Today in History
December 12

1753 George Washington, the adjutant of Virginia, delivers an ultimatum to the French forces at Fort Le Boeuf, south of Lake Erie, reiterating Britain’s claim to the entire Ohio River valley.
1770 The British soldiers responsible for the “Boston Massacre” are acquitted on murder charges.
1862 USS Cairo, one of the first ironclad warships built for the Union Navy at the beginning of the Civil War, sinks on the Yazoo River in Mississippi, becoming the first armored ship to be sunk by a controlled mine. [From MHQ—The Quarterly Journal of Military History]
1863 Orders are given in Richmond, Virginia, that no more supplies from the Union should be received by Federal prisoners.
1901 Italian inventor Guglielmo Marconi receives the first transatlantic radio transmission in St. John’s Newfoundland.
1927 Communists forces seize Canton, China.
1930 The Spanish Civil War begins as rebels take a border town.
1930 The last Allied troops withdraw from the Saar region in Germany.
1931 Under pressure from the Communists in Canton, Chiang Kai-shek resigns as president of the Nanking Government but remains the head of the Nationalist government that holds nominal rule over most of China.
1943 The German Army launches Operation Winter Tempest, the relief of the Sixth Army trapped in Stalingrad.
1943 The exiled Czech government signs a treaty with the Soviet Union for postwar cooperation.
1956 The United Nations calls for immediate Soviet withdrawal from Hungary.
1964 Kenya becomes a republic.
1964 Three Buddhist leaders begin a hunger strike to protest the government in Saigon.
1967 The United States ends the airlift of 6,500 men in Vietnam.
1979 South Korean Army Major General Chun Doo-hwan, acting without authorization from President Choi Kyu-ha, orders the arrest of Army Chief of Staff General Jeong Seung-hwa, alleging that the chief of staff was involved in the assassination of ex-President Park Chung Hee.
1985 Arrow Air Flight 1285 crashes after takeoff at Gander, Newfoundland; among the 256 dead are 236 members of the US Army’s 101st Airborne Division.
1991 The Russian Federation becomes independent from the USSR.
1995 Willie Brown beats incumbent mayor Frank Jordon to become the first African-American mayor of San Francisco.
2000 The US Supreme Court announces its decision in Bush v. Gore, effectively ending legal challenges to the results of that year’s presidential election.
Born on December 12
1745 John Jay, first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court who negotiated treaties for the United States.
1805 William Lloyd Garrison, American abolitionist who published The Liberator.
1821 Gustave Flaubert, French novelist (Madame Bovary, A Simple Heart).
1863 Edvard Munch, Norwegian artist (The Scream).
1893 Edward G. Robinson, actor famous for gangster roles.
1897 Lillian Smith, Southern writer and civil rights activist.
1912 Henry Jackson Jr, boxer; using the name Henry Armstrong, he was the only fighter to hold 3 professional boxing titles simultaneously.
1915 Frank Sinatra, American pop singer and actor.
1927 Robert Norton Noyce, co-inventor of the integrated circuit.
1928 Helen Frankenthaler, abstract painter.
1929 John Osborne, playwright and film producer (Look Back in Anger).
1938 Connie Francis, singer.
1940 Dionne Warwick, singer, actress.
1943 Grover Washington Jr, singer, songwriter, musician, producer.
1952 Cathy Rigby, gymnast, actress.

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