Today in History
Today is Thursday, Dec. 30, the 364th day of 2021. There is one day left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On Dec. 30, 1922, Vladimir Lenin proclaimed the establishment of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, which lasted nearly seven decades before dissolving in December 1991.
On this date:
In 1813, British troops burned Buffalo, New York, during the War of 1812.
In 1853, the United States and Mexico signed a treaty under which the U.S. agreed to buy some 45,000 square miles of land from Mexico for $10 million in a deal known as the Gadsden Purchase.
In 1860, 10 days after South Carolina seceded from the Union, the state militia seized the United States Arsenal in Charleston.
In 1903, about 600 people died when fire broke out at the recently opened Iroquois Theater in Chicago.
In 1954, Olympic gold medal runner Malvin G. Whitfield became the first Black recipient of the James E. Sullivan Award for amateur athletes.
In 1972, the United States halted its heavy bombing of North Vietnam.
In 1994, a gunman walked into a pair of suburban Boston abortion clinics and opened fire, killing two employees. (John C. Salvi III was later convicted of murder; he died in prison, an apparent suicide.)
In 1999, former Beatle George Harrison fought off a knife-wielding intruder who’d broken into his mansion west of London and stabbed him in the chest. (The attacker was later acquitted of attempted murder by reason of insanity.)
In 2004, a fire broke out during a rock concert at a nightclub in Buenos Aires, Argentina, killing 194 people. Bandleader and clarinetist Artie Shaw died in Thousand Oaks, California, at age 94.
In 2006, a state funeral service was held in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda for former President Gerald R. Ford.
In 2009, seven CIA employees and a Jordanian intelligence officer were killed by a suicide bomber at a U.S. base in Khost (hohst), Afghanistan.
In 2015, Bill Cosby was charged with drugging and sexually assaulting a woman at his suburban Philadelphia home in 2004; it was the first criminal case brought against the comedian out of the torrent of allegations that destroyed his good-guy image as “America’s Dad.” (Cosby’s first trial ended in a mistrial after jurors deadlocked; he was convicted on three charges at his retrial in April 2018 and was sentenced to three to 10 years in prison, but the Pennsylvania Supreme Court overturned the conviction in June 2021 and Cosby went free.)
Ten years ago: North Korea warned the world there would be no softening of its position toward South Korea’s government following Kim Jong Il’s death as Pyongyang strengthened his son and heir’s authority with a new title: “Great Leader.”
Five years ago: Two luxury retreats in New York and Maryland where Russian diplomats had gone for decades to play tennis, sail and swim were shut down by the Obama administration in retaliation for Moscow’s cyber-meddling in the presidential election.
One year ago: Republican Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri said he would raise objections when Congress met to affirm President-elect Joe Biden’s victory, forcing House and Senate votes. President Donald Trump asked the Supreme Court to overturn his election loss in Wisconsin; it was his second unsuccessful appeal in as many days to the high court over the result in the battleground state. Jonathan Pollard, who spent 30 years in U.S. prison for spying for Israel, arrived in Israel with his wife, kissing the ground as he disembarked from the aircraft. Dawn Wells, who played the wholesome Mary Ann on the 1960s sitcom “Gilligan’s Island,” died in Los Angeles at age 82 from what her publicist said were causes related to COVID-19. Samuel Little, who authorities said was the most prolific serial killer in U.S. history with nearly 60 confirmed victims, died at the age of 80 in California, where he was serving a life sentence.
Today’s Birthdays: Actor Russ Tamblyn is 87. Baseball Hall of Famer Sandy Koufax is 86. Folk singer Noel Paul Stookey is 84. TV director James Burrows is 81. Actor Fred Ward is 79. Actor Concetta Tomei (toh-MAY’) is 76. Singer Patti Smith is 75. Rock singer-musician Jeff Lynne is 74. TV personality Meredith Vieira is 68. Actor Sheryl Lee Ralph is 66. Actor Patricia Kalember is 65. Country singer Suzy Bogguss is 65. Actor-comedian Tracey Ullman is 62. Radio-TV commentator Sean Hannity is 60. Sprinter Ben Johnson is 60. Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is 58. Actor George Newbern is 58. Movie director Bennett Miller is 55. Singer Jay Kay (Jamiroquai) is 52. Rock musician Byron McMackin (Pennywise) is 52. Actor Meredith Monroe is 52. Actor Daniel Sunjata is 50. Actor Maureen Flannigan is 49. Actor Jason Behr is 48. Golfer Tiger Woods is 46. TV personality-boxer Laila Ali is 44. Actor Lucy Punch is 44. Singer-actor Tyrese Gibson is 43. Actor Eliza Dushku is 41. Rock musician Tim Lopez (Plain White T’s) is 41. Actor Kristin Kreuk is 39. Folk-rock singer-musician Wesley Schultz (The Lumineers) is 39. NBA star LeBron James is 37. R&B singer Andra Day is 37. Actor Anna Wood is 36. Pop-rock singer Ellie Goulding (GOL’-ding) is 35. Actor Caity Lotz is 35. Actor Jeff Ward is 35. Country musician Eric Steedly is 31. Pop-rock musician Jamie Follesé (FAHL’-es-ay) (Hot Chelle (shel) Rae) is 30.