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Today in History

December 9, 2021 GMT

Today in History

Today is Thursday, Dec. 9, the 343rd day of 2021. There are 22 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Dec. 9, 2014, U.S. Senate investigators concluded the United States had brutalized scores of terror suspects with interrogation tactics that turned secret CIA prisons into chambers of suffering and did nothing to make Americans safer after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.

On this date:

In 1911, an explosion inside the Cross Mountain coal mine near Briceville, Tennessee, killed 84 workers. (Five were rescued.)

In 1917, British forces captured Jerusalem from the Ottoman Turks.

In 1958, the anti-communist John Birch Society was formed in Indianapolis.

In 1962, the Petrified Forest in Arizona was designated a national park.

In 1965, “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” the first animated TV special featuring characters from the “Peanuts” comic strip by Charles M. Schulz, premiered on CBS.

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In 1987, the first Palestinian intefadeh, or uprising, began as riots broke out in Gaza and spread to the West Bank, triggering a strong Israeli response.

In 1990, Solidarity founder Lech Walesa (lek vah-WEN’-sah) won Poland’s presidential runoff by a landslide.

In 1992, Britain’s Prince Charles and Princess Diana announced their separation. (The couple’s divorce became final in August 1996.)

In 2000, the U-S Supreme Court ordered a temporary halt in the Florida vote count on which Al Gore pinned his best hopes of winning the White House.

In 2001, the United States disclosed the existence of a videotape in which Osama bin Laden said he was pleasantly surprised by the extent of damage from the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

In 2006, a fire broke out at a Moscow drug treatment hospital, killing 46 women trapped by barred windows and a locked gate.

In 2013, scientists revealed that NASA’s Curiosity rover had uncovered signs of an ancient freshwater lake on Mars.

Ten years ago: The European Union said 26 of its 27 member countries were open to joining a new treaty tying their finances together to solve the euro crisis; Britain remained opposed. A jury in New Haven, Connecticut, condemned Joshua Komisarjevsky (koh-mih-sahr-JEV’-skee) to death for killing a woman and her two daughters during a night of terror in their suburban Cheshire home. (The other defendant in the case, Steven Hayes, had also been condemned to death; both punishments were changed to life in prison after Connecticut abolished the death penalty in 2015.) A fire at a hospital in Kolkata, India, claimed the lives of at least 93 people.

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Five years ago: The White House said President Barack Obama had ordered intelligence officials to conduct a broad review of election-season cyberattacks, including the email hacks that rattled the presidential campaign and raised fresh concerns about Russia’s meddling in U.S. elections. South Korean lawmakers impeached President Park Geun-hye over an explosive corruption scandal, a stunning and swift fall for the country’s first female leader.

One year ago: The U.S. government and 48 states and districts sued Facebook, accusing it of abusing its market power in social networking to crush smaller competitors. (A federal judge dismissed the lawsuits in June 2021; federal regulators filed a revised complaint in August.) Commercial flights with Boeing 737 Max jetliners resumed for the first time since they were grounded worldwide nearly two years earlier following two deadly accidents; Brazil’s Gol Airlines became the first in the world to return the planes to its active fleet. NASA named the 18 astronauts — half of them women — who would train for its Artemis moon-landing program.

Today’s Birthdays: Actor Dame Judi Dench is 87. Actor Beau Bridges is 80. Football Hall of Famer Dick Butkus is 79. Actor Michael Nouri is 76. Former Sen. Thomas Daschle, D-S.D., is 74. World Golf Hall of Famer Tom Kite is 72. Singer Joan Armatrading is 71. Actor Michael Dorn is 69. Actor John Malkovich is 68. Country singer Sylvia is 65. Singer Donny Osmond is 64. Rock musician Nick Seymour (Crowded House) is 63. Comedian Mario Cantone is 62. Actor David Anthony Higgins is 60. Actor Joe Lando is 60. Actor Felicity Huffman is 59. Empress Masako of Japan is 58. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., is 55. Rock singer-musician Thomas Flowers (Oleander) is 54. Rock musician Brian Bell (Weezer) is 53. Rock singer-musician Jakob Dylan (Wallflowers) is 52. TV personality-businessperson Lori Greiner (TV: “Shark Tank”) is 52. Actor Allison Smith is 52. Songwriter and former “American Idol” judge Kara DioGuardi (dee-oh-GWAHR’-dee) is 51. Country singer David Kersh is 51. Actor Reiko (RAY’-koh) Aylesworth is 49. Rock musician Tre Cool (Green Day) is 49. Rapper Canibus is 47. Actor Kevin Daniels is 45. Actor-writer-director Mark Duplass is 45. Rock singer Imogen Heap is 44. Actor Jesse Metcalfe is 43. Actor Simon Helberg is 41. Actor Jolene Purdy is 38. Actor Joshua Sasse is 34. Actor Ashleigh Brewer is 31. Olympic gold and silver medal gymnast McKayla Maroney is 26. Olympic silver medal gymnast MyKayla Skinner is 25.