Today In History: December 3, Gas Disaster In Bhopal, India Kills Thousands

Today in History

Today is Sunday, Dec. 3, the 337th day of 2023. There are 28 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Dec. 3, 1984, thousands of people died after a cloud of methyl isocyanate gas escaped from a pesticide plant operated by a Union Carbide subsidiary in Bhopal, India.

On this date:

In 1818, Illinois was admitted as the 21st state.

In 1828, Andrew Jackson was elected president of the United States by the Electoral College.

In 1947, the Tennessee Williams play “A Streetcar Named Desire” opened on Broadway.

In 1964, police arrested some 800 students at the University of California at Berkeley, one day after the students stormed the administration building and staged a massive sit-in.

In 1965, the Beatles’ sixth studio album, “Rubber Soul,” was released in the United Kingdom by Parlophone (it was released in the U.S. by Capitol Records three days later).

In 1967, a surgical team in Cape Town, South Africa, led by Dr. Christiaan Barnard (BAHR’-nard) performed the first human heart transplant on Louis Washkansky, who lived 18 days with the donor organ, which came from Denise Darvall, a 25-year-old bank clerk who had died in a traffic accident.

In 1979, 11 people were killed in a crush of fans at Cincinnati’s Riverfront Coliseum, where the British rock group The Who was performing.

In 1991, radicals in Lebanon released American hostage Alann Steen, who’d been held captive nearly five years.

In 1992, the first telephone text message was sent by British engineer Neil Papworth, who transmitted the greeting “Merry Christmas” from his work computer in Newbury, Berkshire, to Vodafone executive Richard Jarvis’ mobile phone.

In 2012, St. James’s Palace announced that Britain’s Prince William and his wife, Kate, were expecting their first child (Prince George was born the following July).

In 2015, defense Secretary Ash Carter ordered the armed services to open all military jobs to women, removing the final barriers that had kept women from serving in combat, including the most dangerous and grueling commando posts.

In 2017, the second-largest U.S. drugstore chain, CVS, announced that it was buying Aetna, the third-largest health insurer, in order to push much deeper into customer care.

In 2018, after a two-year chase, the NASA spacecraft Osiris-Rex arrived at the ancient asteroid Bennu, some 76 million miles from Earth. (The craft would go on to collect gravel samples that it returned to earth in September, 2023.)

In 2020, Facebook said it would start removing false claims about COVID-19 vaccines.

In 2021, a prosecutor filed involuntary manslaughter charges against the parents of a teen accused of killing four students at a Michigan high school, saying they failed to intervene on the day of the tragedy despite being confronted with a drawing and chilling message — “blood everywhere” — that was found at the boy’s desk.

Today’s Birthdays: Singer Jaye P. Morgan is 92. Rock singer Ozzy Osbourne is 75. Rock singer Mickey Thomas is 74. Country musician Paul Gregg (Restless Heart) is 69. Actor Steven Culp is 68. Actor Daryl Hannah is 63. Actor Julianne Moore is 63. Olympic gold medal figure skater Katarina Witt is 58. Actor Brendan Fraser is 55. Singer Montell Jordan is 55. Actor Royale Watkins is 54. Actor Bruno Campos is 50. Actor Holly Marie Combs is 50. Actor Liza Lapira is 48. Pop-rock singer Daniel Bedingfield is 44. Actor/comedian Tiffany Haddish is 44. Actor Anna Chlumsky (KLUHM’-skee) is 43. Actor Jenna Dewan is 43. Actor Brian Bonsall is 42. Actor Dascha Polanco is 41. Pop/rock singer-songwriter Andy Grammer is 40. Actor Amanda Seyfried is 38. Actor Michael Angarano is 36. Actor Jake T. Austin is 29.