This Day in His­tory

Pawtucket Times - - AMUSEMENTS -

On Dec. 8, 1941, the United States en­tered World War II as Congress de­clared war against Im­pe­rial Japan, a day after the at­tack on Pearl Har­bor.

On this date:

In 1813, Beethoven’s Sym­phony No. 7 in A Ma­jor, Op. 92, was first per­formed in Vi­enna, with Beethoven him­self con­duct­ing.

In 1854, Pope Pius IX pro­claimed the Catholic dogma of the Im­mac­u­late Con­cep­tion, which holds that Mary, the mother of Je­sus, was free of orig­i­nal sin from the mo­ment of her own con­cep­tion.

In 1863, Pres­i­dent Abra­ham Lin­coln is­sued his Procla­ma­tion of Amnesty and Re­con­struc­tion for the South.

In 1886, the Amer­i­can Fed­er­a­tion of La­bor was founded in Colum­bus, Ohio.

In 1972, a United Air­lines Boe­ing 737 crashed while at­tempt­ing to land at Chicago-Mid­way Air­port, killing 43 of the 61 peo­ple on board, as well as two peo­ple on the ground; among the dead were Dorothy Hunt, wife of Water­gate con­spir­a­tor E. Howard Hunt, U.S. Rep. Ge­orge W. Collins, D-Ill., and CBS News cor­re­spon­dent Michele Clark.

In 1980, rock star John Len­non was shot to death out­side his New York City apart­ment build­ing by an ap­par­ently de­ranged fan.

In 1982, a man de­mand­ing an end to nu­clear weapons held the Wash­ing­ton Mon­u­ment hostage, threat­en­ing to blow it up with ex­plo­sives he claimed were in­side a van. (After a 10-hour stand­off, Nor­man D. Mayer was shot dead by po­lice; it turned out there were no ex­plo­sives.)

In 1987, Pres­i­dent Ron­ald Rea­gan and Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gor­bachev signed a treaty at the White House call­ing for de­struc­tion of in­ter­me­di­ate-range nu­clear mis­siles.

In 1991, AIDS pa­tient Kim­berly Ber­galis, who had con­tracted the dis­ease from her den­tist, died in Fort Pierce, Fla., at age 23.

In 1992, Amer­i­cans got to see live tele­vi­sion cov­er­age of U.S. troops land­ing on the beaches of So­ma­lia as Oper­a­tion Re­store Hope be­gan (be­cause of the time dif­fer­ence, it was early Dec. 9 in So­ma­lia).

In 1998, strug­gling to stave off im­peach­ment, Pres­i­dent Bill Clin­ton’s de­fend­ers force­fully pleaded his case be­fore the House Ju­di­ciary Com­mit­tee.

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