HIGHLIGHTS IN HISTORY
On Dec. 5, 2017 Atlanta voters narrowly chose Keisha Lance Bottoms as the city’s next mayor In a bitterly contested runoff election; a result that would be upheld after a recount requested by rival Mary Norwood.
On this date:
1782: The eighth president of the United States, Martin Van Buren, was born in Kinderhook, New York; he was the first chief executive to be born after American independence. 1848: President James K. Polk triggered the Gold Rush of ’49 by confirming that gold had been discovered in California. 1932: German physicist Albert Einstein was granted a visa, making it possible for him to travel to the United States.
1933: National Prohibition came to an end as Utah became the 36th state to ratify the 21st Amendment to the Constitution, repealing the 18th Amendment.
1945: Five U.S. Navy torpedo bombers mysteriously disappeared after taking off from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on a training mission with the loss of all 14 crew members; “The Lost Squadron” contributed to the legend of the Bermuda Triangle.
1952: The Great Smog of London descended on the British capital; the unusually thick fog, which contained toxic pollutants, lasted five days and was blamed for causing thousands of deaths.
1977: Egypt broke diplomatic relations with Syria, Libya, Algeria, Iraq and South Yemen in the wake of criticism that followed President Anwar Sadat’s peace overtures to Israel.
1988: A federal grand jury in North Carolina indicted PTL founder Jim Bakker and former aide Richard Dortch on fraud and conspiracy charges. Bakker was convicted on all counts; Dortch pleaded guilty to four counts and cooperated with prosecutors in exchange for a lighter sentence. Bakker was initially sentenced to 45 years in prison; the term was eventually reduced to eight years, and he served a total of about five.
Ten years ago: The Labor Department reported that an alarming half-million jobs had vanished in Nov. 2008 as unemployment hit a 15-year high of 6.7 percent. A judge in Las Vegas sentenced O.J. Simpson to 33 years in prison with eligibility for parole after nine for an armed robbery at a hotel room. Simpson was released to parole on Oct. 1, 2017. Death claimed actresses Nina Foch at age 84 and Beverly Garland at age 82.
One year ago: Democratic congressman John Conyers of Michigan resigned from Congress after a nearly 53-year career, becoming the first Capitol Hill politician to lose his job amid the sexual misconduct allegations sweeping through the nation’s workplaces. The International Olympic Committee barred Russia and its sports leaders from the upcoming Winter Olympics in South Korea after concluding that members of the Russian government concocted a doping scheme at the 2014 Sochi Games; some Russians would be able to compete as “Olympic Athletes from Russia.”