Today in History – December 9

1594 – Gustavus II of Sweden was born.

1608 – English poet John Milton was born in London.

1625 – The Treaty of the Hague was signed by England and the Netherlands. The agreement was to subsidize Christian IV of Denmark in his campaign in Germany.

1783 – The first executions at Newgate Prison took place.

1793 – “The American Minerva” was published for the first time. It was the first daily newspaper in New York City and was founded by Noah Webster.

1803 – The 12th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was passed by the U.S. Congress. With the amendment Electors were directed to vote for a President and for a Vice-President rather than for two choices for President.

1848 – American author and creator of “Uncle Remus and Brer Rabbit,” Joel Chandler Harris was born.

1854 – Alfred Lord Tennyson’s poem, “The Charge of the Light Brigade,” was published in England.

1879 – Thomas Edison organized the Edison Ore Milling Company.

1884 – Levant M. Richardson received a patent for the ball-bearing roller skate.

1892 – In London, “Widowers’ Houses,” George Bernard Shaw’s first play, opened at the Royalty Theater.

1907 – Christmas Seals went on sale for the first time, in the Wilmington, DE, post office.

1926 – The United States Golf Association legalized the use of steel-shafted golf clubs.

1914 – The Edison Phonograph Works was destroyed by fire.

1917 – Turkish troops surrendered Jerusalem to British troops led by Viscount Allenby.

1940 – During World War II, British troops opened their first major offensive in North Africa.

1940 – The Longines Watch Company signed for the first FM radio advertising contract with experimental station W2XOR in New York City.

1941 – China declared war on Japan, Germany and Italy.

1942 – The Aram Khachaturian ballet “Gayane” was first performed by the Kirov Ballet.

1955 – Sugar Ray Robinson knocked out Carl Olson and regained his world middleweight boxing title.

1958 – In Indianapolis, IN, Robert H.W. Welch Jr. and 11 other men met to form the anti-Communist John Birch Society.

1960 – Sperry Rand Corporation unveiled a new computer, known as “Univac 1107.”

1960 – The first episode of “Coronation Street” was screened on ITV.

1962 – “Lawrence of Arabia,” by David Lean had its world premiere in London.

1965 – Nikolai V. Podgorny replaced Anastas I. Mikoyan as president of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet.

1975 – U.S. President Gerald R. Ford signed a $2.3 billion seasonal loan authorization to prevent New York City from having to default.

1978 – The first game of the Women’s Pro Basketball League (WBL) was played between the Chicago Hustle and the Milwaukee Does.

1983 – NATO foreign ministers called on the Soviet Union to join in a “comprehensive political dialogue” to ease tensions in the world.

1984 – Iranian security men seized control of the plane ending a five-day hijacking of a Kuwaiti jetliner, which was parked at the Tehran airport.

1985 – In Argentina, five former military junta members received sentences in prison for their roles in the “dirty war” in which nearly 9,000 people had “disappeared.”

1987 – West Bank Palestinians launched an intifada (uprising) against Israeli occupation.

1987 – In the Gaza Strip, an Israeli patrol attacked the Jabliya refugee camp.

1990 – Lech Walesa won Poland’s first direct presidential election in the country’s history.

1990 – Slobodan Milosovic was elected president in Serbia’s first free elections in 50 years.

1990 – The first American hostages to be released by Iraq began arriving in the U.S.

1991 – European Community leaders agreed to begin using a single currency in 1999.

1992 – Britain’s Prince Charles and Princess Diana announced their separation.

1992 – Clair George, former CIA spy chief, was convicted of lying to the U.S. Congress about the Iran-Contra affair. U.S. President George H.W. Bush later pardoned George.

1992 – U.S. troops arrived in Mogadishu, Somalia, to oversee delivery of international food aid, in operation ‘Restore Hope’.

1993 – The U.S. Air Force destroyed the first of 500 Minuteman II missile silos that were marked for elimination under an arms control treaty.

1993 – Astronauts aboard the space shuttle Endeavor completed repairs to the Hubble Space Telescope.

1993 – At Princeton University in New Jersey, scientists produced a controlled fusion reaction equivalent to 3 million watts.

1994 – Representatives of the Irish Republican Army and the British government opened peace talks in Northern Ireland.

1994 – U.S. President Clinton fired Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders after learning that she had told a conference that masturbation should be discussed in school as a part of human sexuality.

1996 – UN Secretary General Boutros-Ghali approved a deal allowing Iraq to resume its exports of oil and easing the UN trade embargo imposed on Iraq in 1990.

1999 – The U.S. announced that it was expelling a Russian diplomat that had been caught gathering information with an eavesdropping device at the U.S. State Department.

2002 – United Airlines filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy after losing $4 billion in the previos two years. It was the sixth largest bankruptcy filing.

2003 – In Australia, thieves broke into a home and stole two 300-year-old etchings by Rembrandt. The 4-by-4-inch etchings, a self-portait and a depiction of the artist’s mother, were valued around $518,000.

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