To­day in His­tory

El Dorado News-Times - - Morning Brew -

To­day is Thurs­day, Dec. 7, the 341st day of 2017. There are 24 days left in the year.

To­day's High­light in His­tory:

On Dec. 7, 1941, dur­ing a se­ries of raids in the Pa­cific, Im­pe­rial Ja­pan's navy launched a pre-emp­tive at­tack on the U.S. Navy base at Pearl Har­bor in Hawaii, killing 2,400 peo­ple, about half of them on the bat­tle­ship USS Arizona. (The United States de­clared war against Ja­pan the next day.)

On this date:

In 43 B.C., Ro­man states­man and scholar Mar­cus Tul­lius Cicero was slain at the order of the Sec­ond Tri­umvi­rate.

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

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

In 1909, chemist Leo H. Baeke­land re­ceived a U.S. patent for Bake­lite (BAY'-kuh-lyt), the first syn­thetic plas­tic.

In 1917, dur­ing World War I, the United States de­clared war on Aus­tria-Hun­gary.

In 1946, fire broke out at the Winecoff (WYN'-kahf) Ho­tel in At­lanta; the blaze killed 119 peo­ple, in­clud­ing ho­tel founder W. Frank Winecoff.

In 1967, the Bea­tles opened the Ap­ple Bou­tique in Lon­don; the ven­ture proved dis­as­trous, and the shop closed the fol­low­ing July.

In 1972, Amer­ica's last moon mis­sion to date was launched as Apollo 17 blasted off from Cape Canaveral. Imelda Mar­cos, wife of Philip­pine Pres­i­dent Fer­di­nand E. Mar­cos, was stabbed and se­ri­ously wounded by an as­sailant who was shot dead by her body­guards.

In 1987, 43 peo­ple were killed af­ter a gun­man aboard a Pa­cific South­west Air­lines jet­liner in Cal­i­for­nia ap­par­ently opened fire on a fel­low pas­sen­ger, the pi­lots and him­self, caus­ing the plane to crash. Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gor­bachev set foot on Amer­i­can soil for the first time, ar­riv­ing for a Washington sum­mit with Pres­i­dent Ron­ald Rea­gan.

In 1993, a gun­man opened fire on a Long Is­land Rail Road com­muter train, killing six peo­ple and wound­ing 19. (The shooter was later sen­tenced to a min­i­mum of 200 years in prison.)

In 1995, a 746-pound probe from the Galileo space­craft hur­tled into Jupiter's at­mos­phere, send­ing back data to the moth­er­ship be­fore it was pre­sum­ably de­stroyed.

In 2004, Hamid Karzai (HAH'mihd KAHR'-zeye) was sworn in as Afghanistan's first pop­u­larly elected pres­i­dent.

Ten years ago: Con­gres­sional Democrats de­manded a full Jus­tice Depart­ment in­ves­ti­ga­tion into whether the CIA had ob­structed jus­tice by de­stroy­ing video­tapes doc­u­ment­ing the harsh 2002 in­ter­ro­ga­tions of two al­leged ter­ror­ists. Two win­dow wash­ers fell 47 sto­ries from a Man­hat­tan sky­scraper when their scaf­fold­ing failed; Edgar Moreno was killed, but his brother, Al­cides (ahl-SEE'-days), mirac­u­lously sur­vived (and is still alive).

Five years ago: Pres­i­dent Barack Obama asked Congress for $60.4 bil­lion in fed­eral aid for New York, New Jersey and other states hit by Su­per­storm Sandy (law­mak­ers ended up pass­ing a $50.5 bil­lion emer­gency re­lief mea­sure in ad­di­tion to a $9.7 bil­lion bill to re­plen­ish the Na­tional Flood In­sur­ance Pro­gram).

One year ago: Pres­i­dent-elect Don­ald Trump se­lected re­tired Ma­rine Gen. John Kelly to head the Depart­ment of Home­land Se­cu­rity, Ok­la­homa At­tor­ney Gen­eral Scott Pruitt to lead the En­vi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion Agency, the for­mer chief ex­ec­u­tive of World Wrestling En­ter­tain­ment, Linda McMa­hon, to run the Small Busi­ness Ad­min­is­tra­tion and Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad to be the new U.S. am­bas­sador to China. Time mag­a­zine named Don­ald Trump its Per­son of the Year. A Pak­istan In­ter­na­tional Air­lines com­muter plane crashed in the north of the coun­try, killing all 47 peo­ple on board. A mag­ni­tude 6.5 earth­quake struck In­done­sia's Aceh (ah-cheh) Prov­ince, killing more than 100 peo­ple. NBC broad­cast a live, three-hour pro­duc­tion of the mu­si­cal "Hair­spray."

Thought for To­day: "The high­est trib­ute to the dead is not grief but grat­i­tude." — Thorn­ton Wilder, Amer­i­can play­wright and au­thor (born 1897, died this date in 1975).

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