Valdosta Daily Times

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December 19, 2013

Today in History

Thursday, December 19, 2013

VALDOSTA — Today is Thursday, Dec. 19, the 353rd day of 2013. There are 12 days left in the year.

Highlight in History

On Dec. 19, 1843, “A Christmas Carol,” by Charles Dickens, was first published in England.

On this date

In 1777, Gen. George Washington led his army of about 11,000 men to Valley Forge, Pa., to camp for the winter.

In 1813, British forces captured Fort Niagara during the War of 1812.

In 1910, the artificial fiber rayon was first commercially produced by the American Viscose Co. of Marcus Hook, Pa.

In 1932, the British Broadcasting Corp. began transmitting overseas with its Empire Service to Australia.

In 1946, war broke out in Indochina as troops under Ho Chi Minh launched widespread attacks against the French.

In 1950, Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower was named commander of the military forces of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

In 1961, former U.S. Ambassador Joseph P. Kennedy Sr., 73, suffered a debilitating stroke while in Palm Beach, Fla.

In 1972, Apollo 17 splashed down in the Pacific, winding up the Apollo program of manned lunar landings.

In 1974, Nelson A. Rockefeller was sworn in as the 41st vice president of the United States.

In 1984, a fire at the Wilberg Mine near Orangeville, Utah, killed 27 people. Britain and China signed an accord returning Hong Kong to Chinese sovereignty on July 1, 1997.

In 1986, Lawrence E. Walsh was appointed independent counsel to investigate the Iran-Contra affair.

In 1998, President Bill Clinton was impeached by the Republican-controlled House for perjury and obstruction of justice (he was later acquitted by the Senate).

Ten years ago

Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi agreed to halt his nation’s drive to develop nuclear and chemical weapons. Design plans were unveiled for the signature skyscraper — a 1,776-foot glass tower — at the site of the World Trade Center in New York City. Death claimed actress Hope Lange at age 70 and actor Les Tremayne at age 90.

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