TO­DAY IN HIS­TORY

Woonsocket Call - - Amusements -

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, 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 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 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.

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