Today in History
Today in History: Saturday, December  20, 2014
AP Highlight in History:
On Dec. 20, 1860, South Carolina became the first state to secede from the Union.
AP Photo/Bruce Smith
On this date in:
1790The first successful cotton mill in the United States began operating at Pawtucket, R.I.
1803The Louisiana Purchase was completed as the territory was formally transferred from France to the United States during ceremonies in New Orleans.
1864Confederate forces evacuated Savannah, Ga., as Union Gen. William T. Sherman continued his "March to the Sea."
1879Thomas Edison privately demonstrated his incandescent light at Menlo Park, N.J.
1946The Frank Capra film "It's A Wonderful Life" had a preview showing for charity at New York City's Globe Theatre, a day before its official premiere.
AP Photo
1963The Berlin Wall was opened for the first time to West Berliners, who were allowed one-day visits to relatives in the Eastern sector for the holidays.
1976Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley died at age 74.
1989The United States sent troops into Panama to topple the government of Manuel Noriega.
AP Photo/John Gaps III
1999The Vermont Supreme Court ruled that homosexual couples are entitled to the same benefits and protections as wedded couples.
2002Trent Lott resigned as Senate Republican leader two weeks after igniting a political firestorm with racially charged remarks.
2005New York City transit workers began a three-day strike.
Highlights of This Day in History
Today's Birthdays:
New York Mets third baseman David Wright turns 32 years old today.
AP Photo/Lynne Sladky
John HillermanActor ("Magnum P.I.")82
Peter CrissRock musician (Kiss)69
Uri GellerIllusionist68
Dick WolfTV producer ("Law and Order" shows)68
Alan ParsonsRock musician66
Billy BraggRock singer57
Chris RobinsonRock singer (The Black Crowes)48
David CookSinger ("American Idol")32
Actor Jonah Hill turns 31 years old today.
AP Photo/Evan Agostini