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12-20 A 15 Pound Concrete Garden Frog Returned Home (1998).jpg
1952 – I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus – Jimmy Bond
1961 – Walk on By - Leroy Van Dyke
1971 – Kiss an Angel Good Mornin' - Charley Pride
1981 – All Roads Lead to You - Steve Wariner
1991 - For My Broken Heart - Reba McEntire
A 15 Pound Concrete Garden Frog Returned Home (1998)
1803 - The US took possession of the Louisiana Territory from France. The negotiated price was $15 million, a price of about $20 a square mile/3 cent per acre. This purchase doubled the land mass of the US.
1860 - South Carolina became the first state to secede from the American Union. It was not readmitted until 1868.
1920 - English-born comedian, Bob Hope, became an American citizen.
1924 - Aldolph Hitler was released from Landsberg Prison where he was held after the failed Beer Hall Putsch in Munich, and where he dictated his memoirs Mein Kampf to Rudolf Hess.
1941 – The first WWII battle of the American Volunteer Group, better known as the Flying Tigers, in Kunming, China. The group was formed to help oppose the Japanese invasion of China in 1941–1942. The Flying Tigers was composed of pilots from the US Army Air Corps, Navy, and Marine Corps, and was commanded by Claire Lee Chennault.
1944 - General Dwight D. Eisenhower was promoted and given his 5th star.
1946 - The film It’s A Wonderful Life premiered in New York City.
1951 – The EBR-1 in Arco, Idaho becomes the first nuclear power plant to generate electricity. The electricity powered four light bulbs.
1963 - The Berlin Wall was opened for the first time. It remained open for the holiday season but closed again on January 6, 1964.
1980 - NBC covered the game between the New York Jets and the Miami Dolphins, with no announcers in the booth. The only sounds to be heard were field noise and spectators as the pictures tried to convey the emotion of the game. Headlines the next day read, Jets Silence Dolphins 24-17. The experiment is regarded as a failure, although the silent telecast attained a 13.5 rating, not far below the network’s 14.9 average for the 1980 regular season.
1987 - The Philippine ferry, Dona Paz, collided with a tanker, killing 4,386 people, making it the world’s worst peace-time tragedy at sea. The Dona Paz was licensed to carry 1,500 people.
1989 – In Operation Just Cause, the US sent troops into Panama to topple the government of de facto Panamanian leader, general, and dictator Manuel Noriega after he had declared war on the US. During the invasion, Noriega was deposed, president-elect Guillermo Endara was sworn into office, and the Panamanian Defense Force dissolved.
1991 - A St. Louis, Missouri court sentenced the Palestinian militant Zein Isa and his wife Maria to death for the honor killing of their daughter Palestina.
1993 - Alina Fernandez Revuelta, a daughter of Cuban President Fidel Castro, flew to Spain, where she was granted political asylum by the US Embassy.
1998 - A 15-pound concrete garden frog was returned to its home in Massachusetts by limousine, after an eight-month vacation. They also received photos and postcards from the frog in New York, Venezuela, Venice, and Indonesia.
2007 - Queen Elizabeth, who was born on April 21, 1926, turned 81 years, 7 months and 30 days on this day, making her the longest reigning monach. The previous longest living monarch, Queen Victoria, Elizabeth’s Great Great Grandmother, died on Jan 22, 1901, when she was 81 years, 7 months, and 29 days old.
2019 – The United States Space Force becomes the first new branch of the US Armed Forces since 1947.
1950 - A.J. MASTERS (country music singer. Lonely Together, Back Home, Love Keep Your Distance, I Don't Mean Maybe, Take a Little Bit of It Home, and Our Love Is Like the South.)
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1953 – Let Me Be the One - Hank Locklin
1963 – Love's Gonna Live Here - Buck Owens
1973 – Amazing Love - Charley Pride
1983 – Black Sheep - John Anderson
Winter Solstice happens at 9:27 PM (2023)
1620 - The Mayflower, with 103 passengers aboard, arrived at Plymouth Rock, Massachusetts. They were met by members of the Abenaki tribe who introduced them to Squanto, an English-speaking member of the Pawtuxet tribe, who in turn tried to teach the settlers how to survive in their new environment. However, a year later, only half of the new arrivals survived.
1838 - Eighteen-year-old Lottie Moon professed her faith in Christ to classmates at Albemarle Female Institute in Virginia. As a woman she had to convince the Baptist Foreign Mission Board of her calling. She spent 39 years ministering in China. Today, Baptists support some 5,000 foreign missionaries with their annual Lottie Moon Christmas Offering.
1937 - The world premiere of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Walt Disney put up his own money, an act that had the potential of financially ruining him. Originally budgeted for $250,000, the film ended up costing $1,480,000. The film showcased the talents of 570 artists and contained 250,000 drawings. It has grossed approximately $1.2 billion, so far.
