Today in History, December 21st

By | December 21, 2013
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A few of the great historical events that happened today in history, December 21st!

1620 Pilgrims aboard the Mayflower went ashore for the first time at present-day Plymouth, Mass. Plymouth Rock
1708 French forces seize control of the eastern shore of Newfoundland after winning a victory at St. John’s.
1862 The U.S. Congress authorizes the Medal of Honor to be awarded to Navy personnel who have distinguished themselves by their gallantry in action.
1866 Indians, led by Red Cloud and Crazy Horse, kill Captain William J. Fetterman and 79 other men who had ventured out from Fort Phil Kearny to cut wood.
1879 Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin was born Josef Dzhugashvili in Gori, Georgia.
1898 Scientists Pierre and Marie Curie discovered the radioactive element radium.

Scientists Pierre and Marie Curie

Pierre and Marie Curie

1910 Over 2.5 million plague victims are reported in the An-Hul province of China.
1913 The first crossword puzzle was published, in the New York World.
1928 President Calvin Coolidge signs the Boulder Dam bill.
1937 The Disney animated feature film “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” had its world premiere in Los Angeles. Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs
1944 German troops surround the 101st Airborne Division at Bastogne in Belgium.
1945 General George S. Patton dies at the age of 60 after being injured in a car accident.
1946 An earthquake and tidal wave kill hundreds in Japan.
1948 Ireland became an independent republic.
1958 Charles de Gaulle was elected the first president of France’s Fifth Republic.
1963 The Turk minority riots in Cyprus to protest anti-Turkish revisions in the constitution.
1964 Great Britain’s House of Commons votes to ban the death penalty.
1965 Four pacifists are indicted in New York for burning draft cards.
1968 Apollo 8 was launched on a mission to orbit the moon.
1969 American draft evaders gather for a holiday dinner in Montreal, Canada.
1970 Elvis Presley met with President Richard M. Nixon in the Oval Office to discuss fighting drugs.

Elvis Presley and Richard Nixon

President Richard M. Nixon and Elvis Presley

1971 The U.N. Security Council chose Kurt Waldheim to succeed U Thant as secretary-general.
1978 Police in Des Plaines, Ill., arrested John W. Gacy Jr. and began unearthing the remains of 33 men and boys he was later convicted of murdering.
1986 500,000 Chinese students gather in Shanghai’s People’s Square calling for democratic reforms, including freedom of the press.
1988 Pan Am Flight 103 from London to New York explodes in midair over Lockerbie, Scotland, an hour after departure. All 259 passengers were killed in the explosion caused by a bomb– hidden inside an audio cassette player — that detonated inside the cargo area when the plane was at an altitude of 31,000 feet. A shower of airplane parts falling from the sky also killed 11 Lockerbie residents.
1991 Eleven of the 12 former Soviet republics proclaimed the birth of the Commonwealth of Independent States.
1995 The city of Bethlehem passed from Israeli to Palestinian control.
1996 After two years of denials, House Speaker Newt Gingrich admitted violating House ethics rules.

Today in history facts are from various sites including, but not limited too: the History Channel, The New York Times, WHG Historynet.com, and HistoryOrb.com.

Author: Today in History

A few of the great historical events that happened today in history!

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