Today in history

Dec 2019

1065 Westminster Abbey in London consecrated

1308 The reign of Emperor Hanazono, Emperor of Japan, begins

1612 First observation of Neptune - Galileo observes and records a "fixed star" without realizing it is a planet

1614 Sperm whale beached at Noordwijk

1669-William Semple patents chewing gum

1688-William of Orange makes a triumphant march into London as James II flees

1694-George I of England gets divorced

1767 King Taksin crowned King of Thailand and establishes Thonburi as his capital

1832-John Calhoun became the 1st Vice-president to resign

1836 Spain recognizes the independence of Mexico

1846-Iowa is admitted as the 29th State of the Union

1860 Harriet Tubman arrives in Auburn, New York, on her last mission to free slaves, having evaded capture for 8 years on the Underground Railroad

1872-A U.S. Army force defeats a group of Apache warriors at Salt River Canyon, Arizona Territory, with 57 Indians killed but only one soldier

1890-Battle of Wounded Knee SD - Last major conflict with Indians

1902-Trans-Pacific cable links Hawaii to US

1904-Farmers in Georgia burn two million bales of cotton to prop up falling prices

1908 Earthquake strikes Messina, Italy, killing nearly 80,000

1920-The United States resumes the deportation of communists and suspected communists

1933-President Franklin D. Roosevelt states, "The definite policy of the United States, from now on, is one opposed to armed intervention."

1936-Benito Mussolini sends planes to Spain to support Francisco Franco's forces

1938-France orders the doubling of forces in Somaliland; two warships are sent

1943 All Kalmyk inhabitants of the Republic of Kalmukkie deported by the Soviet Union to Central Asia and Siberia. Many die en route.

1946-The French declare martial law in Vietnam as a full-scale war appears inevitable

1948-Premier Nokrashy Pasha of Egypt is assassinated by a member of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood because of his failure to achieve victory in the war against Israel

1950-Chinese troops cross 38th Parallel into South Korea

1951-The United States pays $120,000 to free four fliers convicted of espionage in Hungary

1965-The United States bars oil sales to Rhodesia

1968-Israel attacks an airport in Beirut, destroying 13 planes

1971-The U.S. Justice Department sues Mississippi officials for ignoring the voting ballots of blacks in that state

1985-Warring Lebanese Muslim and Christian leaders sign peace agreement