1945 - General George Patton, 60, died in a German hospital. ‘Old Blood and Guts’ had been injured in a car crash twelve days earlier.
1968 - Apollo 8, with astronauts Frank Borman, James Lovell and William Anders, was launched by a Saturn 5 booster from Cape Kennedy. Three days later the crew carried out the first manned flight around the moon.
1972 - Two survivors of a plane crash in the Andes reached civilization and lead rescuers to fourteen other surviving passengers. The search had been terminated nine weeks earlier, assuming that no passengers survived. The story would inspire the book and movie, Alive.
1978 - Police in Illinois arrested John W. Gacy Jr. and began unearthing the remains of 33 men and boys he was later convicted of murdering. He was executed in May 1994.
1998 - The first vaccine for Lyme disease was approved which reduced new infections in vaccinated adults by nearly 80%. The vaccine, marketed in the US, LYMERix®, was discontinued by the manufacturer in 2002, citing insufficient consumer demand. The vaccine's protection decreased over time, so anyone who received it before 2002 is likely no longer protected.
1980 - Martha “Sunny” Crawford von Bulow was found in a coma thought to have been brought on by an insulin overdose. Sunny’s husband, Claus, was charged with two counts of attempted murder and was convicted in a trial in 1982. Claus was acquitted at a second trial in 1985. Sunny died December 6, 2008.
1988 - Pan Am World Airways Flight 103 fell victim of a terrorist attack when the jet exploded over Lockerbie, Scotland. The 258 passengers, crew, and several people on the ground were killed. In 2003, Libya accepted responsibility for the bombing. After US and UN intervention, Libya agreed to pay each victim’s family approximately $8 million in restitution. Pan Am Airlines went bankrupt three years after the bombing, but, sued Libya and later received a $30 million settlement. UPDATE 2022: Mohammed Abouagela Masud, accused of setting the timer on the bomb has been arrested and is currently in custody in the US.
1989 - Vice President Dan Quayle’s, Christmas cards, sent to 30,000 friends and associates had the message “May our nation continue to be the beakon of hope to the world.” He subsequently received a dictionary as a gift from President Bush.
1991 - The Soviet Union formally ceased to exist and was dissolved into Russia and fourteen other independent countries. The US supported the change and pledged to extend as much help as possible to the new Russian state under Boris Yeltsin. These are the newly established countries that were previously part of the Soviet Union: 1. Armenia • 2. Azerbaijan • 3. Belarus • 4. Estonia • 5. Georgia • 6. Kazakhstan • 7. Kyrgyzstan • 8. Latvia • 9. Lithuania • 10. Moldova • 11. Russia • 12. Tajikistan • 13. Turkmenistan • 14. Ukraine • 15. Uzbekistan
1993 – Russian President Boris Yeltsin abruptly abolished the former KGB security police, saying that the huge force Russian citizens feared for decades was “incapable of being reformed.”
2010 - Toyota Motor Corporation agreed to pay the US government a record $32.4 million in fines to settle an investigation into its handling of two recalls. Toyota delayed issuing recalls dating back to 2005 to address possible problems with steering relay rods. And again, from 2007 to early 2010 over possible entrapment of the accelerator pedal by floor mats.
1926 - Freddie Hart (country singer: #1 hit, Easy Loving; quote: “I try to put down in my songs what every man wants to say, and what every woman wants to hear.”)
1956 - Lee Roy Parnell (American country music and blues artist, singer, songwriter, and guitarist. What Kind of Fool Do You Think I Am, Tender Moment, and A Little Bit of You. All peaked at #2.)
Happy Birthday
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1958 – The Chipmunks Song – Alvin and the Chipmunks
1965 - Make the World Go Away - Eddy Arnold
1975 - Convoy - C.W. McCall
1985 - The Chair - George Strait
December 22, 1944
N U T S!
1862 – WISCONSIN DISTINGUISHED CITIZEN: Governor Walter Goodland was born. He had a long and successful career editing and publishing various newspapers in Michigan and Wisconsin. After retiring from the newspaper business, Goodland ran for lieutenant governor under Progressive Orland Loomis. However, Loomis died before inauguration, giving the office to Goodland. Consequently, Goodland, also won the governorship in 1944 and 1946. He died in the old executive residence on March 12, 1947 at the age of 84.
