Today in History
Today is Friday, December 23, the 357th day of 2022. There are eight days left in the year.
Highlight in today’s history:
On December 23, 1788, Maryland passed a law to cede an area “not larger than ten miles square” for the seat of the national government; about two-thirds of the area became the District of Columbia.
At this date:
In 1783, George Washington resigned as commander-in-chief of the Continental Army and retired to his home in Mount Vernon, Virginia.
In 1823 the poem “Account of a Visit from St. Nicholas” was published in the Troy (New York) Sentinel; the verse, more popularly known as “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas”, was later credited to Clement C. Moore.
In 1913, the Federal Reserve System was created when President Woodrow Wilson signed the Federal Reserve Act.
In 1941, during World War II, American forces on Wake Island surrendered to the Japanese.
In 1948, former Japanese Prime Minister Hideki Tojo and six other Japanese war leaders were executed in Tokyo.
In 1954, the first successful human kidney transplant took place at Peter Bent Brigham Hospital in Boston, when a surgical team removed a kidney from 23-year-old Ronald Herrick and implanted it in Herrick’s twin brother, Richard.
In 1968, 82 crew members of the US intelligence vessel Pueblo were released by North Korea, eleven months after being captured.
In 1972, an earthquake measuring 6.2 on the Richter scale struck Nicaragua; the disaster claimed some 5,000 lives.
In 1986, the experimental Voyager aircraft piloted by Dick Rutan (ruh-TAN’) and Jeana (JEE’-nuh) Yeager completed the first non-stop, unrefueled flight around the world when it returned safely to Edwards. California Air Force Base.
In 1997, a federal jury in Denver convicted Terry Nichols of involuntary manslaughter and conspiracy for his role in the Oklahoma City bombing, and declined to find him guilty of murder. (Nichols was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.)
In 2003, a jury in Chesapeake, Virginia, sentenced teenage sniper Lee Boyd Malvo to life in prison, sparing him the death penalty.
In 2016, the United States allowed the UN Security Council to condemn Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem as a “flagrant violation” of international law; the decision to abstain from the council’s 14-0 vote was one of the largest U.S. rebukes of its longtime ally in recent memory.
Ten years ago: President Barack Obama, Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie and other dignitaries attended a memorial service for the late Senator Daniel Inouye at Honolulu’s National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific. Jean Harris, the headmistress of the Patrician Girls’ High School who served 12 years in prison for the 1980 murder of her longtime lover, Doctor Herman Tarnower, “Scarsdale Diet,” died in New Haven, Connecticut, at the age of 89.
Five years ago: The top leadership of the Miss America Organization resigned amid an email scandal in which pageant officials ridiculed previous winners for their looks and intellect and speculated about their sex lives. A federal judge in Seattle partially lifted a Trump administration ban on certain refugees after two groups claimed the policy prevented people from some predominantly Muslim countries from reuniting with family legally residing in the United States.
A year ago: Kim Potter, a white police officer in a Minneapolis suburb who said she confused her gun with her taser, was convicted of manslaughter in the death of a young black man, Daunte Wright, during a traffic stop. (Potter would be sentenced to two years in prison.) A 14-year-old girl, Valentina Orellana-Peralta, was fatally shot by the Los Angeles Police Department when officers fired at an assault suspect and a bullet went through the wall and the girl struck as she was in the dressing room of a clothing store; the attack suspect was also killed. Joan Didion, the respected author and essayist known for her provocative social commentary and aloof, methodical literary voice, passed away at age 87; her publisher said Didion died of complications from Parkinson’s disease.
Today’s Birthdays: Actor Ronnie Schell is 91. Former Emperor Akihito of Japan is 89. Actor Frederic Forrest is 86. Rock musician Jorma Kaukonen (YOR’-mah KOW’-kah-nen) is 82. Actor-comedian Harry Shearer is 79. US Army Gen. Wesley K. Clark (ret.) is 78. Actor Susan Lucci is 76. Singer-musician Adrian Belew is 73. Rock musician Dave Murray (Iron Maiden) is 66. Actor Joan Severance is 64. Singer Terry Weeks is 59. Rock singer Eddie Vedder (Pearl Jam) is 58. The former first lady of France, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, is 55. Rock musician Jamie Murphy is 47. Jazz musician Irvin Mayfield is 45. Actor Estella Warren is 44. Actor Elvy Yost is 35. Actor Anna Maria Perez de Tagle (TAG’-lee) is 32. Actor Spencer Daniels is 30. Actor Caleb Foote is 29.