Published On: Dec 05 2012 11:00:14 PM CSTUpdated On: Dec 06 2016 01:00:00 AM CST
2006: NASA reveals photographs taken by Mars Global Surveyor suggesting the presence of liquid water on Mars.
2003: Army becomes the first team to finish 0-13 in major college football history after a 34-6 loss to Navy.
2002: Winona Ryder is sentenced to three years of probation and 480 hours of community service stemming from her conviction for shoplifting $5,500 worth of designer clothes and accessories from Saks Fifth Avenue in Beverly Hills. She was also ordered to pay $10,000 in fines and restitution.
2000: Actor Werner Klemperer, best known for the role of Colonel Klink on the sitcom "Hogan's Heroes," dies from cancer at age 80 in New York City. Klemperer (seen here with Bob Crane in a publicity photo for "Hogan's Heroes") was born in Cologne, Germany, in 1920, but his family fled Germany in 1935. He began a professional acting career on Broadway after serving in the U.S. Army during World War II. He earned Emmy nominations for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series for each year of "Hogan's Heroes'" six seasons, winning the award in 1968 and 1969.
1998: In Venezuela, former Lt. Col. Hugo Chavez is elected president. He had staged a bloody coup attempt against the government six years earlier.
1995: Michael Jackson is hospitalized after collapsing in a New York theater while rehearsing for a TV special. It's later revealed the incident was caused by a stress-related panic attack.
1994: Orange County, California, one of the richest counties in the U.S., files for bankruptcy protection due to investment losses of about $2 billion. The county lost at least $1.5 billion through high-risk investments in derivatives, leading to criminal charges against county treasurer Robert Citron. The bankruptcy was the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history until Jefferson County, Alabama, filed for Chapter 9 bankruptcy in 2011.
1993: Actor Don Ameche, whose career started in vaudeville and spanned nearly 60 years, dies of prostate cancer at the age of 85 in Scottsdale, Arizona. Some of Ameche's most memorable roles came at the tail end of his career, in movies like "Trading Places" (pictured), "Cocoon" and "Corrina, Corrina."
1988: Rock singer-songwriter Roy Orbison, whose best known hits include "Only the Lonely," "Crying" and "Oh, Pretty Woman," dies of a heart attack at the age of 52 in Madison, Tennessee.
1973: The United States House of Representatives votes 387 to 35 to confirm Gerald Ford as vice president of the United States, replacing Vice President Spiro Agnew, who had resigned and then pleaded no contest to criminal charges of tax evasion and money laundering on Oct. 10, 1973. The vote, coming nine days after the U.S. Senate confirmed Ford by a 92-3 vote, marks the first time the vice-presidential vacancy provision of the 25th Amendment had been implemented.
1967: Adrian Kantrowitz (right) performs the first human heart transplant in the United States at Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn, New York, removing the heart of a brain-dead baby and implanting it into the chest of a 19-day-old infant who had a heart defect that would have been fatal. The recipient lived for a little more than six hours after the surgery. It was only the second time that a human heart had been transplanted into another human being, taking place just three days after Christiaan Barnard's seminal attempt in South Africa.
1967: Film director and screenwriter Judd Apatow, best known as the director of "The 40-Year-Old-Virgin" and "Knocked Up," is born in New York City. Apatow is also known for developing the cult television series "Freaks and Geeks" and "Undeclared" and for producing comedy movies such as "Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy," "Superbad," "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" and "Bridesmaids."
1964: The stop-motion animated TV special "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" airs for the first time. It has been telecast every year since, making it the longest running Christmas TV special in history.
1958: Filmmaker and animator Nick Park, best known as the creator of "Wallace and Gromit," is born in Preston, Lancashire, England. Park has been nominated for an Academy Award a total of six times, and won four with "Creature Comforts" (1989), "The Wrong Trousers" (1993), "A Close Shave" (1995) and "Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit" (2005).
1957: A launchpad explosion of Vanguard TV3 at Cape Canaveral thwarts the first United States attempt to launch a satellite into Earth orbit. Although the three-stage Vanguard rocket's booster ignited and began to rise, it quickly lost thrust and began to fall back to the launch pad. Its fuel tanks then ruptured and exploded, destroying the rocket and satellite and severely damaging the launch pad.
