1732: The Royal Opera House opened in London.
1776: Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette (born 1757) entered the American military as a major general to fight against the British.
1930: The first television commercial in the United States, an advertisement for I.J. Fox Furriers, was broadcast on W1XAV in Boston, Massachusetts, during a video telecast of the CBS radio orchestra program, The Fox Trappers.
1963: Instant replay was used for the first time, during an Army-Navy football game.
1972: The last Apollo moon mission, Apollo 17, was launched.
1988: Born this day: actresses Emily Browning (Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events), and Asia Ray Smith (The Young and the Restless).
1927: The Brookings Institution, one of the oldest U.S. think tanks, was founded in Washington, DC, by the merger of three organizations that had been created by philanthropist Robert S. Brookings (1850-1932).
1962: The longest newspaper strike in U.S. history began when workers at four New York City newspapers (Daily News, New York Journal American, The New York Times, New York World-Telegram & Sun) walked off the job. The strike soon expanded to five more papers (New York Daily Mirror, New York Herald Tribune, New York Post, Long Island Star Journal, Long Island Daily Press. The strike ended 114 days later, on March 31, 1963.)
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.
1942: Born this day: National Football League player Dick Butkus (Chicago Bears); and journalist and author Joe McGinniss (The Selling of the President 1968, The Rogue: Searching for the Real Sarah Palin, died 2014).
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.
1799: France adopted the meter as its official unit of length.
1817: Mississippi became the 20th U.S. state.
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.
1955: Mighty Mouse Playhouse premiered on national television.
1964: Born this day: Food Network celebrity chef Bobby Flay; and actor George Newbern (Father of the Bride, Friends).
1968: Japan’s biggest heist, the still-unsolved “300 million yen robbery,” was carried out in Tokyo. (Equivalent to $817,520.)
1971: Born this day: New Jersey state Sen. Bill Baroni (in office 2012-2013).
1789: The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill was chartered by the North Carolina General Assembly.
1816: Indiana became the 19th U.S. state.
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.)
2008: Bernard Madoff (born 1938) was arrested and charged with securities fraud in a $50 billion Ponzi scheme, the largest ever.
1787: Pennsylvania became the second state to ratify the U.S. Constitution.
1862: USS Cairo became the first armored ship sunk by an electrically detonated mine, in the Yazoo River in Mississippi.
1636: The Massachusetts Bay Colony organized three militia regiments to defend the colony against the Pequot Indians. This organization is recognized today as the founding of the National Guard of the United States.
1947: Born this day: morbidly obese actress Darlene Cates (What’s Eating Gilbert Grape); and actor Rex Hagon (Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Babar).
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.
1975: NBC’s Saturday Night Live was broadcast with a seven-second delay for the first time because producers wanted to bleep out anticipated profanity by guest host Richard Pryor (1940-2005).
2003: Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein was captured at Tikrit, Iraq, by U.S. forces.
ON THIS DAY… NOVEMBER 30 – DECEMBER 6
December 7 – NATIONAL COTTON CANDY DAY
Most of our childhood memories wouldn’t have been complete without the sugary cloud that is cotton candy.
December 8 – NATIONAL BLUE COLLAR DAY
All blue-collar workers deserve our respect, admiration, and gratitude. They are the ones who work with their hands and use physical labor to earn a living.
December 9 – CHRISTMAS CARD DAY
Tis the season for spreading cheer and joyful greetings, so why not grab a recent family photo, a box of cards, or even a tastefully designed e-card and get to writing!
December 10 – HUMAN RIGHTS DAY
The General Assembly of the UN adopted and proclaimed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. It has inspired countries and people alike to start treating every person with the right to life, liberty, property, and the pursuit of happiness.
December 11 – NATIONAL APP DAY
t seems wild now to think that there was a life without apps, and the fact that they haven’t even been around for too long is even more unbelievable considering their prominence in today’s society.
December 12 – NATIONAL AMBROSIA DAY
The day celebrates a Greek mythological food, “ambrosia”, also known as the “food of the gods”. The Greeks believed that anyone who consumed ambrosia would become immortal.
December 13 – NATIONAL HORSE DAY
It’s a day to remember the economic, historic, and cultural contributions that horses have made.