Today in History

December 19, 2021 GMT

Today in History

Today is Sunday, Dec. 19, the 353rd day of 2021. There are 12 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Dec. 19, 1998, President Bill Clinton was impeached by the Republican-controlled House for perjury and obstruction of justice. (Clinton was subsequently acquitted by the Senate.)

On this date:

In 1777, during the American Revolutionary War, Gen. George Washington led his army of about 11,000 men to Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, to camp for the winter.

In 1813, British forces captured Fort Niagara during the War of 1812.

In 1907, 239 workers died in a coal mine explosion in Jacobs Creek, Pennsylvania.

In 1946, war broke out in Indochina as troops under Ho Chi Minh launched widespread attacks against the French.

In 1950, Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower was named commander of the military forces of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.


In 1960, fire broke out on the hangar deck of the nearly completed aircraft carrier USS Constellation at the New York Naval Shipyard; 50 civilian workers were killed.

In 1972, Apollo 17 splashed down in the Pacific, winding up the Apollo program of manned lunar landings.

In 1974, Nelson A. Rockefeller was sworn in as the 41st vice president of the United States in the U.S. Senate chamber by Chief Justice Warren Burger with President Gerald R. Ford looking on.

In 2001, the fires that had burned beneath the ruins of the World Trade Center in New York City for the previous three months were declared extinguished except for a few scattered hot spots.

In 2002, Secretary of State Colin Powell declared Iraq in “material breach” of a U.N. disarmament resolution.

In 2003, design plans were unveiled for the signature skyscraper — a 1,776-foot glass tower — at the site of the World Trade Center in New York City.

In 2008, citing imminent danger to the national economy, President George W. Bush ordered an emergency bailout of the U.S. auto industry.

Ten years ago: North Korea announced the death two days earlier of leader Kim Jong Il; North Koreans marched by the thousands to mourn their “Dear Leader” while state media proclaimed his youngest son, Kim Jong Un, a “Great Successor.” Paroled American Lori Berenson, who had stirred international controversy after being convicted of aiding Peruvian guerrillas, left Lima on a flight to the United States for her first visit back home since her arrest in 1995.

Five years ago: A truck rammed into a crowded Christmas market in central Berlin, killing 12 people in an attack claimed by Islamic State. (The suspected attacker was killed in a police shootout four days later.) A Turkish policeman fatally shot Russian ambassador Andrei Karlov at a photo exhibit in Ankara. (The assailant was later killed in a police shootout.)


One year ago: Contradicting his secretary of state and other top officials, President Donald Trump suggested without evidence that China – not Russia – might have been behind a cyberespionage operation against the United States government; Trump also tried to downplay its impact. Millions of people in England learned they would have to cancel their Christmas get-togethers and holiday shopping trips; British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said holiday gatherings could not go ahead and non-essential shops would have to close in London and much of southern England as part of a higher level of coronavirus restrictions.

Today’s Birthdays: Actor Elaine Joyce is 78. Actor Tim Reid is 77. Paleontologist Richard E. Leakey is 77. Musician John McEuen is 76. Singer Janie Fricke is 74. Jazz musician Lenny White is 72. Actor Mike Lookinland is 61. Actor Scott Cohen is 60. Actor Jennifer Beals is 58. Actor Robert MacNaughton is 55. Magician Criss Angel is 54. Rock musician Klaus Eichstadt (Ugly Kid Joe) is 54. Actor Ken Marino is 53. Actor Elvis Nolasco is 53. Actor Derek Webster is 53. Actor Kristy Swanson is 52. Model Tyson Beckford is 51. Actor Amy Locane is 50. Pro Football Hall of Famer Warren Sapp is 49. Actor Rosa Blasi is 49. Actor Alyssa Milano is 49. Actor Tara Summers is 42. Actor Jake Gyllenhaal (JIH’-lihn-hahl) is 41. Actor Marla Sokoloff is 41. Rapper Lady Sovereign is 36. Journalist Ronan Farrow is 34. Actor Nik Dodani is 28.