December 8 – When History Was Made

CULTUREIFY

1776 – George Washington’s retreated army crossed the Delaware River from New Jersey to Pennsylvania during the Revolutionary War.

1813 – Premiere of Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony.

1863 – President Abraham Lincoln announced his plan for the Reconstruction of the South.

1886 – The American Federation of Labor was found in Columbus, Ohio.

1927 – The Brookings Institution, one of the United States’ oldest think tanks, was found through the merger of three organizations that had been created by philanthropist Robert S. Brookings.

1941 – United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt declared December 7 to be “a date which will live in infamy”, after which the United States declared war on Japan.

1941 – Japanese forces simultaneously invade Shanghai International Settlement, Malaya, Thailand, Hong Kong, the Philippines, and the Dutch East Indies.

1953 – United States President Dwight D. Eisenhower delivered his “Atoms for Peace” speech, which lead to an American program to supply equipment and information on nuclear power to schools, hospitals, and research institutions around the world.

1962 – Workers at four New York City newspapers went on strike for 114 days.

1963 – Pan Am Flight 214, a Boeing 707, was struck by lightning and crashed near Elkton, Maryland, killed 81 people on board.

1972 – United Airlines Flight 553, a Boeing 737, crashed after aborting its landing attempt at Chicago Midway International Airport, killed 45. This is the first-ever loss of a Boeing 737.

1980 – Former Beatle John Lennon was murdered in front of The Dakota in New York City.

1988 – A United States Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt II crashed into an apartment complex in Remscheid, Germany, killed 5 people and injured 50 others.

1987 – President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev signed a treaty calling for destruction of intermediate-range nuclear missiles.

1991 – Kimberly Bergalis, who had contracted AIDS from her dentist, died in Florida at age 23.

1992 – Americans saw live TV coverage of United States troops landed on the beaches of Somalia as Operation Restore Hope began.

1993 – President Bill Clinton signed into law the North American Free Trade Agreement.

1995 – The Grateful Dead announced they were breaking up, four months after the death of lead guitarist Jerry Garcia.

2008 – Khalid Sheikh Mohammed told the Guantanamo war crimes tribunal he confessed to masterminding the Sept. 11 attacks; four other men also abandoned their defenses.

2010 – With the second launch of the SpaceX Falcon 9 and the first launch of the SpaceX Dragon, SpaceX becomes the first private company to successfully launch, orbit and recover a spacecraft.

Births

1765 – Eli Whitney, engineer, invented the cotton gin (d. 1825)

1861 – William C. Durant, businessman, found General Motors and Chevrolet (d. 1947)

1892 – Marcus Lee Hansen, historian, author, and academic (d. 1938)

1894 – E. C. Segar, cartoonist, created Popeye (d. 1938)

1894 – James Thurber, humorist, and cartoonist (d. 1961)

1908 – John A. Volpe, soldier, and politician, 61st Governor of Massachusetts (d. 1994)

1911 – Lee J. Cobb, actor (d. 1976)

1913 – Delmore Schwartz, poet, and short story writer (d. 1966)

1914 – Floyd Tillman, country music singer-songwriter, and guitarist (d. 2003)

1915 – Ernest Lehman, director, producer, and screenwriter (d. 2005)

1916 – Richard Fleischer, director, producer, and screenwriter (d. 2006)

1919 – Julia Robinson, mathematician, and theorist (d. 1985)

1922 – Jean Ritchie, singer-songwriter (d. 2015)

1925 – Sammy Davis, Jr., actor, singer, and dancer (d. 1990)

1925 – Jimmy Smith, organist (d. 2005)

1927 – Ferdie Pacheco, physician, and author

1931 – Bob Arum, boxing promoter, found Top Rank

1933 – Flip Wilson, actor, and comedian (d. 1998)

1936 – David Carradine, actor, director, and producer (d. 2009)

1936 – Michael Hobson, publisher

1937 – James MacArthur, actor (d. 2010)

1939 – Jerry Butler, singer-songwriter, and producer

1939 – Soko Richardson, drummer (d. 2004)

1940 – Brant Alyea, baseball player

1941 – Ed Brinkman, baseball player, and coach (d. 2008)

1941 – Bob Brown, football player

1941 – Duke Cunningham, commander, and politician

1943 – Larry Martin, paleontologist, and ornithologist (d. 2013)

1943 – Jim Morrison, singer-songwriter, and poet (d. 1971)

1943 – James Tate, poet (d. 2015)

1943 – Mary Woronov, actress, director, and screenwriter

1944 – Bertie Higgins, singer-songwriter

1946 – John Rubinstein, actor, director, and composer

1947 – Gregg Allman, singer-songwriter, and guitarist

1947 – Thomas Cech, chemist, and academic, Nobel Prize laureate

1947 – Margaret Geller, astrophysicist, astronomer, and academic

1949 – Mary Gordon, author, critic, and academic

1949 – Nancy Meyers, director, producer, and screenwriter

1949 – Robert Sternberg, psychologist, and academic

1950 – Rick Baker, actor, and makeup artist

1950 – Tim Foli, baseball player, coach, and manager

1950 – Dan Hartman, singer-songwriter, and producer (d. 1994)

1951 – Bill Bryson, essayist, travel, and science writer

1953 – Kim Basinger, actress

1953 – Roy Firestone, sportscaster, and journalist

1953 – Norman Finkelstein, author, academic, and activist

1953 – Sam Kinison, comedian (d. 1992)

1954 – Harold Hongju Koh, lawyer, academic, and politician

1955 – Kasim Sulton, singer-songwriter, bass player, and producer

1956 – Warren Cuccurullo, singer-songwriter, and guitarist

1957 – James Cama, martial artist, and educator (d. 2014)

1957 – Slick, wrestler, and manager

1958 – Rob Byrnes, author, and blogger

1958 – Bob Greene, physiologist, and author

1960 – Aaron Allston, game designer, and author (d. 2014)

1961 – Ann Coulter, lawyer, journalist, and author

1963 – Greg Howe, guitarist, songwriter, and producer

1964 – Teri Hatcher, actress

1967 – Jeff George, football player

1968 – Mike Mussina, baseball player, and coach

1974 – Tony Simmons, football player, and coach

1974 – Nick Zinner, guitarist, songwriter, and producer

1975 – Kevin Harvick, race car driver

1976 – Reed Johnson, baseball player

1977 – Ryan Newman, race car driver

1978 – Ian Somerhalder, actor

1978 – Vernon Wells, baseball player

1979 – Ingrid Michaelson, singer-songwriter, and pianist

1981 – Jeremy Accardo, baseball player

1981 – Philip Rivers, football player

1982 – Alfredo Aceves, baseball player

1982 – Chrisette Michele, singer-songwriter

1984 – Sam Hunt, singer-songwriter

1985 – Josh Donaldson, baseball player

1985 – Dwight Howard, basketball player

1986 – Enzo Amore, wrestler

1986 – Kate Voegele, singer-songwriter, guitarist, and actress

1993 – AnnaSophia Robb, actress

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