Today in History – December 1

• 1824, since no candidate had received a majority of the total electoral college votes in the election, the United States House of Representatives is given the task of deciding the winner in accordance with the Twelfth Amendment to the United States Constitution

• 1864, in his State of the Union Address President Abraham Lincoln reaffirms the necessity of ending slavery as ordered ten weeks earlier in the Emancipation Proclamation

• 1891, the game of basketball was invented when James Naismith, a physical education teacher at the International YMCA Training School in Springfield, Mass., put peach baskets at the opposite ends of the gym and gave students soccer balls to toss into them

• 1903, the world’s first drive-in gasoline station opened for business in Pittsburgh

• 1904, the Louisiana Purchase Exposition in St. Louis closed after seven months and some 20 million visitors

• 1913, the Ford Motor Company introduces the first moving assembly line. ALSO: The first drive-in automobile service station, built by Gulf Refining Company, opened in Pittsburgh

• 1943, ending a “Big Three” meeting in Tehran, U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Russian Premier Josef Stalin pledged a concerted effort to defeat Nazi Germany

• 1955, Rosa Parks, a black woman, was arrested in Montgomery, Ala., for refusing to give up her seat to a white man on a city bus, signaling, along with its resulting bus boycott and related events, the birth of the modern civil rights movement

• 1959, opening date for signature of the Antarctic Treaty, which sets aside Antarctica as a scientific preserve and bans military activity on the continent

• 1964, during the Vietnam War: President Lyndon B. Johnson and his top-ranking advisers meet to discuss plans to bomb North Vietnam

• 1969, during the Vietnam War: The first draft lottery in the United States is held since World War II

• 1982, at the University of Utah, Barney Clark becomes the first person to receive a permanent artificial heart

• 1990, Channel Tunnel sections started from the United Kingdom and France meet 40 metres beneath the seabed

• 1992, in Mineola, New York, Amy Fisher was sentenced to five to 15 years in prison for shooting and seriously wounding Mary Jo Buttafuoco. (Fisher served seven years.)

• 1998, Exxon announces a $73.7 billion deal to buy Mobil, thus creating Exxon-Mobil, the world’s largest company

• 2000, Vicente Fox was sworn in as president of Mexico, ending 71 years of ruling-party domination

• 2001, two practitioners of that “religion of peace” blew themselves up in back-to-back explosions at a downtown Jerusalem pedestrian mall, killing 11 bystanders

• 2008, the Dow Jones industrial average dropped 680 points after the National Bureau of Economic Research announced that the United States has been in recession since December 2007 and the release of a report indicating that U.S. manufacturing hit a 26-year low

• 2009, President Barack Obama ordered 30,000 more U.S. troops into the war in Afghanistan but promised during a speech to cadets at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point to begin withdrawal in 18 months

• 2010, President Barack Obama’s bipartisan deficit commission unveiled its recommendations including lower income taxes, fewer tax breaks and higher age for retirement benefits (however, the panel failed to advance the package to Congress two days later by a vote of 11 in favor, 7 against, falling short of the 14 votes needed).


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