Today is Friday, Dec. 19, the 353rd day of 2014. There are 12 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On Dec. 19, 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 a first for the Senate, the proceeding was televised live).
On this date:
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In 1777, 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 1843, “A Christmas Carol,” by Charles Dickens, was first published in England.
In 1907, 239 workers died in a coal mine explosion in Jacobs Creek, Pennsylvania.
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, Florida.
In 1972, Apollo 17 splashed down in the Pacific, winding up the Apollo program of manned lunar landings.
In 1984, a coal 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 subsequently acquitted by the Senate).
Ten years ago: In Iraq, car bombs tore through a Najaf funeral procession and Karbala’s main bus station, killing at least 60 people and wounding more than 120 in the two Shiite holy cities. In Baghdad, three Iraqi election officials were killed execution-style by insurgents. Time magazine named President George W. Bush its Person of the Year for the second time. Opera singer Renata Tebaldi died in San Marino at age 82.
Five years ago: A U.N. climate conference in Copenhagen ended with a nonbinding accord to show for two weeks of debate and frustration; the deal was brokered by President Barack Obama, who attended the conference on its final day. A snowstorm paralyzed much of the eastern U.S. on the last holiday shopping weekend.
One year 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.
Country singer Little Jimmy Dickens is 94. Actress Cicely Tyson is 90. Former game show contestant Herb Stempel is 88. Rhythm-and-blues singer-musician Maurice White (Earth, Wind and Fire) is 73. Former South Korean President Lee Myung-bak is 73. Actress Elaine Joyce is 71. Actor Tim Reid is 70. Paleontologist Richard E. Leakey is 70. Musician John McEuen is 69. Singer Janie Fricke is 67. Jazz musician Lenny White is 65. Actor Mike Lookinland is 54. Actress Jennifer Beals is 51. Actor Scott Cohen is 50. Actor Robert MacNaughton is 48. Magician Criss Angel is 47. Rock musician Klaus Eichstadt (Ugly Kid Joe) is 47. Actor Ken Marino is 46. Actor Elvis Nolasco is 46. Rock musician Kevin Shepard is 46. Actor Derek Webster is 46. Actress Kristy Swanson is 45. Model Tyson Beckford is 44. Actress Amy Locane is 43. Pro Football Hall of Famer Warren Sapp is 42. Actress Rosa Blasi is 42. Actress Alyssa Milano is 42. Actor Jake Gyllenhaal is 34. Actress Marla Sokoloff is 34. Rapper Lady Sovereign is 29. Actor Iain de Caestecker (TV: “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D”) is 27.
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)