Today’s Highlight in History:
On Dec. 2, 1859, militant abolitionist John Brown was hanged for his raid on Harpers Ferry the previous October.
On this date:
In 1697, London’s St. Paul’s Cathedral, designed by Sir Christopher Wren, was consecrated for use even though the building was still under construction.
In 1823, President James Monroe outlined his doctrine opposing European expansion in the Western Hemisphere.
In 1942, an artificially created, self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction was demonstrated for the first time at the University of Chicago.
In 1954, the U.S. Senate passed, 67-22, a resolution condemning Sen. Joseph R. McCarthy, R-Wis., saying he had “acted contrary to senatorial ethics and tended to bring the Senate into dishonor and disrepute.”
In 1957, the Shippingport Atomic Power Station in Pennsylvania, the first full-scale commercial nuclear facility in the U.S., began operations. (The reactor ceased operating in 1982.)
In 1970, the newly created Environmental Protection Agency opened its doors under its first director, William D. Ruckelshaus.
In 1980, four American churchwomen were raped and murdered in El Salvador. (Five national guardsmen were convicted in the killings.)
In 1982, in the first operation of its kind, doctors at the University of Utah Medical Center implanted a permanent artificial heart in the chest of retired dentist Dr. Barney Clark, who lived 112 days with the device.
In 1993, Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar was shot to death by security forces in Medellin (meh-deh-YEEN’).
In 2000, Al Gore sought a recount in South Florida, while George W. Bush flatly asserted, “I’m soon to be the president” and met with GOP congressional leaders.
In 2001, in one of the largest corporate bankruptcies in U.S. history, Enron filed for Chapter 11 protection.
In 2015, a couple loyal to the Islamic State group opened fire at a holiday banquet for public employees in San Bernardino, California, killing 14 people and wounding 21 others before dying in a shootout with police.
Ten years ago: U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi (ahng sahn soo chee) vowed to work together to promote democratic reforms in Suu Kyi’s long-isolated and authoritarian homeland.
Five years ago: A fire that raced through an illegally converted warehouse in Oakland, California, during a dance party killed 36 people. President-elect Donald Trump spoke with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen (tsy ying-WEN’) in a highly unusual move that was bound to antagonize China.
One year ago: Britain became the first country in the world to authorize a rigorously tested COVID-19 vaccine, giving the go-ahead for emergency use of the vaccine developed by American drugmaker Pfizer and Germany’s BioNTech. In a video released on social media, President Donald Trump stood before a White House lectern and delivered a 46-minute diatribe against the election results that produced a win for Democrat Joe Biden, unspooling one misstatement after another to back his baseless claim that he really won. Issuing a final rule covering animals on airplanes, the Transportation Department said only dogs could fly as service animals, and that pets used for emotional support didn’t count.
Today’s Birthdays: Former Attorney General Edwin Meese III is 90. Former Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., is 82. Actor Cathy Lee Crosby is 77. Movie director Penelope Spheeris is 76. Actor Ron Raines is 72. Country singer John Wesley Ryles is 71. Actor Keith Szarabajka is 69. Actor Dan Butler is 67. Broadcast journalist Stone Phillips is 67. Actor Dennis Christopher is 66. Actor Steven Bauer is 65. Country singer Joe Henry is 61. Rock musician Rick Savage (Def Leppard) is 61. Actor Brendan Coyle is 58. Rock musician Nate Mendel (Foo Fighters) is 53. Actor Suzy Nakamura is 53. Actor Rena Sofer is 53. Rock singer Jimi (cq) HaHa (Jimmie’s Chicken Shack) is 53. Actor Lucy Liu (loo) is 53. U.S. Veterans Affairs Secretary Denis McDonough is 52. Rapper Treach (Naughty By Nature) is 51. Actor Joe Lo Truglio is 51. International Tennis Hall of Famer Monica Seles is 48.
Singer Nelly Furtado is 43. Pop singer Britney Spears is 40. Actor-singer Jana Kramer is 38. Actor Yvonne Orji is 38. Actor Daniela Ruah (roo-ah) is 38. NFL quarterback Aaron Rodgers is 38. Actor Alfred Enoch is 33. Pop singer-songwriter Charlie Puth is 30.