This Day in History: December 3

This Day in History

Ruth Nichols of Rye, N.Y., shown at Los Angeles’ United Airport, Dec. 3, 1930 after breaking the East-West transcontinental airplane record set by J.M. Keith Miller. Nichols’ flying time was 16 hours and 59½ minutes. (AP Photo)

Today is Friday, Dec. 3, the 337th day of 2021. There are 28 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Dec. 3, 1984, thousands of people died after a cloud of methyl isocyanate gas escaped from a pesticide plant operated by a Union Carbide subsidiary in Bhopal, India.

On this date:

In 1818, Illinois was admitted as the 21st state.

In 1828, Andrew Jackson was elected president of the United States by the Electoral College.

In 1947, the Tennessee Williams play “A Streetcar Named Desire” opened on Broadway.

In 1964, police arrested some 800 students at the University of California at Berkeley, one day after the students stormed the administration building and staged a massive sit-in.

In 1967, a surgical team in Cape Town, South Africa, led by Dr. Christiaan Barnard (BAHR’-nard) performed the first human heart transplant on Louis Washkansky, who lived 18 days with the donor organ, which came from Denise Darvall, a 25-year-old bank clerk who had died in a traffic accident.

In 1979, 11 people were killed in a crush of fans at Cincinnati’s Riverfront Coliseum, where the British rock group The Who was performing.

In 1992, the Greek tanker Aegean Sea spilled more than 21 million gallons of crude oil when it ran aground off northwestern Spain.

In 1994, AIDS activist Elizabeth Glaser, who along with her two children were infected with HIV because of a blood transfusion, died in Santa Monica, California, at age 47.

In 2000, poet Gwendolyn Brooks, the first African-American to win a Pulitzer Prize, died in Chicago at age 83.

In 2010, during a surprise holiday-season visit to Afghanistan, President Barack Obama told cheering U.S. troops at Bagram Air Field they were succeeding in their mission to fight terrorism; however, foul weather prevented Obama from meeting with President Hamid Karzai in Kabul to address frayed relations.

In 2015, defense Secretary Ash Carter ordered the armed services to open all military jobs to women, removing the final barriers that had kept women from serving in combat, including the most dangerous and grueling commando posts.

In 2017, the second-largest U.S. drugstore chain, CVS, announced that it was buying Aetna, the third-largest health insurer, in order to push much deeper into customer care.

Ten years ago: In Atlanta, a defiant Herman Cain suspended his faltering bid for the Republican presidential nomination amid a series of sexual misconduct allegations that he condemned as “false and unproven.” Oklahoma State defeated Oklahoma 44-10 to win the Big 12 championship. (Exultant Oklahoma State fans stormed the football field, resulting in a dozen injuries.)

Five years ago: Some 20,000 people filled a tiny stadium in Chapeco, Brazil, to say goodbye to members of a soccer club who died in a plane crash in Colombia.

One year ago: A divided Wisconsin Supreme Court refused to hear President Donald Trump’s attempt to overturn his election loss to Democrat Joe Biden in the battleground state; the court said the case must first wind its way through lower courts. As the number of daily U.S. deaths from the coronavirus topped 3,100 for the first time, states drafted plans for who would get the first doses of vaccine when they became available later in the month. Facebook said it would start removing false claims about COVID-19 vaccines.

Today’s Birthdays: Movie director Jean-Luc Godard is 91. Singer Jaye P. Morgan is 90. Actor Nicolas Coster is 88. Actor Mary Alice is 80. Rock singer Ozzy Osbourne is 73. Rock singer Mickey Thomas is 72. Country musician Paul Gregg (Restless Heart) is 67. Actor Steven Culp is 66. Actor Daryl Hannah is 61. Actor Julianne Moore is 61. Olympic gold medal figure skater Katarina Witt is 56. Actor Brendan Fraser is 53. Singer Montell Jordan is 53. Actor Royale Watkins is 52. Actor Bruno Campos is 48. Actor Holly Marie Combs is 48. Actor Liza Lapira is 46. Pop-rock singer Daniel Bedingfield is 42. Actor/comedian Tiffany Haddish is 42. Actor Anna Chlumsky is 41. Actor Jenna Dewan is 41. Actor Brian Bonsall is 40. Actor Dascha Polanco is 39. Pop/rock singer-songwriter Andy Grammer is 38. Americana musician Michael Calabrese (Lake Street Dive) is 37. Actor Amanda Seyfried is 36. Actor Michael Angarano is 34. Actor Jake T. Austin is 27.

Copyright 2022 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trademark and Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.