 1920, a record that stood for 84 years until surpassed by Ichiro Suzuki in 2004.
1936 – Green Bay beat the Boston Redskins, 21-6, to capture the National Football League championship. It was the last game for Boston. In 1937, the team became the Washington Redskins.
1938 – World War II: The Holocaust: One-hundred deportees from Sachsenhausen build the Neuengamme concentration camp near Hamburg.
1939 – World War II: Battle of the River Plate – Captain Hans Langsdorff of the German pocket battleship Admiral Graf Spee engages with Royal Navy cruisers HMS Exeter, HMS Ajax and HMNZS Achilles.
1940 – “The Anvil Chorus“, was recorded by Glenn Miller and his orchestra.
1941 – World War II: Hungary and Romania declare war on the United States.
1942 – World War II: Over Tunisia, US air forces stage heavy raids on Bizerta and Tunis.
1942 – “Allen’s Alley” characters debut on “The Fred Allen Show.”
1943 – World War II: The P-51D Mustang fighter is first used on a bomber escort mission in support of the USAAF 8th Air Force raid on Kiel.
1944 – World War II: U.S. cruiser Nashville was badly damaged in a Japanese kamikaze suicide attack. 138 people were killed in the attack.
1949 – The Knesset votes to move the capital of Israel to Jerusalem.
1950 – CHART TOPPERS – “A Bushel and a Peck” by Perry Como & Betty Hutton, “Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer” by Gene Autry, “Nevertheless” by Jack Denny and “I’m Moving On” by Hank Snow all topped the charts.
1950 – James Dean begins his career with an appearance in a Pepsi commercial.
1951 – After meeting with FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, President Harry S. Truman vowed to purge all disloyal government workers.
1951 – Foreign Service Officer John S. Service is dismissed from the Department of State following a determination by the Civil Service Commission’s Loyalty Board that there was “reasonable doubt” concerning his loyalty to the United States.
1951 – Korean War: U.S. Air Force George A. Davis, flying a F-86 Sabre jet out of the 4th Fighter-Interceptor Wing, was credited with four aerial victories against MiG-15s, the largest number of kills by a single pilot in one day during the war.
1952 – “The Glow-Worm” by Mills Brothers topped the charts.
1956 – Dodgers trade Jackie Robinson to Giants – Robinson promptly retires.
1961 – Jimmy Dean’s “Big Bad John” album is country music’s first million dollar seller.
1962 – Relay I, the first U.S. communications earth satellite to transmit telephone, television, teleprinter and facsimile signals was launched.
1964 – In El Paso, TX, President Johnson and Mexican President Gustavo Diaz Ordaz set off an explosion that diverted the Rio Grande River, reshaping the U.S.-Mexican border. This ended a century-old border dispute.
1966 – The rights to the first four Super Bowls were sold to CBS and NBC for total of $9.5 million.
1966 – Vietnam War: The first US bombing of Hanoi took place.
1966 – Jimi Hendrix recorded “Foxey Lady.”
1969 – Arlo Guthrie releases “Alice’s Restaurant.” (18:16) This reflected the attitude of many young people in America at the time. It was considered an antiwar song, but unlike most protest songs, it used humor to speak out against authority.
1969 – “Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye” by Steam topped the charts.
1970 – “Tears of a Clown” by Smokey Robinson & the Miracles topped the charts.
1972 – Astronaut Gene Cernan climbed into his Lunar Lander on the Moon and prepared to lift-off. He was the last man to set foot on the Moon.
1973 – Detroit became the first city to receive a franchise in the fabulously unsuccessful World Football League.
1974 – CHART TOPPERS – “Kung Fu Fighting” by Carl Douglas, “When Will I See You Again” by The Three Degrees, “Cat’s in the Cradle” by Harry Chapin and “She Called Me Baby” by Charlie Rich all topped the charts.
1975 – “Fly, Robin, Fly” by the Silver Convention topped the charts.
1975 – David Bowie’s “Golden Years” was released.
