Today in History

Published 12:01 am Saturday, December 9, 2017

Today is Saturday, Dec. 9, the 343rd day of 2017. There are 22 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Dec. 9, 1892, “Widowers’ Houses,” Bernard Shaw’s first play, opened at the Royalty Theater in London.

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On this date:

In 1854, Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s famous poem, “The Charge of the Light Brigade,” was published in England.

In 1917, British forces captured Jerusalem from the Ottoman Turks.

In 1935, the Downtown Athletic Club of New York honored college football player Jay Berwanger of the University of Chicago with the DAC Trophy, which later became known as the Heisman Trophy.

In 1940, British troops opened their first major offensive in North Africa during World War II.

In 1942, the Aram Khachaturian ballet “Gayane,” featuring the surging “Sabre Dance,” was first performed by Russia’s Kirov Ballet.

In 1958, the anti-communist John Birch Society was formed in Indianapolis.

In 1962, the Petrified Forest in Arizona was designated a national park.

In 1965, Nikolai V. Podgorny replaced Anastas I. Mikoyan as chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet, a job he would hold for almost 12 years. “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” the first animated TV special featuring characters from the “Peanuts” comic strip by Charles M. Schulz, premiered on CBS.

In 1975, President Gerald R. Ford signed a $2.3 billion seasonal loan-authorization that officials of New York City and State said would prevent a city default.

In 1984, the five-day-old hijacking of a Kuwaiti jetliner that claimed the lives of two Americans ended as Iranian security men seized control of the plane, which was parked at Tehran airport.

In 1987, the first Palestinian intefadeh, or uprising, began as riots broke out in Gaza and spread to the West Bank, triggering a strong Israeli response.

In 1992, Britain’s Prince Charles and Princess Diana announced their separation. (The couple’s divorce became final in Aug. 1996.)

Ten years ago: A young man once affiliated with a missionary school shot nine people at the school near Denver and a megachurch in Colorado Springs; four of the victims died and the gunman killed himself. A British Columbia pig farmer accused of being Canada’s worst serial killer was convicted of six counts of second-degree murder; he was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for 25 years.

Five years ago: U.S. special forces rescued an American doctor captured by the Taliban in Afghanistan; a Navy SEAL, Petty Officer 1st Class Nicolas D. Checque, was killed during the rescue of Dr. Dilip Joseph. Same-sex couples in Washington state began exchanging vows just after midnight under a new state law allowing gay marriage. Mexican-American singer Jenni Rivera, 43, and six others were killed in a plane crash in northern Mexico.

One year ago: The White House said President Barack Obama had ordered intelligence officials to conduct a broad review of election-season cyberattacks, including the email hacks that rattled the presidential campaign and raised fresh concerns about Russia’s meddling in U.S. elections. South Korean lawmakers impeached President Park Geun-hye (goon-hay) over an explosive corruption scandal, a stunning and swift fall for the country’s first female leader.

Today’s Birthdays: Actor Kirk Douglas is 101. Actor-writer Buck Henry is 87. Actress Dame Judi Dench is 83. Actor Beau Bridges is 76. Football Hall of Famer Dick Butkus is 75. Comedian-songwriter Neil Innes is 73. Actor Michael Nouri is 72. Former Sen. Thomas Daschle, D-S.D., is 70. World Golf Hall of Famer Tom Kite is 68. Singer Joan Armatrading is 67. Actor Michael Dorn is 65. Actor John Malkovich is 64. Country singer Sylvia is 61. Singer Donny Osmond is 60. Rock musician Nick Seymour (Crowded House) is 59. Comedian Mario Cantone is 58. Actor David Anthony Higgins is 56. Actor Joe Lando is 56. Actress Felicity Huffman is 55. Crown Princess Masako of Japan is 54. Country musician Jerry Hughes (Yankee Grey) is 52. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., is 51. Rock singer-musician Thomas Flowers (Oleander) is 50. Rock musician Brian Bell (Weezer) is 49. Rock singer-musician Jakob Dylan (Wallflowers) is 48. TV personality-businessperson Lori Greiner (TV: “Shark Tank”) is 48. Country musician Brian Hayes (Cole Deggs and the Lonesome) is 48. Actress Allison Smith is 48. Songwriter and former “American Idol” judge Kara DioGuardi (dee-oh-GWAHR’-dee) is 47. Country singer David Kersh is 47. Actress Reiko (RAY’-koh) Aylesworth is 45. Rock musician Tre Cool (Green Day) is 45. Rapper Canibus is 43. Actor Kevin Daniels is 41. Actor-writer-director Mark Duplass is 41. Rock musician Eric Zamora (Save Ferris) is 41. Rock singer Imogen Heap is 40. Actor Jesse Metcalfe is 39. Actor Simon Helberg is 37. Actress Jolene Purdy is 34. Actor Joshua Sasse is 30. Actress Ashleigh Brewer is 27. Olympic gold and silver medal gymnast McKayla Maroney is 22.