To­day in his­tory

Sun Sentinel Broward Edition - - Nation & World -

On Dec. 8, 1765, Eli Whit­ney, in­ven­tor of the cotton gin, was born in West­boro, Mass.

In 1776 Ge­orge Wash­ing­ton’s re­treat­ing army crossed the Delaware River from New Jersey to Penn­syl­va­nia dur­ing the Amer­i­can Rev­o­lu­tion.

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

In 1863 Pres­i­dent Abra­ham Lin­coln an­nounced his plan for the re­con­struc­tion of the South.

In 1886 the Amer­i­can Fed­er­a­tion of La­bor was founded in Columbus, Ohio. Also in 1886 pain­ter Diego Rivera was born in Gua­na­ju­ato, Mex­ico.

In 1914 “Watch Your Step,” the first mu­si­cal re­vue to fea­ture a score com­posed en­tirely by Irv­ing Ber­lin, opened in New York.

In 1925 singer, dancer and ac­tor Sammy Davis Jr. was born in New York.

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

In 1978 for­mer Is­raeli Prime Minister Golda Meir died in Jerusalem; she was 80.

In 1980 for­mer Bea­tles gui­tarist and song­writer John Len­non was shot to death out­side his New York City apart­ment build­ing by a de­ranged fan; Len­non was 40.

In 1987 Pales­tini­ans in the Is­raeli-oc­cu­pied ter­ri­to­ries be­gan an in­tifada, or up­ris­ing. Also in 1987 Pres­i­dent Ronald Rea­gan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gor­bachev signed a treaty call­ing for de­struc­tion of in­ter­me­di­ate-range nu­clear mis­siles.

In 1993 Pres­i­dent Bill Clin­ton signed into U.S. law the North Amer­i­can Free Trade Agree­ment, which went into ef­fect at the start of 1994.

In 1996 the Ser­bian Supreme Court ruled against op­po­si­tion par­ties who said Slo­bo­dan Milo­se­vic had robbed them of an elec­tion vic­tory in Belgrade.

In 1999 a Mem­phis jury hear­ing a law­suit filed by Martin Luther King Jr.’s fam­ily found that the civil rights leader had been the vic­tim of a vast mur­der con­spir­acy, not a lone as­sas­sin.

In 2000 a di­vided Florida Supreme Court, in a 4-3 rul­ing, or­dered an im­me­di­ate hand count of about 45,000 dis­puted pres­i­den­tial bal­lots and put Demo­crat Al Gore within 154 votes of Ge­orge W. Bush.

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