1976 – Longest non-stop passenger airflight (Sydney to San Francisco 13 hours 14 minutes).
1977 – A United States government aircraft DC-3 crashes near Evansville Regional Airport, killing 29, including the University of Evansville basketball team.
1978 – The first Susan B. Anthony dollar enters circulation. It minted for only four years, 1979, 1980, 1981, and 1999.
1979 – “Oklahoma!” (Playlist – 12 videos) opens at Palace Theater in New York City for 301 performances.
1980 – “Lady” by Kenny Rogers topped the charts.
1982 – CHART TOPPERS – “Mickey” by Toni Basil, “Maneater” by Daryl Hall & John Oates, “The Girl is Mine” by Michael Jackson/Paul McCartney and “Redneck Girl” by The Bellamy Brothers all topped the charts.
1983 – 9,655 fans see the highest-scoring NBA game: Detroit 186, Denver 184 (3 OT).
1985 – In a movie first, the murder mystery, “Clue”, opened nationally.
1986 – “The Way It Is” by Bruce Hornsby & the Range topped the charts.
1987 – Secretary of State George P. Shultz said the Reagan administration would begin making funding requests for the proposed “Star Wars” defense system.
1988 – A bankruptcy judge in Columbia, SC, ordered the assets of the troubled Praise The Lord (PTL) television ministry sold to a Toronto real estate developer for $65 million.
1989 – The “Queen of Mean” Leona Helmsley sentenced for tax fraud fine in New York.
1990 – CHART TOPPERS – “Because I Love You (The Postman Song)” by Stevie B, “From a Distance” by Bette Midler, “Something to Believe In” by Poison and “I’ve Come to Expect It from You” by George Strait all topped the charts.
1991 – North Korea and South Korea signed a treaty of reconciliation and nonaggression, formally ending the Korean War 38 years after fighting ceased in 1953.
1993 – The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that people must receive a hearing before property linked to illegal drug sales can be seized.
1993 – The space shuttle Endeavour returned from its mission to repair the Hubble Space Telescope.
1995 – US Federal Court votes that Cable companies must carry local stations.
1995 – Four hostages: Donald Hutchings, Keith Mangan, Paul Wells and Dirk Hasert, who were seized in July by Kashmir guerillas, who called themselves Al Faran, were killed. Originally there were six hostages, The six victims included two British tourists, Keith Mangan (from Middlesbrough) and Paul Wells; two Americans, John Childs of Simsbury, Connecticut and Donald Hutchings ofSpokane, Washington; a German, Dirk Hasert; and a Norwegian, Hans Christian Ostrø.
1996 – Kofi Annan, a Ghanan diplomat, is elected as Secretary-General of the United Nations.
1997 – A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held in Los Angeles for the $1 billion Getty Center, one of the largest arts centers in the United States.
1997 – Michigan Wolverine Charles Woodson was named winner of the Heisman Trophy, the first primarily defensive player so honored.
1998 – Puerto Rican voters rejected U.S. statehood in a non-binding referendum.
1998 – With a grave impeachment threat looming, President Clinton told a news conference in Jerusalem he would not resign, and insisted he did not commit perjury.
1998 – Gary Anderson (Minnesota Vikings) kicked six field goals against Baltimore. In the game Anderson set a (NFL) record for 34 straight field goals without a miss.
2000 – American Vice President Al Gore delivers his concession speech ending his hopes of becoming the 43rd President of the United States.
2000 – The US energy secretary exercised emergency authority and ordered 12 generating companies to sell power to California.
2000 – Seven convicts, the “Texas 7,” escaped from Connally Unit in Kenedy, TX, southeast of San Antonio, by overpowering civilian workers and prison employees. They fled with stolen clothing, pickup truck and 16 guns and ammunition.
2001 – The US Defense Dept. released a videotape of Osama bin Laden talking about the Sep 11 attacks. The tape clearly indicated his advance knowledge of the suicide attacks. He also said that the September 11 attacks exceeded his “most optimistic” expectations.
