Today in History
69 Vespians’s supporters enter Rome and discover Vitellius
in hiding. He is dragged through the streets before being
1355 Stephen Urosh IV of Serbia dies while marching to
1802 The United States buys the Louisiana territory from
1860 South Carolina secedes from the Union.
1861 English transports loaded with 8,000 troops set sail for
Canada so that troops are available if the “Trent Affair” is
not settled without war.
1924 Adolf Hitler is released from prison after serving less
than one year of a five year sentence for treason.
1930 Thousands of Spaniards sign a revolutionary
1933 The German government announces 400,000 citizens
are to be sterilized because of hereditary defects.
1938 First electronic television system is patented.
1941 The Flying Tigers, American pilots in China, enter
combat against the Japanese over Kunming.
1943 Soviet forces halt a German army trying to relieve the
besieged city of Stalingrad.
1946 Viet Minh and French forces fight fiercely in Annamite
section of Hanoi.
1948 U.S. Supreme Court announces that it has no
jurisdiction to hear the appeals of Japanese war criminals
sentenced by the International Military Tribunal.
1960 National Liberation Front is formed by guerrillas
fighting the Diem regime in South Vietnam.
1962 In its first free election in 38 years, the Dominican
Republic chooses leftist Juan Bosch Gavino as president.
1963 Four thousand cross the Berlin Wall to visit relatives
under a 17-day Christmas accord.
1989 U.S. troops invade Panama to oust General Manuel
Noriega and replace him with Guillermo Endara.
1995 NATO begins peacekeeping operation in Bosnia.
1996 NeXT merges with Apple Computer, leading to the
development of groundbreaking Mac OS X.
2007 Queen Elizabeth II becomes the oldest monarch in the
history of the UK; previously, that honor belonged to Queen
Born on December 20
1868 Harvey Firestone, industrialist and tire maker.
1881 Branch Rickey, president of the Brooklyn Dodgers.
1901 Robert J. Van de Graff, physicist, invented the Van de
1904 Virgil “Spud” Davis, pro baseball catcher, coach, scout
1914 Harry F. Byrd Jr., first independent ever elected to US
Senate by a majority of the popular vote (Virginia).
1921 George Roy Hill, film director (Butch Cassidy and the
Sundance Kid, The Sting).
1946 Dick Wolf, television producer (Miami Vice, Law &
1948 Alan Parsons, musician (The Alan Parsons Project);
producer who was involved with The Beatles’ Abbey Road
and Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of the Moon.
1963 Infanta Elena, Duchess of Lugo, elder daughter of King
Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia of Spain; fourth in line of
succession to the Spanish throne.
1976 Adam Powell, Welsh game designer; co-founder of
Neopets and Meteor Games companies.
Today in History