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December 21st

Source:     2008-06-22  我要投稿   论坛   Favorite  
Today's Highlight in History:
On December 21st, 1620, Pilgrims aboard the "Mayflower" went ashore for the first time at present-day Plymouth, Massachusetts.

On this date:
In 1898, scientists Pierre and Marie Curie discovered the radioactive element radium.

In 1913, the first crossword puzzle was published, in the New York "World."

In 1945, General George S. Patton died in Heidelberg, Germany, of injuries from a car accident.

In 1948, the state of Eire (formerly the Irish Free State) declared its independence.

In 1958, Charles de Gaulle was elected to a seven-year term as the first president of the Fifth Republic of France.

In 1968, "Apollo Eight" was launched on a mission to orbit the moon.

In 1971, the UN Security Council chose Kurt Waldheim to succeed U Thant as Secretary-General.

In 1991, eleven of the 12 former Soviet republics proclaimed the birth of the Commonwealth of Independent States.

In 1995, the city of Bethlehem passed from Israeli to Palestinian control.

In 1988, 270 people were killed when a terrorist bomb exploded aboard a Pam Am Boeing 747 over Lockerbie, Scotland, sending wreckage crashing to the ground.

Ten years ago: Romanian President Nicolae Ceausescu delivered what turned out to be his final public speech. The hard-line Communist ruler was visibly stunned as his listeners began booing. (Ceausescu fled from power and was executed four days later.)

Five years ago: A firebomb exploded on a crowded New York City subway train, injuring 48 people. (Unemployed computer programmer Edward Leary was later convicted of attempted murder.)

One year ago: Israel's parliament voted overwhelmingly for early elections, signaling the demise of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's ailing hard-line government. A Chinese court sentenced two dissidents (Xu Wenli, Wang Youcai) to long prison terms for trying to organize an opposition party.

"It is not necessary to understand things in order to argue about them."

-- Pierre Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais, French author and dramatist (1732-1799).







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