Home Today's History Lesson TODAY’S HISTORY LESSON: DEC 21



1988 – Lockerbie Bombing – A bomb exploded on Pan Am Flight number 103 on its way from Frankfurt, Germany, to Detroit, United States, over the Scottish city of Lockerbie. The terrorist attack killed all the passengers and crew on board and 11 people on the ground.

0069 – Year of the four emperors: Following Galba, Otho and Vitellius, Vespasian becomes the fourth Emperor of Rome within a year.

1237 – Mongolian forces take the Russian city of Ryazan after a five-day siege during their invasion of the Rus

1582 – Flanders adopts the Gregorian calendar, skipping 11 days making the next day Jan 1, 1583

1598 – Battle of Curalaba: the Mapuche people led by Pelentaru revolt and inflict a major defeat on Spanish troops in southern Chile

1620 – Mayflower Pilgrims come ashore in Plymouth Bay, traditionally thought to be at Plymouth Rock, Massachusetts

1803 – The Middlesex Canal opens to connect the Merrimack River with Boston Harbor

1829 – 1st stone arch railroad bridge in US dedicated, Baltimore

1861 – Medal of Honor: Public Resolution 82, containing a provision for a Navy Medal of Valor, is signed into law by President Abraham Lincoln

1864 – US Union General Sherman captures Savannah, Georgia, which surrenders to him, at the end of his March To the Sea Campaign

1866 – Fetterman Massacre: Lakota, Cheyenne, and Arapaho Indians kill all 81 US Army soldiers, the worst military disaster suffered by the U.S. Army on the Great Plains at the time

1883 – The first Permanent Force cavalry and infantry regiments of the Canadian Army are formed: The Royal Canadian Dragoons and The Royal Canadian Regiment.

1898 – Scientists Pierre and Marie Curie discovered the radioactive element radium.

1906 – British Parliament pass two important pieces of social legislation: The Trades Disputes Bill, legalizing peaceful picketing, and The Workingmen’s Compensation Act, broadening employers’ liability for accidents

1909 – University of Copenhagen rejects Cook’s claim that he was first to North Pole

1910 – Explosion in coal mine in Hulton England, 344 mine workers dies

1913 – Arthur Wynne published a new “word-cross” puzzle in the “New York World” in England. The name was later changed to “crossword.”

1919 – J. Edgar Hoover persuades US to deport 250 alien radicals, including anarchist and feminist Emma Goldman and her husband to Russia

1921 – Supreme Court rules labor injunctions and picketing unconstitutional

1923 – Nepal changes from British protectorate to independent nation

1933 – Dried human blood serum first prepared, University of Pennsylvania

1937 – Walt Disney debuted the first, full-length, animated feature in Hollywood, CA. The movie was “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.”

1939 – Adolf Hitler names Adolf Eichmann leader of “Referat IV B”, responsible for evictions and Jewish immigration

1943 – USS Grayling (SS-208) sinks fourth Japanese ship since 18 December.

1944 – Horse racing was banned in the United States until after the end of World War II.

1948 – The state of Eire (formerly the Irish Free State) declared its independence.

1956 – Montgomery bus boycott ends: Martin Luther King Jr., Ralph Abernathy, E. D. Nixon, and Glenn Smiley ride in new integrated bus after Supreme Court rules segregated buses unconditional

1958 – Charles de Gaulle was elected to a seven-year term as the first president of the Fifth Republic of France.

1962 – US & Cuba negotiate accord for Cuba to release “Bay of Pigs” captives in exchange for $23M worth of medicine and baby food

1965 – International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination adopted

1968 – Apollo 8 was launched on a mission to orbit the moon. The craft landed safely in the Pacific Ocean on December 27.

1970 – Elvis Presley meets with President Richard Nixon to discuss the war on drugs.

1971 – The U.N. Security Council chose Kurt Waldheim to succeed U Thant as secretary-general.

1973 – Israel, Egypt, Syria, Jordan, US & USSR meet in Geneva

1978 – Police in Des Plaines, IL, arrested John W. Gacy Jr. and began unearthing the remains of 33 men and boys that Gacy was later convicted of killing.

1984 – USSR launches Vega 2 for fly-by of Halley’s Comet

1987 – 3 white New York teens convicted of manslaughter in death of a black man

1988 – Lockerbie Bombing – A bomb exploded on Pan Am Flight number 103 on its way from Frankfurt, Germany, to Detroit, United States, over the Scottish city of Lockerbie. The terrorist attack killed all the passengers and crew on board and 11 people on the ground.

1989 – Romania’s dictator Nicolae Ceausescu’s final speech (executed 12/25)

1990 – In a German television interview, Saddam Hussein declared that he would not withdraw from Kuwait by the UN deadline.

1991 – Eleven of the 12 former Soviet republics proclaimed the birth of the Commonwealth of Independent States.

1995 – Palestinians take control of Bethlehem – Isreali troops withdrew from the city under the Interim Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip signed in September 1995. The city was under a British mandate from 1920 to 1948, and then it was captured by Jordan during the Arab-Israeli War in 1948. Most recently, it was taken over by Israel during the Six-Day War in 1967.

1996 – After two years of denials, U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich admitted violating House ethics rules.

1998 – Israel’s parliament voted overwhelmingly for early elections. It was the signal to the demise of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s hard-line government.

1999 – The Spanish Civil Guard intercepts a van loaded with 950 kg of explosives that ETA intended to use to blow up Torre Picasso in Madrid.

2001 – The Islamic militant group Hamas released a statement that said it was suspending suicide bombings and mortar attacks in Israel.

2002 – Larry Mayes was released after spending 21 years in prison for a rape that maintained that he never committed. He was the 100th person in the U.S. to be released after DNA tests were performed.

2007 – The Schengen Agreement area increases to include 9 European Union member states; Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, and Slovenia on land and sea borders.

2012 – The NHL announces a further cancellation of games until January 14 bringing the total number of cancelled games to 625

2016 – Carl Icahn is announced as Special Advisor to the President on Regulatory Reform, under President Donald Trump

2020 – United States attorney general announces charges against Libyan Abu Agela Mas’ud Kheir Al-Marimi, accusing him of involvement in constructing the bomb that destroyed Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, on the 32nd anniversary of the disaster

2021 – Major breakthrough in development of nuclear fission energy when experiment produces 59 megajoules of energy over five seconds at JET Laboratory, UK (reported Feb 2022)

2022 – Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky visits Washington, DC, meets with US President Joe Biden at the White House, and addresses Congress

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




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