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Almanac

By The Associated Press

Today in History

Today is Thursday, Dec. 14, the 348th day of 2023. There are 17 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Dec. 14, 2020, the largest vaccination campaign in U.S. history began with health workers getting shots on the same day the nation’s COVID-19 death toll hit 300,000.

On this date:

In 1799, the first president of the United States, George Washington, died at his Mount Vernon, Virginia, home at age 67.

In 1819, Alabama joined the Union as the 22nd state.

In 1861, Prince Albert, husband of Queen Victoria, died at Windsor Castle at age 42.

In 1911, Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen (ROH’-ahl AH’-mun-suhn) and his team became the first men to reach the South Pole, beating out a British expedition led by Robert F. Scott.

In 1939, the Soviet Union was expelled from the League of Nations for invading Finland.

In 1961, a school bus was hit by a passenger train at a crossing near Greeley, Colorado, killing 20 students.

In 1964, the U.S. Supreme Court, in Heart of Atlanta Motel v. United States, ruled that Congress was within its authority to enforce the Civil Rights Act of 1964 against racial discrimination by private businesses (in this case, a motel that refused to cater to Blacks).

In 1981, Israel annexed the Golan Heights, which it had seized from Syria in 1967.

In 1985, former New York Yankees outfielder Roger Maris, who’d hit 61 home runs during the 1961 season, died in Houston at age 51.

In 1986, the experimental aircraft Voyager, piloted by Dick Rutan and Jeana Yeager, took off from Edwards Air Force Base in California on the first non-stop, non-refueled flight around the world. In 2006, a British police inquiry concluded that the deaths of Princess Diana and her boyfriend, Dodi Fayed, in a 1997 Paris car crash were a “tragic accident,” and that allegations of a murder conspiracy were unfounded. Atlantic Records founder Ahmet Ertegun died in New York at age 83.

In 2012, a gunman with a semi-automatic rifle killed 20 first-graders and six educators at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, then took his own life as police arrived; the 20-year-old had also fatally shot his mother at their home before carrying out the attack on the school.

In 2013, actor Peter O’Toole who achieved instant stardom as Lawrence of Arabia and was nominated eight times for an Academy Award without winning, died in London at age 81.

In 2020, the Electoral College decisively confirmed Joe Biden as the nation’s next president, ratifying his November victory in a state-by-state repudiation of President Donald Trump’s refusal to concede he had lost; electors gave Biden 306 votes to Trump’s 232.

In 2021, Stephen Curry set a new NBA career 3-point record; the Golden State Warriors’ guard hit his 2,974th 3-point shot against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden.

Today’s Birthdays: Singer-actor Abbe Lane is 92. Actor Hal Williams is 89. Pop singer Joyce Vincent Wilson (Tony Orlando and Dawn) is 77. Entertainment executive Michael Ovitz is 77. Actor Dee Wallace is 75. R&B singer Ronnie McNeir (The Four Tops) is 74. Rock musician Cliff Williams is 74. Actor-comedian T.K. Carter is 67. Rock singer-musician Mike Scott (The Waterboys) is 65. Singer-musician Peter “Spider” Stacy (The Pogues) is 65. Actor Cynthia Gibb is 60. Actor Nancy Valen is 58. Actor Archie Kao is 54. Actor Natascha McElhone is 54. Actor-comedian Michaela Watkins is 52. Actor-comedian Miranda Hart is 51. R&B singer Brian Dalyrimple (Soul For Real) is 48. Actor KaDee Strickland is 48. Actor Tammy Blanchard is 47. Actor Sophie Monk is 44. Actor-singer-musician Jackson Rathbone is 39. Actor Vanessa Hudgens is 35. Rock/R&B singer Tori Kelly is 31.

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