Thursday, December 20, 2007

Today in History....December 20

* 69, Vespasian, a former general under Nero, enters Rome to claim the title of emperor

* 1192, Richard the Lion-Heart was captured and imprisoned by Leopold V of Austria on his way home to England after signing a treaty with Saladin ending the crusade

* 1522, Suleiman the Magnificent accepts the surrender of the surviving Knights of Rhodes, who are allowed to evacuate. They eventually re-settle on Malta and become known as the Knights of Malta

* 1606, the Virginia Company loaded three ships with settlers and set sail to establish Jamestown, Virginia, the first permanent English settlement in the Americas

* 1790, the first successful cotton mill in the United States began operating at Pawtucket, R.I.

* 1803, Louisiana Purchase completed at a ceremony in New Orleans

* 1835, first signing of the Texas Declaration of Independence at Goliad, Texas

* 1860, South Carolina becomes the first state to secede from the United States

* 1864, Confederate forces evacuated Savannah, Ga., as Union Gen.
William T. Sherman continued his 'March to the Sea'

* 1941, during World War II: First battle of the American Volunteer Group, better known as the "Flying Tigers" in Kunming, China

* 1945, the Office of Price Administration announced the end of tire rationing, effective Jan. 1, 1946

* 1951, nuclear power first harvested when EBR-1 powers four light bulbs

* 1973, Spanish Prime Minister Admiral Luis Carrero Blanco is assassinated by a car bomb attack in Madrid

* 1978, former White House chief of staff H.R. Haldeman was released from prison after serving 18 months for his role in the Watergate cover-up

* 1984, the Summit tunnel fire becomes the largest underground fire in history, when a freight train carrying over 1 million litres of petrol derails near the town of Todmorden in the Pennines

* 1988, the United Nations Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances is signed at Vienna

* 1989, the United States sends troops into Panama to overthrow government of Manuel Noriega

* 1991, a Missouri court passes the death sentence on two practitioners of that "religion of peace", Zein Isa and his wife Maria, for the "honor killing" of their daughter Palestina

* 1995, NATO begins peacekeeping in Bosnia

* 1996, NeXT merges with Apple Computer, starting the path to Mac OS X

* 2002, US Senator Trent Lott resigns as majority leader. ALSO: The nation’s 10 biggest brokerages agreed to pay $1.44 billion and fundamentally change the way they did business to settle allegations they’d misled investors by hyping certain companies’ stocks. AND: Ted Williams’ eldest daughter, Bobby-Jo Williams Ferrell, dropped her objections to her siblings’ decision to have the Hall of Famer’s body frozen at a cryonics lab in Arizon

* 2005, New York City's Transport Workers Union Local 100 goes on strike, shutting down all New York City Subway and Bus services. ALSO:
US District Court Judge John E. Jones III ruled against mandating teaching "intelligent design" in his ruling of Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District

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