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Today in History: Dec. 13

Here's a look at events that have happened on this date in history.

Today in History

Today is Thursday, Dec. 13, the 347th day of 2018. There are 18 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Dec. 13, 2003, Saddam Hussein was captured by U.S. forces while hiding in a hole under a farmhouse in Adwar, Iraq, near his hometown of Tikrit.

On this date:

In 1862, Union forces led by Maj. Gen. Ambrose Burnside launched futile attacks against entrenched Confederate soldiers during the Civil War Battle of Fredericksburg; the soundly defeated Northern troops withdrew two days later.

In 1918, President Woodrow Wilson arrived in France, becoming the first chief executive to visit Europe while in office.

In 1928, George Gershwin’s “An American in Paris” had its premiere at Carnegie Hall in New York.

In 1937, the Chinese city of Nanjing fell to Japanese forces during the Sino-Japanese War; what followed was a massacre of war prisoners, soldiers and citizens. (China maintains that up to 300,000 people were killed; Japanese nationalists say the death toll was far lower, and some maintain the massacre never happened.)

In 1944, during World War II, the light cruiser USS Nashville was badly damaged in a Japanese kamikaze attack off Negros Island in the Philippines that claimed 133 lives.

In 1977, an Air Indiana Flight 216, a DC-3 carrying the University of Evansville basketball team on a flight to Nashville, crashed shortly after takeoff, killing all 29 people on board.

In 1978, the Philadelphia Mint began stamping the Susan B. Anthony dollar, which went into circulation the following July.

In 1981, authorities in Poland imposed martial law in a crackdown on the Solidarity labor movement. (Martial law formally ended in 1983.)

In 1996, the U.N. Security Council chose Kofi Annan (KOH’-fee AN’-nan) of Ghana to become the world body’s seventh secretary-general.

In 1997, a ribbon-cutting ceremony was held in Los Angeles for the 1 billion-dollar Getty Center, one of the largest arts centers in the United States.

In 2000, Republican George W. Bush claimed the presidency a day after the U.S. Supreme Court shut down further recounts of disputed ballots in Florida; Democrat Al Gore conceded, delivering a call for national unity.

In 2002, Cardinal Bernard Law resigned as Boston archbishop because of the priest sex abuse scandal.

Ten years ago: The White House weighed its options for preventing a collapse of the troubled U.S. auto industry. Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford won the Heisman Trophy after guiding the highest-scoring team in major college football history to the national championship game.

Five years ago: North Korea’s state-run media announced the execution the day before of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s uncle, portraying Jang Song Thaek as a morally corrupt traitor. Reality TV star Khloe Kardashian filed for divorce from Lamar Odom after four years of marriage.

One year ago: Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton appointed Lt. Gov. Tina Smith to fill the Senate seat of fellow Democrat Al Franken until a special election in November, 2018. Congressional Republicans reached agreement on a major overhaul of the nation’s tax laws that would provide generous tax cuts for corporations and the wealthiest Americans; middle- and low-income families would get smaller tax cuts. The New York Times published claims by three women that they had been raped by music mogul Russell Simmons in the 1980s and 1990s; Simmons denied the allegations.

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