1864 - Union General William T. Sherman sent a telegram to President Lincoln from Georgia, saying, “I beg to present you as a Christmas gift the city of Savannah with 150 heavy guns and plenty of ammunition and also about 25,000 bales of cotton.” President Lincoln answered in a letter on December 26th, “Many, many, thanks for your Christmas-gift—the capture of Savannah. When you were about leaving Atlanta for the Atlantic coast, I was anxious, if not fearful; but feeling that you were the better judge, and remembering that ‘nothing risked, nothing gained’ I did not interfere. Now, the undertaking being a success, the honor is all yours; for I believe none of us went farther than to acquiesce.”
1882 - The first string of electric lights decorating a Christmas tree was created for his home by Edward H. Johnson, an associate of Thomas Edison. Previously, trees had been decorated with wax candles.
1939 - Seventeen-year-old Gloria Jacobs became the first girl to hold a world pistol record. She shot a score of 299 out of 300 possible points. Jacobs went on to set 13 world records.
1944 - Through a party consisting of a major, a lieutenant, and two enlisted men under a flag of truce that entered the American lines southeast of Bastogne (occupied by Company F, 2nd Battalion, 327th Glider Infantry), General von Lüttwitz sent the following ultimatum to Gen. McAuliffe: “To the USA Commander of the encircled town of Bastogne. The fortune of war is changing. This time the USA forces in and near Bastogne have been encircled by strong German armored units. More German armored units have crossed the river Ourthe near Ortheuville, have taken Marche and reached St. Hubert by passing through Hompre-Sibret-Tillet. Libramont is in German hands. There is only one possibility to save the encircled USA troops from total annihilation: that is the honorable surrender of the encircled town. In order to think it over a term of two hours will be granted beginning with the presentation of this note. If this proposal should be rejected one German Artillery Corps and six heavy A A Battalions are ready to annihilate the USA troops in and near Bastogne. The order for firing will be given immediately after this two hours term. All the serious civilian losses caused by this artillery fire would not correspond with the well-known American humanity. The German Commander.” Upon being awakened by this communication, McAulliffe initially asked, "They want to surrender?" Moore told him, "No sir, they want us to surrender." McAulliffe arose and erupted in anger, which shocked those looking on. He took the paper, looked at it, said "Us surrender, aw nuts!" and dropped it on the floor. The official reply was typed up, centered on a full sheet of paper and delivered by Colonel Joseph Harper, commanding the 327th Glider Infantry, to the German delegation. It read:
"December 22, 1944
To the German Commander,
N U T S!
The American Commander"
1952 - The first prototype Corvette, designed by Harley Earl, was completed.
1956 - A baby gorilla named Colo was born at the Columbus Zoo in Ohio, becoming the first-ever gorilla born in captivity.
1968 - The first US live telecast from a manned spacecraft in outer space was transmitted at 3:01 p.m. from Apollo VIII. The crew for the flight was Captain James Lovell, Colonel Frank Borman and Major William Anders.
1977 – A young man, Thomas Helms, attempted to commit suicide by leaping off the 86th floor observation deck of the Empire State Building. A short time later he awoke to find himself on a ledge on the 85th floor, blown there by strong winds. He decided not to commit suicide after all. He knocked on the window, which was opened by Bill Stackman who had been hard at work in his office. “I couldn’t believe my eyes, said Bill. “You don’t see a lot of guys coming in through the window of the 85th floor. I poured myself a stiff drink and one for him too.”
1989 - Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate re-opened after nearly 30 years, effectively ending the division of East and West Germany.
1998 - The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts honored Willie Nelson for his lifetime contributions to the arts. Nelson became the first primarily country performer so honored.
2000 – The movie, O, Brother Where Art Thou? opened.
2001 - Richard Reid attempted to destroy a passenger airliner by igniting explosives, hidden in his shoes, aboard American Airlines Flight 63.
2003 - A magnitude 6.6 earthquake hit near San Simeon, California.
2006 - A report from the Austin Energy power company in Texas revealed approximately 20 percent of all its power outages are the result of squirrels.
2008 - The Cook County (Chicago) Sheriff’s office arrested 61 people, on site, who had outstanding warrants in a holiday sting operation. The fugitives were lured to a hotel under the guise that they had won a $1,000 gift card and the chance to win a big-screen TV. Also arrested were 169 fugitives who made reservations but failed to show up at the hotel. Crimes ranged from failing to pay child support to aggravated driving under the influence.
2008 - A dike holding back 1.1 billion gallons of coal fly ash slurry generated by the TVA Kingston Fossil [Coal] Plant in Tennessee suffered a breach, covering 400 acres at a depth of up to six feet.
1921 - Hawkshaw Hawkins (American country music singer popular from the 1950s into the early 60s. His hits include, Pan American, Dog House Boogie, and his #1 hit Lonesome 7-7203. He stood 6 ft 5 inches tall.)
1937 - Red Stegall (American actor, musician, poet, and stage performer who focuses on American Western and country music)
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