Today is Wednesday, Dec. 3, the 337th day of 2014. There are 28 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On Dec. 3, 1984, thousands of people died after a cloud of methyl isocyanate gas escaped from a pesticide plant operated by a Union Carbide subsidiary in Bhopal, India.
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In 1810, British forces captured Mauritius from the French, who had renamed the island nation off southeast Africa “Ile de France.”
In 1818, Illinois was admitted as the 21st state.
In 1828, Andrew Jackson was elected president of the United States by the Electoral College.
In 1833, Oberlin College in Ohio – the first truly coeducational school of higher learning in the United States – began holding classes.
In 1925, George Gershwin’s Concerto in F had its world premiere at New York’s Carnegie Hall, with Gershwin at the piano.
In 1947, the Tennessee Williams play “A Streetcar Named Desire” opened on Broadway.
In 1960, the Lerner and Loewe musical “Camelot” opened on Broadway.
In 1964, police arrested some 800 students at the University of California at Berkeley, a day after the students stormed the administration building and staged a massive sit-in.
In 1967, surgeons in Cape Town, South Africa, led by Dr. Christiaan Barnard performed the first human heart transplant on Louis Washkansky, who lived 18 days with the new heart. The 20th Century Limited, the famed luxury train, completed its final run from New York to Chicago.
In 1979, 11 people were killed in a crush of fans at Cincinnati’s Riverfront Coliseum, where the British rock group The Who was performing.
In 1991, radicals in Lebanon released American hostage Alann Steen, who’d been held captive nearly five years.
In 1994, AIDS activist Elizabeth Glaser, who along with her two children were infected with HIV because of a blood transfusion, died in Santa Monica, California, at age 47.
Ten years ago: It was announced that Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld was staying on the job. Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson resigned, warning as he left of a possible terror attack on the nation’s food supply. The Ukraine Supreme Court ordered a rerun of the head-to-head presidential contest, setting off rejoicing by supporters of Western-leaning Viktor Yushchenko, who ended up the winner.
Five years ago: President Barack Obama hosted a White House-sponsored jobs forum, where he said he’d heard many “exciting ideas” and proposals and expressed hope some could be put into action quickly. Pope Benedict XVI and visiting Russian President Dmitry Medvedev agreed to upgrade Vatican-Kremlin ties to full diplomatic relations. Comcast and GE announced joint venture plans, with Comcast owning a 51 percent controlling stake in NBC Universal. British actor Richard Todd died in Little Humby, Lincolnshire, England, at age 90.
One year ago: Seeking to regroup from his health care law’s disastrous rollout, President Barack Obama insisted the sweeping overhaul was working and warned Republican critics that he would fight any efforts to strip away its protections. A federal judge ruled Detroit could use bankruptcy to cut employee pensions and relieve itself of other crushing debts, handing a defeat to the city’s unions and retirees and shifting the case into a delicate new phase. The Illinois Legislature approved a historic plan to eliminate the state’s $100 billion pension shortfall.
Movie director Jean-Luc Godard is 84. Singer Jaye P. Morgan is 83. Actor Nicolas Coster is 81. Actress Mary Alice is 73. Rock singer Ozzy Osbourne is 66. Actress Heather Menzies is 65. Rock singer Mickey Thomas is 65. Country musician Paul Gregg (Restless Heart) is 60. Actor Steven Culp is 59. Actress Daryl Hannah is 54. Actress Julianne Moore is 54. Olympic gold medal figure skater Katarina Witt is 49. Actor Brendan Fraser is 46. Singer Montell Jordan is 46. Actor Royale Watkins is 45. Actor Bruno Campos is 41. Actress Holly Marie Combs is 41. Actress Liza Lapira is 39. Actress Lauren Roman is 39. Pop-rock singer Daniel Bedingfield is 35. Actress Anna Chlumsky is 34. Actor Brian Bonsall is 33. Pop/rock singer-songwriter Andy Grammer is 31. Actress Amanda Seyfried is 29. Actor Michael Angarano is 27. Actor Jake T. Austin is 20.
Thought for Today:
“The well of Providence is deep. It’s the buckets we bring to it that are small.” – Mary Webb, Scottish religious leader (c.1881-1927)