On Dec. 4, 1619, a group of settlers from Bristol, England, arrived at Berkeley Hundred in present-day Charles City County, Va., where they held a service thanking God for their safe arrival. (Some suggest this was the true first Thanksgiving in America, ahead of the Pilgrims' arrival in Massachusetts.)
On this date:
In 1783, Gen. George Washington bade farewell to his Continental Army officers at Fraunces Tavern in New York.
In 1816, James Monroe of Virginia was elected the fifth president of the United States.
In 1912, Medal of Honor recipient Gregory "Pappy" Boyington, the Marine Corps pilot who led the "Black Sheep Squadron" during World War II, was born in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho.
In 1918, President Woodrow Wilson left Washington on a trip to France to attend the Versailles Peace Conference.
In 1942, U.S. bombers struck the Italian mainland for the first time in World War II. President Franklin D. Roosevelt ordered the dismantling of the Works Progress Administration, which had been created to provide jobs during the Depression.
In 1945, the Senate approved U.S. participation in the United Nations by a vote of 65-7.
In 1965, the United States launched Gemini 7 with Air Force Lt. Col. Frank Borman and Navy Cmdr. James A. Lovell aboard.
In 1978, San Francisco got its first female mayor as City Supervisor Dianne Feinstein was named to replace the assassinated George Moscone.
In 1984, a five-day hijack drama began as four armed men seized a Kuwaiti airliner en route to Pakistan and forced it to land in Tehran, where the hijackers killed American passenger Charles Hegna.
In 1991, Associated Press correspondent Terry Anderson, the longest held of the Western hostages in Lebanon, was released after nearly seven years in captivity. Pan American World Airways ceased operations.
In 1992, President George H.W. Bush ordered American troops to lead a mercy mission to Somalia, threatening military action against warlords and gangs who were blocking food for starving millions.
In 1996, the Mars Pathfinder lifted off from Cape Canaveral and began speeding toward Mars on a 310 million-mile odyssey. (It arrived on Mars in July 1997.)
Ten years ago: President George W. Bush scrapped import tariffs he'd imposed earlier to help the battered U.S. steel industry. Baltimore-based federal prosecutor Jonathan P. Luna was found dead behind the parking lot of a well-drilling company in Lancaster County, Pa. (The case remains unsolved.)
Five years ago: U.S. automakers drew fresh skepticism from lawmakers during a Senate Banking Committee hearing over their pleas for an expanded $34 billion rescue package they said was needed for them to survive. For the first time, an NFL game was broadcast live in 3-D to theaters in Boston, New York and Los Angeles. (Although the telecast was marred by technical glitches, fans were mostly forgiving as they watched the San Diego Chargers beat the Oakland Raiders 34-7.)
One year ago: A homeless man, Naeem Davis, was taken into custody in New York City in the death of a man who'd been pushed in front of a subway train; Davis would be charged with second-degree murder. Two Australian radio disc jockeys impersonating Queen Elizabeth and Prince Charles made a prank call to a London hospital and succeeded in getting nurses to tell them the condition of the hospitalized Duchess of Cambridge; a nurse who took the call would be found dead three days later in an apparent suicide.
More Life Headlines
A tale of three apologies Living with Children: 6 steps to get a child to do what he is told Today in history Need a ride? Use your phone to summon Uber, the app-driven car service How to get your dog ready for hiking and what to put in your pack The secret sauce of long-lived marriages Facebook doesn’t need a ‘dislike’ button — here’s why Tech workers are turning to the Japanese practice of ‘forest bathing’ to unplug
Our to-do list full of ideas for your weekend
Our new comment system is not supported in IE 7. Please upgrade your browser here.