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Today in History - Dec. 13

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

BC-History-Dec 13, Adv13,0659


For release Wednesday, Dec. 13

Today in History

By The Associated Press

Today is Wednesday, Dec. 13, the 347th day of 2006. There are 18 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Dec. 13, 1862, Union forces suffered a major defeat to the Confederates at the Battle of Fredericksburg.

On this date:

In 1642, Dutch navigator Abel Tasman sighted present-day New Zealand.

In 1769, Dartmouth College, in New Hampshire, received its charter.

In 1835, Phillips Brooks, the American Episcopal bishop who wrote the words to “O Little Town of Bethlehem,” was born in Boston.

In 1918, President Wilson arrived in France, becoming the first chief executive to visit Europe while in office.

In 1928, George Gershwin’s musical work “An American in Paris” had its premiere, at Carnegie Hall in New York.

In 1944, during World War II, the U.S. cruiser Nashville was badly damaged in a Japanese kamikaze attack that claimed more than 130 lives.

In 1978, the Philadelphia Mint began stamping the Susan B. Anthony dollar, which went into circulation in July 1979.

In 1981, authorities in Poland imposed martial law in a crackdown on the Solidarity labor movement. (Martial law formally ended in 1983.)

In 1994, an American Eagle commuter plane carrying 20 people crashed short of Raleigh-Durham International Airport in North Carolina, killing 15.

In 2003, Saddam Hussein was captured by U.S. forces while hiding in a hole under a farmhouse in Adwar, Iraq, near his hometown of Tikrit.

Ten years ago: President Clinton nominated Bill Daley to be commerce secretary and Bill Richardson to be United Nations ambassador. The U.N. Security Council chose Kofi Annan of Ghana to become the world body’s seventh secretary-general. Trade ministers from 28 countries meeting in Singapore endorsed a U.S.-crafted trade pact to abolish import duties on computers, software and other high-tech products.

Five years ago: The Pentagon publicly released a captured videotape of Osama bin Laden in which the al-Qaida leader said the deaths and destruction achieved by the Sept. 11 attacks exceeded his “most optimistic” expectations. Five suspected Islamic militants killed nine people in an attack on India’s parliament before being killed themselves. President Bush served formal notice that the United States was pulling out of the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty with Russia.

One year ago: Crips gang co-founder Stanley Tookie Williams, whose supporters argued he had redeemed himself inside prison, was executed in California for killing four people in robberies. Iraqis living abroad began voting in the country’s parliamentary elections. American Red Cross President Marsha Evans announced her resignation.

Today’s Birthdays: Former Secretary of State George P. Shultz is

86. Actor-comedian Dick Van Dyke is 81. Actor Christopher Plummer is 79. Actor Robert Prosky is 76. Country singer Buck White is 76. Music/film producer Lou Adler is 73. Movie producer Richard Zanuck is 72. Singer John Davidson is 65. Singer Ted Nugent is 58. Rock musician Jeff “Skunk” Baxter is 58. Country musician Ron Getman is 58. Actor Robert Lindsay is 57. Country singer-musician Randy Owen is 57. Actress Wendie Malick is 56. Country singer John Anderson is 52. Singer-songwriter Steve Forbert is 52. Singer-actor Morris Day is 50. Actor Steve Buscemi is 49. Actor Johnny Whitaker is 47. Actor-comedian Jamie Foxx is 39. Rock singer-musician Thomas Delonge is 31. Actress Chelsea Hertford is 25. Rock singer Amy Lee (Evanescence) is 25.

Thought for Today: “To know how to say what others only know how to think is what makes men poets or sages; and to dare to say what others only dare to think makes men martyrs or reformers — or both.” — Elizabeth Charles, British writer (1828-1896).