This day in History
Today is Monday, 22 December 2014,
1135 Stephen of Blois is crowned the king of England.
1775 Esek Hopkins takes command of the Continental Navy — a total of seven ships.
1807 Congress passes the Embargo Act, which halts all trading completely. It is hoped that the act will keep the United States out the European Wars.
1829 The Baltimore & Ohio Railroad opens the first passenger railway line.
1918 The last of the food restrictions, enforced because of the shortages during World War I, are lifted.
1929 Soviet troops leave Manchuria after a truce is reached with the Chinese over the Eastern Railway dispute.
1941 Japanese troops make an amphibious landing on the coast of Lingayen Gulf on Luzon, the Philippines.
1942 The Soviets drive German troops back 15 miles at the Don River.
1944 During the Battle of the Bulge, General Anthony McAuliffe responds to a German surrender request with a one word answer: “Nuts!”
1945 The United States recognizes Tito’s government in Yugoslavia.
1965 The EF-105F Wild Weasel makes its first kill over Vietnam.
1966 The United States announces the allocation of 900,000 tons of grain to fight the famine in India.
1989 The Romanian government of Nicolae Ceausescu is overthrown, ending 42 years of communist rule.
1989 The division of East and West Germany effectively ends when the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin reopens for the first time in nearly 30 years.
1992 What became known as the Archives of Terror are discovered in a police station near the capital of Paraguay, records detailing tens of thousands of Latin Americans who had been secretly imprisoned, tortured and / or killed by the security services of several South American governments.
1997 Hussein Farrah Aidid relinquishes his disputed title of President of Somalia, an important step toward reconciliation in the country.
2001 President of Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai, takes over an interim government.
2001 A passenger on American Airlines Flight 63 from Paris, Richard Reid, unsuccessfully attempts to destroy the plane in flight by igniting explosives he’d hidden in his shoes.
2008 Some 1.1 billion gallons of coal fly ash slurry flood part of Tennessee after an ash dike breaks at a solid waste containment area in Roane County, in the eastern part of the state.
2010 US President Barack Obama signs a law officially repealing the 17-year-old policy known as “Don’t ask, don’t tell”; the new law permits homosexuals to serve openly in the US military.
Born on December 22
1856 Frank Kellogg, U.S. Secretary of State who tried to outlaw war with the Kellogg-Briand Pact.
1858 Giacomo Puccini, Italian operatic composer best known for Madam Butterfly.
1883 Arthur Wergs Mitchell, first African-American to be elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.
1912 Claudia “Lady Bird” Johnson, wife of US President Lyndon Baines Johnson.
1921 Hawkshaw Hawkins (Harold Hawkins), country singer; he died in 1963 along with country stars Patsy Cline and Cowboy Copas when the small plane that was carrying them crashed in 1963.
1945 Diane Sawyer, journalist; anchor of ABC World News.
1949 Robin and Maurice Gibb, singers, songwriters; co-founders of the Bee Gees band.
1946 Rick Nielsen, musician, vocalist, primary songwriter of the band Cheap Trick.
1951 Charles de Lint, author; helped popularize the urban fantasy genre; received World Fantasy Award (2000) for the collection Moonlight and Vines.
1951 Major-General Gerald Grosvenor, 6th Duke of Westminster, owner of the property company Grosvenor Group.