Today in History: Dec. 18

In this photo taken Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2011, in Chicago, is the signature of president Abraham Lincoln on a rare, restored copy of the 13th Amendment that ended slavery. The 147-year-old document, written on vellum “paper” an animal skin, was signed by President Lincoln and lawmakers who voted for it, was carefully treated to flatten and strengthen the remaining ink at the Graphic Conservation Co. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
On Dec. 18, 1865, the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, abolishing slavery, was declared in effect by Secretary of State William H. Seward. In this photo taken Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2011, in Chicago, is the signature of president Abraham Lincoln on a rare, restored copy of the 13th Amendment that ended slavery. The 147-year-old document, written on vellum “paper” an animal skin, was signed by President Lincoln and lawmakers who voted for it, was carefully treated to flatten and strengthen the remaining ink at the Graphic Conservation Co. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast) (ASSOCIATED PRESS/Charles Rex Arbogast)
Kristin Ottestad, center, a corps de ballet dancer with the Boston Ballet, performs a leap with other members of the corps during a dress rehearsal of the company's production of The Nutcracker, in Boston, Friday, Nov. 28, 2003. The Nutcracker is to begin Friday evening, Nov. 28, 2003 and run through Tuesday, Dec. 30, 2003. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
In 1892, Tchaikovsky’s ballet “The Nutcracker” publicly premiered in St. Petersburg, Russia. Kristin Ottestad, center, a corps de ballet dancer with the Boston Ballet, performs a leap with other members of the corps during a dress rehearsal of the company’s production of The Nutcracker, in Boston, Friday, Nov. 28, 2003. (AP Photo/Steven Senne) (ASSOCIATED PRESS/STEVEN SENNE)
The Chalk country around Verdun in France in an undated photo where when plowed up by shells, provides an ideal shelter for advancing parties. Undated photo. (AP Photo)
On Dec. 18, 1916, during World War I, the 10-month Battle of Verdun ended with French troops succeeding in repulsing a major German offensive. The Chalk country around Verdun in France in an undated photo where when plowed up by shells, provides an ideal shelter for advancing parties. Undated photo. (AP Photo) (AP)
iStock/Thinkstock
In 1917, Congress passed the 18th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution prohibiting “the manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors” and sent it to the states for ratification. (iStock/Thinkstock)
Navy armorers host laser-guided "smart" bomb aboard jet bomber on the USS America in Tonkin Gulf, Nov. 1, 1972. Aircraft flying from carrier continue operations on Vietnam.  (AP Photo/Neal Ulevich)
In 1972, the United States began heavy bombing of North Vietnamese targets during the Vietnam War. (The bombardment ended 11 days later.) Navy armorers host laser-guided “smart” bomb aboard jet bomber on the USS America in Tonkin Gulf, Nov. 1, 1972. Aircraft flying from carrier continue operations on Vietnam. (AP Photo/Neal Ulevich)
President of France Jacques Chirac, left, and South Korean President Kim Young-sam gesture during a bilateral meeting at the United Nations, Monday, June 23, 1997. Leaders and envoys from more than 170 nations gathered at the U.N. for a five-day conference to review progress since the 1992 Earth Summit. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
In 1992, Kim Young-sam was elected South Korea’s first civilian president in three decades. Here, President of France Jacques Chirac, left, and  Kim Young-sam gesture during a bilateral meeting at the United Nations, Monday, June 23, 1997. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens) (ASSOCIATED PRESS/KATHY WILLENS)
Backed up by House Minority Leader Richard Gephardt, D-Mo., right, President Clinton prepares to speak outside the Oval Office at the White House following the historic impeachment vote by the House of Representatives, Saturday, Dec. 19, 1998. House Democrats came to the White House after the vote as a show of support for the embattled chief executive. White House Chief of Staff John Podesta stands at left.  (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
In 1998, the House debated articles of impeachment against President Bill Clinton. Backed up by House Minority Leader Richard Gephardt, D-Mo., right, President Clinton prepares to speak outside the Oval Office at the White House following the historic impeachment vote by the House of Representatives, Saturday, Dec. 19, 1998. House Democrats came to the White House after the vote as a show of support for the embattled chief executive. White House Chief of Staff John Podesta stands at left. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) (AP/J. SCOTT APPLEWHITE)
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In this photo taken Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2011, in Chicago, is the signature of president Abraham Lincoln on a rare, restored copy of the 13th Amendment that ended slavery. The 147-year-old document, written on vellum “paper” an animal skin, was signed by President Lincoln and lawmakers who voted for it, was carefully treated to flatten and strengthen the remaining ink at the Graphic Conservation Co. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
Kristin Ottestad, center, a corps de ballet dancer with the Boston Ballet, performs a leap with other members of the corps during a dress rehearsal of the company's production of The Nutcracker, in Boston, Friday, Nov. 28, 2003. The Nutcracker is to begin Friday evening, Nov. 28, 2003 and run through Tuesday, Dec. 30, 2003. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
The Chalk country around Verdun in France in an undated photo where when plowed up by shells, provides an ideal shelter for advancing parties. Undated photo. (AP Photo)
iStock/Thinkstock
Navy armorers host laser-guided "smart" bomb aboard jet bomber on the USS America in Tonkin Gulf, Nov. 1, 1972. Aircraft flying from carrier continue operations on Vietnam.  (AP Photo/Neal Ulevich)
President of France Jacques Chirac, left, and South Korean President Kim Young-sam gesture during a bilateral meeting at the United Nations, Monday, June 23, 1997. Leaders and envoys from more than 170 nations gathered at the U.N. for a five-day conference to review progress since the 1992 Earth Summit. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
Backed up by House Minority Leader Richard Gephardt, D-Mo., right, President Clinton prepares to speak outside the Oval Office at the White House following the historic impeachment vote by the House of Representatives, Saturday, Dec. 19, 1998. House Democrats came to the White House after the vote as a show of support for the embattled chief executive. White House Chief of Staff John Podesta stands at left.  (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Today is Tuesday, Dec. 18, the 352nd day of 2018. There are 13 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Dec. 18, 1865, the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, abolishing slavery, was declared in effect by Secretary of State William H. Seward.

