Today in History
Today is Monday, Dec. 12, the 346th day of 2022. There are 19 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On Dec. 12, 2015, nearly 200 nations meeting in Paris adopted the first global pact to fight climate change, calling on the world to collectively cut and then eliminate greenhouse gas pollution but imposing no sanctions on countries that didn’t do so.
On this date:
In 1787, Pennsylvania became the second state to ratify the U.S. Constitution.
In 1870, Joseph H. Rainey of South Carolina became the first Black lawmaker sworn into the U.S. House of Representatives.
In 1913, authorities in Florence, Italy, announced that the “Mona Lisa,” stolen from the Louvre Museum in Paris in 1911, had been recovered.
In 1915, singer-actor Frank Sinatra was born Francis Albert Sinatra in Hoboken, New Jersey.
In 1917, during World War I, a train carrying some 1,000 French troops from the Italian front derailed while descending a steep hill in Modane (moh-DAN’); at least half of the soldiers were killed in France’s greatest rail disaster. Father Edward Flanagan founded Boys Town outside Omaha, Nebraska.
In 1977, the dance movie “Saturday Night Fever,” starring John Travolta, premiered in New York.
In 1985, 248 American soldiers and eight crew members were killed when an Arrow Air charter crashed after takeoff from Gander, Newfoundland.
In 1988, “Rain Man” directed by Barry Levinson and starring Dustin Hoffman and Tom Cruise premieres in New York (Best Picture 1989).
In 1995, by three votes, the Senate killed a constitutional amendment giving Congress authority to outlaw flag burning and other forms of desecration against Old Glory.
In 2000, George W. Bush became president-elect as a divided U.S. Supreme Court reversed a state court decision for recounts in Florida’s contested election. The Marine Corps grounded all eight of its high-tech MV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft following a fiery crash in North Carolina that killed four Marines. (The Osprey program was revived by the Pentagon in 2005.)
In 2010, the inflatable roof of the Minneapolis Metrodome collapsed following a snowstorm that had dumped 17 inches on the city. (The NFL was forced to shift an already rescheduled game between the Minnesota Vikings and New York Giants to Detroit’s Ford Field.)
In 2019, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson led his Conservative Party to a landslide victory in a general election that was dominated by Brexit.
In 2020, thousands of supporters of President Donald Trump gathered in Washington for rallies to back his desperate efforts to subvert the election that he lost to Joe Biden; sporadic fights broke out between pro-Trump and anti-Trump demonstrators after sundown, and four people were taken to the hospital with stab wounds. Charley Pride, the son of sharecroppers in Mississippi who became the first Black member of the Country Music Hall of Fame, died in Dallas at 86 from what a spokesman said were complications from COVID-19. John le Carre, the former spy whose novels defined the Cold War espionage thriller, died in England at the age of 89.
Ten years ago: North Koreans danced in the streets of their capital, Pyongyang, after the regime of Kim Jong Un succeeded in firing a long-range rocket in defiance of international warnings. Pope Benedict XVI sent his first tweet from his new account; it read, “Dear friends, I am pleased to get in touch with you through Twitter. Thank you for your generous response. I bless all of you from my heart.”
Five years ago: Democrat Doug Jones won Alabama’s special Senate election over Republican Roy Moore, who had denied accusations of sexual misconduct with teenage girls that allegedly took place when he was in his 30s; it was the first Democratic Senate victory in Alabama in a quarter-century, and came despite an endorsement of Moore by President Donald Trump. San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, the city’s first Asian-American mayor, died at the age of 65 after collapsing while grocery shopping.
One year ago: Despite critical acclaim and two years-worth of anticipation, Steven Spielberg’s lavish “West Side Story” revival made little noise at the box office, with just $10.5 million in ticket sales on its opening weekend. Veteran anchor Chris Wallace announced at the end of his “Fox News Sunday” program that he was leaving Fox News after 18 years; CNN then announced that he was joining its new streaming service.
Today’s Birthdays: Former TV host Bob Barker is 99. Basketball Hall of Famer Bob Pettit is 90. Singer Connie Francis is 85.
Singer Dionne Warwick is 82. Rock singer-musician Dickey Betts is 79. Hall of Fame race car driver Emerson Fittipaldi is 76. Actor Wings Hauser is 75. Actor Bill Nighy (ny) is 73. Actor Duane Chase (Film: “The Sound of Music”) is 72. Country singer LaCosta is 72. Gymnast-turned-actor Cathy Rigby is 70. Singer-musician Sheila E. is 65. Actor Sheree J. Wilson is 64. Pop singer Daniel O’Donnell is 61. International Tennis Hall of Famer Tracy Austin is 60. Rock musician Eric Schenkman (Spin Doctors) is 59. Author Sophie Kinsella is 53. News anchor Maggie Rodriguez is 53. Actor Jennifer Connelly is 52. Actor Madchen Amick is 52. Actor Regina Hall is 52. Country singer Hank Williams III is 50. Actor Mayim Bialik is 47. Model Bridget Hall is 45. Actor Lucas Hedges is 26. Actor Sky Katz is 18.