Today in History
On Dec. 9, 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.
On this date:
In 1608, English poet John Milton was born in London.
In 1854, Alfred, Lord Tennyson's famous poem, "The Charge of the Light Brigade," was published in England.
In 1911, an explosion inside the Cross Mountain coal mine near Briceville, Tenn., killed 84 workers. (Five were rescued.)
In 1912, longtime House Speaker Thomas "Tip" O'Neill was born in Cambridge, Mass.
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 1971, Nobel Peace laureate Ralph Bunche died in New York.
In 1982, special Watergate prosecutor Leon Jaworski died at his Wimberley, Texas, ranch at age 77.
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 1992, Britain's Prince Charles and Princess Diana announced their separation. (The couple's divorce became final Aug. 28, 1996.)
Ten years ago: The owners of a Rhode Island nightclub and the tour manager for the rock band Great White were indicted on charges related to a fire the previous February that killed 100 people. A suicide bomber killed five victims outside an exclusive Moscow hotel. Former Vice President Al Gore endorsed Howard Dean for the Democratic presidential nomination. Former Sen. Paul Simon, D-Ill., died in Springfield, Ill., at age 75.
Five years ago: Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich was arrested after prosecutors said he was caught on wiretaps scheming to sell Barack Obama's vacant Senate seat for cash or a plum job for himself in the new administration. (Blagojevich was convicted of wide-ranging corruption in 2011 and sentenced to 14 years in prison.) NBC announced that "Tonight Show" host Jay Leno would be moving to prime time.
One year 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 of Monroeville, Pa., was killed during the rescue of Dr. Dilip Joseph of Colorado Springs, Colo. 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 and six others were killed in a plane crash in northern Mexico.
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