Today’s Highlight in History
On Nov. 15, 1864: During the Civil War, Union forces led by Maj. Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman began their “March to the Sea” from Atlanta; the campaign ended with the capture of Savannah on Dec. 21.
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In 1777: The Second Continental Congress approved the Articles of Confederation.
In 1806: Explorer Zebulon Pike sighted the mountaintop now known as Pikes Peak in present-day Colorado.
In 1937: At the U.S. Capitol, members of the House and Senate met in air-conditioned chambers for the first time.
In 1942: The naval Battle of Guadalcanal ended during World War II with a decisive U.S. victory over Japanese forces.
In 1939: President Franklin D. Roosevelt laid the cornerstone of the Jefferson Memorial in Washington, D.C.
In 1959: Four members of the Clutter family of Holcomb, Kansas, were found murdered in their home. (Ex-convicts Richard Hickock and Perry Smith were later convicted of the killings and hanged in a case made famous by the Truman Capote book “In Cold Blood.”)
In 1961: Former Argentine President Juan Peron, living in exile in Spain, married his third wife, Isabel.
In 1966: The flight of Gemini 12, the final mission of the Gemini program, ended successfully as astronauts James A. Lovell and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin Jr. splashed down safely in the Atlantic after spending four days in orbit.
In 1969: A quarter of a million protesters staged a peaceful demonstration in Washington against the Vietnam War.
In 1984: Stephanie Fae Beauclair, the infant publicly known as “Baby Fae” who had received a baboon’s heart to replace her own congenitally deformed one, died at Loma Linda University Medical Center in California three weeks after the transplant.
In 2003: Two Black Hawk helicopters collided and crashed in Iraq; 17 U.S. troops were killed.
In 2019: Roger Stone, a longtime friend and ally of President Donald Trump, was convicted of all seven counts in a federal indictment accusing him of lying to Congress, tampering with a witness and obstructing the House investigation of whether Trump coordinated with Russia during the 2016 campaign. (As Stone was about to begin serving a 40-month prison sentence, Trump commuted the sentence.)
Ten years ago: The Justice Department announced that BP had agreed to plead guilty to a raft of charges in the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill and pay a record $4.5 billion, including nearly $1.3 billion in criminal fines. Four veterans were killed and 13 people injured when a freight train slammed into a parade float carrying wounded warriors and their spouses at a rail crossing in Midland, Texas.
Five years ago: Zimbabwe’s military was in control of the country’s capital and the state broadcaster and held 93-year-old President Robert Mugabe and his wife under house arrest; the military emphasized that it had not staged a takeover but was instead starting a process to restore the country’s democracy. (The military intervention, hugely popular in Zimbabwe, led to impeachment proceedings against Mugabe, who was replaced.) Eight members of a family who were among more than two dozen people killed in a shooting at a small Texas church were mourned at a funeral attended by 3,000 people.
One year ago: President Joe Biden and China’s Xi Jinping spoke for more than three hours by video amid mounting tensions in the U.S.-China relationship. Biden signed his hard-fought $1 trillion infrastructure deal into law before a bipartisan, celebratory crowd on the White House lawn. A Connecticut judge found Infowars host and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones liable for damages in lawsuits brought by parents of children killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting; the parents sued Jones over his claims that the massacre was a hoax. Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont said he wouldn’t seek reelection in 2022 to the seat he’d held since 1975.