By The Associated Press
Today’s Highlight in History:
On Dec. 5, 2013, Nelson Mandela, the anti-apartheid leader who became South Africa’s first Black president, died at age 95.
On this date:
In 1791, composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart died in Vienna, Austria, at age 35.
In 1792, George Washington was reelected president; John Adams was reelected vice president.
In 1848, President James K. Polk triggered the Gold Rush of ’49 by confirming that gold had been discovered in California.
In 1932, German physicist Albert Einstein was granted a visa, making it possible for him to travel to the United States.
In 1933, national Prohibition came to an end as Utah became the 36th state to ratify the 21st Amendment to the Constitution, repealing the 18th Amendment.
In 1952, the Great Smog of London descended on the British capital; the unusually thick fog, which contained toxic pollutants, lasted five days and was blamed for causing thousands of deaths.
In 1955, the American Federation of Labor and the Congress of Industrial Organizations merged to form the AFL-CIO under its first president, George Meany.
In 1994, Republicans chose Newt Gingrich to be the first GOP speaker of the House in four decades.
In 2001, “Ocean’s Eleven” directed by Steven Soderbergh, starring George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon and Julia Roberts premieres in Westwood, California.
In 2009, a jury in Perugia, Italy convicted American student Amanda Knox and her former Italian boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito (rah-fy-EHL’-ay soh-LEH’-chee-toh), of murdering Knox’s British roommate, Meredith Kercher, and sentenced them to long prison terms. (After a series of back-and-forth rulings, Knox and Sollecito were definitively acquitted in 2015 by Italy’s highest court.)
In 2018, former President George H.W. Bush was mourned at a memorial service at Washington National Cathedral attended by President Donald Trump and former Presidents Barack Obama, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter along with their spouses; former president George W. Bush was among the speakers, eulogizing his dad as “the brightest of a thousand points of light.”
In 2019, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced that she had asked the relevant House committee chairs to begin drawing up articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump, saying his actions left them “no choice” but to act swiftly; in response, Trump tweeted that Democrats had “gone crazy.” (Trump would be impeached by the House on charges of obstruction and abuse of power, but the Senate voted to acquit in the first of two Trump impeachment trials.)
In 2020, at a Georgia rally where he urged supporters to turn out for a pair of Republican Senate candidates in a January runoff election, President Donald Trump spread baseless allegations of misconduct in the November voting in Georgia and beyond. Hours before the rally, according to officials with knowledge of the call, Trump asked Georgia Republican Gov. Brian Kemp to order a special legislative session to give him the state’s electoral votes, even though Joe Biden had won the majority of the vote; Kemp refused to do so.
Ten years ago: Port clerks ended an eight-day strike at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach after winning guarantees against the outsourcing of jobs. Jazz composer and pianist Dave Brubeck died in Norwalk, Connecticut, a day before he would have turned 92.
Five years ago: Democratic congressman John Conyers of Michigan resigned from Congress after a nearly 53-year career, becoming the first Capitol Hill politician to lose his job amid the sexual misconduct allegations sweeping through the nation’s workplaces. In a bitterly contested runoff election, Atlanta voters narrowly chose Keisha Lance Bottoms as the city’s next mayor; a result that would be upheld after a recount requested by rival Mary Norwood. The International Olympic Committee barred Russia and its sports leaders from the upcoming Winter Olympics in South Korea after concluding that members of the Russian government concocted a doping scheme at the 2014 Sochi Games; some Russians would be able to compete as “Olympic Athletes from Russia.”
One year ago: Bob Dole, who overcame disabling war wounds to become a sharp-tongued Senate leader from Kansas, a Republican presidential candidate and then a symbol and celebrant of his dwindling generation of World War II veterans, died at 98. U.S. health officials said that while the omicron variant of the coronavirus was rapidly spreading throughout the country, early indications suggested it could be less dangerous than the delta variant, which continued to drive a surge of hospitalizations. Buck O’Neil, a champion of Black ballplayers during a monumental, eight-decade career on and off the field, joined Minnie Miñoso, Gil Hodges and three others in being elected to the baseball Hall of Fame by veterans committees.
Today’s Birthdays: Author Calvin Trillin is 87. Actor Jeroen Krabbe (yeh-ROHN’ krah-BAY’) is 78. Opera singer Jose Carreras is 76.
Musician and singer Jim Messina is 75. College Football Hall of Famer and former NFL quarterback Jim Plunkett is 75. World Golf Hall of Famer Lanny Wadkins is 73. Actor Morgan Brittany is 71. Actor Brian Backer is 66. Pro and College Football Hall of Famer Art Monk is 65. Country singer Ty England is 59. Rock singer-musician John Rzeznik (REZ’-nihk) (The Goo Goo Dolls) is 57. Country singer Gary Allan is 55. Comedian-actor Margaret Cho is 54. Writer-director Morgan J. Freeman is 53. Actor Alex Kapp Horner is 53. Actor Kali Rocha is 51. Rock musician Regina Zernay (Cowboy Mouth) is 50. Actor Paula Patton is 47. Actor Amy Acker is 46. Actor Nick Stahl is 43. Actor Adan Canto is 41. R&B singer Keri Hilson is 40. Actor Gabriel Luna is 40. Actor Frankie Muniz is 37. Actor Ross Bagley is 34. MLB outfielder Christian Yelich is 31.