Today in history
Today is Saturday, Dec. 21, the 355th day of 2019. There are 10 days left in the year. Winter arrives at 11:19 p.m. Eastern time.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On Dec. 21, 1988, 270 people were killed when a terrorist bomb exploded aboard a Pam Am Boeing 747 over Lockerbie, Scotland, sending wreckage crashing to the ground.
On this date:
In 1620, Pilgrims aboard the Mayflower went ashore for the first time at presentday Plymouth, Massachusetts.
In 1861, President Abraham Lincoln signed a congressional act authorizing the Navy Medal of Honor.
In 1864, during the Civil War, Union forces led by Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman concluded their “March to the Sea” as they captured Savannah, Georgia.
In 1891, the first basketball game, devised by James Naismith, is believed to have been played at the International
YMCA Training School in Springfield, Massachusetts. (The final score of this experimental game: 1-0.)
In 1913, the first newspaper crossword puzzle, billed as a “Word-Cross Puzzle,” was published in the New York World.
In 1914, the U.S. government began requiring passport applicants to provide photographs of themselves.
In 1945, U.S. Army Gen. George S. Patton, 60, died in Heidelberg, Germany, 12 days after being seriously injured in a car accident.
In 1967, Louis Washkansky, the first human heart transplant recipient, died at a hospital in Cape Town, South Africa, 18 days after receiving the donor organ. The satirical comedy-drama “The Graduate,” starring Anne Bancroft and Dustin Hoffman, was released by Embassy Pictures.
In 1968, Apollo 8 was launched on a mission to orbit the moon.
In 1969, Vince Lombardi coached his last football game as his team, the Washington Redskins, lost to the Dallas Cowboys, 20-10.