On this date:

In 1787, New Jersey became the third state to ratify the U.S. Constitution.

In 1892, Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s ballet “The Nutcracker” publicly premiered in St. Petersburg, Russia; although now considered a classic, it received a generally negative reception from critics.

In 1916, during World War I, the 10-month Battle of Verdun ended with French troops succeeding in repulsing a major German offensive.

In 1917, Congress passed the 18th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution prohibiting “the manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors” and sent it to the states for ratification.

In 1940, Adolf Hitler signed a secret directive ordering preparations for a Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union. (Operation Barbarossa was launched in June 1941.)

In 1944, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the government’s wartime evacuation of people of Japanese descent from the West Coast while at the same time ruling that “concededly loyal” Americans of Japanese ancestry could not continue to be detained.

In 1957, the Shippingport Atomic Power Station in Pennsylvania, the first nuclear facility to generate electricity in the United States, went on line. (It was taken out of service in 1982.)

In 1972, the United States began heavy bombing of North Vietnamese targets during the Vietnam War. (The bombardment ended 11 days later.)

In 1987, Ivan F. Boesky was sentenced to three years in prison for his role in a major Wall Street insider-trading scandal. (Boesky served about two years of his sentence).

In 1992, Kim Young-sam was elected South Korea’s first civilian president in three decades.

In 1998, the House debated articles of impeachment against President Bill Clinton. South Carolina carried out the nation’s 500th execution since capital punishment resumed in 1977.

In 2000, The Electoral College cast its ballots, with President-elect George W. Bush receiving the expected 271; Al Gore, however, received 266, one fewer than expected, because of a District of Columbia Democrat who’d left her ballot blank to protest the district’s lack of representation in Congress.

Ten years ago: A U.N. court in Tanzania convicted a former Rwandan army colonel, Theoneste Bagosora, of genocide and crimes against humanity for masterminding the killings of more than half a million people in a 100-day slaughter in 1994. (Bagosora was sentenced to life in prison, but had his sentence reduced in 2011 to 35 years.) W. Mark Felt, the former FBI second-in-command who’d revealed himself as “Deep Throat” three decades after the Watergate scandal, died in Santa Rosa, Calif., at age 95. “Star Trek” actress Majel Barrett Roddenberry, widow of series creator Gene Roddenberry, died in Los Angeles at age 76.

Five years ago: A presidential advisory panel released a report recommending sweeping changes to government surveillance programs, including limiting the bulk collection of Americans’ phone records by stripping the National Security Agency of its ability to store that data in its own facilities. Ronnie Biggs, 84, known for his role in Britain’s 1963 Great Train Robbery, died in London.

One year ago: An Amtrak train making the first-ever run along a faster route hurtled off an overpass south of Seattle and spilled some of its cars onto the highway below; three people were killed and dozens were hurt. (Investigators found that the train was traveling 80 mph in a 30 mph zone.) A fire and blackout at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, the world’s busiest, forced the cancellation of more than 1,500 flights just days before the start of the Christmas rush; airlines said some of the grounded travelers would have to wait days before there would be available seats on flights. The Los Angeles Lakers retired numbers 8 and 24, both of the jersey numbers worn by Kobe Bryant, the leading scorer in franchise history.

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© 2018 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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