Dec. 14: George Washington Dies 1799; Capture of Saddam Hussein 2003

VIDEO: Panama Canal Ceremony

1799 George Washington Dies

George Washington served as the first President of the United States of America. Washington died on Dec. 14, 1799. (SuperStock/Getty Images)

George Washington, the first president of the United States of America, died at his home in Mount Vernon, Va., on Dec. 14, 1799.  Washington had been elected as the nation's first president because of the leadership he displayed as a commander during the Revolutionary War.  He left office in 1797 after serving two terms.  Washington died from a respiratory infection he contracted while riding out for business purposes during a sleet storm.

Also on This Day:

1999 Panama Canal Ceremony

Former President Jimmy Carter attended a ceremony to give control of the canal to Panama.  Power over the canal officially transferred over from the U.S. to Panama on Dec. 31, 1999.

2003 Saddam Hussein Captured

U.S. forces found Saddam Hussein disoriented, hiding in "spider hole" in the ground not far from his hometown of Tikrit. Throughout Iraq people spilled into the streets cheering and celebrating.

During a news conference detailing the mission, U.S. Army Gen. Ray Odierno said, "I think it's rather ironic that he was in a hole in the ground across the river from these great palaces that he's built where he robbed all the money from the Iraqi people."

President Bush commented on the capture of Saddam Hussein, stating that the former Iraqi dictator would face justice.  Bush said, "The capture of this man was crucial to the rise of a free Iraq."

Following criminal trial, Saddam Hussein was sentenced to death by hanging.  He was executed on Dec. 30, 2006.

2008 Shoes Thrown at President Bush in Iraq

An Iraqi reporter threw his shoes at President Bush during a press conference.

Famous Birthdays

1946 Patty Duke

1948 Dee Wallace

1988 Vanessa Hudgens

Jump back to Dec. 13: Day in History.

View more videos from This Month in History: December.

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