Today in History – December 14

1542 – Princess Mary Stuart became Queen of Scots at the age of one week on the death of her father, James V of Scotland.

1780 – Founding Father Alexander Hamilton married Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton at the Schuyler Mansion in Albany, New York.

1782 – The Montgolfier brothers first test fly an unmanned hot air balloon in France; it floated nearly 1.6 mi.

1814 – War of 1812: The Royal Navy seized control of Lake Borgne, Louisiana.

1819 – Alabama became the 22nd U.S. state.

1836 – The Toledo War unofficially ended as the “Frostbitten Convention” voted to accept Congress’ terms for admitting Michigan as a U.S. state.

1863 – American Civil War: The Confederate victory under General James Longstreet at the Battle of Bean’s Station in East Tennessee ended the Knoxville Campaign, but achieved very little as Longstreet returned to Virginia next spring.

1902 – The Commercial Pacific Cable Company laid the first Pacific telegraph cable, from San Francisco to Honolulu.

1903 – The Wright brothers made their first attempt to fly with the Wright Flyer at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.

1911 – Roald Amundsen’s team, comprising himself, Olav Bjaaland, Helmer Hanssen, Sverre Hassel, and Oscar Wisting, became the first to reach the South Pole.

1918 – The 1918 United Kingdom general election occurred, the first where women were permitted to vote.

1918 – Giacomo Puccini’s comic opera Gianni Schicchi premiered at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City.

1940 – Plutonium (specifically Pu-238) was first isolated at Berkeley, California.

1948 – Thomas T. Goldsmith Jr. and Estle Ray Mann were granted a patent for their cathode-ray tube amusement device, the earliest known interactive electronic game.

1962 – NASA’s Mariner 2 became the first spacecraft to fly by Venus.

1963 – The dam containing the Baldwin Hills Reservoir burst.  The led to the killing of five people and the damaging of hundreds of homes in Los Angeles, California.

1964 – American Civil Rights Movement: Heart of Atlanta Motel v. United States: The Supreme Court of the United States ruled that Congress could use the Constitution’s Commerce Clause to fight discrimination.

1968 – Tommy James and the Shondells released “Crimson & Clover.”

1972 – Apollo program: Eugene Cernan was the last person to walk on the moon, after he and Harrison Schmitt completed the third and final extravehicular activity (EVA) of the Apollo 17 mission.

1972 – Alexander’s department store in New York stayed open late so Alice Cooper could do his Christmas shopping.

1977 – Saturday Night Fever premiered in New York City.

1980 – Yoko Ono called for a 10-minute silent vigil around the world for John Lennon, her husband, who was shot to death six days earlier. Over 100,000 people went to Central Park in New York to honor the request.

1985 – Wilma Mankiller took office as the first woman elected to serve as Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation.

1986 – Elton John recorded a live version of “Candle in the Wind” that would later be released as a single.

1991 – Michael Jackson’s Dangerous debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s pop albums chart.

1995 – Classified documents from the White House were released that revealed the FBI had spied on John Lennon and his anti-war activities during the early ’70s in a possible attempt to have Lennon deported.

1999 – Paul McCartney played a show at the Cavern Club in Liverpool. It was the first time that McCartney had played at the club since 1963.

2012 – Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting: Twenty-eight people, including the gunman, were killed in Sandy Hook, Connecticut.

2017 – The Walt Disney Company announced that it would acquire 21st Century Fox, including the 20th Century Fox movie studio, for $52.4 billion.


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