Dec 11, 1941: |
Germany declares war on the United States
On this day, Adolf Hitler declares war on the United States, bringing America, which had been neutral, into the European conflict.
Reply #921. Dec 11 11, 11:37 AM
1901: Gugliemo Marconi sends the first transatlantic wireless signals from Poldhu, Cornwall to Newfoundland.|
Reply #922. Dec 12 11, 8:01 AM
Dec 12, 1989: |
The Queen of Mean is sentenced to the slammer
Leona Helmsley, nicknamed the "Queen of Mean" by the press, receives a four-year prison sentence, 750 hours of community service, and a $7.1 million tax fraud fine in New York. For many, Helmsley became the object of loathing and disgust when she quipped that "only the little people pay taxes."
Leona's husband, Harry, was one of the world's wealthiest real estate moguls, with an estimated $5 billion to $10 billion in property holdings. The couple lived in a dazzling penthouse overlooking Central Park and also maintained an impressive mansion in Greenwich, Connecticut. Leona, who operated the Helmsley Palace on Madison Avenue, was severely disliked by her employees.
Reply #923. Dec 12 11, 11:11 AM
Dec 13, 2003: |
Saddam Hussein captured
After spending nine months on the run, former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein is captured on this day in 2003. Saddam's downfall began on March 20, 2003, when the United States led an invasion force into Iraq to topple his government, which had controlled the country for more than 20 years.
Reply #924. Dec 13 11, 8:55 PM
2000: The Chernobyl atomic power plant, site of the world's worst nuclear accident, is officially closed down.|
Reply #925. Dec 15 11, 7:39 AM
Dec 16, 1973: |
OJ Simpson rushes record 2,000 yards in a season
On December 16, 1973, the Buffalo Bills running back Orenthal James "OJ" Simpson becomes the first player in the National Football League (NFL) to rush for more than 2,000 yards in a single season.
After leading the University of Southern California (USC) Trojans to a Rose Bowl victory and winning the Heisman Trophy, Simpson was drafted by Buffalo as the first pick in the 1969 NFL draft. He struggled for several seasons on weak Buffalo teams but first rushed for more than 1,000 yards in 1972, ending the season with a league-leading 1,251. The following year, he totaled 219 rushing yards against the New England Patriots in the next-to-last game of the season, putting his total at 1,803. On December 16, with the Bills facing the New York Jets in New York’s Shea Stadium, Simpson rushed for another 200 yards, for a record-setting total of 2,003.
Reply #928. Dec 16 11, 12:20 PM
The last domestic Ford Ranger rolled of the assembly line today in Minnesota. The plant is closing. It produced vehicles since the Model T. Sad. |
Reply #929. Dec 16 11, 1:58 PM
1903: The Wright brothers make the first successful aeroplane flight at Kittyhawk, North Carolina.|
Reply #930. Dec 17 11, 6:10 AM
1912: 'Piltdown Man' is hailed as the 'missing link' between man and the apes, but is later exposed as a hoax.|
Reply #931. Dec 18 11, 6:00 AM
Dec 18, 1620: |
Mayflower docks at Plymouth Harbor
On December 18, 1620, the British ship Mayflower docked at modern-day Plymouth, Massachusetts, and its passengers prepared to begin their new settlement, Plymouth Colony
Reply #932. Dec 18 11, 12:47 PM
Boxjaw not quite.............22nd Dec........"57 killed, 179 injured in Iraq bomb attacks"........sounds pretty much "business as normal" out there!|
On a happier note, 22nd December 1962, I became a father!
Reply #933. Dec 22 11, 8:56 AM
congrats on your fatherhood!|
Dec 22, 1990:
Lech Walesa sworn in as president of Poland
Lech Walesa, well-known Polish labor leader and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, is sworn in as the first noncommunist president of Poland since the end of World War II. His victory was another sign of the Soviet Union's lessening power and communism's waning influence in Eastern Europe.
Walesa first came into prominence in Poland in 1980 when he took over the leadership of a strike of shipyard workers. The action was a success, with Poland's communist government agreeing to the union's right to exist. This was the birth of the so-called "Solidarity" movement in Poland, a broad-based movement designed to remove communist control over labor organizations. Though forced to give in during the strike, the government plotted to eliminate this new threat to its power. Martial law was imposed in 1981 and shortly thereafter Walesa was arrested and put into solitary confinement for nearly a year. In 1983, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his work in organizing Polish labor and protesting communist oppression in his nation.
