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One hundred years ago, on December 16th, 1899, Sir
Noel Coward, the English actor,
playwright and composer, was born in London.
On this date:
In 1653, Oliver Cromwell became lord protector of
England, Scotland and Ireland.
In 1770, composer
Ludwig van Beethoven was born in Bonn, Germany.
In 1773, the
Boston Tea Party took place as American colonists
boarded a British ship and dumped more than 300
chests of tea overboard to protest tea taxes.
In 1809, Napoleon
Bonaparte was divorced from the Empress Josephine
by an act of the French Senate.
In 1916, Gregory
Rasputin, the monk who'd wielded powerful
influence over the Russian court, was murdered by
a group of noblemen.
In 1944, the World
War Two Battle of the Bulge began as German
forces launched a surprise counter-attack against
Allied forces in Belgium.
In 1950, President
Truman proclaimed a national state of emergency
in order to fight "Communist
In 1960, 134
people were killed when a United Air Lines DC-8
and a TWA Super Constellation collided over New
In 1985, reputed
organized-crime chief Paul Castellano was shot to
death outside a New York City restaurant.
In 1991, the UN
General Assembly rescinded its 1975 resolution
equating Zionism with racism by a vote of
Ten years ago:
Federal appeals court judge Robert S. Vance was
killed by a mail bomb at his Alabama home.
(Walter Leroy Moody Junior was later sentenced to
death for killing Vance, and received seven life
terms on federal charges in that killing and the
death of civil rights attorney Robert E.
Five years ago:
The White House and Republicans traded barbs over
whose tax plan was fairer to the middle class, a
day after President Clinton presented a package
of proposed tax cuts. White House Press Secretary
Dee Dee Myers announced she was leaving her job
at the end of the year.
One year ago:
President Clinton ordered a sustained series of
airstrikes against Iraq by American and British
forces in response to Saddam Hussein's continued
defiance of UN weapons inspectors. The House
delayed a debate set to begin the next day on
four articles of impeachment against President
"I love criticism
just so long as it's unqualified praise."
Sir Noel Coward (1899-1973).