Today’s Highlight in History
On Dec. 1, 1991: Ukrainians voted overwhelmingly for independence from the Soviet Union.
Also on this date ...
In 1824: The presidential election was turned over to the U.S. House of Representatives when a deadlock developed among John Quincy Adams, Andrew Jackson, William H. Crawford and Henry Clay. (Adams ended up the winner.)
In 1862: President Abraham Lincoln sent his Second Annual Message to Congress, in which he called for the abolition of slavery, and went on to say, “Fellow-citizens, we can not escape history. We of this Congress and this Administration will be remembered in spite of ourselves.”
In 1941: Japan’s Emperor Hirohito approved waging war against the United States, Britain and the Netherlands after his government rejected U.S. demands contained in the Hull Note.
In 1942: During World War II, nationwide gasoline rationing went into effect in the United States; the goal was not so much to save on gas, but to conserve rubber that was desperately needed for the war effort by reducing the use of tires.
In 1952: The New York Daily News ran a front-page story on Christine Jorgensen’s sex-reassignment surgery with the headline, “Ex-GI Becomes Blonde Beauty”.
In 1955: Rosa Parks, a Black seamstress, was arrested after refusing to give up her seat to a white man on a Montgomery, Alabama, city bus; the incident sparked a year-long boycott of the buses by Blacks.
In 1965: An airlift of refugees from Cuba to the United States began in which thousands of Cubans were allowed to leave their homeland.
In 1969: The U.S. government held its first draft lottery since World War II.
In 1974: TWA Flight 514, a Washington-bound Boeing 727, crashed in Virginia after being diverted from National Airport to Dulles International Airport; all 92 people on board were killed. Northwest Orient Airlines Flight 6231, a Boeing 727, crashed near Stony Point, New York, with the loss of its three crew members (the plane had been chartered to pick up the Baltimore Colts football team in Buffalo, New York).
In 2005: A roadside bomb killed 10 U.S. Marines near Fallujah, Iraq.
In 2009: President Barack Obama ordered 30,000 more U.S. troops into the war in Afghanistan but promised during a speech to cadets at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point to begin withdrawals in 18 months.
In 2020: Disputing President Donald Trump’s persistent, baseless claims, Attorney General William Barr told The Associated Press that the U.S. Justice Department had uncovered no evidence of widespread voter fraud that could change the outcome of the 2020 election. Trump filed a lawsuit in Wisconsin seeking to disqualify more than 221,000 ballots in a longshot attempt to overturn Democrat Joe Biden’s win in the battleground state.
Ten years ago: Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher fatally shot his girlfriend, Kasandra Perkins, then drove to Arrowhead Stadium and took his own life in front of the team’s coach and general manager. Enrique Pena Nieto took the oath of office as Mexico’s new president, vowing to restore peace and security.
Five years ago: Retired general Michael Flynn, who served as President Donald Trump’s first national security adviser, pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about reaching out to the Russians on Trump’s behalf. (Flynn would be pardoned by Trump after twice pleading guilty to lying to the FBI.)
One year ago: As the Supreme Court heard arguments on a challenge to a Mississippi law banning abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy, members of the court’s conservative majority signaled that they would allow states to ban abortion much earlier in pregnancy and possibly even overturn the nationwide right that had existed for nearly 50 years. (In June 2022, the court would use the Mississippi case to overturn its Roe v. Wade decision and remove women’s constitutional protections for abortion.) The U.S. recorded its first confirmed case of the omicron variant of the coronavirus, in a vaccinated traveler who returned to California after a trip to South Africa.