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Saturday, December 06, 2008


Today is Saturday, Dec. 6, the 341st day of 2008.
There are 25 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

  • On Dec. 6, 1957, America's first attempt at putting a satellite into orbit failed as Vanguard TV3 rose only about four feet off a Cape Canaveral, Fla., launch pad before crashing back down and exploding.

On this date:

  • In 1790, Congress moved to Philadelphia from New York.
  • In 1889, Jefferson Davis, the first and only president of the Confederate States of America, died in New Orleans.
  • In 1907, the worst mining disaster in U.S. history occurred as 362 men and boys died in a coal mine explosion in Monongah, W.Va.,
  • In 1917, some 2,000 people died when an explosives-laden French cargo ship collided with a Norwegian vessel at the harbor in Halifax, Nova Scotia, setting off a blast that devastated the city.
  • In 1922, the Irish Free State came into being under terms of the Anglo-Irish Treaty.
  • In 1947, Everglades National Park in Florida was dedicated by President Harry S. Truman.
  • In 1957, AFL-CIO members voted to expel the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. (The Teamsters were readmitted in 1987, but disaffiliated themselves from the AFL-CIO in 2005.)
  • In 1973, House minority leader Gerald R. Ford was sworn in as vice president, succeeding Spiro T. Agnew.
  • In 1982, 11 soldiers and six civilians were killed when an Irish National Liberation Army bomb exploded at a pub in Ballykelly, Northern Ireland.
  • In 1989, 14 women were shot to death at the University of Montreal's school of engineering by a man who then took his own life.

Ten years ago:
  • In Venezuela, former Lt. Col. Hugo Chavez, who'd staged a bloody coup attempt against the government six years earlier, was elected president.
  • Endeavour's astronauts connected the first two building blocks of the international space station in the shuttle cargo bay.

Five years ago:
  • A U.S. warplane in pursuit of a "known terrorist" attacked a village in eastern Afghanistan, mistakenly killing nine children.
  • Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld met with senior American commanders in Iraq, and was assured that a recent switch to more aggressive anti-insurgency tactics had begun to pay off.
  • Army became the first team to finish 0-13 in major college history after a 34-6 loss to Navy.
  • Ireland's Rosanna Davison was crowned Miss World at the southern Chinese tropical resort of Sanya.

One year ago:
  • CIA Director Michael Hayden revealed the agency had videotaped its interrogations of two terror suspects in 2002 and destroyed the tapes three years later out of fear they would leak to the public and compromise the identities of U.S. questioners.
  • President George W. Bush announced a plan to freeze interest rates on subprime mortgages held by hundreds of thousands of homeowners.
  • Republican Mitt Romney said his Mormon faith should neither help nor hinder his quest for the White House and vowed to serve the interests of the nation, not the church, if elected president.

Today's Birthdays:
  • Jazz musician Dave Brubeck is 88.
  • Comedy performer David Ossman is 72.
  • Country singer Helen Cornelius is 67.
  • Actor James Naughton is 63.
  • Rhythm-and-blues singer Frankie Beverly (Maze) is 62.
  • Former Sen. Don Nickles, R-Okla., is 60.
  • Actress JoBeth Williams is 60.
  • Actor Tom Hulce is 55.
  • Actor Kin Shriner is 55.
  • Talk show host Wil Shriner is 55.
  • Actor Miles Chapin is 54.
  • Rock musician Rick Buckler (The Jam) is 53.
  • Comedian Steven Wright is 53.
  • Country singer Bill Lloyd is 53.
  • Singer Tish Hinojosa is 53.
  • Rock musician Peter Buck (R.E.M.) is 52.
  • Rock musician David Lovering (Pixies) is 47.
  • Actress Janine Turner is 46.
  • Rock musician Ben Watt (Everything But The Girl) is 46.
  • Writer-director Judd Apatow is 41.
  • Rock musician Ulf "Buddha" Ekberg (Ace of Base) is 38.
  • Writer-director Craig Brewer is 37.
  • Actress Colleen Haskell is 32.
  • Actress Lindsay Price is 32.
  • Christian rock musician Jacob Chesnut (Rush of Fools) is 19.

Thought for Today:
"Do not wait to strike till the iron is hot; but make it hot by striking."
William Butler Yeats, Irish Nobel Prize-winning poet (1865-1939).

"Let's all be careful out there!"