Today in History
Today is Wednesday, Dec. 2, the 337th day of 2020. There are 29 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On Dec. 2, 1982, in the first operation of its kind, doctors at the University of Utah Medical Center implanted a permanent artificial heart in the chest of retired dentist Dr. Barney Clark, who lived 112 days with the device.
On this date:
In 1804, Napoleon crowned himself Emperor of the French.
In 1816, the first savings bank in the United States, the Philadelphia Savings Fund Society, opened for business.
In 1823, President James Monroe outlined his doctrine opposing European expansion in the Western Hemisphere.
In 1859, militant abolitionist John Brown was hanged for his raid on Harpers Ferry the previous October.
In 1942, an artificially created, self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction was demonstrated for the first time at the University of Chicago.
In 1954, the U.S. Senate passed, 67-22, a resolution condemning Sen. Joseph R. McCarthy, R-Wis., saying he had “acted contrary to senatorial ethics and tended to bring the Senate into dishonor and disrepute.”
In 1957, the Shippingport Atomic Power Station in Pennsylvania, the first full-scale commercial nuclear facility in the U.S., began operations. (The reactor ceased operating in 1982.)
In 1970, the newly created Environmental Protection Agency opened its doors under its first director, William D. Ruckelshaus.
In 1980, four American churchwomen were raped and murdered in El Salvador. (Five national guardsmen were convicted in the killings.)
In 1993, Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar was shot to death by security forces in Medellin (meh-deh-YEEN’).
In 2000, Al Gore sought a recount in South Florida, while George W. Bush flatly asserted, “I’m soon to be the president” and met with GOP congressional leaders. Actor Gail Fisher died in Culver City, Calif. at age 65.
In 2016, 36 people died when fire erupted in an illegally converted warehouse in Oakland, California, during a dance party.
Ten years ago: The House voted, 333-79, to censure Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., for financial and fundraising misconduct; it was only the 23rd time that the House had invoked its most serious punishment short of expulsion. LeBron James scored 38 points to lead the visiting Miami Heat to a 118-90 victory over the host Cleveland Cavaliers; it was James’ first game back in the city where he had played for seven years before leaving via free agency.
Five years ago: A couple loyal to the Islamic State group opened fire at a holiday banquet for public employees in San Bernardino, California, killing 14 people and wounding 21 others before dying in a shootout with police.
One year ago: The House’s impeachment report on President Donald Trump was unveiled behind closed doors for key lawmakers. Montana Gov. Steve Bullock ended his Democratic presidential campaign; he was the third Western governor to fail to gain traction in the race. Chicago’s retiring police chief, Eddie Johnson, was fired in connection with an incident in which he had been found asleep at the wheel of his car. As representatives from nearly 200 countries gathered in Madrid for a two-week meeting on tackling global warming, U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres urged countries not to give up in the fight against climate change.
Today’s Birthdays: Former Attorney General Edwin Meese III is 89. Former Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., is 81. Actor Cathy Lee Crosby is 76. Movie director Penelope Spheeris is 75. Actor Ron Raines is 71. Country singer John Wesley Ryles is 70. Actor Keith Szarabajka is 68. Actor Dan Butler is 66. Broadcast journalist Stone Phillips is 66. Actor Dennis Christopher is 65. Actor Steven Bauer is 64. Country singer Joe Henry is 60. Rock musician Rick Savage (Def Leppard) is 60. Actor Brendan Coyle is 57. Rock musician Nate Mendel (Foo Fighters) is 52. Actor Suzy Nakamura is 52. Actor Rena Sofer is 52. Rock singer Jimi (cq) HaHa (Jimmie’s Chicken Shack) is 52. Actor Lucy Liu (loo) is 52. Rapper Treach (Naughty By Nature) is 50. Actor Joe Lo Truglio is 50. International Tennis Hall of Famer Monica Seles is 47. Singer Nelly Furtado is 42. Pop singer Britney Spears is 39. Actor-singer Jana Kramer is 37. Actor Yvonne Orji is 37. Actor Daniela Ruah (roo-ah) is 37. NFL quarterback Aaron Rodgers is 37. Actor Alfred Enoch is 32. Pop singer-songwriter Charlie Puth is 29. Actors Deanna and Daniella Canterman are 28.