On Dec. 6, 1957, America's first attempt at putting a satellite into orbit failed as Vanguard TV3 rose only about four feet off a Cape Canaveral launch pad before crashing back down and exploding.
On this date:
In 1790, Congress moved to Philadelphia from New York.
In 1884, Army engineers completed construction of the Washington Monument by setting an aluminum capstone atop the obelisk.
In 1889, Jefferson Davis, the first and only president of the Confederate States of America, died in New Orleans.
In 1907, the worst mining disaster in U.S. history occurred as 362 men and boys died in a coal mine explosion in Monongah, W. Va.
In 1917, some 2,000 people died when an explosives-laden French cargo ship collided with a Norwegian vessel at the harbor in Halifax, Nova Scotia, setting off a blast that devastated the city.
In 1922, the Irish Free State came into being under terms of the Anglo-Irish Treaty.
In 1947, Everglades National Park in Florida was dedicated by President Harry S. Truman.
In 1962, 37 coal miners were killed in an explosion at the Robena No. 3 Mine operated by U.S. Steel in Carmichaels, Pa.
In 1969, a free concert by The Rolling Stones at the Altamont Speedway in Alameda County, Calif., was marred by the deaths of four people, including one who was stabbed by a Hell's Angel.
In 1973, House minority leader Gerald R. Ford was sworn in as vice president, succeeding Spiro T. Agnew.
In 1989, 14 women were shot to death at the University of Montreal's school of engineering by a man who then took his own life.
Ten years ago: A U.S. warplane in pursuit of a "known terrorist" attacked a village in eastern Afghanistan, mistakenly killing nine children. Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld met with senior American commanders in Iraq, and was assured that a recent switch to more aggressive anti-insurgency tactics had begun to pay off. Army became the first team to finish 0-13 in major college history after a 34-6 loss to Navy. Ireland's Rosanna Davison was crowned Miss World at the southern Chinese tropical resort of Sanya.
Five years ago: President-elect Barack Obama said in a Saturday radio and Internet address that he'd asked his economic team for a recovery plan that would save or create more than 2 million jobs. Indicted Democratic U.S. Rep. William Jefferson was ousted from his New Orleans area district in a special election won by Republican attorney Anh "Joseph" Cao, who became the first Vietnamese-American in Congress. A Greek youth, 15-year-old Alexandros Grigoropoulos, was shot to death during a confrontation with police in Athens, sparking two weeks of riots. Heiress Martha "Sunny" von Bulow, who'd spent the last 28 years of her life in a coma, died in New York City at age 76.
One year ago: Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi remained defiant after a night of clashes involving thousands of his supporters and opponents outside his palace in Cairo that left six people dead and hundreds injured; Morsi refused to call off a referendum on a disputed constitution. Republicans pushed right-to-work legislation through the Michigan state House and Senate amid raucous protests from throngs of union supporters.
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