Today is Saturday, Dec. 6, the 340th day of 2014. There are 25 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On Dec. 6, 1864, President Abraham Lincoln nominated Salmon P. Chase to be chief justice of the United States, succeeding Roger Taney. (Chase was installed as chief justice nine days later.)
On this date:
In 1790, Congress moved to Philadelphia from New York.
In 1884, Army engineers completed construction of the Washington Monument by setting an aluminum capstone atop the obelisk.
In 1889, Jefferson Davis, the first and only president of the Confederate States of America, died in New Orleans.
In 1907, the worst mining disaster in U.S. history occurred as 362 men and boys died in a coal mine explosion in Monongah, West Virginia.
In 1917, some 2,000 people died when an explosives-laden French cargo ship collided with a Norwegian vessel at the harbor in Halifax, Nova Scotia, setting off a blast that devastated the city.
In 1922, the Anglo-Irish Treaty, which established the Irish Free State, came into force one year to the day after it was signed in London.
In 1939, the Cole Porter musical comedy “Du Barry Was a Lady” opened on Broadway.
In 1947, Everglades National Park in Florida was dedicated by President Harry S. Truman.
In 1957, America’s first attempt at putting a satellite into orbit failed as Vanguard TV3 rose about four feet off a Cape Canaveral launch pad before crashing down and exploding.
In 1964, the animated puppet special “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” now a Christmas perennial, first aired on NBC-TV.
In 1971, the original Auto-Train, which carried rail passengers and their motor vehicles from Lorton, Virginia, to Sanford, Florida, went into operation. (Although the privately owned line went out of business in 1981, Amtrak revived the service in 1983.)
In 1989, 14 women were shot to death at the University of Montreal’s school of engineering by a man who then took his own life.
Ten years ago: Militants struck the U.S. Consulate in Jiddah, Saudi Arabia, with explosives and machine guns, killing nine people in an attack claimed by al-Qaida. Ohio certified President George W. Bush’s 119,000-vote victory over Democratic nominee John Kerry, even as the Kerry campaign and third-party candidates prepared to demand a statewide recount. A dozen expensive homes under construction in Indian Head, Maryland, were deliberately burned down. (Five men either pleaded guilty or were convicted in the case; prosecutors had cited a variety of motives, including anger by some of the white perpetrators that most of the new homeowners were black.)
Five years ago: President Barack Obama visited the U.S. Senate during a rare Sunday session to rally Democrats behind closed doors on a health care overhaul. The Kennedy Center Honors lauded jazz great Dave Brubeck, rocker Bruce Springsteen, actor Robert De Niro, comic genius Mel Brooks and opera singer Grace Bumbry.
One year ago: A day after Nelson Mandela’s death at 95, South Africans of all colors erupted in song, dance and tears in emotional celebrations of the life of the man who had bridged the country’s black-white divide and helped avert a race war. The Fender Stratocaster that Bob Dylan played at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival was sold at Christie’s for nearly $1 million – the highest price ever paid for a guitar at auction.
Comedy performer David Ossman is 78. Actor Patrick Bauchau is 76. Country singer Helen Cornelius is 73. Actor James Naughton is 69. Former Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood is 69. Rhythm-and-blues singer Frankie Beverly (Maze) is 68. Former Sen. Don Nickles, R-Okla., is 66. Actress JoBeth Williams is 66. Actor Tom Hulce is 61. Actor Kin Shriner is 61. Actor Wil Shriner is 61. Actor Miles Chapin is 60. Rock musician Rick Buckler (The Jam) is 59. Comedian Steven Wright is 59. Country singer Bill Lloyd is 59. Singer Tish Hinojosa is 59. Rock musician Peter Buck (R.E.M.) is 58. Rock musician David Lovering (Pixies) is 53. Actress Janine Turner is 52. Rock musician Ben Watt (Everything But The Girl) is 52. Writer-director Judd Apatow is 47. Rock musician Ulf “Buddha” Ekberg (Ace of Base) is 44. Writer-director Craig Brewer is 43. Actress Colleen Haskell is 38. Actress Lindsay Price is 38. Actress Ashley Madekwe is 33. Actress Nora Kirkpatrick is 30. Christian rock musician Jacob Chesnut (Rush of Fools) is 25.
Thought for Today:
“Disconnecting from change does not recapture the past. It loses the future.” – Kathleen Norris, American author (1880-1960)