Highlight in History
On Dec. 24, 1955, the Continental Air Defense Command Operations Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., fielded a series of phone calls from children wanting to know the whereabouts of Santa Claus after an ad in a local newspaper mistakenly gave the Center’s number; thus began a tradition continued by the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) of tracking Santa’s location the night before Christmas.
On this date
In 1814, the War of 1812 officially ended as the United States and Britain signed the Treaty of Ghent.
In 1851, fire devastated the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., destroying about 35,000 volumes.
In 1865, several veterans of the Confederate Army formed a private social club in Pulaski, Tenn., called the Ku Klux Klan.
In 1906, Canadian physicist Reginald A. Fessenden became the first person to transmit the human voice (his own) as well as music over radio, from Brant Rock, Mass.
In 1943, President Franklin D. Roosevelt appointed Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower supreme commander of Allied forces in Europe as part of Operation Overlord.
In 1951, Gian Carlo Menotti’s “Amahl and the Night Visitors,” the first opera written specifically for television, was first broadcast by NBC-TV.
In 1968, the Apollo 8 astronauts, orbiting the moon, read passages from the Old Testament Book of Genesis during a Christmas Eve telecast.
In 1980, Americans remembered the U.S. hostages in Iran by burning candles or shining lights for 417 seconds — one second for each day of captivity.
In 1992, President George H.W. Bush pardoned former Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger and five others in connection with the Iran-Contra scandal. President-elect Bill Clinton chose Zoe Baird to be his attorney general, but the nomination fell apart over Baird’s hiring of illegal aliens as domestic workers.
In 2000, a group of escaped convicts robbed a sporting goods store in Irving, Texas; the robbery was interrupted by a police officer, Aubrey Hawkins, who was killed by the fugitive gang.
Ten years ago
Laci Peterson was reported missing from her Modesto, Calif., home, by her husband, Scott, who was later convicted of murdering her and their unborn son. Saddam Hussein said in an address read on television that Iraqis were ready to fight a holy war against the United States. Chinese pro-democracy activist Xu Wenli was released from a prison in Beijing and flown to the United States.
Five years ago
President George W. Bush made Christmas Eve calls to 10 U.S. troops serving in Iraq, Afghanistan and other spots around the world, thanking them for their sacrifice and wishing them a happy holiday. French news cameraman Gwen Le Gouil was released eight days after he had been abducted by Somali gunmen outside the town of Bossaso.
One year ago
In a setback, Republican presidential hopefuls Newt Gingrich and Texas Gov. Rick Perry failed to qualify for Virginia’s Super Tuesday primary ballot by falling short of the 10,000 signatures required to appear on the ballot. Troops commanded by relatives of Yemen’s outgoing president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, attacked a crowd of more than 100,000 peaceful protesters, killing at least nine and driving Saleh to promise to leave the country.
Pope Benedict XVI decried the increasing commercialization of Christmas as he celebrated Christmas Eve Mass.
Highlight in History
- National, International News
Malaysia loses contact with plane carrying 239
Malaysia Airlines said Saturday it lost contact with a plane carrying 239 people on its way from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing and search and rescue teams were trying to locate the aircraft.
Four dead in New Jersey fire; mix-up delayed response
A fast-moving fire claimed four lives on Thursday in New Jersey’s second-largest city, where the mayor said a mix-up over the street name delayed the emergency response.
Crimea to vote to split from Ukraine, join Russia
Ukraine lurched toward breakup Thursday as lawmakers in Crimea unanimously declared they wanted to join Russia and would put the decision to voters in 10 days. President Barack Obama condemned the move and the West answered with the first real sanctions against Russia.
Today in History for Friday, March 7, 2014
Today is Friday, March 7, the 66th day of 2014. There are 299 days left in the year.
Harsh U.S. winter extends into March
On the latest snow day in a winter full of them, residents of parts of the South, Mid-Atlantic and Northeast were coping with several inches of snow on top of a layer of slush.
Today in History for Tuesday, March 4, 2014
Today is Tuesday, March 4, the 63rd day of 2014. There are 302 days left in the year.
World scrambles as Russia tightens grip on Crimea
Warning that it was “on the brink of disaster,” Ukraine put its military on high alert Sunday and appealed for international help to avoid what it feared was the possibility of a wider invasion by Russia.
High court looks at death row inmate with low IQ
A Floridian with an IQ as high as 75 may be diagnosed as mentally disabled and be eligible for help getting a job. But on death row, the state says having an IQ higher than 70 categorically means an inmate is not mentally disabled and may be executed.
Today in History for Monday, March 3, 2014
Today is Monday, March 3, the 62nd day of 2014. There are 303 days left in the year.
‘12 Years a Slave’ wins best picture at Oscars
Perhaps atoning for past sins, Hollywood named the brutal, unshrinking historical drama “12 Years a Slave” best picture at the 86th annual Academy Awards.
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