Today in History
Today is Wednesday, Dec. 8, the 342nd day of 2021. There are 23 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On Dec. 8, 1941, the United States entered World War II as Congress declared war against Imperial Japan, a day after the attack on Pearl Harbor.
On this date:
In 1813, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7 in A Major, Op. 92, was first performed in Vienna, with Beethoven himself conducting.
In 1886, the American Federation of Labor was founded in Columbus, Ohio.
In 1949, the Chinese Nationalist government moved from the Chinese mainland to Formosa as the Communists pressed their attacks.
In 1972, a United Airlines Boeing 737 crashed while attempting to land at Chicago-Midway Airport, killing 43 of the 61 people on board, as well as two people on the ground; among the dead were Dorothy Hunt, wife of Watergate conspirator E. Howard Hunt, U.S. Rep. George W. Collins, D-Ill., and CBS News correspondent Michele Clark.
In 1980, rock star and former Beatle John Lennon was shot to death outside his New York City apartment building by Mark David Chapman.
In 1987, President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev signed a treaty at the White House calling for destruction of intermediate-range nuclear missiles.
In 1991, AIDS patient Kimberly Bergalis, who had contracted the disease from her dentist, died in Fort Pierce, Florida, at age 23.
In 1998, struggling to stave off impeachment, President Bill Clinton’s defenders forcefully pleaded his case before the House Judiciary Committee. The Supreme Court ruled that police cannot search people and their cars after merely ticketing them for routine traffic violations.
In 2001, the U.S. Capitol was reopened to tourists after a two-month security shutdown.
In 2008, in a startling about-face, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed told the Guantanamo war crimes tribunal he would confess to masterminding the Sept. 11 attacks; four other men also abandoned their defenses.
In 2014, the U.S. and NATO ceremonially ended their combat mission in Afghanistan, 13 years after the Sept. 11 terror attacks sparked their invasion of the country to topple the Taliban-led government.
In 2017, Japanese pitching and hitting star Shohei Ohtani announced that he would sign with the Los Angeles Angels.
Ten years ago: Former MF Global CEO Jon Corzine was called before Congress to explain the collapse of the securities firm just over a month earlier; Corzine told the House Agriculture Committee he didn’t know what happened to an estimated $1.2 billion in missing clients’ money. The 161-day NBA lockout ended when owners and players ratified the new collective bargaining agreement.
Five years ago: John Glenn, whose 1962 flight as the first U.S. astronaut to orbit the Earth made him an all-American hero and propelled him to a long career in the U.S. Senate, died in Columbus, Ohio, at age 95.
One year ago: The Supreme Court rejected Republicans’ last-gasp bid to reverse Pennsylvania’s certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in the electoral battleground; the court refused to call into question the certification process in the state. A retired British shop clerk, 90-year-old Margaret Keenan, received the first shot in the country’s COVID-19 vaccination program, the start of an unprecedented global immunization effort. Idaho public health officials abruptly ended a meeting to discuss a proposed mask mandate after the Boise mayor and chief of police said intense protests outside the health department building — as well as outside some health officials’ homes — were threatening public safety.
Today’s Birthdays: Flutist James Galway is 82. Singer Jerry Butler is 82. Pop musician Bobby Elliott (The Hollies) is 80. Actor Mary Woronov is 78. Actor John Rubinstein is 75. Actor Kim Basinger (BAY’-sing-ur) is 68. Rock musician Warren Cuccurullo is 65. Rock musician Phil Collen (Def Leppard) is 64. Country singer Marty Raybon is 62. Political commentator Ann Coulter is 60. Rock musician Marty Friedman is 59. Actor Wendell Pierce is 58. Actor Teri Hatcher is 57. Actor David Harewood is 56. Singer Sinead (shih-NAYD’) O’Connor (AKA Shuhada’ Davitt) is 55. Actor Matthew Laborteaux is 55. Baseball Hall of Famer Mike Mussina is 53. Rock musician Ryan Newell (Sister Hazel) is 49. Actor Dominic Monaghan is 45. Actor Ian Somerhalder is 43. Rock singer Ingrid Michaelson is 42. R&B singer Chrisette Michele is 39. Actor Hannah Ware is 39. Country singer Sam Hunt is 37. MLB All-Star infielder Josh Donaldson is 36. Rock singer-actor Kate Voegele (VOH’-gehl) is 35. Christian rock musician Jen Ledger (Skillet) is 32. NHL defenseman Drew Doughty is 32. Actor Wallis Currie-Wood is 30. Actor AnnaSophia Robb is 28.