Today in History: December 21, Pilgrims go ashore

Today in History Today is Wednesday, December 21, 2022, the 355th day. 10 days left…

Today in History

Today is Wednesday, December 21, the 355th day of 2022. There are 10 days left in the year. Winter starts at 4:48 PM EST.

Today’s Story Highlights:

On December 21, 1864, during the Civil War, Union forces ended the “March to the Sea” led by Major General William T. Sherman when they captured Savannah, Georgia.

On this date:

In 1620, the Pilgrims aboard the Mayflower first landed in present-day Plymouth, Massachusetts.

In 1891, the first basketball game invented by James Naismith is believed to have been played at the YMCA International Training School in Springfield, Massachusetts. (Final result of this experimental game: 1-0.)

In 1913, the first newspaper crossword puzzle, dubbed the “Word-Cross Puzzle,” was published in the New York World.

In 1914, the US government began requiring passport applicants to provide their photographs.


In 1976, the Liberian tanker Argo Merchant broke up near Nantucket Island in Massachusetts almost a week after sinking, spilling 7.5 million gallons of oil into the North Atlantic.

In 1988, 270 people died when a Pam Am Boeing 747 exploded after a terrorist bomb exploded in Lockerbie, Scotland, sending debris falling to the ground.

In 1991, eleven of the 12 former Soviet republics declared the birth of the Commonwealth of Independent States and the death of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.

In 1995, the city of Bethlehem passed from Israeli control to Palestinian control.

In 2009, the Obama administration imposed a 3-hour limit on airlines allowing passengers to wait on the ground inside delayed planes.

In 2015, the nation’s three-decade ban on gay and bisexual men donating blood was formally lifted, but major restrictions continued to limit who could donate blood in the US.

In 2020, President-elect Joe Biden received the first dose of the coronavirus vaccine on live television as part of a growing effort to convince the American public that vaccinations are safe. The Vatican declared it “morally acceptable” for Catholics to receive COVID-19 vaccines based on research that used aborted fetal tissue.

Ten years ago: The National Rifle Association said guns and police were needed in every American school to stop the next killer “waiting in the wings,” taking a stand that did not back down from the growing calls for gun control after Newtown. In Connecticut, the shooting claimed the lives of 26 children and school staff. President Barack Obama nominated Senator John Kerry to be his next secretary of state.

Five years ago: The UN General Assembly voted overwhelmingly to denounce President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, largely ignoring Trump’s threat to cut aid to any country that opposes it. Papa John’s announced that founder John Schnatter would step down as CEO; the company apologized for the protests by players who took a knee during the national anthem criticizing NFL leadership.

A year ago: In an effort to combat the omicron variant of the coronavirus across the country, President Joe Biden announced that the government would provide 500 million free home testing kits, increase aid to strained hospitals and double vaccination efforts. Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said the nation’s third-largest city would begin requiring proof of a coronavirus vaccine at restaurants, bars, gyms and other indoor locations. Figures released by the US Census Bureau showed US population growth fell to its lowest rate since the nation’s founding in the first year of the pandemic.

Today’s Birthdays: Talk show host Phil Donahue turns 87. Actors Jane Fonda 85. Actors Larry Bryggman 84. Singers Carla Thomas 80. Musicians Albert Lee 79. Directors Michael Tilson Thomas 78. Actors Josh Mostel 76. Actors Samuel. L. Jackson is 74 years old. Rock singer Nick Gilder is 72 years old. Film producer Jeffrey Katzenberg is 72 years old. Actor Dennis Boutsikaris is 70 years old. International Tennis Hall of Famer Chris Evert is 68 years old. Actress Jane Kaczmarek is 67 years old. Country singer Lee Roy Parnell is 66 years old. Former child actress Lisa Gerritsen is 65 years old. Actor-comedian Ray Romano is 65 years old. Former Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is 60 years old. Country singer Christy Forester (The Forester Sisters) is 60 years old. Rock musician Murph (The Lemonheads; Dinosaur Jr.) is 58 years old. Actor-comedian Andy Dick is 57 years old. Rock musician Gabrielle Glaser 57. Actress Michelle Hurd 56. Actor Kiefer Sutherland 56. Actress Karri Turner 56. Actress Khrystyne Haje 54. Country singer Brad Warren (The Warren Brothers) is 54. Actress Julie Delpy is 53 years old. Contemporary Chr singer Natalie Grant is 51 years old. Actor Glenn Fitzgerald 51. Singer-musician Brett Scallions 51. World Golf Hall of Famer Karrie Webb 48. Rock singer Lukas Rossi (Rock Star Supernova) 46. French President Emmanuel Macron is 45 years old. The actress Rutina Wesley is 44 years old. Rock musician Anna Bulbrook (Airborne Toxic Event) is 40. Country singer Luke Stricklin is 40. Actor Steven Yeun is 39. Actress Kaitlyn Dever is 26.

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