Today in History
Today is Saturday, Dec. 8, the 342nd day of 2018. 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 1854, Pope Pius IX proclaimed the Catholic dogma of the Immaculate Conception, which holds that Mary, the mother of Jesus, was free of original sin from the moment of her own conception.
In 1863, President Abraham Lincoln issued his Proclamation of Amnesty and Reconstruction for the South.
In 1886, the American Federation of Labor was founded in Columbus, Ohio.
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 John Lennon was shot to death outside his New York City apartment building by an apparently deranged fan.
In 1982, a man demanding an end to nuclear weapons held the Washington Monument hostage, threatening to blow it up with explosives he claimed were inside a van. (After a 10-hour standoff, Norman D. Mayer was shot dead by police; it turned out there were no explosives.)
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, Fla., at age 23.
In 1992, Americans got to see live television coverage of U.S. troops landing on the beaches of Somalia as Operation Restore Hope began (because of the time difference, it was early Dec. 9 in Somalia).
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.
Ten years ago: 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. A malfunctioning F/A-18D Hornet military jet trying to reach Marine Corps Air Station Miramar slammed into a densely populated San Diego neighborhood, killing four members of a family and incinerating two homes; the pilot ejected safely. Mystery writer Hillary Waugh died in Torrington, Conn. at age 88. Character actor Robert Prosky died in Washington, D.C. five days short of his 78th birthday.
Five years ago: Hundreds of thousands of protesters poured into the streets of the Ukrainian capital of Kiev, toppling the statue of former Soviet leader Vladimir Lenin and blocking key government buildings in an escalating stand-off with the president on the future of the country. Zach Johnson rallied from four shots behind with eight holes to play and beat Tiger Woods, the No. 1 player in golf, at the World Challenge. Lydia Ko, a 16-year-old from New Zealand, rallied to win her first title as a professional, winning the Swinging Skirts World Ladies Masters with a three-stroke victory over South Korea’s So Yeon Ryu.
One year ago: During a campaign rally in the Florida panhandle, near the Alabama border, President Donald Trump urged Alabama voters to elect Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore, who had been dogged by allegations of sexual misconduct. Japanese pitching and hitting star Shohei Ohtani announced that he would sign with the Los Angeles Angels.