Today in History
Today is Friday, Dec. 9, the 344th day of 2016. There are 22 days left in the year.
Today's Highlight in History:
On Dec. 9, 1916, actor, author, producer and director Kirk Douglas, known for such movies as "The Bad and the Beautiful," ''Lust for Life," ''Gunfight at the O.K. Corral" and "Spartacus," to name only a few, was born Issur Danielovitch in Amsterdam, New York.
On this date:
In 1854, Alfred, Lord Tennyson's famous poem, "The Charge of the Light Brigade," was published in England.
In 1892, "Widowers' Houses," Bernard Shaw's first play, opened at the Royalty Theater in London.
In 1911, an explosion inside the Cross Mountain coal mine near Briceville, Tennessee, killed 84 workers. (Five were rescued.)
In 1935, the Downtown Athletic Club of New York honored college football player Jay Berwanger of the University of Chicago with the DAC Trophy, which later became known as the Heisman Trophy.
In 1940, British troops opened their first major offensive in North Africa during World War II.
In 1958, the anti-communist John Birch Society was formed in Indianapolis.
In 1962, the Petrified Forest in Arizona was designated a national park.
In 1965, Nikolai V. Podgorny replaced Anastas I. Mikoyan as chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet, a job he would hold for almost 12 years. "A Charlie Brown Christmas," the first animated TV special featuring characters from the "Peanuts" comic strip by Charles M. Schulz, was first broadcast on CBS.
In 1975, President Gerald R. Ford signed a $2.3 billion seasonal loan-authorization that officials of New York City and State said would prevent a city default.
In 1984, the five-day-old hijacking of a Kuwaiti jetliner that claimed the lives of two Americans ended as Iranian security men seized control of the plane, which was parked at Tehran airport.
In 1987, the first Palestinian intefadeh, or uprising, began as riots broke out in Gaza and spread to the West Bank, triggering a strong Israeli response.
In 1992, Britain's Prince Charles and Princess Diana announced their separation. (The couple's divorce became final Aug. 28, 1996.)
Ten years ago: Discovery lighted up the sky in the first nighttime space shuttle launch in four years. A fire broke out at a Moscow drug treatment hospital, killing 46 women trapped by barred windows and a locked gate. Ohio State quarterback Troy Smith won the Heisman Trophy. Singer Georgia Gibbs, who'd reached the top of the charts in the 1950s, died in New York City at age 87.
Five years ago: The European Union said 26 of its 27 member countries were open to joining a new treaty tying their finances together to solve the euro crisis; Britain remained opposed. A jury in New Haven, Connecticut, condemned Joshua Komisarjevsky (koh-mih-sahr-JEV'-skee) to death for killing a woman and her two daughters during a night of terror in their suburban Cheshire home. (The other defendant in the case, Steven Hayes, had also been condemned to death.) A fire at a hospital in Kolkata, India, claimed the lives of at least 93 people.
One year ago: Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel apologized for the 2014 police shooting of a black teenager during a special City Council meeting that he called to discuss a police abuse scandal at the center of the biggest crisis of his administration, and promised "complete and total" reform to restore trust in the police. A jury in Albuquerque, New Mexico, convicted a 20-year-old man of beating two homeless men to death with cinder blocks and other items as they slept in a vacant lot. The state of Georgia executed Brian Keith Terrell for murdering 70-year-old John Watson, a friend of his mother's, over forged checks.
Today's Birthdays: Actor Kirk Douglas is 100. Actor-writer Buck Henry is 86. Actress Dame Judi Dench is 82. Actor Beau Bridges is 75. Football Hall-of-Famer Dick Butkus is 74. Comedian-songwriter Neil Innes is 72. Actor Michael Nouri is 71. Former Sen. Thomas Daschle, D-S.D., is 69. World Golf Hall of Famer Tom Kite is 67. Singer Joan Armatrading is 66. Actor Michael Dorn is 64. Actor John Malkovich is 63. Country singer Sylvia is 60. Singer Donny Osmond is 59. Rock musician Nick Seymour (Crowded House) is 58. Comedian Mario Cantone is 57. Actor David Anthony Higgins is 55. Actor Joe Lando is 55. Actress Felicity Huffman is 54. Crown Princess Masako of Japan is 53. Country musician Jerry Hughes (Yankee Grey) is 51. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., is 50. Rock singer-musician Thomas Flowers (Oleander) is 49. Rock musician Brian Bell (Weezer) is 48. Rock singer-musician Jakob Dylan (Wallflowers) is 47. Country musician Brian Hayes (Cole Deggs and the Lonesome) is 47. Actress Allison Smith is 47. Songwriter and former "American Idol" judge Kara DioGuardi (dee-oh-GWAHR'-dee) is 46. Country singer David Kersh is 46. Actress Reiko (RAY'-koh) Aylesworth is 44. Rock musician Tre Cool (Green Day) is 44. Rapper Canibus is 42. Actor Kevin Daniels is 40. Actor/writer/director Mark Duplass is 40. Rock musician Eric Zamora (Save Ferris) is 40. Rock singer Imogen Heap is 39. Actor Jesse Metcalfe is 38. Actor Simon Helberg is 36. Actress Jolene Purdy is 33. Actor Joshua Sasse is 29. Actress Ashleigh Brewer (TV: "The Bold and the Beautiful") is 26. Olympic gold and silver medal gymnast McKayla Maroney is 21.
Thought for Today: "Give me the liberty to know, to utter, and to argue freely according to conscience, above all liberties." — John Milton, English poet (1608-1674).