2001 – NBC-TV announced that it would begin running hard liquor commercials. NBC issued a 19-point policy that outlined the conditions for accepting liquor ads.
2002 – President Bush announced he would take the smallpox vaccine along with U.S. military forces, but was not recommending the potentially risky inoculation for most Americans.
2003 – Oklahoma quarterback Jason White won the Heisman Trophy.
2003 – Former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein is captured near his home town of Tikrit (Operation Red Dawn).
2003 – In the most-attended college basketball game in history, 78,129 watch Michigan State University lose 79-74 to the University of Kentucky at Ford Field.
2004 – A jury in Redwood City, Calif., recommended the death penalty for Scott Peterson for the murders of his wife and unborn child.
2004 – Google announced plans to digitally scan the book collections of 5 major libraries, including the Univ. Michigan, Stanford, Harvard, NY Public Library and Oxford, which agreed to books published before 1900.
2004 – It was reported that the math skills of US students were declining so rapidly that some educators were importing texts from Singapore, where students routinely scored high.
2005 – Virgin Galactic, the British company created by entrepreneur Richard Branson to send tourists into space, and New Mexico announced an agreement for the state to build a $225 million spaceport.
2005 – General Motors Corp. said it plans to nearly triple the number of cars it produces in India to meet growing demand.
2006 – Angel Nieves Diaz (55) was executed by lethal injection in Florida for the 1979 murder of the manager of a Miami topless bar and strip joint.
2007 – Democratic presidential hopefuls meeting in Johnston, Iowa, called for higher taxes on the highest-paid Americans and on big corporations in an unusually cordial debate.
2007 – In Louisiana, two graduate students from India were found tied up and shot in the head on the edge of Louisiana State Univ.
2008 – In New Hampshire 370,000 customers still had no electricity following a huge ice storm. More than 1 million homes and businesses were blacked out by the storm. Most of the outages were in New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Maine and New York.
2008 – Former Vice President Al Gore declared that there would be no Arctic Ice five years from now. In 2013 the ice pack actually grew.
2009 – President Obama said: “I did not run for office to be helping out a bunch of fat-cat bankers on Wall Street.”
2009 -The US Senate cleared a $447 billion omnibus spending bill for President Obama’s signature. It contained thousands of earmarks and double digit increases for several Cabinet agencies.
2010 – The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Judge Henry E. Hudson, rules against Barack Obama’s health care reform requirement to purchase health insurance.
2010 – U.S. senator Bernie Sanders gives an 8.5 hour Senate speech denouncing the extension of tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, citing the very large inequality in income and wealth and its growth, and that America is close to being a Banana republic.
2010 – Minnesota Vikings quarterback Brett Favre is sidelined for the Vikings’ game against the New York Giants due to an injury to his right (throwing) shoulder. This ends his NFL record of consecutive regular-season starts, which had run since 1992, at 297.
2011 – The US House of Representatives passes a bill extending a payroll tax extension containing another bill expediting the Keystone XL pipeline between Canada and Texas.
2011 – Iran has turned down the United States request to return a RQ-170 drone that was captured recently by Iranian forces after it crash landed in the country.
2012 – U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice withdraws her name from consideration to be nominated U.S. Secretary of State, following increasing opposition to her nomination by Republican members of the Senate.
2014 – Leisha Campbell gave birth to a baby girl named Hazel. Hazel Grace’s birthday was extra special, because baby Hazel was born at 10:11 a.m. 12/13/14. Hazel was born at 7 pounds, 14 ounces to Leisha and Shawn Zimmerman. This won’t happen again until 3014.
