Today in History
Today is Friday, Dec. 16, the 350th day of 2022. There are 15 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On Dec. 16, 1944, the World War II Battle of the Bulge began as German forces launched a surprise attack against Allied forces through the Ardennes Forest in Belgium and Luxembourg (the Allies were eventually able to turn the Germans back).
On this date:
In 1653, Oliver Cromwell became lord protector of England, Scotland and Ireland.
In 1773, the Boston Tea Party took place as American colonists boarded a British ship and dumped more than 300 chests of tea into Boston Harbor to protest tea taxes.
In 1907, 16 U.S. Navy battleships, which came to be known as the “Great White Fleet,” set sail on a 14-month round-the-world voyage to demonstrate American sea power.
In 1950, President Harry S. Truman proclaimed a national state of emergency in order to fight “world conquest by Communist imperialism.”
In 1960, 134 people were killed when a United Air Lines DC-8 and a TWA Super Constellation collided over New York City.
In 1991, the U.N. General Assembly rescinded its 1975 resolution equating Zionism with racism by a vote of 111-25.
In 2000, President-elect George W. Bush selected Colin Powell to become the first African-American secretary of state.
In 2001, after nine weeks of fighting, Afghan militia leaders claimed control of the last mountain bastion of Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaida fighters, but bin Laden himself was nowhere to be seen.
In 2011, in San Francisco, eight years of being investigated for steroid allegations ended for home run king Barry Bonds with a 30-day sentence to be served at home. (Bonds never served the sentence; his conviction for obstruction of justice was overturned.)
In 2014, Taliban gunmen stormed a military-run school in the northwestern Pakistan city of Peshawar, killing at least 148 people, mostly children.
In 2019, House Democrats laid out their first impeachment case against President Donald Trump; a sweeping report from the House Judiciary Committee said Trump had “betrayed the Nation by abusing his high office to enlist a foreign power in corrupting democratic elections.”
In 2020, the first COVID-19 vaccinations were underway at U.S. nursing homes, where the virus had killed 110,000 people. Tyson Foods said it had fired seven top managers at its largest pork plant after an investigation confirmed allegations that they had wagered on how many workers at the plant in Iowa would test positive for the coronavirus. (An outbreak centered around the plant infected more than 1,000 employees, at least six of whom died.)
Ten years ago: President Barack Obama visited Newtown, Connecticut, the scene of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre; after meeting privately with victims’ families, the president told an evening vigil he would use “whatever power” he had to prevent future shootings. A 23-year-old woman was brutally raped and beaten on a bus in New Delhi, a crime that triggered widespread protests in India. (The woman died 13 days later.)
Five years ago: Two female couples tied the knot in Australia’s first same-sex weddings under new legislation allowing gay marriages.
One year ago: U.S. health officials said most Americans should get the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines instead of the Johnson & Johnson shot; the decision came after government advisers reviewed new safety data about rare but potentially life-threatening blood clots linked to J&J’s shot. A federal judge rejected OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma’s sweeping deal to settle thousands of lawsuits over the toll of opioids; the judge found flaws in the way the bankruptcy settlement protected members of the Sackler family who owned the company from lawsuits. The last 12 hostages from a U.S.-based missionary group who were kidnapped and held for ransom in Haiti were freed and were flown out of the country following a two-month ordeal; five others had been released earlier. Urban Meyer’s tumultuous NFL tenure ended after just 13 games — and two victories — when the Jacksonville Jaguars fired him because of an accumulation of missteps.
Today’s Birthdays: Civil rights attorney and co-founder of the Southern Poverty Law Center Morris Dees is 86. Actor Joyce Bulifant is 85. Actor Liv Ullmann is 84. CBS news correspondent Lesley Stahl is 81. Pop musician Tony Hicks (The Hollies) is 77. Pop singer Benny Andersson (ABBA) is 76. Rock singer-musician Billy Gibbons (ZZ Top) is 73. Rock musician Bill Bateman (The Blasters) is 71. Actor Xander Berkeley is 67. Actor Alison LaPlaca is 63. Actor Sam Robards is 61. Actor Jon Tenney is 61. Actor Benjamin Bratt is 59. Actor-comedian JB Smoove is 57. Actor Miranda Otto is 55. Actor Daniel Cosgrove is 52. R&B singer Michael McCary is 51. Actor Jonathan Scarfe is 47. Actor Krysten Ritter is 41. Actor Zoe Jarman is 40. Country musician Chris Scruggs is 40. Actor Theo James is 38. Actor Amanda Setton is 37. Rock musician Dave Rublin (American Authors) is 36. Actor Hallee Hirsh is 35. Actor Anna Popplewell is 34. Actor Stephan James is 29.