Today in History
Today in History: Monday, December  22, 2014
AP Highlight in History:
On Dec. 22, 1989, Romanian President Nicolae Ceausescu, the last of Eastern Europe's hard-line Communist rulers, was toppled from power in a popular uprising.
AP Photo/Dusan Vranic
On this date in:
1858Opera composer Giacomo Puccini was born in Lucca, Italy.
1864During the Civil War, Union Gen. William T. Sherman sent a message to President Abraham Lincoln from Georgia, saying, "I beg to present you as a Christmas gift the city of Savannah."
1894French army officer Alfred Dreyfus was convicted of treason in a court-martial that triggered worldwide charges of anti-Semitism. (He was eventually vindicated.)
AP Photo
1912Lady Bird Johnson, the wife of President Lyndon B. Johnson, was born Claudio Alta Taylor in Karnack, Texas.
1941British Prime Minister Winston Churchill arrived in Washington, D.C., for a wartime conference with President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
1944During the Battle of the Bulge, Germany demanded the surrender of American troops at Bastogne, Belgium; Brigadier Gen. Anthony C. McAuliffe reportedly replied: "Nuts!"
1984New York City resident Bernhard Goetz shot four black youths on a Manhattan subway, claiming they were about to rob him.
1990Lech Walesa took the oath of office as Poland's first popularly elected president.
2000Pop singer Madonna married film director Guy Ritchie in Scotland. (The couple divorced in 2008.)
2001Richard C. Reid, a passenger on an American Airlines flight from Paris to Miami, tried to ignite explosives in his shoes, but was subdued by flight attendants and fellow passengers.
2005Astronomers announced the discovery of two more rings encircling the planet Uranus.
2010President Barack Obama signed a law allowing gays for the first time in history to serve openly in America's military.
Highlights of This Day in History
Today's Birthdays:
Singer Meghan Trainor turns 21 years old today.
AP Photo/Amy Sussman, Invision
Jim WrightFormer House speaker92
Hector ElizondoActor78
Paul WolfowitzFormer World Bank president71
Steve CarltonBaseball Hall of Famer70
Diane SawyerBroadcast journalist ("Good Morning America")69
Rick NielsenRock musician (Cheap Trick)66
Jan StephensonGolfer63
Luther CampbellRapper (2 Live Crew)54
Ted CruzU.S. senator, R-Texas44
Heather DonahueActress ("The Blair Witch Project")41
Jordin SparksR&B singer ("American Idol")25
Actor Ralph Fiennes turns 52 years old today.
AP Photo/Evan Agostini


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