1956: In what becomes known as the "Blood in the Water" match, Hungary and the Soviet Union face off in water polo at the 1956 Summer Olympics in Melbourne, Australia. The match took place against the backdrop of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution and saw a lot of physical play, including outright punching between the two teams. The name was coined after Hungarian player Ervin Zádor emerged during the last two minutes with blood pouring from under his eye after being punched by Soviet player Valentin Prokopov. Hungary won the match and would go on to beat Yugoslavia 2–1 in the final to win their fourth Olympic gold medal.
1955: Hall of Fame baseball player Honus Wagner, who won eight batting titles, tied for the most in National League history, and is often considered the greatest shortstop ever, dies at the age of 81 in Carnegie, Pennsylvania.
1955: Comedian and actor Steven Wright, known for his distinctly lethargic voice and slow, deadpan delivery, is born in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
1953: Vladimir Nabokov completes his controversial novel "Lolita" after five years. The book, about a middle-aged literature professor who becomes obsessed and sexually involved with a 12-year-old girl, would take nearly another two years to be published due to its controversial subject. After its publication, it would quickly become considered a classic.
1953: Actor Tom Hulce, best known for his Oscar-nominated portrayal of Mozart in the movie "Amadeus" and his role as "Pinto" in "National Lampoon's Animal House," is born in Detroit, Michigan.
1949: Iconic folk and blues musician Lead Belly, whose real name was Huddie William Ledbetter, dies of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis at the age of 61 in New York City.
1948: Actress JoBeth Williams, best known for movies such as "Stir Crazy," "Poltergeist," "The Big Chill," "The Day After" and "Teachers," is born in Houston, Texas.
1947: The Everglades National Park in Florida is dedicated by President Harry S. Truman. Today, it is the third-largest national park in the lower 48 states after Death Valley and Yellowstone.
1933: U.S. federal judge John M. Woolsey rules that James Joyce's novel "Ulysses" is not obscene. The ruling made the United States the first English-speaking country where the book was freely available.
1923: U.S. President Calvin Coolidge becomes the first president to give a presidential address to Congress that is broadcast on radio.
1920: Jazz pianist and composer Dave Brubeck, who would go on to write a number of jazz standards, including "In Your Own Sweet Way" and "The Duke," is born in Concord, California. He would also become known for heading up the Dave Brubeck Quartet, whose best remembered piece, "Take Five," has endured as a jazz classic, and for writing soundtracks for television, including the animated mini-series "This Is America, Charlie Brown." He died of heart failure on Dec. 5, 2012, in Norwalk, Connecticut, one day before his 92nd birthday.
1917: The SS Mont-Blanc, a French cargo ship fully loaded with wartime explosives, explodes after colliding with another ship in Halifax Harbor, destroying part of the city of Halifax, Nova Scotia. About 2,000 people were killed by debris, fires and collapsed buildings, with another 9,000 injured. Until the Trinity test explosions of atomic bombs, this was the largest man-made explosion in recorded history.
1917: The USS Jacob Jones becomes the first American destroyer to be sunk by enemy action when it is torpedoed by German submarine SM U-53. A total of 66 men died as the ship sunk in eight minutes.
1908: Lester Joseph Gillis, who would become a bank robber better known as Baby Face Nelson, is born in Chicago, Illinois. Gillis, who adopted the pseudonym George Nelson, was responsible for the murder of several people in a criminal career that stretched from 1930 until his death following a shootout with FBI agents in November 1934.
1889: Jefferson Davis, the first, and only, president of the Confederate States of America, dies at the age of 81 in New Orleans.
1884: The capstone of the Washington Monument in Washington, D.C., is set, bringing construction on the memorial to President George Washington to an end. Upon completion, it became the world's tallest structure, a title previously held by the Cologne Cathedral, although the 555-foot-5-inch obelisk would only hold that title until 1889 when the Eiffel Tower was completed in Paris, France.
1865: The 13th Amendment to the United States Constitution is ratified, banning slavery. It was the first of the three Reconstruction Amendments adopted after the American Civil War. Pictured is the amendment in the National Archives, bearing the signature of U.S. President Abraham Lincoln.
1849: Harriet Tubman escapes from slavery in Maryland. After finding work in Pennsylvania, she soon returned to Maryland to rescue her family and then slowly brought more relatives out of the state, eventually guiding more than 300 slaves to freedom.
1820: U.S. President James Monroe is re-elected for a second term. It was the third and last presidential election in United States history in which a candidate ran effectively unopposed.
1790: The U.S. Congress moves from New York City to Congress Hall in Philadelphia. The city, which had served as one of the nation's capitals during the Revolutionary War, would serve as a temporary capital through 1800 while the U.S. Capitol building was under construction in Washington, D.C.
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