Today in History: December 21

1620 – Plymouth Colony: William Bradford and the Mayflower Pilgrims landed on what is now known as Plymouth Rock in Plymouth, Massachusetts.

1826 – American settlers in Nacogdoches, Mexican Texas, declared their independence, starting the Fredonian Rebellion.

1861 – Medal of Honor: Public Resolution 82, containing a provision for a Navy Medal of Valor, was signed into law by President Abraham Lincoln.

1913 – Arthur Wynne’s “word-cross”, the first crossword puzzle, was published in the New York World.

1919 – American anarchist Emma Goldman was deported to Russia.

1937 – Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, the world’s first full-length animated feature, premiered at the Carthay Circle Theatre.

1956 – LaVern Baker recorded the song “Jim Dandy.”

1960 – Elvis Presley was inducted into the Los Angeles Indian Tribal Council coinciding with the opening with his movie Flaming Star.

1968 – Apollo program: Apollo 8 was launched from the Kennedy Space Center, placing its crew on a lunar trajectory for the first visit to another celestial body by humans.

1968 – Crosby, Stills and Nash performed together in public for the first time.

1968 – Janis Joplin gave her first solo performance in Memphis, TN.

1969 – Diana Ross gave her last television performance as a member of the Supremes on The Ed Sullivan Show.

1970 – First flight of F-14 “Tomcat” multi-role combat aircraft.

1970 – Elvis Presley went to the White House to volunteer his services to U.S. President Nixon on fighting the nation’s drug problems. He gave Nixon a chrome-plated Colt .45 and Tricky Dick gave Elvis a Narcotics Bureau badge.

1972 – Martha Reeves & the Vandellas gave their farewell performance in Detroit, MI.

1976 – Barry Manilow on Broadway opened for a two-week run in New York.

1988 – A bomb exploded on board Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland, killing 270. This is to date the deadliest air disaster to occur on British soil.

1993 – Shaquille O’Neal’s “I Know I Got Skillz” single was certified Gold by the RIAA.

1995 – The city of Bethlehem passed from Israeli to Palestinian control.

1996 – Tony Bennett was rushed to a hospital for an emergency operation for an erupted hernia. Bennett was just arriving at the White House for a holiday dinner with U.S. President and Mrs. Clinton when he fell ill.

2004 – Iraq War: A suicide bomber killed 22 at the forward operating base next to the main U.S. military airfield at Mosul, Iraq, the single deadliest suicide attack on American soldiers.

2020 – A great conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn occurred, with the two planets separated in the sky by 0.1 degrees. This was the closest conjunction between the two planets since 1623.

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