Today in History

Today is Wednesday, Dec. 4, the 338th day of 2019. There are 27 days left in the year.

  • By The Associated Press
  • Wednesday, December 4, 2019 1:30am
  • Life

Today’s highlight:

On Dec. 4, 1978, San Francisco got its first female mayor as City Supervisor Dianne Feinstein (FYN’-styn) was named to replace the assassinated George Moscone (mahs-KOH’-nee).

On this date:

In 1783, Gen. George Washington bade farewell to his Continental Army officers at Fraunces Tavern in New York.

In 1867, the National Grange of the Order of Patrons of Husbandry, also known as The Grange, was founded in Washington, D.C., to promote the interests of farmers.

In 1875, William Marcy Tweed, the “Boss” of New York City’s Tammany Hall political organization, escaped from jail and fled the country.

In 1918, President Woodrow Wilson left Washington on a trip to France to attend the Versailles (vehr-SY’) Peace Conference.

In 1942, during World War II, U.S. bombers struck the Italian mainland for the first time with a raid on Naples. President Franklin D. Roosevelt ordered the dismantling of the Works Progress Administration, which had been created to provide jobs during the Depression.

In 1954, the first Burger King stand was opened in Miami by James McLamore and David Edgerton.

In 1965, the United States launched Gemini 7 with Air Force Lt. Col. Frank Borman and Navy Cmdr. James A. Lovell aboard on a two-week mission. (While Gemini 7 was in orbit, its sister ship, Gemini 6A, was launched on Dec. 15 on a one-day mission; the two spacecraft were able to rendezvous within a foot of each other.)

In 1980, the bodies of four American churchwomen slain in El Salvador two days earlier were unearthed. (Five Salvadoran national guardsmen were later convicted of murdering nuns Ita Ford, Maura Clarke and Dorothy Kazel, and lay worker Jean Donovan.)

In 1986, both houses of Congress moved to establish special committees to conduct their own investigations of the Iran-Contra affair.

In 1995, the first NATO troops landed in the Balkans to begin setting up a peace mission that brought American soldiers into the middle of the Bosnian conflict.

In 1996, the Mars Pathfinder lifted off from Cape Canaveral and began speeding toward the red planet on a 310 million-mile odyssey. (It arrived on Mars in July 1997.)

In 2000, in a pair of legal setbacks for Al Gore, a Florida state judge refused to overturn George W. Bush’s certified victory in Florida and the U.S. Supreme Court set aside a ruling that had allowed manual recounts.

Ten years ago: President Barack Obama began putting the finishing touches on a fresh job creation proposal, telling a community college crowd in Allentown, Pennsylvania, “I still consider one job lost one job too many.” Gunmen and a suicide bomber attacked a mosque in a military installation in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, killing 35. Paula Hawkins, a Republican who in 1980 became the first woman elected to a full U.S. Senate term without a family political connection, died in Orlando, Florida, at age 82.

Five years ago: The Obama administration acknowledged that many people covered under the Affordable Care Act would face higher premiums next year. Police waged hours-long gun battles with Islamic militants who attacked Chechnya’s capital of Grozny, leaving at least 20 people dead. Jeremy Thorpe, an influential British politician who’d helped revive the Liberal Party before his career was cut short by scandal, died in London at age 85.

One year ago: Long lines of people wound through the Capitol Rotunda to view the casket of former President George H.W. Bush; former Sen. Bob Dole steadied himself out of his wheelchair to salute his old friend and one-time rival. On Instagram, Kevin Hart revealed that he’d been chosen to host the 2019 Academy Awards; he would step down as host by week’s end following an outcry over previous anti-gay tweets, and the ceremony ended up taking place with no host. The National Hockey League Board of Governors unanimously approved adding Seattle as the league’s 32nd franchise, with play set to begin in 2021. Ohio State University football coach Urban Meyer abruptly announced his retirement, citing health concerns and a difficult year that included a three-game suspension over his handling of domestic violence allegations against an assistant.

Today’s Birthdays: Game show host Wink Martindale is 86. Pop singer Freddy Cannon is 83. Actor-producer Max Baer Jr. is 82. Actress Gemma Jones is 77. Rock musician Bob Mosley (Moby Grape) is 77. Singer-musician Chris Hillman is 75. Musician Terry Woods (The Pogues) is 72. Rock singer Southside Johnny Lyon is 71. Actor Jeff Bridges is 70. Rock musician Gary Rossington (Lynyrd Skynyrd; the Rossington Collins Band) is 68. Actress Patricia Wettig is 68. Actor Tony Todd is 65. Jazz singer Cassandra Wilson is 64. Country musician Brian Prout (Diamond Rio) is 64. Rock musician Bob Griffin (formerly with The BoDeans) is 60. Rock singer Vinnie Dombroski (Sponge) is 57. Actress Marisa Tomei is 55. Actress Chelsea Noble is 55. Actor-comedian Fred Armisen is 53. Rapper Jay-Z is 50. Actor Kevin Sussman is 49. Actress-model Tyra Banks is 46. Country singer Lila McCann is 38. Actress Lindsay Felton is 35. Actor Orlando Brown is 32. Actress Scarlett Estevez (TV: “Lucifer”) is 12.

Thought for Today: “People who have what they want are fond of telling people who haven’t what they want that they really don’t want it.” — Ogden Nash, American humorist and poet (1902-1972).

Associated Press

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