Today’s Highlight in History:
On Dec. 30, 1903, about 600 people died when fire broke out at the recently opened Iroquois Theater in Chicago.
On this date:
In 1813, British troops burned Buffalo, New York, during the War of 1812.
In 1853, the United States and Mexico signed a treaty under which the U.S. agreed to buy some 45,000 square miles of land from Mexico for $10 million in a deal known as the Gadsden Purchase.
In 1860, 10 days after South Carolina seceded from the Union, the state militia seized the United States Arsenal in Charleston.
In 1865, author Rudyard Kipling was born in Bombay, India.
In 1922, Vladimir Lenin proclaimed the establishment of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, which lasted nearly seven decades before dissolving in December 1991.
In 1936, the United Auto Workers union staged its first “sit-down” strike at the General Motors Fisher Body Plant No. 1 in Flint, Michigan. (The strike lasted until Feb. 11, 1937.)
In 1940, California’s first freeway, the Arroyo Seco Parkway connecting Los Angeles and Pasadena, was officially opened by Gov. Culbert L. Olson.
In 1972, the United States halted its heavy bombing of North Vietnam.
In 1994, a gunman walked into a pair of suburban Boston abortion clinics and opened fire, killing two employees. (John C. Salvi III was later convicted of murder; he died in prison, an apparent suicide.)
In 2004, a fire broke out during a rock concert at a nightclub in Buenos Aires, Argentina, killing 194 people. Bandleader and clarinetist Artie Shaw died in Thousand Oaks, California, at age 94.
In 2006, a state funeral service was held in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda for former President Gerald R. Ford.
In 2009, seven CIA employees and a Jordanian intelligence officer were killed by a suicide bomber at a U.S. base in Khost (hohst), Afghanistan.
Ten years ago: Republican Lisa Murkowski was officially named winner of Alaska’s U.S. Senate race following a period of legal fights and limbo that had lasted longer than the write-in campaign she waged to keep her job. Top-ranked Connecticut’s record 90-game winning streak in women’s basketball ended when No. 9 Stanford outplayed the Huskies in a 71-59 victory at Maples Pavilion.
Five years ago: Bill Cosby was charged with drugging and sexually assaulting a woman at his suburban Philadelphia home in 2004; it was the first criminal case brought against the comedian out of the torrent of allegations that destroyed his good-guy image as “America’s Dad.” (Cosby’s first trial ended in a mistrial after jurors deadlocked; he was convicted on three charges at his retrial in April 2018 and was sentenced to three to 10 years in prison.)
One year ago: Chinese state media said a scientist who had set off an ethical debate with claims that he had made the world’s first genetically edited babies was sentenced to three years in prison because of the research. A fierce winter storm created blizzard conditions in parts of Minnesota and the Dakotas, shutting down interstates and leading to hundreds of vehicle crashes. The NFL’s New York Giants fired coach Pat Shurmur after a 4-and-12 season.
Today’s Birthdays: Actor Russ Tamblyn is 86. Baseball Hall of Famer Sandy Koufax is 85. Folk singer Noel Paul Stookey is 83. TV director James Burrows is 80. Actor Fred Ward is 78. Singer-musician Michael Nesmith is 78. Actor Concetta Tomei (toh-MAY’) is 75. Singer Patti Smith is 74.
Rock singer-musician Jeff Lynne (ELO) is 73. TV personality Meredith Vieira is 67. Actor Sheryl Lee Ralph is 65. Actor Patricia Kalember is 64. Country singer Suzy Bogguss is 64. Actor-comedian Tracey Ullman is 61. Rock musician Rob Hotchkiss is 60. Radio-TV commentator Sean Hannity is 59. Sprinter Ben Johnson is 59. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is 57. Actor George Newbern is 57. Movie director Bennett Miller is 54. Singer Jay Kay (Jamiroquai) is 51. Rock musician Byron McMackin (Pennywise) is 51. Actor Meredith Monroe is 51. Actor Daniel Sunjata is 49. Actor Maureen Flannigan is 48. Actor Jason Behr is 47. Golfer Tiger Woods is 45. TV personality-boxer Laila Ali is 43. Actor Lucy Punch is 43. Singer-actor Tyrese Gibson is 42. Actor Eliza Dushku is 40. Rock musician Tim Lopez (Plain White T’s) is 40. Actor Kristin Kreuk is 38. Folk-rock singer-musician Wesley Schultz (The Lumineers) is 38. NBA player LeBron James is 36. Rhythm-and-blues singer Andra Day is 36. Actor Anna Wood is 35. Pop-rock singer Ellie Goulding (GOL’-ding) is 34. Actor Caity Lotz is 34. Actor Jeff Ward is 34. Country musician Eric Steedly is 30. Pop-rock musician Jamie Follesé (FAHL’-es-ay) (Hot Chelle (shel) Rae) is 29.