Today in History
Today is Wednesday, Dec. 7, the 341st day of 2022. There are 24 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On Dec. 7, 1941, the Empire of Japan launched an air raid on the U.S. Navy base at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii as well as targets in Malaya, Hong Kong, Guam, the Philippines and Wake Island; the United States declared war against Japan the next day.
On this date:
In 1787, Delaware became the first state to ratify the U.S. Constitution.
In 1796, electors chose John Adams to be the second president of the United States.
In 1917, during World War I, the United States declared war on Austria-Hungary.
In 1963, during the Army-Navy game, videotaped instant replay was used for the first time in a live sports telecast.
In 1972, America’s last moon mission to date was launched as Apollo 17 blasted off from Cape Canaveral.
In 1982, convicted murderer Charlie Brooks Jr. became the first U.S. prisoner to be executed by injection, at a prison in Huntsville, Texas.
In 1988, a major earthquake in the Soviet Union devastated northern Armenia; official estimates put the death toll at 25-thousand.
In 2001, Taliban forces abandoned their last bastion in Afghanistan, fleeing the southern city of Kandahar.
In 2004, Hamid Karzai (HAH’-mihd KAHR’-zeye) was sworn in as Afghanistan’s first popularly elected president.
In 2017, Democratic Sen. Al Franken said he would resign after a series of sexual harassment allegations; he took a parting shot at President Donald Trump, describing him as “a man who has bragged on tape about his history of sexual assault.” Republican Rep. Trent Franks of Arizona said he would resign, after revealing that he discussed surrogacy with two female staffers.
In 2018, the man who drove his car into counterprotesters at a 2017 white nationalist rally in Virginia was convicted of first-degree murder; a state jury rejected defense arguments that James Alex Fields Jr. acted in self-defense.
In 2020, retired Air Force Brig. Gen. Charles “Chuck” Yeager, the World War II fighter pilot ace and quintessential test pilot who in 1947 became the first person to fly faster than sound, died at 97.
Ten years ago: President Barack Obama asked Congress for $60.4 billion in federal aid for New York, New Jersey and other states hit by Superstorm Sandy (lawmakers ended up passing a $50.5 billion emergency relief measure in addition to a $9.7 billion bill to replenish the National Flood Insurance Program).
Five years ago: A white former South Carolina police officer, Michael Slager, was sentenced to 20 years in prison for the fatal shooting of an unarmed black motorist, Walter Scott, in North Charleston in 2015. Demonstrators in the Gaza Strip burned U.S. flags and pictures of President Trump, and Palestinian protesters clashed with Israeli forces in east Jerusalem and the West Bank, after Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
One year ago: During a video call lasting more than two hours, President Joe Biden warned Russia’s Vladimir Putin that a Russian invasion of Ukraine would bring sanctions and enormous harm to the Russian economy. A major outage in Amazon’s cloud computing network severely disrupted services at a wide range of U.S. companies for more than five hours, impacting everything from airline reservations and auto dealerships to payment apps and video streaming services.
Today’s Birthdays: Linguist and political philosopher Noam Chomsky is 94. Bluegrass singer Bobby Osborne is 91. Actor Ellen Burstyn is 90. Broadcast journalist Carole Simpson is 82. Baseball Hall of Famer Johnny Bench is 75. Actor-director-producer James Keach is 75. Country singer Gary Morris is 74. Singer-songwriter Tom Waits is 73. Sen. Susan M. Collins, R-Maine, is 70. Basketball Hall of Famer Larry Bird is 66. Actor Priscilla Barnes is 65. Former “Tonight Show” announcer Edd (cq) Hall is 64. Rock musician Tim Butler (The Psychedelic Furs) is 64. Actor Patrick Fabian is 58. Actor Jeffrey Wright is 57. Actor C. Thomas Howell is 56. Actor Kimberly Hébert Gregory (TV: “Kevin (Probably) Saves the World”) is 50. Producer-director Jason Winer is 50. Former NFL player Terrell Owens is 49. Rapper-producer Kon Artis is 48. Pop singer Nicole Appleton (All Saints) is 47. Latin singer Frankie J is 46. Country singer Sunny Sweeney is 46. Actor Chris Chalk is 45. Actor Shiri Appleby is 44. Pop-rock singer/celebrity judge Sara Bareilles (bah-REHL’-es) is 43. Actor Jennifer Carpenter is 43. Actor Jack Huston is 40. MLB first baseman Pete Alonso is 28.