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Tuesday, December 16, 2008


Today is Tuesday, Dec. 16, the 351st day of 2008.
There are 15 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

  • On Dec. 16, 1773, the Boston Tea Party took place as American colonists boarded a British ship and dumped more than 300 chests of tea overboard to protest tea taxes.

On this date:

  • In 1653, Oliver Cromwell became lord protector of England, Scotland and Ireland.
  • In 1770, composer Ludwig van Beethoven was born in Bonn, Germany.
  • In 1905, the entertainment trade publication Variety came out with its first weekly issue.
  • In 1907, 16 U.S. Navy battleships, which came to be known as the "Great White Fleet," set sail on a 14-month round-the-world voyage to demonstrate American sea power.
  • In 1944, the World War II Battle of the Bulge began as German forces launched a surprise attack against Allied forces in Belgium (the Allies were eventually able to beat the Germans back).
  • In 1950, President Harry S. Truman proclaimed a national state of emergency in order to fight "world conquest by Communist imperialism."
  • In 1960, 134 people were killed when a United Air Lines DC-8 and a TWA Super Constellation collided over New York City.
  • In 1976, the government halted its swine flu vaccination program following reports of paralysis apparently linked to the vaccine.
  • In 1991, the U.N. General Assembly rescinded its 1975 resolution equating Zionism with racism by a vote of 111-25.
  • In 2000, President-elect George W. Bush selected Colin Powell to become the first black secretary of state.

Ten years ago:
  • President Bill Clinton ordered a sustained series of airstrikes against Iraq by American and British forces in response to Saddam Hussein's continued defiance of UN weapons inspectors.
  • The House delayed a debate set to begin the next day on four articles of impeachment against President Clinton.

Five years ago:
  • President George W. Bush signed a number of measures into law, including legislation meant to stem the flood of junk e-mail known as "spam" and a bill to establish a national museum devoted to black history.
  • President Bush told ABC News that Saddam Hussein deserved the "ultimate penalty" for his crimes.
  • Germany and France, two of the most ardent opponents of the American-led war, agreed to relieve Iraq's debt burden.
  • Actress Madlyn Rhue died in Los Angeles at age 68.

One year ago:
  • British forces formally handed over to Iraq responsibility for Basra, the last Iraqi region under their control.
  • Turkish warplanes hit Kurdish rebel targets in northern Iraq, the largest aerial attack in years against the separatist group.
  • Singer-songwriter Dan Fogelberg died in Deer Isle, Maine, at age 56.

Today's Birthdays:
  • Civil rights attorney Morris Dees is 72.
  • Actress Joyce Bulifant is 71.
  • Actress Liv Ullmann is 70.
  • CBS news correspondent Lesley Stahl is 67.
  • TV producer Steven Bochco is 65.
  • Pop musician Tony Hicks (The Hollies) is 63.
  • Pop singer Benny Andersson (ABBA) is 62.
  • Actor Ben Cross is 61.
  • Rock singer-musician Billy Gibbons (ZZ Top) is 59.
  • Rock musician Bill Bateman (The Blasters) is 57.
  • Actress Alison LaPlaca is 49.
  • Actor Sam Robards is 47.
  • Actor Jon Tenney is 47.
  • Actor Benjamin Bratt is 45.
  • Country singer-songwriter Jeff Carson is 45.
  • Rhythm-and-blues singer Michael McCary is 37.
  • Country musician Chris Scruggs is 26.
  • Actress Hallee Hirsh is 21.
  • Actress Anna Popplewell is 20.

Thought for Today:
"Somewhere in the world there is an epigram for every dilemma."
Hendrik Willem Van Loon, Dutch-born journalist and lecturer (1882-1944).

"Let's all be careful out there!"