Today in History Today is Monday, December 20, the 354th day of 2021. There are 11 days left in…
Today in history
Today is Monday, December 20, the 354th day of 2021. There are 11 days left in the year.
Today’s highlight in history:
On December 20, 1987, more than 4,300 people were killed when the Dona Paz (DOHN’-yuh pahz), a Filipino passenger ship, collided with the tanker Vector off the island of Mindoro.
To this date :
In 1803, the Louisiana Purchase was completed as ownership of the territory was officially transferred from France to the United States.
In 1860, South Carolina became the first state to separate from the Union, with 169 delegates to a special convention in Charleston voting in favor of separation.
In 1864, Confederate forces evacuated Savannah, Georgia, as Union Major-General William T. Sherman nearly completed his “March to Sea.”
In 1924, Adolf Hitler was released from prison after serving nine months for his role in the Beer Hall Putsch.
In 1946, Frank Capra’s film “It’s A Wonderful Life”, starring James Stewart and Donna Reed, premiered for a charity in New York, a day before its official world premiere.
In 1963, the Berlin Wall was first opened to West Berliners, who were allowed to visit loved ones in the Eastern Sector for a day on vacation.
In 1989, the United States launched Operation Just Cause, sending troops to Panama to overthrow the government of General Manuel Noriega.
In 1995, an American Airlines Boeing 757 en route to Cali, Colombia, crashed into a mountain, killing all but four of the 163 people on board. In Bosnia and Herzegovina, NATO has started its peacekeeping mission, taking over from the United Nations.
In 1999, the Vermont Supreme Court ruled that same-sex couples were entitled to the same benefits and protections as married heterosexual couples.
In 2002, Trent Lott resigned as Senate Republican Leader two weeks after he started a political storm with racist comments.
In 2005, a federal judge ruled that “smart design” could not be mentioned in biology classes in a Pennsylvania public school district, delivering a stinging attack on the Dover area school board.
In 2017, Cardinal Bernard Law, the disgraced former Archbishop of Boston, died in Rome at the age of 86; his failure to stop child molesters in the priesthood had sparked a crisis in American Catholicism.
Ten years ago: Lori Berenson, an American paroled after 15 years behind bars in Peru for helping leftist guerrillas, arrived at Newark Liberty International Airport for her first home visit since her arrest in 1995 (After a 17-day visit, Berenson returned to Peru to serve the remainder of her parole; she was deported from Peru on December 2, 2015 and returned to the United States)
Five years ago: President Barack Obama designated most of the waters owned by the United States in the Arctic Ocean and parts of the Atlantic Ocean as indefinitely closed to future oil and gas leases. A deadly chain explosion ravaged Mexico’s best-known fireworks market on the northern outskirts of the capital, killing at least 36 people. Two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova suffered a game hand injury from a knife-wielding striker at her home in the Czech Republic and underwent surgery. (The assailant was sentenced to 11 years in prison.)
A year ago: The Trump campaign continued its unprecedented efforts to overturn the results of the November presidential election; a petition called on the Supreme Court to overturn three Pennsylvania Supreme Court cases involving mail-in ballots, and also called for the state’s General Assembly to be allowed to choose its own voters list. Several countries in the European Union have banned flights from the UK and others were considering such action, all in hopes of preventing a new strain of coronavirus sweeping across southern England from s ” firmly establish itself on the continent.
Today’s Birthdays: Original Mouseketeer Tommy Cole (TV: “The Mickey Mouse Club”) is 80 years old. R&B singer-musician Walter “Wolfman” Washington is 78 years old. Rock musician-producer Bobby Colomby is 77 years old. Rock musician Peter Criss is 76 years old. Former US Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue is 75 years old. Medium / illusionist Uri Geller is 75 years old. Producer Dick Wolf (“Law & Order”) is 75 years old. Rock musician Alan Parsons is 73 years old. Actress Jenny Agutter is 69 years old. Actor Michael Badalucco is 67 years old. Actor Blanche Baker is 65 years old. Rock singer Billy Bragg is 64 years old. Rock singer-musician Mike Watt (The Secondmen, Minutemen, FIREHOSE) is 64 years old. Actor Joel Gretsch is 58 years old. Country singer Kris Tyler is 57 years old. Rock singer Chris Robinson is 55 years old. Actor Nicole deBoer is 51 years old. Director Todd Phillips is 51 years old. Singer David Cook (“American Idol”) is 39 years old. Actor Jonah Hill is 38 years old. Actor Bob Morley is 37 years old. Singer JoJo is 31 years old. Actor Colin Woodell is 30 years old.
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