TODAY IN HISTORY


Today is Tuesday, Dec. 7, the 341st day of 2021. There are 24 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Dec. 7, 1941, the Empire of Japan launched an air raid on the U.S. Navy base at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii as well as targets in Malaya, Hong Kong, Guam, the Philippines and Wake Island; the United States declared war against Japan the next day.

On this date:

In 1787, Delaware became the first state to ratify the U.S. Constitution.

In 1909, chemist Leo H. Baekeland received a U.S. patent for Bakelite, the first synthetic plastic.

In 1917, during World War I, the United States declared war on Austria-Hungary.

In 1946, fire broke out at the Winecoff Hotel in Atlanta; the blaze killed 119 people, including hotel founder W. Frank Winecoff.

In 1972, America’s last moon mission to date was launched as Apollo 17 blasted off from Cape Canaveral.

In 1987, 43 people were killed after a gunman aboard a Pacific Southwest Airlines jetliner in California apparently opened fire on a fellow passenger, the pilots and himself, causing the plane to crash. Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev set foot on American soil for the first time, arriving for a Washington summit with President Ronald Reagan.

In 1988, a major earthquake in the Soviet Union devastated northern Armenia; official estimates put the death toll at 25-thousand.

In 2018, the man who drove his car into counterprotesters at a 2017 white nationalist rally in Virginia was convicted of first-degree murder; a state jury rejected defense arguments that James Alex Fields Jr. acted in self-defense.

Today’s Birthdays: Linguist and political philosopher Noam Chomsky is 93. Actor Ellen Burstyn is 89. Baseball Hall of Famer Johnny Bench is 74. Country singer Gary Morris is 73. Singer-songwriter Tom Waits is 72. Sen. Susan M. Collins, R-Maine, is 69. Basketball Hall of Famer Larry Bird is 65. Former NFL player Terrell Owens is 48. Singer Aaron Carter is 34.