December 7th in History

Today's Highlight in History:

On December seventh, 1941, Japanese forces attacked American and British territories and possessions in the Pacific, including the home base of the US Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii.

On this date:

In 1787, Delaware became the first state to ratify the US Constitution.

In 1796, electors chose John Adams to be the second president of the United States.

In 1836, Martin Van Buren was elected the eighth president of the United States.

In 1842, the New York Philharmonic gave its first concert.

In 1946, fire broke out at the Winecoff Hotel in Atlanta; the blaze killed 119 people, including hotel founder W. Frank Winecoff.

In 1972, America's last moon mission to date was launched as "Apollo 17" blasted off from Cape Canaveral.

In 1982, convicted murderer Charlie Brooks Junior became the first US prisoner to be executed by injection, at a prison in Huntsville, Texas.

In 1985, retired Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart died in Hanover, New Hampshire, at age 70.

In 1987, Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev set foot on American soil for the first time, arriving for a Washington summit with President Reagan.

In 1988, a major earthquake in the Soviet Union devastated northern Armenia; official estimates put the death toll at 25,000.

Ten years ago: East Germany's Communist Party agreed to cooperate with the opposition in paving the way for free elections and a revised constitution.

Five years ago: PLO chairman Yasser Arafat, meeting with US Secretary of State Warren Christopher in Gaza City, pledged to protect Israelis from militant extremists.

One year ago: On the eve of historic hearings, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Henry Hyde said there was a "compelling case" for impeaching President Clinton. Attorney General Janet Reno declined to seek an independent counsel investigation of President Clinton over 1996 campaign financing.




"There are no warlike peoples -- just warlike leaders."

-- Ralph Bunche, Nobel Peace laureate (1904-1971).


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