Today in History


By the Associated Press

Today is Thursday, Dec. 10, the 344th day of 2015. There are 21 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Dec. 10, 1905, the O. Henry short story “The Gift of the Magi” was published in the New York Sunday World Magazine under the title “Gifts of the Magi.”

On this date:

In 1520, Martin Luther publicly burned the papal edict demanding that he recant, or face excommunication.

In 1817, Mississippi was admitted as the 20th state of the Union.

In 1906, President Theodore Roosevelt became the first American to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for helping to mediate an end to the Russo-Japanese War.

In 1915, the Irving Berlin song “I Love a Piano” was copyrighted by Berlin’s music company in New York.

In 1931, Jane Addams became the first American woman to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize; the co-recipient was Nicholas Murray Butler.

In 1948, the U.N. General Assembly adopted its Universal Declaration on Human Rights.

In 1950, Ralph J. Bunche was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, the first black American to receive the award.

In 1964, Martin Luther King Jr. received his Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo, saying he accepted it “with an abiding faith in America and an audacious faith in the future of mankind.”

In 1967, singer Otis Redding, 26, and six others were killed when their plane crashed into Wisconsin’s Lake Monona.

In 1972, baseball’s American League adopted the designated hitter rule on an experimental basis for three years.

In 1984, South African Bishop Desmond Tutu received the Nobel Peace Prize.

In 1994, Yasser Arafat, Shimon Peres and Yitzhak Rabin received the Nobel Peace Prize, pledging to pursue their mission of healing the anguished Middle East.

Ten years ago: A Nigerian jetliner crashed while landing in Port Harcourt, Nigeria, killing all but two of the 110 people on board. A U.N. conference on global warming ended in Montreal with an agreement by more than 150 nations (not including the United States) to open talks on mandatory post-2012 reductions in greenhouse gases. Chief U.N. nuclear inspector Mohamed ElBaradei (ehl-BEHR’-uh-day) accepted the Nobel Peace Prize. Former Sen. Eugene McCarthy, 89, died in Washington. Actor-comedian Richard Pryor, 65, died in Encino, California. Reggie Bush was named winner of the Heisman Trophy (however, Bush forfeited the trophy in 2010 because of improper benefits he’d received while a star running back at Southern California).

Five years ago: The Norwegian Nobel Committee honored Chinese literary critic Liu Xiaobo (lee-OO’ show-BOH’), imprisoned for urging political reform, by presenting his $1.4 million Nobel Peace Prize diploma and medal to an empty chair. A federal jury in Salt Lake City convicted street preacher Brian David Mitchell of kidnapping and raping Elizabeth Smart. (Mitchell was later sentenced to life in prison.)

One year ago: Current and former CIA officials pushed back against the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report released the day before which concluded that the United States had brutalized scores of terror suspects during interrogations, calling the report a political stunt by Senate Democrats which tarnished a program that saved American lives. NFL owners moved quickly and unanimously to change the league’s personal conduct policy, announcing it would hire a special counsel to oversee initial discipline.

Today’s Birthdays: Soap opera creator Agnes Nixon is 88. Former Agriculture Secretary Clayton Yeutter (YEYE’-tur) is 85. Actor Tommy Kirk is 74. Actress Fionnula Flanagan is 74. Pop singer Chad Stuart (Chad and Jeremy) is 74. Rhythm-and-blues singer Ralph Tavares is 74. Actress-singer Gloria Loring is 69. Pop-funk musician Walter “Clyde” Orange (The Commodores) is 69. Country singer Johnny Rodriguez is 64. Actress Susan Dey is 63. Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich is 59. Jazz musician Paul Hardcastle is 58. Actor-director Kenneth Branagh (BRAH’-nah) is 55. Actress Nia Peeples is 54. TV chef Bobby Flay is 51. Rock singer-musician J Mascis is 50. Rock musician Scot (cq) Alexander (Dishwalla) is 44. Actress-comedian Arden Myrin is 42. Rock musician Meg White (The White Stripes) is 41. Rapper Kuniva (D12) is 40. Actor Gavin Houston is 38. Violinist Sarah Chang is 35. Rock musician Noah Harmon (Airborne Toxic Event) is 34. Actor Patrick John Flueger is 32. Actress Raven-Symone is 30.

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