Today in History

Today is Thursday, Dec. 3, the 337th day of 2015. There are 28 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Dec. 3, 1965, The Beatles’ sixth studio album, “Rubber Soul,” was released in the United Kingdom by Parlophone (it was released in the U.S. by Capitol Records three days later).

On this date:

In 1810, British forces captured Mauritius from the French, who had renamed the island nation off southeast Africa “Ile de France.”

In 1818, Illinois was admitted as the 21st state.

In 1828, Andrew Jackson was elected president of the United States by the Electoral College.

In 1833, Oberlin College in Ohio — the first truly coeducational school of higher learning in the United States — began holding classes.

In 1925, George Gershwin’s Concerto in F had its world premiere at New York’s Carnegie Hall, with Gershwin at the piano.

On Dec. 7, 1941, the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor commenced at 7:48 a.m. Hawaiian Time. The attack came as a profound shock to the American people and led directly to the American entry into World War II in both the Pacific and European theaters. The following day, Dec. 8, the U.S. declared war on Japan.

In 1947, the Tennessee Williams play “A Streetcar Named Desire” opened on Broadway.

In 1953, the musical “Kismet,” featuring the song “Stranger in Paradise,” opened on Broadway.

In 1960, the Lerner and Loewe musical “Camelot” opened on Broadway.

In 1967, surgeons in Cape Town, South Africa led by Dr. Christiaan Barnard performed the first human heart transplant on Louis Washkansky, who lived 18 days with the new heart. The 20th Century Limited, the famed luxury train, completed its final run from New York to Chicago.

In 1979, 11 people were killed in a crush of fans at Cincinnati’s Riverfront Coliseum, where the British rock group The Who was performing.

In 1984, thousands of people died after a cloud of methyl isocyanate gas escaped from a pesticide plant operated by a Union Carbide subsidiary in Bhopal, India.

In 1991, radicals in Lebanon released American hostage Alann (cq) Steen, who’d been held captive nearly five years.

Ten years ago: Economic officials from the world’s richest countries resumed their pressure on China to adopt a more flexible exchange rate as they concluded a meeting in London. Insurgents killed 19 Iraqi soldiers in a coordinated ambush northeast of Baghdad. Vice Adm. Frederick L. “Dick” Ashworth, USN (Ret.), the weaponeer aboard the B-29 that dropped the atomic bomb on Nagasaki, Japan, died in Phoenix, Arizona, at age 93.

Five years ago: During a surprise holiday-season visit to Afghanistan, President Barack Obama told cheering U.S. troops at Bagram Air Field they were succeeding in their mission to fight terrorism; however, foul weather prevented Obama from meeting with President Hamid Karzai in Kabul to address frayed relations. The Labor Department reported the U.S. unemployment rate had risen in November 2010 to 9.8 percent after three straight months at 9.6 percent.

One year ago: A Staten Island, N.Y. grand jury declined to indict police officer Daniel Pantaleo in the July 2014 chokehold death of Eric Garner, an unarmed black man stopped on suspicion of selling loose, untaxed cigarettes. Herman Badillo, a Bronx politician who was the first person born in Puerto Rico to become a U.S. congressman, died at age 85.

Today’s Birthdays: Movie director Jean-Luc Godard is 85. Singer Jaye P. Morgan is 84. Actor Nicolas Coster is 82. Actress Mary Alice is 74. Rock singer Ozzy Osbourne is 67. Actress Heather Menzies Urich is 66. Rock singer Mickey Thomas is 66. Country musician Paul Gregg (Restless Heart) is 61. Actor Steven Culp is 60. Actress Daryl Hannah is 55. Actress Julianne Moore is 55. Olympic gold medal figure skater Katarina Witt is 50. Actor Brendan Fraser is 47. Singer Montell Jordan is 47. Actor Royale Watkins is 46. Actor Bruno Campos is 42. Actress Holly Marie Combs is 42. Actress Liza Lapira is 40. Actress Lauren Roman is 40. Pop-rock singer Daniel Bedingfield is 36. Actress Anna Chlumsky is 35. Actor Brian Bonsall is 34. Actress Dascha Polanco (TV: “Orange is the New Black”) is 33. Pop/rock singer-songwriter Andy Grammer is 32. Actress Amanda Seyfried is 30. Actor Michael Angarano is 28. Actor Jake T. Austin is 21.

Thought for Today: “Facing it, always facing it, that’s the way to get through. Face it.” — Joseph Conrad, Polish-born English novelist (born this date in 1857, died 1924).

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