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On December 20th, 1860, South Carolina became the
first state to secede from the Union.
On this date:
In 1790, the first successful cotton mill in the
United States began operating at Pawtucket, Rhode
In 1803, the
Louisiana Purchase was completed as ownership of
the territory was formally transferred from
France to the United States during ceremonies in
In 1864, Confederate forces
evacuated Savannah, Georgia, as Union General
William T. Sherman continued his "March to
In 1879, Thomas
A. Edison privately demonstrated his
incandescent light at Menlo Park, New Jersey.
In 1945, the
Office of Price Administration announced the end
of tire rationing, effective January first, 1946.
In 1963, the
Berlin Wall was opened for the first time to West
Berliners, who were allowed one-day visits to
relatives in the Eastern sector for the holidays.
In 1968, author
John Steinbeck died in New York at age 66.
In 1976, Chicago
Mayor Richard J. Daley died at age 74.
In 1980, the
government of the Soviet Union confirmed that
former Premier Alexei N. Kosygin had died two
days earlier at the age of 76.
In 1987, more than
3,000 people were killed when the "Dona
Paz," a Philippine passenger ship, collided
with the tanker "Vector" off Mindoro
Ten years ago: The
United States launched Operation "Just
Cause," sending troops into Panama to topple
the government of General Manuel Noriega.
Five years ago:
Former President Jimmy Carter succeeded in
getting Bosnia's warring factions to agree to a
temporary cease-fire. Intel announced it would
replace all flawed Pentium computer chips.
Marcelino Corniel, a homeless man, was shot and
mortally wounded by White House security officers
as he brandished a knife near the execution
mansion. Former Secretary of State Dean Rusk died
in Athens, Georgia, at age 85.
One year ago: Nkem
Chukwu gave birth in Houston to five girls and
two boys, 12 days after giving birth to another
child, a girl. (However, the tiniest of the
babies died a week later.)
"You can keep the
things of bronze and stone and give me one man to
remember me just once a year."
Damon Runyan, American writer (1884-1946).