Home Today's History Lesson TODAY’S HISTORY LESSON: DEC 18

TODAY’S HISTORY LESSON: DEC 18

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1892 The Nutcracker makes it debut in St. Petersburg, Russia
The two-part ballet was inspired by German author Ernst Theodor Amadeus Hoffmann’s novella The Nutcracker and the Mouse King. Even though the ballet’s score was composed by the famous Russian composer, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, it did not get good reviews. It was only in the mid-20th century, that The Nutcracker gained popularity among theater goers, especially during Christmas time in the United States.

218 BC – Second Punic War: Battle of the Trebia – Hannibal’s Carthaginian army heavily defeat Roman forces on Italian soil

1271 – Kublai Khan renames his empire “”Yuan”” ( yun), officially marking the start of the Yuan Dynasty of China.

1385 – Peace of Tournai (Dutch – Doornik) signed between the Burgundian Duke Philip II and the rebellious city of Ghent

1603 – First fleet of the Dutch East India Company under Admiral Steven van der Haghen departs for the East-Indies

1620 – The Mayflower lands in present-day Plymouth, Massachusetts delivering 102 Pilgrims.

1719 – Thomas Fleet publishes “Mother Goose’s Melodies For Children” in Boston, Massachusetts

1745 – Skirmish at Clifton where retreating Jacobite forces under Lord George Murray, defeated General Bland’s Hanoverian troops. The last battle to be fought on English soil

1774 – Jews expelled from Prague, Bohemia and Moravia by Empress Maria Theresa

1777 – The United States celebrates its first Thanksgiving, celebrating the recent victory by the Americans over General John Burgoyne in the Battle of Saratoga in October

1787 – New Jersey became the third state to ratify the U.S. Constitution.

1796 – The “Monitor,” of Baltimore, MD, was published as the first Sunday newspaper.

1813 – British take Fort Niagara in the War of 1812

1859 – South Carolina declared an “independent commonwealth”

1862 – The first orthopedic hospital was organized in New York City. It was called the Hospital for Ruptured and Crippled.

1865 – U.S. Secretary of State William Seward issued a statement verifying the ratification of the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The amendment abolished slavery with the declaration: “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.”

1878 – John Kehoe, the last of the Molly Maguires is executed in Pennsylvania.

1888 – Richard Wetherill and his brother in-law discover the ancient Indian ruins of Mesa Verde.

1892 – The Nutcracker makes it debut in St. Petersburg, Russia

1898 – At a site near Paris, France, Count Gaston de Chasseloup-Laubat sets the world’s first official automobile land speed record of 39 miles per hour

1903 – The Panama Canal Zone was acquired ‘in perpetuity’ by the U.S. for an annual rent.

1912 – The discovery of the Piltdown Man in East Sussex was announced. It was proved to be a hoax in 1953.

1915 – U.S. President Wilson, widowed the year before, married Edith Bolling Galt at her Washington home.

1916 – During World War I, after 10 months of fighting the French defeated the Germans in the Battle of Verdun.

1917 – The Eighteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was passed by the U.S. Senate and then officially proposed the states.

1936 – Su-Lin, the first giant panda to come to the U.S. from China, arrived in San Francisco, CA. The bear was sold to the Brookfield Zoo for $8,750.

1940 – Adolf Hitler signed a secret directive ordering preparations for a Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union. Operation “Barbarossa” was launched in June 1941.

1944 – The U.S. Supreme Court upheld the wartime relocation of Japanese-Americans, but also stated that undeniably loyal Americans of Japanese ancestry could not be detained.

1950 – NATO foreign ministers approved plans to defend Western Europe, including the use of nuclear weapons, if necessary.

1956 – Japan was admitted to the United Nations.

1957 – The Shippingport Atomic Power Station in Pennsylvania went online. It was the first nuclear facility to generate electricity in the United States. It was taken out of service in 1982.

1958 – World’s first communication satellite launched. A product of a highly secretive project, SCORE (Signal Communications by Orbiting Relay Equipment) was launched aboard the Atlas rocket from Cape Canaveral, Florida

1966 – Saturn’s moon Epimetheus is discovered by Richard L. Walker.

1969 – Britain’s Parliament abolished the death penalty for murder.

1970 – Divorce became legal in Italy.

1972 – The United States began the heaviest bombing of North Vietnam during the Vietnam War. The attack ended 12 days later.

1973 – The IRA launched its Christmas bombing campaign in London.

1982 – A large Tacoa power plant starts burning in Venezuela, eventually killing 128

1987 – Ivan F. Boesky was sentenced to three years in prison for plotting Wall Street’s biggest insider-trading scandal. He only served about two years of the sentence.

1991 – General Motors announces the closing of 21 plants

1996 – Despite a U.N. truce, factional fighting in the Somali capital of Mogadishu, broke out in which at least 300 fighters and civilians were killed.

1998 – The U.S. House of Representatives began the debate on the four articles of impeachment concerning U.S. President Bill Clinton. It was only the second time in U.S. history that process had begun.

1998 – Russia recalled its U.S. ambassador in protest of the U.S. attacks on Iraq.

1999 – After living atop an ancient redwood in Humboldt County, CA, for two years, environmental activist Julia “Butterfly” Hill came down, ending her anti-logging protest.

2001 – In Seattle, WA, Gary Leon Ridgeway pled innocent to the charge of murder for four of the Green River serial killings. He had been arrested on November 30, 2001.

2002 – Nine competing designs for the World Trade Center site were unveiled. The Lower Manhattan Development Corp. expected to choose a design by January 31, 2003.

2006 – Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld resigns, Robert Gates is sworn in as the new Secretary of Defense.”

2009 – A Paris court ruled that Google was breaking French law with its policy of digitizing books and fined the company a $14,300-a-day fine until it rids its search engine of the literary extracts.

2011 – The last US troops withdraw from Iraq, formally ending the Iraq War

2012 – Canadian police begin arresting 17 people for ‘the Great Maple Syrup Heist’, for stealing 3,000 tonnes from a storage facility in Quebec

2018 – Meteor explodes in huge fireball over the Bering Sea with 10 times the energy of Hiroshima atomic bomb, 2nd largest in last 30 yrs

2019 – US House of Representatives votes to impeach President Donald Trump for abuse of power (230-197) and obstruction of Congress (229-198)

REFERENCE: history.net, onthisday.com, thepeopleshistory.com, timeanddate.com, scopesys.com, on-this-day.com

 

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