Today is Thursday, December 4, the 338th day of 2014. There are 27 days left in the year.
Highlights in history on this date:
1586 – England’s Queen Elizabeth I confirms death sentence against Mary Queen of Scots.
1619 – The first Thanksgiving celebration takes place in America at the Berkley plantation in Virginia.
1691 – Hapsburgs re-conquer Transylvania and are recognized as its rulers.
1842 – Spanish soldier-politician Baldomero Espartero bombards Barcelona and crushes revolt.
1851 – Louis Napoleon crushes workers’ rebellion in France.
1877 – Thomas Edison invents the phonograph in his New Jersey laboratory at Menlo Park.
1893 – British and French reach an agreement on Siam — now Thailand.
1908 – London naval conference fails to regulate conditions of warfare.
1962 – Hundreds of Muslim and European opponents of the Ben Bella government in Algeria are arrested.
1971 – Indian troops, tanks and planes launch attacks in East Pakistan — now Bangladesh, and hit key airfields in West Pakistan, which is now Pakistan.
1972 – Government of Honduras is overthrown in military coup.
1977 – Iraq walks out on Arab meeting in Tripoli, breaking united front against Egypt’s peace moves with Israel.
1980 – The bodies of four American nuns slain in El Salvador two days earlier are found. Five National Guardsmen are later convicted of the murders.
1984 – A gunman with a Jordanian passport kills a Jordanian diplomat in Bucharest, Romania, as he leaves a hotel.
1989 – Following his shipboard summit with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, U.S. President George H.W. Bush says it is too soon to declare the Cold War over.
1990 – Iraq says it will release 3,000 Soviets still held hostage in that country but wants compensation.
1991 – AP Middle East Correspondent Terry Anderson is freed by Shiite Muslim captors in Lebanon after nearly seven years as a hostage.
1992 – U.S. President George H.W. Bush orders more than 28,000 American troops to lead a mercy mission to Somalia, threatening military action against warlords and gangs who block food for starving millions.
1993 – Farmers from Europe, India and Japan demonstrate in Geneva against “American imperialism” and the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade accord, fearing it will ruin millions of farmers and uproot centuries-old traditions.
1995 – A Cameroon Airlines jet crashes while trying to land in Yaounde, killing at least 60 people; the first NATO troops land in the Balkans to begin setting up a peace mission.
1996 – NASA launches a spacecraft to Mars carrying the first-ever interplanetary rover, a six-wheeled cart that will roam the frigid Martian surface in search of rocks.
1997 – Russian authorities say they will charge as a spy an American engineer who made land surveys in Russia.
1998 – A Chinese entrepreneur is tried in Shanghai on charges of providing email addresses to an online democracy magazine.
1999 – Following a week dominated by protests by opponents of the World Trade Organization, the push for new global trade talks collapses at the WTO session in Seattle.
2001 – The ex-wife of former South African President F. W. de Klerk, Marike de Klerk, is found murdered in her home near Cape Town.
2002 – Indonesian police arrest a Muslim cleric, Ali Ghufron, also known as Mukhlas, whom they suspected of masterminding a bombing on the island of Bali that killed nearly 200 people in October.
2004 – Suicide attackers carry out a string of car bombings against Iraqi policemen in Baghdad and Kurdish militiamen in the north, killing 14 people and wounding at least 59 in the latest major assaults on Iraqi security forces and their U.S. allies in the country.
2005 – Incumbent Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev, who has ruled oil-rich Kazakhstan since Soviet times, easily wins a new seven-year term in presidential elections.
2006 – The Guayana Shield region, a swath of Amazon rain forest, is placed under government protection in a region infamous for violent conflicts among loggers, ranchers and environmentalists.
2007 – Syrian archaeologists announce they have unearthed two Bronze-era cemeteries dating from the 18th Century B.C., the third set of ancient graveyards found in less than a month.
2008 – Zimbabwe declares a national emergency over a cholera epidemic and the collapse of its health care system.
2009 – An explosion apparently caused by pyrotechnics tears through a nightclub in the Russian city of Perm, killing more than 100 people.
2010 – Spain places striking air traffic controllers under military authority and threatens them with jail terms in an unprecedented emergency order to get planes back in the skies and clear chaotic airports clogged with irate travelers.
2011 — Italian Premier Mario Monti says his government of technocrats has approved a package of austerity and growth measures worth euro30 billion to “reawaken” the Italian economy and help save the euro common currency from collapse.
2012 — A protest by at least 100,000 Egyptians outside the presidential palace in Cairo turns violent as tensions grow over Islamist President Mohammed Morsi‘s seizure of nearly unrestricted powers and a draft constitution hurriedly adopted by his allies.
2013 — A member of the inner circle of Hezbollah, Hassan al-Laqis, is assassinated in Beirut in the latest of a series of attacks against the Iranian-backed Shiite group whose open support of Syrian President Bashar Assad has enraged Sunnis..
Thomas Carlyle, Scottish essayist-historian (1795-1881); Samuel Butler, English author (1815-1902); Crazy Horse, Native American Chief (1849-1877); Wasily Kandinsky, Russian abstract painter (1849-1877); Rainer Maria Rilke, Austro-German poet (1875-1926); General Francisco Franco, Spanish dictator (1892-1975); Marisa Tomei, U.S. actress (1964–); Tyra Banks, U.S. actress/model/host (1973–).
Thought For Today:
There’s much to be said for challenging fate instead of ducking behind it — Diana Trilling, American author and literary critic.