Today in History

AP News
Posted: Dec 06, 2011 12:00 AM
Today in History

Today is Tuesday, Dec. 6, the 340th day of 2011. There are 25 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On Dec. 6, 1921, the Anglo-Irish Treaty, which established the Irish Free State, was signed in London. (The treaty came into force one year later on this date.)

On this date:

In 1790, Congress moved to Philadelphia from New York.

In 1884, Army engineers completed construction of the Washington Monument by setting an aluminum capstone atop the obelisk.

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 1947, Everglades National Park in Florida was dedicated by President Harry S. Truman.

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

In 1960, nearly 9 million acres of Alaska was set aside as an Arctic National Wildlife Range by order of Interior Secretary Fred A. Seaton.

In 1971, the original Auto-Train, which carried rail passengers and their motor vehicles from Lorton, Va., to Sanford, Fla., went into operation. (Although the privately owned line went out of business in 1981, Amtrak revived the service in 1983.)

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: The House of Representatives, by a one-vote margin, gave President George W. Bush more power to negotiate global trade deals. President Bush dedicated the national Christmas tree to those who had died on Sept. 11 and to service members who had died in the line of duty. Yasser Arafat's intensified crackdown on Islamic militants met angry resistance as 1,500 Hamas supporters battled Palestinian riot police outside the home of the group's leader.

Five years ago: The bipartisan Iraq Study Group concluded that President George W. Bush's war policies had failed in almost every regard, and said the situation in Iraq was "grave and deteriorating." The Senate voted, 95-2, to confirm Robert Gates as defense secretary. Searchers found the body of San Francisco resident James Kim in the Oregon mountains, two days after his wife and two daughters were rescued from their car (Kim had set out on foot to find help for his family).

One year ago: President Barack Obama announced a compromise with the GOP to extend Bush-era income tax cuts despite Democratic objections; the agreement included renewing unemployment benefits and reducing Social Security taxes for one year. Talks between Iran and six world powers recessed with no sign Tehran was ready to discuss U.N. Security Council calls to curb its nuclear activity. Pat Gillick, whose teams won three World Series titles in 27 years as a major league general manager, was elected to baseball's Hall of Fame by the Veterans Committee.

Today's Birthdays: Jazz musician Dave Brubeck is 91. Comedy performer David Ossman is 75. Actor Patrick Bauchau is 73. Country singer Helen Cornelius is 70. Actor James Naughton is 66. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood is 66. Rhythm-and-blues singer Frankie Beverly (Maze) is 65. Former Sen. Don Nickles, R-Okla., is 63. Actress JoBeth Williams is 63. Actor Tom Hulce is 58. Actor Kin Shriner is 58. Actor Wil Shriner is 58. Actor Miles Chapin is 57. Rock musician Rick Buckler (The Jam) is 56. Comedian Steven Wright is 56. Country singer Bill Lloyd is 56. Singer Tish Hinojosa is 56. Rock musician Peter Buck (R.E.M.) is 55. Rock musician David Lovering (Pixies) is 50. Actress Janine Turner is 49. Rock musician Ben Watt (Everything But The Girl) is 49. Writer-director Judd Apatow is 44. Rock musician Ulf "Buddha" Ekberg (Ace of Base) is 41. Writer-director Craig Brewer is 40. Actress Colleen Haskell is 35. Actress Lindsay Price is 35. Actress Ashley Madekwe (TV: "Revenge") is 30. Christian rock musician Jacob Chesnut (Rush of Fools) is 22.

Thought for Today: "Americans have always been able to handle austerity and even adversity. Prosperity is what is doing us in." _ James Reston, American journalist (born 1909, died this date in 1995).

(Above Advance for Use Tuesday, Dec. 6)

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