Today in History


Today is Monday, Dec. 4, the 338th day of 2023. There are 27 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlights in History:

On Dec. 4, 1956, Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins gathered for the first and only time for a jam session at Sun Records in Memphis.

On this date:

In 1783, Gen. George Washington bade farewell to his Continental Army officers at Fraunces Tavern in New York.

In 1918, President Woodrow Wilson left Washington on a trip to France to attend the Versailles (vehr-SY’) Peace Conference.

In 1942, during World War II, U.S. bombers struck the Italian mainland for the first time in a raid on Naples.

In 1965, the United States launched Gemini 7 with Air Force Lt. Col. Frank Borman and Navy Cmdr. James A. Lovell aboard on a two-week mission. (While Gemini 7 was in orbit, its sister ship, Gemini 6A, was launched on Dec. 15 on a one-day mission; the two spacecraft were able to rendezvous within a foot of each other.)

In 1978, San Francisco got its first female mayor as City Supervisor Dianne Feinstein was named to replace the assassinated George Moscone.

In 1980, the bodies of four American churchwomen slain in El Salvador two days earlier were unearthed. (Five Salvadoran national guardsmen were later convicted of murdering nuns Ita Ford, Maura Clarke and Dorothy Kazel, and lay worker Jean Donovan.)

In 1986, both houses of Congress moved to establish special committees to conduct investigations of the Iran-Contra affair.

In 1992, President George H.W. Bush ordered American troops to lead a mercy mission to Somalia, threatening military action against warlords and gangs who were blocking food for starving millions.

In 1995, the first NATO troops landed in the Balkans to begin setting up a peace mission that brought American soldiers into the middle of the Bosnian conflict.

In 2000, in a pair of legal setbacks for Al Gore, a Florida state judge refused to overturn George W. Bush’s certified victory in Florida and the U.S. Supreme Court set aside a ruling that had allowed manual recounts.

In 2016, a North Carolina man armed with a rifle fired several shots inside Comet Ping Pong, a Washington, D.C., pizzeria, as he attempted to investigate an online conspiracy theory that prominent Democrats were harboring child sex slaves at the restaurant; no one was hurt, and the man surrendered to police. (He was later sentenced to four years in prison.)

In 2017, President Donald Trump scaled back two sprawling national monuments in Utah; it was the first time in a half century that a president had undone that type of public land protection.

In 2018, long lines of people wound through the Capitol Rotunda to view the casket of former President George H.W. Bush.

In 2021, CNN fired anchor Chris Cuomo less than a week after new information emerged about how he assisted his brother, former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, as the politician faced sexual harassment allegations earlier in the year.

Today’s Birthdays: Game show host Wink Martindale is 90. Pop singer Freddy Cannon is 87. Actor-producer Max Baer Jr. is 86. Actor Gemma Jones is 81. Rock musician Bob Mosley (Moby Grape) is 81. Singer-musician Chris Hillman is 79. Musician Terry Woods (The Pogues) is 76. Rock singer Southside Johnny Lyon is 75. Actor Jeff Bridges is 74. Actor Patricia Wettig is 72. Actor Tony Todd is 69. Jazz singer Cassandra Wilson is 68. Country musician Brian Prout (Diamond Rio) is 68. Rock singer Vinnie Dombroski (Sponge) is 61. Actor Marisa Tomei is 59. Actor Chelsea Noble is 59. Actor-comedian Fred Armisen is 57. Rapper Jay-Z is 54. Actor Kevin Sussman is 53. Actor-model Tyra Banks is 50. Country singer Lila McCann is 42. Actor Lindsay Felton is 39. Actor Orlando Brown is 36. MLB pitcher Joe Musgrove is 31. Actor Scarlett Estevez (TV: “Lucifer”) is 16.

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