TODAY IN HISTORY


Today is Wednesday, Dec. 22, the 356th day of 2021. There are nine days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Dec. 22, 2010, President Barack Obama signed a law allowing gays for the first time in history to serve openly in America’s military, repealing the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy.

On this date:

In 1894, French army officer Alfred Dreyfus was convicted of treason in a court-martial that triggered worldwide charges of anti-Semitism. (Dreyfus was eventually vindicated.)

In 1941, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill arrived in Washington for a wartime conference with President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

In 1944, during the World War II Battle of the Bulge, U.S. Brig. Gen. Anthony C. McAuliffe rejected a German demand for surrender, writing “Nuts!” in his official reply.

In 1984, New York City resident Bernhard Goetz shot and wounded four youths on a Manhattan subway, claiming they were about to rob him.

In 1989, Romanian President Nicolae Ceausescu, the last of Eastern Europe’s hard-line Communist rulers, was toppled from power in a popular uprising.

In 1991, the body of Marine Lt. Col. William R. Higgins, an American hostage slain by his terrorist captors, was recovered after it had been dumped along a highway in Lebanon.

In 2001, Richard C. Reid, a passenger on an American Airlines flight from Paris to Miami, tried to ignite explosives in his shoes, but was subdued by flight attendants and fellow passengers. (Reid is serving a life sentence in federal prison.)

Today’s Birthdays: Actor Hector Elizondo is 85. Baseball Hall of Famer Steve Carlton is 77. Former ABC News anchor Diane Sawyer is 76. Rock singer-musician Rick Nielsen (Cheap Trick) is 73. Baseball All-Star Steve Garvey is 73. Golfer Jan Stephenson is 70. Rapper Luther “Luke” Campbell is 61. Actor Ralph Fiennes is 59. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, is 51. R&B singer Jordin Sparks is 32.