Today in History
Today is Wednesday, Dec. 19, the 353rd day of 2018. There are 12 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On Dec. 19, 1998, President Bill Clinton was impeached by the Republican-controlled House for perjury and obstruction of justice (he was subsequently acquitted by the Senate).
On this date:
In 1777, during the American Revolutionary War, Gen. George Washington led his army of about 11,000 men to Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, to camp for the winter.
In 1813, British forces captured Fort Niagara during the War of 1812.
In 1907, 239 workers died in a coal mine explosion in Jacobs Creek, Pennsylvania.
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 1957, Meredith Willson’s musical play “The Music Man” opened on Broadway.
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 the U.S. Senate chamber by Chief Justice Warren Burger with President Gerald R. Ford looking on.
In 1975, John Paul Stevens was sworn in as an Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.
In 1986, the Soviet Union announced it had freed dissident Andrei Sakharov from internal exile, and pardoned his wife, Yelena Bonner. Lawrence E. Walsh was appointed independent counsel to investigate the Iran-Contra affair.
In 2001, the fires that had burned beneath the ruins of the World Trade Center in New York City for the previous three months were declared extinguished except for a few scattered hot spots.
In 2002, Secretary of State Colin Powell declared Iraq in “material breach” of a U.N. disarmament resolution.
Ten years ago: Citing imminent danger to the national economy, President George W. Bush ordered an emergency bailout of the U.S. auto industry. An unwavering Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich served notice he had no intention of quitting over his corruption arrest, declaring: “I have done nothing wrong.” Militants in Gaza fired rockets into Israel as Hamas ended a six-month truce.
Five years ago: Discount retailer Target announced that data connected to about 40 million credit and debit card accounts had been stolen as part of a breach that began over the Thanksgiving weekend. The ceiling partially collapsed onto a packed audience at the Apollo Theatre in London, injuring almost 80 people, seven of them seriously. Al Goldstein, 77, the publisher of Screw magazine who smashed down legal barriers against pornography, died in New York.
One year ago: A bus carrying cruise ship passengers on an excursion to Mayan ruins in southeastern Mexico flipped over on a narrow highway, killing 11 travelers and their guide and injuring about 20 others; eight Americans were among those killed. U.S. health officials approved the nation’s first gene therapy for an inherited disease, a treatment that improves the sight of patients with a rare form of blindness. David Wright, a Massachusetts man who was convicted of leading a plot inspired by the Islamic State to behead conservative blogger Pamela Geller, was sentenced in Boston to 28 years in prison.
Today’s Birthdays: Former game show contestant Herb Stempel is 92. Actress Elaine Joyce is 75. Actor Tim Reid is 74. Paleontologist Richard E. Leakey is 74. Musician John McEuen is 73. Singer Janie Fricke is 71. Jazz musician Lenny White is 69. Actor Mike Lookinland is 58. Actress Jennifer Beals is 55. Actor Scott Cohen is 54. Actor Robert MacNaughton is 52. Magician Criss Angel is 51. Rock musician Klaus Eichstadt (Ugly Kid Joe) is 51. Actor Ken Marino is 50. Actor Elvis Nolasco is 50. Rock musician Kevin Shepard is 50. Actor Derek Webster is 50. Actress Kristy Swanson is 49. Model Tyson Beckford is 48. Actress Amy Locane is 47. Pro Football Hall of Famer Warren Sapp is 46. Actress Rosa Blasi is 46. Actress Alyssa Milano is 46. Actress Tara Summers is 39. Actor Jake Gyllenhaal (JIH’-lihn-hahl) is 38. Actress Marla Sokoloff is 38. Rapper Lady Sovereign is 33. Journalist Ronan Farrow is 31. Actor Nik Dodani is 25.
Thought for Today: “Worse than not realizing the dreams of your youth, would be to have been young and never dreamed at all.” — Jean Genet (1910-1986).