1816 – Ernst Werner von Siemens, German engineer, inventor, and industrialist (d. 1892)
1818 – Mary Todd Lincoln, First Lady of the United States (d. 1882)
1854 – Thomas Watson, American assistant to Alexander Graham Bell (d. 1934)
1887 – Alvin York, American soldier & Medal of Honor recipient (d. 1964)
1910 – Van Heflin, American actor (d. 1971)
1913 – Archie Moore, American boxer and World Light-Heavyweight Champion (d. 1998)
1913 – Arnold Brown, the 11th General of The Salvation Army (d. 2002)
1925 – Dick Van Dyke, American actor and comedian
1929 – Christopher Plummer, Canadian actor
1934 – Richard D. Zanuck, American film producer
ADAMS, JOHN G. B.
Rank and organization: Second Lieutenant, Company I, 19th Massachusetts Infantry. Place and date: At Fredericksburg, Va., December 13th, 1862. Birth: Groveland, Mass. Date of issue: 16 December 1896. Citation: Seized the two colors from the hands of a corporal and a lieutenant as they fell mortally wounded, and with a color in each hand advanced across the field to a point where the regiment was reformed on those colors.
BECKWITH, WALLACE A.
Rank and organization: Private, Company F, 21st Connecticut Infantry. Place and date: At Fredericksburg, Va., December 13th, 1862. Entered service at: New London, Conn. Birth: New London, Conn. Date of issue: 15 February 1897. Citation: Gallantly responded to a call for volunteers to man a battery, serving with great heroism until the termination of the engagement.
BLISS, ZENAS R.
Rank and organization: Colonel, 7th Rhode Island Infantry. Place and date: At Fredericksburg, Va., December 13th, 1862. Entered service at: Johnston, Maine. Birth: Johnston, Maine. Date of issue: 30 December 1898. Citation: This officer, to encourage his regimen; which had never before been in action, and which had been ordered to lie down to protect itself from the enemy’s fire, arose to his feet, advanced in front of the line, and himself fired several shots at the enemy at short range, being fully exposed to their fire at the time.
Rank and organization: Private, Company A, 7th Pennsylvania Reserve Corps. Place and date: At Fredericksburg, Va., December 13th, 1862. Entered service at:——. Birth: Carlisle, Pa. Date of issue: 25 November 1864. Citation: Capture of flag of 19th Georgia Infantry (C.S.A.), wresting it from the hands of the color bearer.
COLLIS, CHARLES H. T.
Rank and organization: Colonel, 114th Pennsylvania Infantry. Place and date: At Fredericksburg, Va., December 13th, 1862. Entered service at: Philadelphia, Pa. Born: 4 February 1838, Ireland. Date of issue: 10 March 1893. Citation: Gallantly led his regiment in battle at a critical moment.
COPP, CHARLES D.
Rank and organization: Second Lieutenant, Company C, 9th New Hampshire Infantry. Place and date: At Fredericksburg, Va., December 13th, 1862. Entered service at: Nashua, N.H. Born: 12 April 1840, Warren County, N.H. Date of issue: 28 June 1890. Citation: Seized the regimental colors, the color bearer having been shot down, and, waving them, rallied the regiment under a heavy fire.
Rank and organization: Private, Company B, 69th New York Infantry. Place and date: At Fredericksburg, Va., December 13th, 1862. Entered service at:——. Birth: Ireland. Date of issue: 17 January 1894. Citation: Voluntarily carried a wounded officer off the field from between the lines; while doing this he was himself wounded.
FRICK, JACOB G..
Rank and organization: Colonel, 129th Pennsylvania Infantry. Place and date: At Fredericksburg, Va., December 13th,1862. At Chancellorsville, Va., 3 May 1863. Entered service at. Pottsville, Pa. Born: 23 January 1838, Northumberland, Pa. Date of issue: 7 June 1892. Citation: At Fredericksburg seized the colors and led the command through a terrible fire of cannon and musketry. In a hand-to-hand fight at Chancellorsville, recaptured the colors of his regiment.
GOODALL, FRANCIS H..
