Today in history

By the Associated Press

Today in Monday, December 16, the 352nd day of the year. There are 15 days left in the year.

Today’s highlights in history:

On Dec. 16, 1773, the Boston Tea Party took place as American colonists boarded a British ship and dumped more than 300 chests of tea into Boston Harbor to protest tea taxes.

In 1653, Oliver Cromwell became lord protector of England, Scotland and Ireland.

In 1859, Wilhelm Grimm, the younger of the story-writing Brothers Grimm, died in Berlin at age 73.

In 1905, the entertainment trade publication Variety came out with its first weekly issue.

In 1907, 16 U.S. Navy battleships, which came to be known as the “Great White Fleet,” set sail on a 14-month round-the-world voyage to demonstrate American sea power.

In 1944, the World War II Battle of the Bulge began as German forces launched a surprise attack against Allied forces through the Ardennes Forest in Belgium and Luxembourg (the Allies were eventually able to turn the Germans back).

In 1950, President Harry S. Truman proclaimed a national state of emergency in order to fight “world conquest by Communist imperialism.”

In 1960, 134 people were killed when a United Air Lines DC-8 and a TWA Super Constellation collided over New York City.

In 1982, Environmental Protection Agency head Anne M. Gorsuch became the first Cabinet-level officer to be cited for contempt of Congress for refusing to submit documents requested by a congressional committee.

In 1985, at services in Fort Campbell, Kentucky, President Ronald Reagan and his wife, Nancy, offered condolences to families of 248 soldiers killed in the crash of a chartered plane in Newfoundland.

In 1991, the U.N. General Assembly rescinded its 1975 resolution equating Zionism with racism by a vote of 111-25.

In 2000, President-elect George W. Bush selected Colin Powell to become the first African-American secretary of state.

In 2001, after nine weeks of fighting, Afghan militia leaders claimed control of the last mountain bastion of Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaida fighters, but bin Laden himself was nowhere to be seen.

Ten years ago: Two hundred Mexican Marines raided an upscale apartment complex and killed drug cartel chief Arturo Beltran Leyva in a two-hour gunbattle. Iran test-fired a missile capable of hitting Israel and parts of Europe. Police fired pepper spray and beat protesters with batons outside the U.N. climate conference in Copenhagen. Tiger Woods was voted Athlete of the Decade by members of The Associated Press. Yegor Gaidar, 53, who oversaw Russia’s painful transition from communism to a free market economy, died in Moscow. Roy E. Disney, 79, the son and nephew of the Walt Disney Co. founders, died in Newport Beach, California.

Five years ago: Taliban gunmen stormed a military-run school in the northwestern Pakistan city of Peshawar, killing at least 148 people, mostly children. Nick Bjugstad scored the game-winning goal in the longest shootout in NHL history to lift the Florida Panthers over the Washington Capitals 2-1.

One year ago: With the threat of a partial government shutdown looming, the White House dug in on its demand for $5 billion to build a border wall as congressional Democrats stood firm against it. As a number of probes moved closer to the Oval Office, President Donald Trump and his attorney unleashed a fresh series of attacks on special counsel Robert Mueller and federal prosecutors in New York, while categorically ruling out a presidential interview with Mueller.


Civil rights attorney Morris Dees, 83.

Actress Joyce Bulifant, 82.

Actress Liv Ullmann, 81.

CBS news correspondent Lesley Stahl, 78.

Pop musician Tony Hicks (The Hollies), 74.

Pop singer Benny Andersson (ABBA), 73.

Actor Ben Cross, 72.

Rock singer-musician Billy Gibbons (ZZ Top), 70.

Rock musician Bill Bateman (The Blasters), 68.

Actor Xander Berkeley, 64.

Actress Alison LaPlaca, 60.

Actor Sam Robards, 58.

Actor Jon Tenney, 58.

Actor Benjamin Bratt, 56.

Country singer-songwriter Jeff Carson, 56.

Actor-comedian JB Smoove, 54.

Actress Miranda Otto, 52.

Actor Daniel Cosgrove, 49.

Rhythm-and-blues singer Michael McCary, 48.

Actor Jonathan Scarfe, 44.

Actress Krysten Ritter, 38.

Actress Zoe Jarman, 37.

Country musician Chris Scruggs, 37.

Actor Theo James, 35.

Actress Amanda Setton, 34.

Rock musician Dave Rublin (American Authors), 33.

Actress Hallee Hirsh, 32.

Actress Anna Popplewell, 31.

Actor Stephan James, 26.

By the Associated Press