Today in History


Today is Friday, Dec. 2, the 336th day of 2022. There are 29 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Dec. 2, 1954, the U.S. Senate passed, 67-22, a resolution condemning Republican Sen. Joseph R. McCarthy of Wisconsin, saying he had “acted contrary to senatorial ethics and tended to bring the Senate into dishonor and disrepute.”

On this date:

In 1823, President James Monroe outlined his doctrine opposing European expansion in the Western Hemisphere.

In 1859, militant abolitionist John Brown was hanged for his raid on Harpers Ferry the previous October.

In 1942, an artificially created, self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction was demonstrated for the first time at the University of Chicago.

In 1957, the Shippingport Atomic Power Station in Pennsylvania, the first full-scale commercial nuclear facility in the U.S., began operations. (The reactor ceased operating in 1982.)

In 1980, four American churchwomen were raped and murdered in El Salvador. (Five national guardsmen were convicted in the killings.)

In 1982, in the first operation of its kind, doctors at the University of Utah Medical Center implanted a permanent artificial heart in the chest of retired dentist Dr. Barney Clark, who lived 112 days with the device.

In 1993, Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar was shot to death by security forces in Medellin (meh-deh-YEEN’).

In 2000, Al Gore sought a recount in South Florida, while George W. Bush flatly asserted, “I’m soon to be the president” and met with GOP congressional leaders.

In 2001, in one of the largest corporate bankruptcies in U.S. history, Enron filed for Chapter 11 protection.

In 2015, a couple loyal to the Islamic State group opened fire at a holiday banquet for public employees in San Bernardino, California, killing 14 people and wounding 21 others before dying in a shootout with police.

In 2016, a fire that raced through an illegally converted warehouse in Oakland, California, during a dance party killed 36 people.

In 2020, in a video released on social media, President Donald Trump stood before a White House lectern and delivered a 46-minute diatribe against the election results that produced a win for Democrat Joe Biden, unspooling one misstatement after another to back his baseless claim that he really won. Britain became the first country in the world to authorize a rigorously tested COVID-19 vaccine, giving the go-ahead for emergency use of the vaccine developed by American drugmaker Pfizer and Germany’s BioNTech.

Ten years ago: Hundreds of concrete slabs, each weighing more than a ton, fell from the roof of a highway tunnel west of Tokyo, crushing vehicles below and killing nine people. Dustin Hoffman, David Letterman, Led Zeppelin, Chicago bluesman Buddy Guy and ballerina Natalia Makarova received Kennedy Center Honors.

Five years ago: President Donald Trump changed his story on why he fired Michael Flynn as his national security adviser, now suggesting that he knew at the time that Flynn had lied to the FBI about his contacts with Russians. ABC News suspended investigative reporter Brian Ross for four weeks without pay for an erroneous report about Flynn. (Ross had reported that then-candidate Trump had directed Flynn to make contact with the Russians; Ross clarified the report hours later, saying that his source now said Trump had not done so as a candidate, but as president-elect.)

One year ago: Nevada’s Supreme Court ruled unanimously that gun manufacturers could not be held responsible for the deaths in the 2017 mass shooting on the Las Vegas Strip because a state law shielded them from liability unless the weapon malfunctioned. Jason Meade, the Ohio sheriff’s deputy who shot Casey Goodson Jr. in the back five times as the Black man entered his grandmother’s house, was charged with murder, as Goodson’s family also filed a federal civil rights lawsuit. (Meade has pleaded not guilty.) Major League Baseball plunged into its first work stoppage in a quarter-century when the sport’s collective bargaining agreement expired and owners immediately locked out players.(An agreement would end the lockout after 99 days; the start of the season was delayed by about a week.)

Today’s Birthdays: Former Attorney General Edwin Meese III is 91. Actor Cathy Lee Crosby is 78. Movie director Penelope Spheeris is 77. Actor Ron Raines is 73. Country singer John Wesley Ryles is 72. Actor Keith Szarabajka is 70. Actor Dan Butler is 68. Broadcast journalist Stone Phillips is 68. Actor Dennis Christopher is 67. Actor Steven Bauer is 66. Country singer Joe Henry is 62. Rock musician Rick Savage (Def Leppard) is 62. Actor Brendan Coyle is 59. Rock musician Nate Mendel (Foo Fighters) is 54. Actor Suzy Nakamura is 54. Actor Rena Sofer is 54. Rock singer Jimi (cq) HaHa (Jimmie’s Chicken Shack) is 54. Actor Lucy Liu (loo) is 54. U.S. Veterans Affairs Secretary Denis McDonough is 53. Rapper Treach (Naughty By Nature) is 52. Actor Joe Lo Truglio is 52. International Tennis Hall of Famer Monica Seles is 49. Singer Nelly Furtado is 44. Pop singer Britney Spears is 41. Actor-singer Jana Kramer is 39. Actor Yvonne Orji is 39. Actor Daniela Ruah (roo-ah) is 39. NFL quarterback Aaron Rodgers is 39. Actor Alfred Enoch is 34. Pop singer-songwriter Charlie Puth is 31.

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