TODAY IN HISTORY


Today is Friday, Dec. 4, the 339th day of 2020. There are 27 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlights in History:

On Dec. 4, 1783, Gen. George Washington bade farewell to his Continental Army officers at Fraunces Tavern in New York.

On this date:

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 with a raid on Naples. President Franklin D. Roosevelt ordered the dismantling of the Works Progress Administration, which had been created to provide jobs during the Depression.

In 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.

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

In 1991, Associated Press correspondent Terry Anderson, the longest held of the Western hostages in Lebanon, was released after nearly seven years in captivity.

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 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 2018, long lines of people wound through the Capitol Rotunda to view the casket of former President George H.W. Bush; former Sen. Bob Dole steadied himself out of his wheelchair to salute his old friend and one-time rival.

Today’s Birthdays: Game show host Wink Martindale is 87. Pop singer Freddy Cannon is 84. Actor-producer Max Baer Jr. is 83. Actor Jeff Bridges is 71. Rock musician Gary Rossington (Lynyrd Skynyrd; the Rossington Collins Band) is 69. Actor Marisa Tomei is 56. Actor Chelsea Noble is 56. Actor-comedian Fred Armisen is 54. Rapper Jay-Z is 51. Actor-model Tyra Banks is 47.