December 21, 2016

Today is Wednesday, Dec. 21, the 356th day of 2016. There are 10 days left in the year. Winter arrives at 5:44 a.m. Eastern time.

Today’s Highlight in History

On Dec. 21, 1891, the first basketball game is believed to have been played at the International YMCA Training School in Springfield, Massachusetts; devised by James Naismith, "Basket Ball" involved the use of a soccer ball and two peach baskets, with nine players on each team. (The final score of this experimental game: 1-0.)

On this date

1620— Pilgrims aboard the Mayflower went ashore for the first time at present-day Plymouth, Massachusetts.

1864— During the Civil War, Union forces led by Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman concluded their "March to the Sea" as they captured Savannah.

1879— The Henrik Ibsen play "A Doll’s House" premiered at the Royal Theater in Copenhagen.

1937— Walt Disney’s first animated feature, "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs," had its world premiere in Los Angeles.

1945— U.S. Army Gen. George S. Patton, 60, died in Heidelberg, Germany, 12 days after being seriously injured in a car accident.

1958— Charles de Gaulle was elected to a seven-year term as the first president of the Fifth Republic of France.

1968— Apollo 8 was launched on a mission to orbit the moon.

1976— The Liberian-registered tanker Argo Merchant broke apart near Nantucket Island, off Massachusetts, almost a week after running aground, spilling 7.5 million gallons of oil into the North Atlantic.

1988— Two hundred and seventy people were killed when a terrorist bomb exploded aboard a Pam Am Boeing 747 over Lockerbie, Scotland, sending wreckage crashing to the ground.

1991— Eleven of the 12 former Soviet republics proclaimed the birth of the Commonwealth of Independent States and the death of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.

2012— Rome businessman David Doss announced to the Rome City Commission his plans to build a Courtyard by Marriott on property on West Third Street.

Thought for today

‘Many human beings say that they enjoy the winter, but what they really enjoy is feeling proof against it.’

Richard Adams

English author

Five years ago

The U.S. Army announced charges against eight soldiers related to the death of a fellow GI, Pvt. Daniel Chen, who apparently shot himself in Afghanistan after being hazed. (Of the eight, five received prison sentences and two received demotions; four of the eight faced dismissal from the service.)

One year ago

A Taliban attacker rammed a bomb-laden motorcycle into a joint NATO and Afghan patrol near the Bagram Airfield, killing six Americans in the deadliest attack on foreign troops since the previous August.

The nation’s three-decade-old ban on blood donations from gay and bisexual men was formally lifted, but major restrictions continued to limit who could give blood in the U.S.

Today’s Birthdays

Country singer Freddie Hart is 90. Talk show host Phil Donahue is 81. Actress Jane Fonda is 79. Actor Larry Bryggman is 78. Max B. Sewell of Shannon is 78. Singer Carla Thomas is 74. Actor Samuel L. Jackson is 68. Actress Jane Kaczmarek is 61. Country singer Lee Roy Parnell is 60. Entertainer Jim Rose is 60. Actor-comedian Ray Romano is 59. Rock musician Murph (The Lemonheads; Dinosaur Jr.) is 52. Actor-comedian Andy Dick is 51. Actor Kiefer Sutherland is 50. Actress Julie Delpy is 47. Country singer-musician Rhean Boyer (Carolina Rain) is 46. Actress Rutina Wesley is 38. Mohawk Industries employee Laquirsia Carey of Rome is 37. Rock musician Anna Bulbrook (Airborne Toxic Event) is 34. Country singer Luke Stricklin is 34. Actor Steven Yeun is 33. Actress Kaitlyn Dever is 20.