Today’s Highlights in History:
On Dec. 6, 1917, some 2,000 people were killed when an explosives-laden French cargo ship, the Mont Blanc, collided with the Norwegian vessel Imo at the harbor in Halifax, Nova Scotia, setting off a blast that devastated the Canadian city. Finland declared its independence from Russia.
On this date:
In 1790, Congress moved to Philadelphia from New York.
In 1865, the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, abolishing slavery, was ratified as Georgia became the 27th state to endorse it.
In 1889, Jefferson Davis, the first and only president of the Confederate States of America, died in New Orleans.
In 1907, the worst mining disaster in U.S. history occurred as 362 men and boys died in a coal mine explosion in Monongah, West Virginia.
In 1922, the Anglo-Irish Treaty, which established the Irish Free State, came into force one year to the day after it was signed in London.
In 1942, comedian Fred Allen premiered “Allen’s Alley,” a recurring sketch on his CBS radio show spoofing small-town America.
In 1947, Everglades National Park in Florida was dedicated by President Harry S. Truman.
In 1957, America’s first attempt at putting a satellite into orbit failed as Vanguard TV3 rose about four feet off a Cape Canaveral launch pad before crashing down and exploding.
In 1967, three days after the first human heart transplant took place in South Africa, a surgical team at Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn, New York, led by Dr. Adrian Kantrowitz transplanted the heart of a brain-dead two-day-old baby boy into an 19-day-old infant who died six hours later.
In 1973, House minority leader Gerald R. Ford was sworn in as vice president, succeeding Spiro T. Agnew.
In 1982, 11 soldiers and six civilians were killed when an Irish National Liberation Army bomb exploded at a pub in Ballykelly, Northern Ireland.
In 1989, 14 women were shot to death at the University of Montreal’s school of engineering by a man who then took his own life.
One year ago: President-elect Donald Trump officially announced he would nominate retired Marine Gen. James Mattis to be his defense secretary, bringing his pick onstage at a rally in Fayetteville, North Carolina; Mattis briefly addressed the crowd as he thanked Trump for choosing him.
Thought for Today: “When you have exhausted all possibilities, remember this — you haven’t.” — Thomas Edison, American inventor (1847-1931).