Today in History
December 2

1804 Napoleon Bonaparte crowns himself Emperor of France in Notre Dame Cathedral.
1805 Napoleon Bonaparte celebrates the first anniversary of his coronation with a victory at Austerlitz over a Russian and Austrian army.
1823 President James Monroe proclaims the principles known as the Monroe Doctrine, “that the American continents, by the free and independent condition which they have assumed and maintained, are henceforth not to be considered as subjects for future colonization by European powers.”
1863 General Braxton Bragg turns over command of the Army of Tennessee to General William Hardee at Dalton, Ga.
1864 Major General Grenville M. Dodge is named to replace General William Rosecrans as Commander of the Department of Missouri.
1867 People wait in mile-long lines to hear Charles Dickens give his first reading in New York City.
1907 Spain and France agree to enforce Moroccan measures adopted in 1906.
1909 J.P. Morgan acquires majority holdings in Equitable Life Co. This is the largest concentration of bank power to date.
1914 Austrian troops occupy Belgrade, Serbia.
1918 Armenia proclaims independence from Turkey.
1921 The first successful helium dirigible, C-7, makes a test flight in Portsmouth, Va.
1927 The new Ford Model A is introduced to the American public.
1932 Bolivia accepts Paraguay’s terms for a truce in the Chaco War.
1942 The Allies repel a strong Axis attack in Tunisia, North Africa.
1944 General George S. Patton‘s troops enter the Saar Valley and break through the Siegfried line.
1946 The United States and Great Britain merge their German occupation zones.
1964 Brazil sends Juan Peron back to Spain, foiling his efforts to return to his native land.
1970 The U.S. Senate votes to give 48,000 acres of New Mexico back to the Taos Indians.
1980 A death squad in El Salvador murders four US nuns and churchwomen.
1982 Dentist Barney Clark receives the first permanent artificial heart, developed by Dr. Robert K. Jarvik.
1993 NASA launches the Space Shuttle Endeavor on a mission to repair the Hubble Space Telescope.
1999 The UK devolves political power in Northern Ireland to the Northern Ireland Executive, the administrative branch of the North Ireland Assembly.
2001 Enron files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, one of the most complex bankruptcy cases in US history.
Born on December 2
1837 Dr. Joseph Bell, British physician; believed to be the prototype of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s detective Sherlock Holmes.
1859 Georges Seurat, French painter; founder and leader of the Pointillism style.
1863 Charles Ringling, one of the seven Ringling brothers of circus fame.
1884 Ruth Draper, actress and writer.
1885 Nikos Kazantzakis, Greek writer and lawyer (Zorba the Greek).
1896 Georgi Zhukov, Soviet general who captured Berlin during World War II.
1906 Peter Carl Goldmark, engineer; developed the first commercial color television and the long-playing phonograph record.
1912 Henry Armstrong, the only boxer to hold three titles simultaneously.
1925 Alexander Haig, American army general and Secretary of State for President Ronald Reagan.
1948 T. Coraghessan Boyle, novelist and short story writer (Water Music).
1939 Harry Reid, politician; the Nevada Democrat served as Senate Majority Leader (2007–2015).
1944 Ibrahim Rugova, first President of Kosovo (1992–2000) and was re-elected by parliament (2002–2006).
1954 Stone Phillips, Emmy-winning journalist; co-anchor of Dateline NBC.
1963 Ann Patchett, author; her novel Bel Canto received the Orange Prize for Fiction and the PEN/Faulkner Award (2002).
1981 Brittany Spears, singer, songwriter, actress; her … Baby One More Time (1999) became the best-selling album to date (2013) by a teenage solo artist.

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    1. Sujay, we’re not sure why you left this comment on December 2, since Henry Jackson Jr. was born December 12, and we have his birthday listed on that day. He boxed under the name Henry Armstrong and is the only fighter thus far to hold three professional boxing titles simultaneously. There is conflicting information on the date of his death. His New York Times obituary of Oct. 25, 1988, says he died “yesterday,” and ESPN’s biography of him also gives Oct. 24 as his death date. Many sites say he died Oct. 22, but these may be using the Wikipedia article as their source, as his biography on the Princeton University site does.

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