Today in History

Published 12:01 am Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Today is Tuesday, Dec. 10, the 344th day of 2019. There are 21 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Dec. 10, 1994, Yasser Arafat, Shimon Peres and Yitzhak Rabin received the Nobel Peace Prize, pledging to pursue their mission of healing the anguished Middle East.

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On this date:

In 1817, Mississippi was admitted as the 20th state of the Union.

In 1861, the Confederacy admitted Kentucky as it recognized a pro-Southern shadow state government that was acting without the authority of the pro-Union government in Frankfort.

In 1869, women were granted the right to vote in the Wyoming Territory.

In 1905, the O. Henry short story “The Gift of the Magi” was published in the New York Sunday World Magazine under the title “Gifts of the Magi.”

In 1948, the U.N. General Assembly adopted its Universal Declaration on Human Rights.

In 1964, Martin Luther King Jr. received his Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo, saying he accepted it “with an abiding faith in America and an audacious faith in the future of mankind.”

In 1967, singer Otis Redding, 26, and six others were killed when their plane crashed into Wisconsin’s Lake Monona; trumpeter Ben Cauley, a member of the group the Bar-Kays, was the only survivor.

In 1987, President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev concluded three days of summit talks in Washington. Violinist Jascha Heifetz died in Los Angeles at age 86.

In 1995, the first group of U-S Marines arrived in the Bosnian capital of Sarajevo to join NATO soldiers sent to enforce peace in former Yugoslavia.

In 1996, South African President Nelson Mandela signed the country’s new constitution into law during a ceremony in Sharpeville.

In 2007, suspended NFL star Michael Vick was sentenced by a federal judge in Richmond, Virginia, to 23 months in prison for bankrolling a dogfighting operation and killing dogs that underperformed (Vick served 19 months at Leavenworth). Former Vice President Al Gore accepted the Nobel Peace Prize with a call for humanity to rise up against a looming climate crisis and stop waging war on the environment.

In 2013, South Africa held a memorial service for Nelson Mandela, during which U.S. President Barack Obama energized tens of thousands of spectators and nearly 100 visiting heads of state with a plea for the world to emulate “the last great liberator of the 20th century.” (The ceremony was marred by the presence of a sign-language interpreter who deaf advocates said was an impostor waving his arms around meaninglessly.) General Motors named product chief Mary Barra its new CEO, making her the first woman to run a U.S. car company.

Ten years ago: President Barack Obama accepted the Nobel Peace Prize with a humble acknowledgment of his scant accomplishments and a robust defense of the U.S. at war. James Cameron’s 3-D film epic “Avatar” had its world premiere in London.

Five years ago: Current and former CIA officials pushed back against the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report released the day before which concluded that the United States had brutalized scores of terror suspects during interrogations, calling the report a political stunt by Senate Democrats which tarnished a program that saved American lives. NFL owners moved quickly and unanimously to change the league’s personal conduct policy, announcing it would hire a special counsel to oversee initial discipline.

One year ago: Facing almost certain defeat, British Prime Minister Theresa May postponed a vote in Parliament on her Brexit deal, saying she would go back to EU leaders to seek changes to the divorce agreement. In a televised address, French President Emmanuel Macron broke his silence on the increasingly violent protests in Paris and elsewhere, pleading for a return to calm and offering tax relief for struggling workers and pensioners.

Today’s Birthdays:

Actor Tommy Kirk is 78. Actress Fionnula Flanagan is 78. Pop singer Chad Stuart (Chad and Jeremy) is 78. Rhythm-and-blues singer Ralph Tavares is 78. Actress-singer Gloria Loring is 73. Pop-funk musician Walter “Clyde” Orange (The Commodores) is 73. Country singer Johnny Rodriguez is 68. Actress Susan Dey is 67. Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich is 63. Jazz musician Paul Hardcastle is 62. Actor John York (TV: “General Hospital”) is 61. Actor-director Kenneth Branagh is 59. Actress Nia Peeples is 58. TV chef Bobby Flay is 55. Rock singer-musician J Mascis is 54. Rock musician Scot (cq) Alexander (Dishwalla) is 48. Actress-comedian Arden Myrin is 46. Rock musician Meg White (The White Stripes) is 45. Actress Emmanuelle Chriqui is 44. Rapper Kuniva (D12) is 44. Actor Gavin Houston is 42. Actor Alano Miller is 40. Violinist Sarah Chang is 39. Rock musician Noah Harmon (Airborne Toxic Event) is 38. Actor Patrick John Flueger is 36. Country singer Meghan Linsey is 34. Actress Raven-Symone is 34. Actress/singer Teyana Taylor is 29. Actress Kiki Layne is 28.