Reply #934. Dec 22 11, 10:15 AM
And on the 22nd. December,1997, I became a father - for the third time!
Happy Birthday Olivia!
(Oh No! She's 14 - ARRGH!)
Reply #935. Dec 22 11, 11:01 AM
APPARANTLY MIKE TYSON WAS UNAVAILABLE:|
Dec 23, 1888:
Van Gogh chops off ear
On this day in 1888, Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh, suffering from severe depression, cuts off the lower part of his left ear with a razor while staying in Arles, France. He later documented the event in a painting titled Self-Portrait with Bandaged Ear. Today, Van Gogh is regarded as an artistic genius and his masterpieces sell for record-breaking prices; however, during his lifetime, he was a poster boy for tortured starving artists and sold only one painting.
Vincent Willem van Gogh was born on March 30, 1853, in the Netherlands. He had a difficult, nervous personality and worked unsuccessfully at an art gallery and then as a preacher among poor miners in Belgium. In 1880, he decided to become an artist. His work from this period--the most famous of which is The Potato Eaters (1885)--is dark and somber and reflective of the experiences he had among peasants and impoverished miners.
In 1886, Van Gogh moved to Paris where his younger brother Theo, with whom he was close, lived. Theo, an art dealer, supported his brother financially and introduced him to a number of artists, including Paul Gauguin, Camille Pisarro and Georges Seurat. Influenced by these and other painters, Van Gogh's own artistic style lightened up and he began using more color.
In 1888, Van Gogh rented a house in Arles in the south of France, where he hoped to found an artists' colony and be less of a burden to his brother. In Arles, Van Gogh painted vivid scenes from the countryside as well as still-lifes, including his famous sunflower series. Gauguin came to stay with him in Arles and the two men worked together for almost two months. However, tensions developed and on December 23, in a fit of dementia, Van Gogh threatened his friend with a knife before turning it on himself and mutilating his ear lobe. Afterward, he allegedly wrapped up the ear and gave it to a prostitute at a nearby brothel. Following that incident, Van Gogh was hospitalized in Arles and then checked himself into a mental institution in Saint-Remy for a year. During his stay in Saint-Remy, he fluctuated between periods of madness and intense creativity, in which he produced some of his best and most well-known works, including Starry Night and Irises.
In May 1890, Van Gogh moved to Auvers-sur-Oise, near Paris, where he continued to be plagued by despair and loneliness. On July 27, 1890, he shot himself and died two days later at age 37.
Reply #936. Dec 23 11, 12:41 AM
Dec 26, 1972: |
On this day in 1972, former President Harry S. Truman dies in Independence, Missouri.
Then-President Richard Nixon called Truman a man of "forthrightness and integrity" who had a deep respect for the office he held and for the people he served, and who "supported and wisely counseled each of his successors."
Truman was born in Lamar, Missouri, in 1884. The son of a farmer, he could not afford to go to college, so he too worked as a farmer before joining the army in 1916 to fight in World War I. After the war, Truman opened a haberdashery in Kansas City. When that business went bankrupt in 1922, he entered Missouri politics. Truman went on to serve in the U.S. Senate from 1934 until he was chosen as Franklin D. Roosevelt's fourth vice president in 1945; it was during his Senate terms that he became known for his honesty and integrity.
Upon FDR's death on April 12, 1945, Truman became the 33rd president of the United States, assuming the role of commander in chief of a country still embroiled in World War II. With victory in Europe was imminent, Truman agonized over whether to use nuclear weapons to force Japan to surrender. Just four months into his tenure, Truman authorized the dropping of two atomic bombs on Japan in August 1945. He and his military advisors argued that using the bombs ultimately saved American and Japanese lives, since it appeared that the Japanese would fiercely resist any conventional attempt by the Allies to invade Japan and end the war. The use of the new weapon, dropped on the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in early August, succeeded in forcing Japan's surrender, but also killed, injured and sickened thousands of Japanese and ushered in the Cold War.
Reply #937. Dec 26 11, 4:48 PM
Dec 30, 1978: |
OSU fires coach Woody Hayes for attacking an opposing player
On December 30, 1978, Ohio State University (OSU) makes the decision to fire its 65-year-old football coach, Woody Hayes, one day after Hayes punched a player on the opposing team near the end of the Gator Bowl.
