Today in History – Thursday December 3, 2015

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Today is Thursday, December 3, the 337th day of 2015. There are 28 days left in the year.

Highlights in history on this date:

1621 – Galileo perfects the telescope.

1694 – Triennial Bill becomes law in England, providing for new Parliament to be elected every third year.

1775 – Lieutenant John Paul Jones hoists the first seagoing American flag on the newly commissioned continental Naval ship, the Alfred.

1808 – Madrid surrenders to Napoleon Bonaparte’s French forces.

1810 – British capture Mauritius from French.

1828 – Andrew Jackson is elected the seventh president of the United States.

1912 – Turkey, Bulgaria, Serbia and Montenegro sign an armistice.

1944 – U.S. forces cross Saar River in Germany in World War II.

1948 – The House of Representatives Un-American Activities Committee announces former Communist spy Whittaker Chambers produced a microfilm of secret documents hidden inside a pumpkin on his Maryland farm.

1952 – U.N. General Assembly adopts India’s proposal for Korean armistice.

1958 – Dutch businesses are nationalized in Indonesia.

1961 – United States deploys troops along border between East and West Berlin as East Germany begins strengthening Berlin Wall.

1962 – London is blanketed by one of the worst fogs in years, and scores of people die of sulfur dioxide poisoning before fog lifts four days later.

1964 – Police arrest some 800 students at the University of California at Berkeley, one day after the students stormed the administration building and staged a massive sit-in.

1967 – Surgeons in Cape Town, South Africa, led by Dr. Christiaan Barnard, perform the first human heart transplant. Louis Washkansky lives 18 days with the new heart.

1970 – British envoy James R. Cross is rescued after being held by Quebec terrorists in Canada for almost two months.

1971 – India declares state of emergency as Pakistani planes attack northwestern India in dispute over Kashmir.

1975 – Communists take control of Laos and declare end to 600-year-old monarchy.

1979 – Christie’s auction house in New York sets a record, selling a thimble for $18,400.

1984 – More than 4,000 people die after a cloud of gas escapes from a pesticide plant operated by a Union Carbide subsidiary in Bhopal, India.

1988 – Pakistan’s Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, in first official act, calls for release of about 1,000 political prisoners and commutes all death sentences.

1993 – The United States and Ukraine fail to resolve a dispute over Ukraine’s stockpile of more than 1,000 long-range nuclear warheads.

1998 – Making their first collective decision about monetary policy, 11 European nations cut interest rates in a surprise move to fight the global economic slowdown.

2000 – Pakistan offers a truce to Indian soldiers along the disputed Kashmir border.

2001 – Israel attacks Palestinian targets in the West Bank and Gaza Strip in response to suicide bombings by the militant group Hamas that killed 25 people.

2004 – President Alvaro Uribe signs the final order Friday to extradite Gilberto Rodriguez Orejuela, leader of the once-feared feared Cali drug cartel and the most powerful Colombian trafficker to ever face trial in the United States.

2008 – Russia says it is sending a warship through the Panama Canal for the first time since World War II, a short journey loaded with symbolic weight: the destroyer will dock at a former U.S. naval base, showcasing Russia’s growing influence in the region.

2013 — French scientists looking into the death of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat dismiss poisoning by radioactive polonium, his widow says, contradicting earlier findings by a Swiss lab.

2014 — Iranian jets carry out airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Iraq, underscoring the strange alliance generated by war against the militant group that has beheaded Westerners and killed and terrorized Iraqi civilians.

Today’s Birthdays:

Aaron Ludwig Holberg, Danish philosopher-poet (1684-1754); Joseph Conrad, Polish-British writer (1857-1924); Anna Freud, Austrian psychoanalyst (1895-1982); Andy Williams, U.S. Singer (1927–2012); Jean-Luc Godard, French film director (1930–); Ozzy Osbourne, British rock singer (1948–); Daryl Hannah, U.S. actress (1960–); Julianne Moore, U.S. actress (1960–).

Thought For Today:

There is many a good man to be found under a shabby hat — Chinese proverb.1

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