Today's History Trivia for December 14
Sandy Hook School Shooting
20-year-old Adam Lanza fatally shoots 20 children between 6 and 7 years old, as well as six adult staff members at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Prior to driving to the school, Lanza shot and killed his mother at their Newtown home. As first responders arrived at the scene, Lanza committed suicide by shooting himself in the head.
1972 Last Man on the Moon Eugene Cernan reenters the Lunar Module after making the last Moon walk: "…America's challenge of today has forged man's destiny of tomorrow. And, as we leave the Moon at Taurus-Littrow, we leave as we came and, God willing, as we shall return, with peace and hope for all mankind. Godspeed the crew of Apollo 17."
1962 World's First Successful Interplanetary Spacecraft Mariner 2 passes within 34,762 kilometers (21,600 mi) of Venus. It recorded the planet's temperature, revealing a very hot atmosphere of about 500 degrees Celsius (900 degrees Fahrenheit).
South Pole Reached
Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen becomes the first person to reach the South Pole.
2004 Iraq War CIA Director George Tenet is awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
1999 LAX bombing plot An Algerian man living in Canada is arrested at the United States-Canada border in Port Angeles, Washington after crossing by ferry. Customs officials found nitroglycerin and four timing devices concealed in the spare tire well of his automobile. He was planning to bomb LAX airport in Los Angeles, California.
1993 Sidewalk of Stars Radio City Music Hall unveils its "Sidewalk of Stars" in New York, with Liza Minnelli receiving the first star.
1987 Chrysler The automaker pleads no contest to charges of rolling back odometers on cars and selling them as new.
1986 First nonstop around-the-world flight without refueling begins, by Dick Rutan and Jeana Yeager flying the aircraft Voyager, finishing on December 23.
1952 First successful separation of Siamese twins Dr. Jac S. Geller of Mount Sinai Hospital, Ohio separates two girls joined at the sternum. Source: Guinness Book of World Records
1940 Plutonium Plutonium is first produced and isolated by deuteron bombardment of uranium-238 in the 60-inch cyclotron at the University of California, Berkeley. It has the atomic number 94. Within five years
1903 Wright Brothers The brothers attempt to fly their aircraft. However, the engine stalled on takeoff. They would have their first successful flight three days later.
1900 The Discovery of Quantum Physics Max Planck presents his quantum hypothesis that any energy-radiating atomic system can theoretically be divided into a number of discrete "energy elements" ε (epsilon) such that each of these energy elements is proportional to the frequency ν with which each of them individually radiate energy, as defined by the following formula: ε = hν, where h is Planck's constant. For this he was awarded the Nobel Prize.
1819 Alabama becomes the 22nd state. Alabama is Creek Indian for "tribal town."
1782 First Balloon Flight The Montgolfier brothers test their first balloon. They build a large box out of thin wood and lit a fire beneath it. It took off with such force they lost control of it. It floated nearly two kilometers (about 1.2 mi). Joseph Montgolfier had been inspired by lifting force of smoke from a fire. Upon landing, alarmed villagers attacked it with pitchforks and stones.
1774 American Revolution - First military encounter Major John Sullivan leads 400 volunteers in an attack on Fort William and Mary at Portsmouth, New Hampshire. They captured the fort's commander and 100 casks of powder and small arms.
1719 The second newspaper in America The Boston Gazette, published by William Booker, is founded. It lasted until 1798.
Today's Birthdays for December 14
1946 Patty Duke d. 2016 (Anna Marie Duke), American Oscar-Emmy-winning actress. She portrayed Helen Keller in the Broadway (1959) and film (1962, Oscar) versions of The Miracle Worker. TV: The Patty Duke Show.
1946 Joyce Vincent Wilson American singer, with Tony Orlando and Dawn, Knock Three Times (1971, #1) and Tie a Yellow Ribbon 'Round the Ole Oak Tree (1973, #1).
1935 Lee Remick d. 1991 American actress. Film: Anatomy of a Murder (1959) and The Days of Wine and Roses (1962).
1931 Phineas Newborn Jr d. 1989 American jazz pianist.
1911 Spike Jones d. 1965 (Lindley Armstrong Jones), American musician, All I Want For Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth (1948, #1).
1908 Morey Amsterdam d. 1996 American actor. TV: The Dick Van Dyke Show (1961-66, Buddy Sorrel).
1902 Frances Bavier d. 1989 American actress. TV: The Andy Griffith Show (Aunt Bee).
1897 Margaret Chase Smith d. 1995 American politician, former U.S. Senator (R-Maine). She was the first woman elected to both houses of the U.S. Congress. Her opposition to the tactics of Joseph McCarthy earned her the nickname "Moscow Maggie."
1896 James Harold Doolittle d. 1993 American air-force officer, winner of the Medal of Honor and Presidential Medal of Freedom. He made the first blind airplane flight (1929) and led the first U.S. bombing raid over the Japanese mainland (1942) during World War II.
1895 George VI d. 1952 King of England and Northern Ireland (1936-52), he and Queen Elizabeth were the first British Sovereigns to visit (1939) the U.S.
Deaths for December 14
1810 Cyrus Griffin b. 1748 American lawyer. He was the 16th and last president of the Continental Congress (1788). He resigned after the ratification of the U.S. Constitution rendered the old Congress obsolete, becoming a federal judge (1789-1910, U.S. District Court of Virginia).
2014 Bess Myerson b. 1924 American beauty contestant, actress. She was the first Jewish Miss America (1945). She was also the first Miss New York to win the title. She was charged with bribery and conspiracy as a result of hiring a judge's daughter, presumably to influence the judge to rule favorably toward Myerson's lover in his divorce case. The scandal was known as the "Bess Mess" (1988). She was eventually acquitted of the charges. She was arrested for shoplifting $44 worth of goods from a drug store (1988), to which plead guilty and was fined.
2013 Peter O'Toole b. 1932 Irish actor. Film: Lawrence of Arabia (1962, title role).
1998 Norman Fell b. 1924 American actor, member of the Rat Pack. TV: Three's Company (Mr. Roper, the landlord). He also played a landlord in the movie The Graduate.
1994 Orval Eugene Faubus b. 1910 American politician, Governor of Arkansas (1955-67). In September of 1957 he ordered the Arkansas National Guard to prevent nine blacks from entering all-white Central High School in Little Rock.
1993 Myrna Loy b. 1905 (Myrna Williams), American actress. Film: The Jazz Singer (1927, as a chorus girl) and The Thin Man (1934, Nora Charles).
1985 Roger Eugene Maris b. 1934 American baseball legend, American League MVP (1960-61). He broke Babe Ruth's single-season home run record by hitting 61 (1961).
1980 Elston Gene Howard b. 1929 American baseball player, American League 1963 MVP and the first to use a baseball bat with a weight on the end to warm up in the on-deck circle (1969).
1964 William Bendix b. 1906 American actor. TV: The Life of Riley (Chester Riley). Film: The Babe Ruth Story (1948, title role - critics said it was one of the worst movies ever made).
1943 John Harvey Kellogg b. 1852 American surgeon, invented grain flakes cereal.
1591 Saint John of the Cross b. 1542 (San Juan de la Cruz), Spanish mystic and poet. Began writing poetry while in prison. His works outlined the steps of mystical ascent, known as the soul's journey to Christ. He became a saint in 1726.
872 Adrian II b. 792 Italian religious leader, 106th Pope (867-872).