In his 28 seasons with the Buckeyes, Hayes compiled an overall record of 238-72-10, including 13 Big Ten titles, four national championships, and four appearances in the Rose Bowl. His 238 wins placed him ninth on the all-time list of top NCAA Division I coaching victories (as of 2007), and he was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1983.
Despite his prodigious coaching ability, Hayes (who died in 1987) is also remembered for his volatile temper and violent outbursts, which sometimes threatened to overshadow his teams’ performance on the field. The most egregious example came on December 29, 1978, during the Buckeyes’ 15-17 loss to the Clemson Tigers in the Gator Bowl. With OSU down by two points in the closing seconds of the game, Clemson linebacker Charlie Bauman intercepted a pass and was knocked out of bounds on the Buckeyes’ sidelines. As Bauman was getting up, Hayes punched him in the throat, after which he was restrained by several OSU players. On December 30, an embarrassed OSU administration fired Hayes, who would never coach again.
Reply #938. Dec 30 11, 10:59 AM
Dec 31, 1972: |
Baseball star dies in plane crash
Roberto Clemente, future Hall of Fame baseball player, is killed along with four others when the cargo plane in which he is traveling crashes off the coast of Puerto Rico. Clemente was on his way to deliver relief supplies to Nicaragua following a devastating earthquake there a week earlier.
At the end of September, Clemente had gotten his 3,000th hit in the final game of the season for the Pittsburgh Pirates. He was a hero in his native Puerto Rico, where he spent much of the off-season doing charity work. Some of his charitable work had taken him to Nicaragua, so Clemente was particularly distressed when he learned that very little aid was getting to victims of a devastating December 23 earthquake near Managua.
Clemente decided to collect supplies on his own and personally deliver them. The plan went awry when Clemente chose for the mission a plane owned by Arthur Rivera. Rivera had bought an old DC-7 propeller plane to go along with a DC-3 he operated to haul cargo in the Caribbean. Apparently, the plane was in such bad shape that others wondered why Rivera had bothered to purchase it. In fact, the DC-7 had to be ferried from Miami to Puerto Rico.
Rivera painted the exterior but did not do any significant work to the engine. This came as no surprise to safety crews at the airports out of which Rivera worked: He had been repeatedly cited for safety violations in previous years. On December 2, Rivera took the DC-7 out to test the engine but forgot to close the hydraulic pump and ended up putting the plane into a drainage ditch. This bent two of the propeller blades and damaged the landing gear. Only some of these damages were fixed prior to the December 31 flight.
On the previous day, Clemente was at San Juan International Airport's cargo area helping to load relief supplies when he discovered there were far more than could be carried in the plane he had available. Rivera approached Clemente and offered to fly the supplies to Nicaragua for $4,000, not telling Clemente he had no crew for the plane. Clemente agreed and Rivera scrambled to find a pilot. He located Jerry Hill, who had a checkered record, and began to load the plane. It was later determined that Rivera loaded the plane over its maximum capacity. In fact, Clemente himself was warned by someone at the airport that the plane looked dangerously overloaded when he was about to board.
The plane took off at 9 p.m. and the sounds of engine failure were heard as it went down the runway. It reached an altitude of only 200 feet before exploding and plunging into the ocean. Rescue workers were sent out immediately, but the task was next to impossible in the darkness. The bodies were never found. The news hit Puerto Rico hard--one friend of Clemente described it as the "night that happiness died."
A subsequent investigation into the crash revealed that the plane never should have been put in the air and that the pilot had erred by over-boosting the engines.
In 1973, Clemente was posthumously inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. In 2002, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Reply #939. Dec 31 11, 9:00 AM
Jan 2, 1897: |
Stephen Crane's boat sinks
On this day in 1897, American writer Stephen Crane survives the sinking of The Commodore off the coast of Florida. He will turn the harrowing adventure into his classic short story "The Open Boat" (1897).
The 25-year-old writer had gained international fame with the publication of his novel The Red Badge of Courage in 1896. A Civil War story told from the soldier's point of view, the novel originally appeared as a syndicated newspaper series.
Reply #940. Jan 02 12, 3:04 PM
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