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Today is Tuesday, December 13, the 347th day of 2022. There are 18 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On Dec. 13, 2000, Republican George W. Bush claimed the presidency a day after the US Supreme Court shut down further recounts of disputed ballots in Florida; Democrat Al Gore conceded, delivering a call for national unity.
On this date:
In 1862, Union forces led by Maj. Gen. Ambrose Burnside launched futile attacks against entrenched Confederate soldiers during the Civil War Battle of Fredericksburg; the soundly defeated Northern troops withdrew two days later.
In 1937, the Chinese city of Nanjing fell to Japanese forces during the Sino-Japanese War; what followed was a massacre of war prisoners, soldiers and citizens. (China maintains that up to 300,000 people were killed; Japanese nationalists say the death toll was far lower, and some maintain the massacre never happened.)
In 1981, authorities in Poland imposed martial law in a crackdown on the Solidarity labor movement. (Martial law formally ended in 1983.)
In 1993, the space shuttle Endeavour returned from its mission to repair the Hubble Space Telescope.
In 1996, the UN Security Council chose Kofi Annan (KOH’-fee AN’-nan) of Ghana to become the world body’s seventh secretary-general.
In 2001, the Pentagon publicly released a captured videotape of Osama bin Laden in which the al-Qaida leader said the deaths and destruction achieved by the September 11 attacks exceeded his “most optimistic” expectations.
In 2002, President George W. Bush announced he would take the smallpox vaccine along with US military forces, but was not recommending the potentially risky inoculation for most Americans.
In 2003, Saddam Hussein was captured by US forces while hiding in a hole under a farmhouse in Adwar, Iraq, near his hometown of Tikrit.
In 2007, Major League Baseball’s Mitchell Report was released, identifying 85 names to differing degrees in connection with the alleged use of performance-enhancing drugs.
In 2014, thousands of protesters marched in New York, Washington and other US cities to call attention to the killing of unarmed Black men by white police officers who faced no criminal charges.
In 2019, the House Judiciary Committee approved two articles of impeachment accusing President Donald Trump of abuse of power in his dealings with Ukraine and obstruction of Congress in the investigation that followed.
In 2020, the first vials of the Pfizer vaccine against COVID-19 began making their way to distribution sites across the United States.
Ten years ago:
UN Ambassador Susan Rice withdrew from consideration to replace outgoing Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton after running into opposition from Republicans over her explanation of the September attack on the US consulate in Benghazi, Libya, that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans. (Rice had said the attack stemmed from a spontaneous protest over an anti-Islamic video, an assertion which later proved incorrect.)
Five years ago:
Congressional Republicans reached agreement on a major overhaul of the nation’s tax laws that would provide generous tax cuts for corporations and the wealthiest Americans; middle- and low-income families would get smaller tax cuts. The New York Times published claims by three women that they had been raped by music mogul Russell Simmons in the 1980s and 1990s; Simmons denied the allegations.
One year ago:
The House panel investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection voted to pursue contempt charges against former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows; lawmakers also revealed a series of frantic texts he received as the attack was under way, in which members of Congress, Fox News anchors and even President Donald Trump’s son urged Meadows to push Trump to act quickly to stop the siege by his supporters. (The House voted to hold Meadows in contempt, but the Justice Department declined to prosecute.) The Air Force said it had discharged 27 people for refusing to get the COVID-19 vaccine; they were believed to be the first service members removed for disobeying the mandate to get the shots. The Supreme Court refused to halt a COVID-19 vaccine requirement for health care workers in New York that did not offer an exemption for religious reasons. The Biden administration released a federal strategy to build 500,000 charging stations for electric vehicles across the country and ultimately transform the US auto industry.
Actor-comedian Dick Van Dyke is 97. Country singer Buck White is 92. Music/film producer Lou Adler is 89. Singer John Davidson is 81. Actor Kathy Garver (TV: “Family Affair”) is 77. Singer Ted Nugent is 74. Rock musician Jeff “Skunk” Baxter is 74. Actor Robert Lindsay is 73. Country singer-musician Randy Owen is 73. Actor Wendie Malick is 72. U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack is 72. Former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke is 69. Country singer John Anderson is 68. Singer-songwriter Steve Forbert is 68. Singer-actor Morris Day is 66. Actor Steve Buscemi (boo-SEH’-mee) is 65. Actor Johnny Whitaker (TV: “Family Affair”) is 63. Rock musician John Munson (Semisonic; Twilight Hours) is 60. Actor-reality TV star NeNe Leakes is 56. Actor-comedian Jamie Foxx is 55. Actor Lusia Strus is 55. Actor Bart Johnson is 52. Actor Jeffrey Pierce is 51. TV personality Debbie Matenopoulos is 48. Rock singer-musician Thomas Delonge is 47. Actor James Kyson Lee is 47. Actor Kimee Balmilero (TV: “Hawaii Five-0”) is 43. Actor Chelsea Hertford is 41. Rock singer Amy Lee (Evanescence) is 41. Actor Michael Socha is 35. Actor Marcel Spears (TV: “The Mayor”) is 34. Singer Taylor Swift is 33. Actor Maisy Stella is 19.
Image credits: Asahi Shimbun via Wikimedia Commons