Today in History
Today is Sunday, Dec. 22, the 356th day of 2013. There are nine days left in the year.
On this date:
In 1775, Esek Hopkins was appointed the commander-in-chief of the Continental Navy.
In 1808, Ludwig van Beethoven's Symphony No. 5 in C minor, Op. 67, Symphony No. 6 in F major, Op. 68, and Piano Concerto No. 4 in G major, Op. 58, had their world premieres in Vienna, Austria.
In 1864, during the Civil War, Union Gen. William T. Sherman said in a message to President Abraham Lincoln: "I beg to present you as a Christmas-gift the city of Savannah."
In 1894, French army officer Alfred Dreyfus was convicted of treason in a court-martial that triggered worldwide charges of anti-Semitism. (Dreyfus was eventually vindicated.)
In 1910, a fire lasting more than 26 hours broke out at the Chicago Union Stock Yards; 21 firefighters were killed in the collapse of a burning building.
In 1937, the first, center tube of the Lincoln Tunnel connecting New York City and New Jersey underneath the Hudson River was opened to traffic. (The north tube opened in 1945, the south tube in 1957.)
In 1968, Julie Nixon married David Eisenhower in a private ceremony in New York.
In 1977, three dozen people were killed when a 250-foot-high grain elevator at the Continental Grain Company plant in Westwego, La., exploded.
In 1984, New York City resident Bernhard Goetz shot and wounded four youths on a Manhattan subway, claiming they were about to rob him.
In 1988, Brazilian environmentalist Chico Mendes was shot and killed. (Rancher Darly Alves da Silva and his son, Darci, who pulled the trigger, were sentenced to prison for killing Mendes; they were freed after serving a third of their 19-year sentences.)
In 1992, a Libyan Boeing 727 jetliner crashed after a midair collision with a MiG fighter, killing all 157 aboard the jetliner, and both crew members of the fighter jet.
In 2001, Richard C. Reid, a passenger on an American Airlines flight from Paris to Miami, tried to ignite explosives in his shoes, but was subdued by flight attendants and fellow passengers. (Reid is serving a life sentence in federal prison.)
On December 22nd in entertainment history….
In 1973, Stephen Stills lost a paternity suit brought on by a Mill Valley, California, woman. The child had been born about two years earlier.
In 1976, singer Isaac Hayes declared bankruptcy.
In 1978, Kenney Jones became the drummer for The Who, replacing Keith Moon, who died four months earlier.
In 1979, the first of four "Concerts for the People of Kampuchea" was held in London. Performers included The Clash, Paul McCartney, The Pretenders and The Who.
In 1983, actors Parker Stevenson and Kirstie Alley got married. They have since split up.
In 1988, Morrissey performed for the first time as a solo act in England.
In 1990, Pearl Jam performed for the first time together, under the name Mookie Blaylock, as the opening act for Alice In Chains in Seattle.
In 1995, actress Butterfly McQueen died of burns suffered when her house outside Augusta, Georgia, caught on fire. She was 84. She's probably best known for playing Prissy in "Gone With The Wind."
In 2000, Madonna married Guy Ritchie at a church in Scotland. They have since split up.
In 2002, singer-guitarist Joe Strummer of The Clash died of sudden cardiac arrest at his home in southwest England. He was 50.