IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Today in history: December 2

Celebrity birthdays, highlights in history, plus more facts about this day
/ Source: The Associated Press

Today is Friday, Dec. 2, the 336th day of 2005. There are 29 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:
On Dec. 2, 1954, the Senate voted to condemn Wisconsin Republican Joseph R. McCarthy for “conduct that tends to bring the Senate into dishonor and disrepute.”

On this date:
In 1804, Napoleon was crowned emperor of France.

In 1823, President Monroe outlined his doctrine opposing European expansion in the Western Hemisphere.

In 1859, militant abolitionist John Brown was hanged for his raid on Harper’s Ferry the previous October.

In 1939, New York’s La Guardia Airport began operations as an airliner from Chicago landed at one minute past midnight.

In 1942, a self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction was demonstrated for the first time, at the University of Chicago.

In 1970, the Environmental Protection Agency began operating under director William Ruckelshaus.

In 1980, four American churchwomen were raped, murdered and buried outside San Salvador. (Five Salvadoran guardsmen were convicted in the killings.)

In 1982, in the first operation of its kind, doctors at the University of Utah Medical Center implanted a permanent artificial heart in the chest of retired dentist Dr. Barney Clark, who lived 112 days with the device.

In 1993, Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar was shot to death by security forces in Medellin.

In 2001, in one of the largest corporate bankruptcies in U.S. history, Enron filed for Chapter 11 protection.

Ten years ago: In Baumholder, Germany, President Clinton told 4,000 American troops who were on their way to Bosnia-Herzegovina for peacekeeping duty to strike “immediately and with decisive force” if threatened. NASA launched a U.S.-European observatory on a $1 billion mission to study the sun.

Five years ago: Al Gore sought a recount in South Florida, while George W. Bush flatly asserted, “I’m soon to be the president” and met with GOP congressional leaders.

One year ago: President Bush chose former New York police commissioner Bernard Kerik to run the Department of Homeland Security. (However, Kerik withdrew his name days later, citing immigration problems with a former nanny.) President Bush announced that Nebraska Gov. Mike Johanns was his choice as the next agriculture secretary, replacing Ann Veneman. U.N. ambassador John Danforth resigned after five months representing the U.S. at the world body. Dame Alicia Markova, one of the 20th century’s greatest ballerinas, died in Bath, England, at age 94. Pulitzer-winning poet Mona Van Duyn, the nation’s first female poet laureate, died in University City, Mo., at age 83.

Today’s Birthdays: Character actor Bill Erwin is 91. Former Secretary of State Alexander M. Haig is 81. Actress Julie Harris is 80. Former Attorney General Edwin Meese III is 74. Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid of Nevada is 66. Actress Cathy Lee Crosby is 61. Movie director Penelope Spheeris is 60. Country singer John Wesley Ryles is 55. Actor Keith Szarabajka is 53. Actor Dan Butler is 51. NBC news broadcaster Stone Phillips is 51. Actor Dennis Christopher is 50. Actor Steven Bauer is 49. Country singer Joe Henry is 45. Rock musician Rick Savage (Def Leppard) is 45. Tennis Hall-of-Famer Tracy Austin is 43. Rock musician Nate Mendel (Foo Fighters) is 37. Actress Rena Sofer is 37. Rock singer Jimi HaHa (Jimmie’s Chicken Shack) is 37. Actress Lucy Liu is 37. Rapper Treach (Naughty By Nature) is 35. Tennis player Monica Seles is 32. Singer Nelly Furtado is 27. Singer Britney Spears is 24. Actresses Daniella and Deanna Canterman (“Maybe It’s Me”) are 13.

Thought for Today: “Misery loves company, but company does not reciprocate.” — Addison Mizner, American architect (1872-1933).