TODAY IN HISTORY


Today is Wednesday, Dec. 8, the 342nd day of 2021. There are 23 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Dec. 8, 1941, the United States entered World War II as Congress declared war against Imperial Japan, a day after the attack on Pearl Harbor.

On this date:

In 1813, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7 in A Major, Op. 92, was first performed in Vienna, with Beethoven himself conducting.

In 1886, the American Federation of Labor was founded in Columbus, Ohio.

In 1949, the Chinese Nationalist government moved from the Chinese mainland to Formosa as the Communists pressed their attacks.

In 1972, a United Airlines Boeing 737 crashed while attempting to land at Chicago-Midway Airport, killing 43 of the 61 people on board, as well as two people on the ground; among the dead were Dorothy Hunt, wife of Watergate conspirator E. Howard Hunt, U.S. Rep. George W. Collins, D-Ill., and CBS News correspondent Michele Clark.

In 1980, rock star and former Beatle John Lennon was shot to death outside his New York City apartment building by Mark David Chapman.

In 1987, President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev signed a treaty at the White House calling for destruction of intermediate-range nuclear missiles.

In 2001, the U.S. Capitol was reopened to tourists after a two-month security shutdown.

In 2008, in a startling about-face, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed told the Guantanamo war crimes tribunal he would confess to masterminding the Sept. 11 attacks; four other men also abandoned their defenses.

In 2014, the U.S. and NATO ceremonially ended their combat mission in Afghanistan, 13 years after the Sept. 11 terror attacks sparked their invasion of the country to topple the Taliban-led government.

Today’s Birthdays: Flutist James Galway is 82. Singer Jerry Butler is 82. Actor Kim Basinger is 68. Political commentator Ann Coulter is 60. Actor Teri Hatcher is 57. Singer Sinead O’Connor (AKA Shuhada’ Davitt) is 55. Actor Matthew Laborteaux is 55. Baseball Hall of Famer Mike Mussina is 53.