Today in History
Today is Friday, Dec. 23, the 357th day of 2022. There are eight days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On Dec. 23, 1788, Maryland passed an act to cede an area “not exceeding ten miles square” for the seat of the national government; about two-thirds of the area became the District of Columbia.
On this date:
In 1783, George Washington resigned as commander in chief of the Continental Army and retired to his home at Mount Vernon, Virginia.
In 1823, the poem “Account of a Visit from St. Nicholas” was published in the Troy (New York) Sentinel; the verse, more popularly known as ”‘Twas the Night Before Christmas,” was later attributed to Clement C. Moore.
In 1913, the Federal Reserve System was created as President Woodrow Wilson signed the Federal Reserve Act.
In 1941, during World War II, American forces on Wake Island surrendered to the Japanese.
In 1948, former Japanese premier Hideki Tojo and six other Japanese war leaders were executed in Tokyo.
In 1954, the first successful human kidney transplant took place at the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital in Boston as a surgical team removed a kidney from 23-year-old Ronald Herrick and implanted it in Herrick’s twin brother, Richard.
In 1968, 82 crew members of the U.S. intelligence ship Pueblo were released by North Korea, 11 months after they had been captured.
In 1972, a 6.2-magnitude earthquake struck Nicaragua; the disaster claimed some 5,000 lives.
In 1986, the experimental airplane Voyager, piloted by Dick Rutan (ruh-TAN’) and Jeana (JEE’-nuh) Yeager, completed the first non-stop, non-refueled round-the-world flight as it returned safely to Edwards Air Force Base in California.
In 1997, a federal jury in Denver convicted Terry Nichols of involuntary manslaughter and conspiracy for his role in the Oklahoma City bombing, declining to find him guilty of murder. (Nichols was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.)
In 2003, a jury in Chesapeake, Virginia, sentenced teen sniper Lee Boyd Malvo to life in prison, sparing him the death penalty.
In 2016, the United States allowed the U.N. Security Council to condemn Israeli settlements in the West Bank and east Jerusalem as a “flagrant violation” of international law; the decision to abstain from the council’s 14-0 vote was one of the biggest American rebukes of its longstanding ally in recent memory.
Ten years ago: President Barack Obama, Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie and other dignitaries attended a memorial service for the late Sen. Daniel Inouye at Honolulu’s National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific. Jean Harris, the patrician girls’ school headmistress who spent 12 years in prison for the 1980 killing of her longtime lover, “Scarsdale Diet” doctor Herman Tarnower, died in New Haven, Connecticut, at age 89.
Five years ago: The top leadership of the Miss America Organization resigned amid a scandal over emails in which pageant officials had ridiculed past winners over their appearance and intellect and speculated about their sex lives. A federal judge in Seattle partially lifted a Trump administration ban on certain refugees after two groups argued that the policy kept people from some mostly Muslim countries from reuniting with family living legally in the United States.
One year ago: Kim Potter, a white suburban Minneapolis police officer who said she confused her handgun for her Taser, was convicted of manslaughter in the death of a young Black man, Daunte Wright, during a traffic stop. (Potter would be sentenced to two years in prison.) A 14-year-old girl, Valentina Orellana-Peralta, was fatally shot by Los Angeles police when officers fired on an assault suspect and a bullet went through the wall and struck the girl as she was in a clothing store dressing room; the assault suspect was also killed. Joan Didion, the revered author and essayist known for her provocative social commentary and detached, methodical literary voice, died at 87; her publisher said Didion died from complications from Parkinson’s disease.
Today’s Birthdays: Actor Ronnie Schell is 91. Former Emperor Akihito of Japan is 89. Actor Frederic Forrest is 86. Rock musician Jorma Kaukonen (YOR’-mah KOW’-kah-nen) is 82. Actor-comedian Harry Shearer is 79. U.S. Army Gen. Wesley K. Clark (ret.) is 78. Actor Susan Lucci is 76. Singer-musician Adrian Belew is 73. Rock musician Dave Murray (Iron Maiden) is 66. Actor Joan Severance is 64. Singer Terry Weeks is 59. Rock singer Eddie Vedder (Pearl Jam) is 58. The former first lady of France, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, is 55. Rock musician Jamie Murphy is 47. Jazz musician Irvin Mayfield is 45. Actor Estella Warren is 44. Actor Elvy Yost is 35. Actor Anna Maria Perez de Tagle (TAG’-lee) is 32. Actor Spencer Daniels is 30. Actor Caleb Foote is 29.