Today is Thursday, Dec. 9, the 343rd day of 2021. There are 22 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Dec. 9, 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.

On this date:

In 1911, an explosion inside the Cross Mountain coal mine near Briceville, Tennessee, killed 84 workers. (Five were rescued.)

In 1917, British forces captured Jerusalem from the Ottoman Turks.

In 1958, the anti-communist John Birch Society was formed in Indianapolis.

In 1965, “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” the first animated TV special featuring characters from the “Peanuts” comic strip by Charles M. Schulz, premiered on CBS.

In 1990, Solidarity founder Lech Walesa 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 August 1996.)

In 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.

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.

Today’s Birthdays: Actor Dame Judi Dench is 87. Actor Beau Bridges is 80. Football Hall of Famer Dick Butkus is 79. World Golf Hall of Famer Tom Kite is 72. Singer Joan Armatrading is 71. Actor John Malkovich is 68. Country singer Sylvia is 65. Singer Donny Osmond is 64. Actor Felicity Huffman is 59. Rock singer-musician Jakob Dylan (Wallflowers) is 52. TV personality-businessperson Lori Greiner (TV: “Shark Tank”) is 52. Olympic gold and silver medal gymnast McKayla Maroney is 26. Olympic silver medal gymnast MyKayla Skinner is 25.