Today in history
In 1787 Delaware became the first state to ratify the Constitution.
In 1796 electors chose John Adams to be the second president of the United States.
In 1842 the New York Philharmonic gave its first concert.
In 1941 Japanese forces attacked American and British territories and possessions in the Pacific, including the home base of the U.S. Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii.
used for the first time in a live sports telecast as CBS reshowed a one-yard touchdown run by Army quarterback Rollie Stichweh. (Navy won, 21-15.)
In 1972 America’s last moon mission to date was launched as Apollo 17 blasted off from Cape Canaveral.
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 1998 Attorney General Janet Reno declined to seek an independent counsel investigation of President Bill Clinton over 1996 campaign financing.
In 1999 NASA scientists all but gave up hope of contacting the Mars Polar Lander, last heard from four days earlier as it began its descent toward the Red Planet.
In 2001 Taliban forces abandoned their last bastion in Afghanistan, fleeing the southern city of Kandahar.
In 2002 Iraq handed over its long-awaited arms declaration to the United Nations, denying it had weapons of mass destruction.
In 2003 allies of President Vladimir Putin won a sweeping victory in Russia’s parliamentary elections.
In 2004 Hamid Karzai was sworn in as Afghanistan’s first popularly elected president.
Also in 2004 Amway cofounder Jay Van Andel died in Ada, Mich.; he was 80.