Today in History – Friday December 4, 2015


Today is Friday, December 4, the 338th day of 2015. There are 27 days left in the year.

Highlights in history on this date:

1586 – England’s Queen Elizabeth I confirms death sentence against Mary Queen of Scots.

1619 – The first Thanksgiving celebration takes place in America at the Berkley plantation in Virginia.

1691 – Hapsburgs re-conquer Transylvania and are recognized as its rulers.

1842 – Spanish soldier-politician Baldomero Espartero bombards Barcelona and crushes revolt.

1851 – Louis Napoleon crushes workers’ rebellion in France.

1877 – Thomas Edison invents the phonograph in his New Jersey laboratory at Menlo Park.

1893 – British and French reach an agreement on Siam — now Thailand.

1908 – London naval conference fails to regulate conditions of warfare.

1962 – Hundreds of Muslim and European opponents of the Ben Bella government in Algeria are arrested.

1971 – Indian troops, tanks and planes launch attacks in East Pakistan — now Bangladesh, and hit key airfields in West Pakistan, which is now Pakistan.

1972 – Government of Honduras is overthrown in military coup.

1977 – Iraq walks out on Arab meeting in Tripoli, breaking united front against Egypt’s peace moves with Israel.

1980 – The bodies of four American nuns slain in El Salvador two days earlier are found. Five national guardsmen are later convicted of the murders.

1989 – Following his shipboard summit with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, U.S. President George H.W. Bush says it is too soon to declare the Cold War over.

1990 – Iraq says it will release 3,000 Soviets still held hostage in that country but wants compensation.

1991 – AP Middle East Correspondent Terry Anderson is freed by Shiite Muslim captors in Lebanon after nearly seven years as a hostage.

1995 – The first NATO troops land in the Balkans to begin setting up a peace mission.

1996 – NASA launches a spacecraft to Mars carrying the first-ever interplanetary rover, a six-wheeled cart that will roam the frigid Martian surface in search of rocks.

1999 – Following a week dominated by protests by opponents of the World Trade Organization, the push for new global trade talks collapses at the WTO session in Seattle.

2001 – The ex-wife of former South African President F. W. de Klerk, Marike de Klerk, is found murdered in her home near Cape Town.

2002 – Indonesian police arrest a Muslim cleric, Ali Ghufron, also known as Mukhlas, whom they suspected of masterminding a bombing on the island of Bali that killed nearly 200 people in October.

2006 – The Guayana Shield region, a swath of Amazon rain forest, is placed under government protection in a region infamous for violent conflicts among loggers, ranchers and environmentalists.

2007 – Syrian archaeologists announce they have unearthed two Bronze-era cemeteries dating from the 18th century B.C., the third set of ancient graveyards found in less than a month.

2009 – An explosion apparently caused by pyrotechnics tears through a nightclub in the Russian city of Perm, killing more than 100 people.

2011 — IItalian Premier Mario Monti says his government of technocrats has approved a package of austerity and growth measures worth euro30 billion to “reawaken” the Italian economy and help save the euro common currency from collapse.

2012 — A protest by at least 100,000 Egyptians outside the presidential palace in Cairo turns violent as tensions grow over Islamist President Mohammed Morsi’s seizure of nearly unrestricted powers and a draft constitution hurriedly adopted by his allies.

2013 — A member of the inner circle of Hezbollah, Hassan al-Laqis, is assassinated in Beirut in the latest of a series of attacks against the Iranian-backed Shiite group whose open support of Syrian President Bashar Assad has enraged Sunnis.

2014 — Poliice wage hours-long gun battles with Islamic militants who attacked Checnya’s capital, leaving at least 20 dead and underscoring Russia’s vulnerability.

Today’s Birthdays:

Thomas Carlyle, Scottish essayist-historian (1795-1881); Samuel Butler, English author (1815-1902); Crazy Horse, Native American Chief (1849-1877); Wasily Kandinsky, Russian abstract painter (1849-1877); Rainer Maria Rilke, Austro-German poet (1875-1926); General Francisco Franco, Spanish dictator (1892-1975); Marisa Tomei, U.S. actress (1964–); Tyra Banks, U.S. actress/model/host (1973–).

Thought For Today:

There’s much to be said for challenging fate instead of ducking behind it — Diana Trilling, American author and literary critic.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.