To­day in his­tory

The Saratogian (Saratoga, NY) - - COMMUNITY -

To­day is Satur­day, Dec. 8, the 342nd day of 2018. There are 23 days left in the year.

To­day’s High­light in His­tory:

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. The Supreme Court ruled that po­lice can­not search peo­ple and their cars af­ter merely tick­et­ing them for rou­tine traf­fic vi­o­la­tions.

In 2001, the U.S. Capi­tol was re­opened to tourists af­ter a two-month se­cu­rity shut­down.

Ten years ago: In a star­tling about-face, Khalid Sheikh Mo­hammed told the Guan­tanamo war crimes tri­bunal he would con­fess to mas­ter­mind­ing the Sept. 11 at­tacks; four other men also aban­doned their de­fenses. A mal­func­tion­ing F/A-18D Hor­net mil­i­tary jet try­ing to reach Ma­rine Corps Air Sta­tion Mi­ra­mar slammed into a densely pop­u­lated San Diego neigh­bor­hood, killing four mem­bers of a fam­ily and in­cin­er­at­ing two homes; the pilot ejected safely. Mys­tery writer Hil­lary Waugh died in Tor­ring­ton, Conn. at age 88. Char­ac­ter ac­tor Robert Prosky died in Wash­ing­ton, D.C. five days short of his 78th birth­day.

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