This Day in History - December 7

December 7

43 BC – Cicero is assassinated on the orders of Marcus Antonius in Rome

983 – Otto III takes the throne after his father’s death in Italy

1787 – Delaware becomes the first state to ratify the Constitution

1805 – Lewis and Clark set up a temporary settlement in Fort Clatsop, near modern-day Portland, to serve as their winter home

1808 – James Madison is elected president in succession of Thomas Jefferson

1810 – German physiologist, Theodor Schwann, is born

1817 – 4th Governor of New South Wales, English admiral William Bligh, dies

1861 – USS Santiago de Cuba, under Commander Daniel B. Ridgely, halts the British schooner Eugenia Smith and captures J.W. Zacharie, a New Orleans merchant and Confederate purchasing agent

1862 – Confederate forces surprise Union troops at the Battle of Prairie Grove, Arkansas

1863 – Outlaw George Ives, an alleged member of a gang known as the “Innocents,” robs and kills Nick Thiebalt in the Ruby Valley of what would become Montana

1873 – Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist, Willa Cather is born

1888 – Composer and pianist, Ernst Toch is born

1895 – The first prime minister of Sierra Leone, Sir Milton Margay, is born

1896 – Painter Stuart Davis is born

1916 – David Lloyd George becomes prime minister of Britain

1917 – Austrian violinist and composer, Ludwig Minkus, dies

1917 – The US declares war on Austria-Hungary with only one dissenting vote in Congress

1918 – Spartacists call for a German revolution

1928 – Writer, linguist, and political activist Noam Chomsky, is born

1931 – A report indicates that Nazis would ensure “Nordic dominance” by sterilizing certain races

1932 – Actress Ellen Burstyn is born

1941 – Japanese planes bomb Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, in a surprise attack, bringing the US into WWII

1942 – The US Navy launches USS New Jersey, the largest battleship ever built

1946 – The president of the United Mine Workers, John L. Lewis, orders all striking miners back to work

1947 – Pro baseball catcher, dubbed the greatest catcher in baseball history by ESPN, Johnny Bench, is born

1949 – Singer, songwriter, actor, and musician, Tom Waits, is born

1949 – The AFL and the CIO organize a non-Communist international trade union

1956 – Basketball player for the Boston Celtics, Larry Bird, is born

1965 – Secretary of Defense, Robert McNamara, predicts that more US troops will be needed in Vietnam

1970 – Poland and West Germany sign a pact renouncing the use of force to settle disputes, recognizing the Oder-Neisse River as Poland’s western frontier and acknowledging the transfer of Poland of 40,000 square miles of former German territory

1972 – The crew of Apollo 17, the last manned mission to the moon, lifts off at Cape Canaveral, Florida

1975 – Indonesia invades East Timor

1980 – English soccer player, John Terry is born

1981 – The Regan Administration predicts a record deficit in 1982 of $109 billion

1982 – The first execution by lethal injection takes place at the state penitentiary in Huntsville, Texas, killing Charles Brooks, Jr.

1984 – Polish race car driver, Robert Kubica is born

1985 – English author, Robert Graves dies

1987 – Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev arrives in the US for a summit with President Ronald Reagan

1988 – An earthquake in Armenia kills an estimated 60,000 and destroys half a million buildings

1988 – Actress, singer, and model, Emily Browning, is born

1988 – Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat recognizes Israel’s right to exist

1989 – Boxer Sugar Ray Leonard triumphs over Roberto Duran at the Mirage Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada

1993 – 1st President of Cote d’ Ivoire, Felix Houphouet-Boigny, dies

1993 – Colin Ferguson opens fire on a Long Island Rail Road commuter train from New York City, killing 6 and injuring 19 and was eventually tackled by other passengers.  Ferguson later blamed the shooting on his deep-seated hatred of white people

1995 – Galileo spacecraft arrives at Jupiter after a 6-year journey

1999 – The Recording Industry Association of America files a copyright infringement suit against the file-sharing website Napster

2003 – A tornado in Kensal Green, North West London, damages around 150 properties

2003 – Catharina-Amalia, Princess of Orange, heiress apparent to the throne of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, is born

Written by Crystal McCann

Crystal is the Chief Operating Officer of Lanterns Media Network and the owner of Madisons Media. She lives in Texas with her husband and dogs and is the proud mother of two adult children.

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