Today In History, Wednesday, December 9th


Today is Wednesday, Dec. 9, the 344th day of 2020. There are 22 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On Dec. 9, 2000, the U-S Supreme Court ordered a temporary halt in the Florida vote count on which Al Gore pinned his best hopes of winning the White House.
On this date:
In 1854, Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s famous poem, “The Charge of the Light Brigade,” was published in England.
In 1911, an explosion inside the Cross Mountain coal mine near Briceville, Tennessee, killed 84 workers. (Five were rescued.)
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, the James Bond film “Thunderball,” starring Sean Connery, had its world premiere in Tokyo.
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 1990, Solidarity founder Lech Walesa (lek vah-WEN’-sah) won Poland’s presidential runoff by a landslide.
In 1992, Britain’s Prince Charles and Princess Diana announced their separation. (The couple’s divorce became final in Aug. 1996.)
In 2001, the United States disclosed the existence of a videotape in which Osama bin Laden said he was pleasantly surprised by the extent of damage from the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
In 2013, scientists revealed that NASA’s Curiosity rover had uncovered signs of an ancient freshwater lake on Mars.
In 2014, U.S. Senate investigators concluded the United States had brutalized scores of terror suspects with interrogation tactics that turned secret CIA prisons into chambers of suffering and did nothing to make Americans safer after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.
Ten years ago: In Britain’s worst political violence in years, student protesters rained sticks and rocks on riot police, vandalized government buildings and attacked a car carrying Prince Charles and his wife, Camilla, after lawmakers approved a controversial hike in university tuition fees. Actor Wesley Snipes began serving a three-year sentence at a federal prison in Pennsylvania for failure to file income tax returns. Florida’s Clemency Board pardoned Jim Morrison for indecent exposure and profanity charges stemming from a Doors concert in 1969. John du Pont, the chemical fortune heir who killed Olympic gold medal wrestler David Schultz in 1996, died in prison at age 72.
Five years 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.
One year ago: At a hearing by the House Judiciary Committee, Democrats outlined the impeachment case against President Donald Trump by saying his push to get Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden while withholding U.S. military aid ran counter to U.S. policy and benefited Russia as well as himself. A long-awaited report from the Justice Department’s internal watchdog said the FBI was justified in opening its investigation into ties between the Trump presidential campaign and Russia. A volcano on New Zealand’s White Island erupted as 47 people visited the tourist destination; the eruption killed 13 people initially and eight more died later from severe burns. The Supreme Court left in place a Kentucky law requiring doctors to perform ultrasounds and show images to patients before abortions. Former college baseball player Pete Frates, whose battle with Lou Gehrig’s disease helped inspire the ice bucket challenge, died at 34. (The challenge raised more than $200 million worldwide for research into ALS.)
Today’s Birthdays: Actor Dame Judi Dench is 86. Actor Beau Bridges is 79. Football Hall of Famer Dick Butkus is 78. Actor Michael Nouri is 75. Former Sen. Thomas Daschle, D-S.D., is 73. World Golf Hall of Famer Tom Kite is 71. Singer Joan Armatrading is 70. Actor Michael Dorn is 68. Actor John Malkovich is 67. Country singer Sylvia is 64. Singer Donny Osmond is 63. Rock musician Nick Seymour (Crowded House) is 62. Comedian Mario Cantone is 61. Actor David Anthony Higgins is 59. Actor Joe Lando is 59. Actor Felicity Huffman is 58. Empress Masako of Japan is 57. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., is 54. Rock singer-musician Thomas Flowers (Oleander) is 53. Rock musician Brian Bell (Weezer) is 52. Rock singer-musician Jakob Dylan (Wallflowers) is 51. TV personality-businessperson Lori Greiner (TV: “Shark Tank”) is 51. Actor Allison Smith is 51. Songwriter and former “American Idol” judge Kara DioGuardi (dee-oh-GWAHR’-dee) is 50. Country singer David Kersh is 50. Actor Reiko (RAY’-koh) Aylesworth is 48. Rock musician Tre Cool (Green Day) is 48. Rapper Canibus is 46. Actor Kevin Daniels is 44. Actor-writer-director Mark Duplass is 44. Rock singer Imogen Heap is 43. Actor Jesse Metcalfe is 42. Actor Simon Helberg is 40. Actor Jolene Purdy is 37. Actor Joshua Sasse is 33. Actor Ashleigh Brewer is 30. Olympic gold and silver medal gymnast McKayla Maroney is 25.