1943: Born this day: rock singer-songwriter Jim Morrison (The Doors, died 1971).
2010: SpaceX became the first private company to successfully launch, orbit and recover a spacecraft.
1793: New York City’s first daily newspaper, the American Minerva, was established by Noah Webster (1758-1843).
1851: The first YMCA in North America was established in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
1875: The Massachusetts Rifle Association, “America’s Oldest Active Gun Club,” was founded in Woburn.
1958: The John Birch Society was founded in Grand Chute, Wis.
1965: A Charlie Brown Christmas, the first in a series of Peanuts television specials, debuted on CBS.
1979: The smallpox virus was certified as eradicated, making it the first and to date only human disease driven to extinction.
1868: The first traffic lights were installed, outside the Palace of Westminster in London. They resembled railway signals and used semaphore arms that were illuminated at night by red and green gas lamps.
1884: Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain (1835-1910) was published for the first time, in Canada and the United Kingdom, by Charles L. Webster And Company.
1901: The first Nobel Prizes were awarded.
1911: The first transcontinental flight across the United States was completed when Calbraith Perry Rodgers landed the Vin Fiz in Long Beach, Calif. (The flight began on Sept. 17, 1911, from Sheepshead Bay, New York.)
1927: The phrase “Grand Ole Opry” was broadcast for the first time on radio.
1968: Japan’s biggest heist, the still-unsolved “300 million yen robbery,” was carried out in Tokyo. (Equivalent to $817,520.
630: Muhammad (570-632) led an army of 10,000 to conquer Mecca.
1816: Indiana became the 19th U.S. state.
1946: The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) was established.
1972: Apollo 17 became the sixth and last Apollo mission to land on the Moon.
1978: The Lufthansa heist was committed at JFK International Airport in New York City by a group led by Lucchese family, who got away with $5 million in cash and $875,000 in jewelry. It was at the time the largest cash robbery ever committed on American soil. (The organizer of the heist, Jimmy Burke (1931-1996), subsequently murdered 10 of his co-conspirators or anyone else who might be able to implicate him. The robbery was the subject of two television films, The 10 Million Dollar Getaway and The Big Heist, and is a key plot element in the 1990 film Goodfellas.)
1980: The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act, also known as CERCLA or Superfund, was enacted by Congress.
1787: Pennsylvania became the second state to ratify the U.S. Constitution.
2000: The U.S. Supreme Court released its 5-4 decision in Bush v. Gore, which made George W. Bush the 43rd president.
1962: NASA launched Relay 1, the first active repeater communications satellite in orbit.
1972: Apollo 17 astronauts and Harrison Schmitt (born 1935) and Eugene Cernan (born 1934) became the 11th and 12th humans respectively, and the last humans to date, to set foot on the Moon.
1799: George Washington died at Mount Vernon, Va., at age 67.
1903: Brothers Orville and Wilbur Wright made their first attempt to fly their plane, the Wright Flyer, at Kitty Hawk, N.C.
1911: Roald Amundsen’s team, comprising himself, Olav Bjaaland, Helmer Hanssen, Sverre Hassel and Oscar Wisting, became the first people to reach the South Pole.
1972: Astronaut Eugene Cernan became the last human to date to walk on the moon as the Apollo 17 mission prepared to depart the lunar surface
ON THIS DAY…
DEC. 8 — DEC. 14
December 8- NATIONAL BROWNIE DAY
Indulge in gooey goodness and let the real world melt away with you for a delectable moment.
December 9– NATIONAL LLAMA DAY
The perfect day to appreciate one of the fuzziest farm animals around. Some live as long as 30 years!
December 10- NOBEL PRIZE DAY
This day honors the achievements of Alfred Bernhard Nobel, a Swedish engineer, chemist,
entrepreneur, and philanthropist.
December 11– INTERNATIONAL MOUNTAIN DAY
December 12– GINGERBREAD HOUSE DAY
Whether you’re a cookie building expert or your baked house falls apart as soon as you get the third wall glued on with icing, we can all agree the best part of building a gingerbread house is eating the sweet treat when we’re done.
December 13-NATIONAL HORSE DAY
A day to remember the economic, historic, and cultural contributions that horses have made.
December 14- NATIONAL FREE SHIPPING DAY
You can shop ‘til you drop by getting everything online; plus, there are no sky-high shipping rates. The date of the holiday changes each year so be on the lookout in mid-December.