Rank and organization: First Sergeant, Company G, 11th New Hampshire Infantry. Place and date: At Fredericksburg, Va., December 13th, 1862. Entered service at: Bath, N.H. Birth: Bath, N.H. Date of issue: 14 December 1894. Citation: With the assistance of another soldier brought a wounded comrade into the lines, under heavy fire.
HOGARTY, WILLIAM P.
Rank and organization: Private, Company D, 23d New York Infantry. Place and date: At Antietam, Md., 17 September 1862. At Fredericksburg, Va., December 13th, 1862. Entered service at: ——. Birth: New York, N.Y. Date of issue: 22 June 1891. Citation: Distinguished gallantry in actions while attached to Battery B, 4th U.S. Artillery; lost his left arm at Fredericksburg.
Rank and organization: Private, Company D, 2d Wisconsin Infantry. Place and date: At Fredericksburg, Va., December 13th, 1862; Antietam. Entered service at: Janesville, Rock County, Wis. Born: 25 March 1842, Norway. Date of issue: 28 August 1893. Citation: Conspicuous gallantry in battle in which he was severely wounded. While serving as cannoneer he manned the positions of fallen gunners.
Rank and organization: Private, Company B, 26th New York Infantry. Place and date: At Fredericksburg, Va., December 13th, 1862. Entered service at: ——. Birth: England. Date of issue: 2 December 1892. Citation: Voluntarily seized the colors after several color bearers had been shot down and led the regiment in the charge.
Rank and organization: Private, Company D, 13th Massachusetts Infantry. Place and date. At Fredericksburg, Va., December 13th, 1862. Entered service at:——. Born 2 February 1836, Waltham, Mass. Date of issue: 1898. Citation: A wounded and helpless comrade, having been left on the skirmish line, this soldier voluntarily returned to the front under a severe fire and carried the wounded man to a place of safety.
Rank and organization. Corporal, Company F, 21st Connecticut Infantry. Place and date: At Fredericksburg, Va., December 13th, 1862. Entered service at: Montville, Conn. Birth. Montville, Conn. Date of issue. 30 October 1896. Citation: First of 6 men who volunteered to assist gunner of a battery upon which the enemy was concentrating its fire, and fought with the battery until the close of the engagement. His commanding officer felt he would never see this man alive again.
Rank and organization: Sergeant, Company A, 136th Pennsylvania Infantry. Place and date: At Fredericksburg, Va., December 13th,1862. Entered service at: Tioga County, Pa. Born: 7 May 1840, England. Date of issue: 21 August 1893. Citation: Took up the colors as they fell out of the hands of the wounded color bearer and carried them forward in the charge.
Rank and organization: Colonel, 134th Pennsylvania Infantry. Place and date: At Fredericksburg, Va., December 13th, 1862. Entered service at: Beaver County, Pa. Born: 30 September 1833, Dilkburg, Pa. Date of issue: 9 July 1888. Citation: Although out of service, he voluntarily resumed duty on the eve of battle and took a conspicuous part in the charge on the heights.
Rank and organization: Private, Company E, 26th New York Infantry. Place and date: At Fredericksburg, Va., December 13th, 1862. Entered service at: ——. Birth: Germany. Date of issue. 1 September 1893. Citation. Relinquished a furlough granted for wounds, entered the battle, where he picked up the colors after several bearers had been killed or wounded, and carried them until himself again wounded.
Rank and organization: Corporal, Company E, 90th Pennsylvania Infantry. Place and date: At Fredericksburg, Va., December 13th,1862. Entered service at: Cressonville, Pa. Birth: ——. Date of issue: 21 January 1897. Citation: Carried a dangerously wounded comrade into the Union lines, thereby preventing his capture by the enemy.
Rank and organization: First Lieutenant and Adjutant, 2d Pennsylvania Reserve Infantry. Place and date: At Fredericksburg, Va., December 13th, 1862. Entered service at: ——. Born: 11 March 1838, Philadelphia, Pa. Date of issue: 14 December 1894. Citation: Advanced between the lines, demanded and received the surrender of the 19th Georgia Infantry and captured their battle flag.