Sunday, Dec. 7, the 341st day of 2014

Today is Sunday, Dec. 7, the 341st day of 2014. There are 24 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:Today In History

On Dec. 7, 1941, the Empire of Japan launched a pre-emptive air raid on the U.S. Navy base at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii as well as targets in Malaya, Hong Kong, Guam, the Philippines and Wake Island; the United States declared war against Japan the next day.

On this date:

In 1787, Delaware became the first state to ratify the U.S. Constitution.

In 1796, electors chose John Adams to be the second president of the United States.

In 1808, electors chose James Madison to be the fourth president of the United States.

In 1836, Martin Van Buren was elected the eighth president of the United States.

In 1842, the New York Philharmonic performed its first concert.

In 1909, chemist Leo H. Baekeland received a U.S. patent for Bakelite (BAY’-kuh-lyt), the first synthetic plastic.

In 1911, China abolished the requirement that men wear their hair in a queue, or ponytail.

In 1946, fire broke out at the Winecoff (WYN’-kahf) Hotel in Atlanta; the blaze killed 119 people, including hotel founder W. Frank Winecoff.

In 1963, during the Army-Navy game, videotaped instant replay was used for the first time in a live sports telecast as CBS re-showed a one-yard touchdown run by Army quarterback Rollie Stichweh. (Navy beat Army, 21-15.)

In 1972, America’s last moon mission to date was launched as Apollo 17 blasted off from Cape Canaveral. Imelda Marcos, wife of Philippine President Ferdinand E. Marcos, was seriously wounded by an assailant who was then shot dead by her bodyguards.

In 1987, 43 people were killed after a gunman aboard a Pacific Southwest Airlines jetliner in California apparently opened fire on a fellow passenger, the pilots and himself, causing the plane to crash. Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev set foot on American soil for the first time, arriving for a Washington summit with President Ronald Reagan.

In 1993, gunman Colin Ferguson opened fire on a Long Island Rail Road commuter train, killing six people and wounding 19. (Ferguson was later sentenced to a minimum of 200 years in prison.)

Ten years ago: Hamid Karzai (HAH’-mihd KAHR’-zeye) was sworn in as Afghanistan’s first popularly elected president. The House of Representatives passed an intelligence network overhaul measure, 336-75. Amway co-founder Jay Van Andel died in Ada, Michigan, at age 80. Singer Jerry Scoggins, who performed “The Ballad of Jed Clampett,” the theme song to “The Beverly Hillbillies,” died at age 93.

Five years ago: The Obama administration took a major step toward imposing the first federal limits on pollution from cars, power plants and factories the same day an international conference on climate change opened in Copenhagen, Denmark. Manager Whitey Herzog and umpire Doug Harvey were elected to the baseball Hall of Fame by the Veterans Committee.

One year ago: North Korea freed an 85-year-old U.S. veteran of the Korean War after a weekslong detention, ending the saga of Merrill Newman’s attempt to visit the North as a tourist six decades after he oversaw a group of South Korean wartime guerrillas still loathed by Pyongyang.

Today’s Birthdays: Linguist and political philosopher Noam Chomsky is 86. Bluegrass singer Bobby Osborne is 83. Actress Ellen Burstyn is 82. Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss., is 77. Broadcast journalist Carole Simpson is 74. Baseball Hall of Famer Johnny Bench is 67. Actor-director-producer James Keach is 67. Country singer Gary Morris is 66. Singer-songwriter Tom Waits is 65. Sen. Susan M. Collins, R-Maine, is 62. Basketball Hall of Famer Larry Bird is 58. Actress Priscilla Barnes is 57. Former “Tonight Show” announcer Edd (cq) Hall is 56. Rock musician Tim Butler (The Psychedelic Furs) is 56. Actor Patrick Fabian is 50. Actor Jeffrey Wright is 49. Actor C. Thomas Howell is 48. Producer-director Jason Winer is 42. NFL player Terrell Owens is 41. Rapper-producer Kon Artis is 40. Pop singer Nicole Appleton (All Saints) is 39. Latin singer Frankie J is 38. Country singer Sunny Sweeney is 38. Actress Shiri Appleby is 36. Pop-rock singer/celebrity judge Sara Bareilles (bah-REHL’-es) (TV: “The Sing-off”) is 35. Singer Aaron Carter is 27.

Thought for Today: “Any frontal attack on ignorance is bound to fail because the masses are always ready to defend their most precious possession – their ignorance.” – Hendrik Willem van Loon, Dutch-American journalist and lecturer (1882-1944).

 

Copyright 2014, The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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