Today in History
Today is Friday, Dec. 4, the 339th day of 2020. There are 27 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlights in History:
On Dec. 4, 1783, Gen. George Washington bade farewell to his Continental Army officers at Fraunces Tavern in New York.
On this date:
In 1875, William Marcy Tweed, the “Boss” of New York City’s Tammany Hall political organization, escaped from jail and fled the country.
In 1918, President Woodrow Wilson left Washington on a trip to France to attend the Versailles (vehr-SY’) Peace Conference.
In 1942, during World War II, U.S. bombers struck the Italian mainland for the first time with a raid on Naples. President Franklin D. Roosevelt ordered the dismantling of the Works Progress Administration, which had been created to provide jobs during the Depression.
In 1956, Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins gathered for the first and only time for a jam session at Sun Records in Memphis.
In 1965, the United States launched Gemini 7 with Air Force Lt. Col. Frank Borman and Navy Cmdr. James A. Lovell aboard on a two-week mission. (While Gemini 7 was in orbit, its sister ship, Gemini 6A, was launched on Dec. 15 on a one-day mission; the two spacecraft were able to rendezvous within a foot of each other.)
In 1978, San Francisco got its first female mayor as City Supervisor Dianne Feinstein (FYN’-styn) was named to replace the assassinated George Moscone (mahs-KOH’-nee).
In 1980, the bodies of four American churchwomen slain in El Salvador two days earlier were unearthed. (Five Salvadoran national guardsmen were later convicted of murdering nuns Ita Ford, Maura Clarke and Dorothy Kazel, and lay worker Jean Donovan.)
In 1986, both houses of Congress moved to establish special committees to conduct their own investigations of the Iran-Contra affair.
In 1991, Associated Press correspondent Terry Anderson, the longest held of the Western hostages in Lebanon, was released after nearly seven years in captivity.
In 1992, President George H.W. Bush ordered American troops to lead a mercy mission to Somalia, threatening military action against warlords and gangs who were blocking food for starving millions.
In 2000, in a pair of legal setbacks for Al Gore, a Florida state judge refused to overturn George W. Bush’s certified victory in Florida and the U.S. Supreme Court set aside a ruling that had allowed manual recounts.
In 2018, long lines of people wound through the Capitol Rotunda to view the casket of former President George H.W. Bush; former Sen. Bob Dole steadied himself out of his wheelchair to salute his old friend and one-time rival.
Ten years ago: President Barack Obama praised a newly sealed trade deal with South Korea as a landmark agreement that promised to boost the domestic auto industry and support tens of thousands of American jobs.
Five years ago: Germany stepped up its contribution to the fight against the Islamic State group, with lawmakers voting in favor of sending reconnaissance jets, a tanker plane and a frigate to provide broad noncombat support to the U.S.-led coalition. President Barack Obama signed legislation reviving the federal Export-Import Bank five months after Congress allowed it to expire. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that an outbreak of E. coli linked to the Mexican food chain Chipotle had expanded to nine states, with a total of 52 reported illnesses. Actor Robert Loggia, 85, died in Los Angeles.
One year ago: The House Judiciary Committee held its first hearing in the impeachment inquiry, with three leading legal scholars testifying that President Donald Trump’s attempts to have Ukraine investigate Democratic rivals were grounds for impeachment; a fourth expert called by Republicans warned against rushing the process. Trump wrapped up a 52-hour trip to the NATO summit in London, where his personal and policy differences with alliance members were on stark display. A U.S. Navy sailor whose submarine was docked at Pearl Harbor shot three civilian shipyard workers, killing two of them, at the military base in Hawaii before taking his own life.
Today’s Birthdays: Game show host Wink Martindale is 87. Pop singer Freddy Cannon is 84. Actor-producer Max Baer Jr. is 83. Actor Gemma Jones is 78. Rock musician Bob Mosley (Moby Grape) is 78. Singer-musician Chris Hillman is 76. Musician Terry Woods (The Pogues) is 73. Rock singer Southside Johnny Lyon is 72. Actor Jeff Bridges is 71. Rock musician Gary Rossington (Lynyrd Skynyrd; the Rossington Collins Band) is 69. Actor Patricia Wettig is 69. Actor Tony Todd is 66. Jazz singer Cassandra Wilson is 65. Country musician Brian Prout (Diamond Rio) is 65. Rock musician Bob Griffin (formerly with The BoDeans) is 61. Rock singer Vinnie Dombroski (Sponge) is 58. Actor Marisa Tomei is 56. Actor Chelsea Noble is 56. Actor-comedian Fred Armisen is 54. Rapper Jay-Z is 51. Actor Kevin Sussman is 50. Actor-model Tyra Banks is 47. Country singer Lila McCann is 39. Actor Lindsay Felton is 36. Actor Orlando Brown is 33. Actor Scarlett Estevez (TV: “Lucifer”) is 13.
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