Today in History - December 20

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69        Dec 20, Vespians’s supporters entered Rome and discovered Vitellius in hiding. Vitellius, a Roman commandant of Rhine and the 7th emperor, was dragged through the streets before being brutally murdered. Vitellius had been acclaimed emperor by his legions in Germany in place of Galba. He was then killed in Rome fighting the supporters of Vespasian, the Roman commander of Judea. Gen. Vespasianus occupied Rome.
    (WUD, 1994, p.1667)(HN, 12/20/98)(MC, 12/20/01)

1073        Dec 20, Domingo, Spanish monastery founder, abbot, saint, died.
    (MC, 12/20/01)

1192        Dec 20, English King Richard I the Lionheart was captured in Austria on his return from the Third Crusade. He was held in a castle above Durnstein, Austria, after disrespecting  local Duke Leopold V. An entire year’s supply of wool from the Cistercian and two other monasteries in England was promised as ransom for the King. It was never paid in full.
    (NG, 5.1988, pp. 569)(http://tinyurl.com/33kall)(SSFC, 8/5/12, p.N4)
 
1355        Dec 20, Stephen Urosh IV of Serbia died while marching to attack Constantinople.
    (HN, 12/20/98)

1579        Dec 20, John Fletcher, Elizabethan dramatist (Phylaster) was baptized.
    (MC, 12/20/01)

1590        Dec 20, Ambroise Pare (80), French surgeon, died.
    (MC, 12/20/01)

1606        Dec 20, Virginia Company settlers left London to establish Jamestown.
    (HFA, '96, p.44)(MC, 12/20/01)

1632        Dec 20, Nicolas Antoine, French Catholic pastor who converted to Judaism, was executed. [see Apr 20]
    (MC, 12/20/01)

1669        Dec 20, The 1st American jury trial was held in Delaware. Marcus Jacobson was condemned for insurrection and sentenced to flogging, branding & slavery.
    (MC, 12/20/01)

1699        Dec 20, Peter the Great ordered Russian New Year changed from Sept 1 to Jan 1.
    (MC, 12/20/01)

1720        Dec 20, Charles Edward Stuart, [Bonnie Prince Charlie, Young Pretender], was born. [see Dec 31]
    (MC, 12/20/01)

1745        Dec 20, Bonnie Prince Charlie's army met de Esk.
    (MC, 12/20/01)

1783        Dec 20, Antonio Francisco Jawer Jose Soler (54), Spanish composer (Fandango), died.
    (MC, 12/20/01)

1786        Dec 20, Pietro Raimondi, composer, was born.
    (MC, 12/20/01)

1790        Dec 20, In Pawtucket, Rhode Island, 23-year-old British subject Samuel Slater began production of the first American spinning mill. The British jealously guarded their technological superiority in the early stages of the Industrial Revolution, making it illegal for machinery, plans and even the men who built and repaired them to leave the country. After serving a 7-year mill apprenticeship in England, Slater recognized the potential offered in America. He memorized the plans for intricate machine specifications, disguised himself as a farm worker and in 1789 sailed to a new life across the Atlantic. Slater entered into a partnership with Rhode Island merchant Moses Brown and built a small spinning mill--the equivalent of 72 spinning wheels. At first, Slater's Mill employed only a handful of children between the ages of 7 and 12, but by 1800, he had more than 100 employees. By the time of Slater's death in 1835, he owned or had an interest in 13 textile mills and left an estate of almost $700,000. From this small beginning, America's own Industrial Revolution grew. [see Dec 21]
    (AP, 12/20/97)(HNPD, 12/20/98)(WSJ, 9/23/04, p.D10)

1793        Dec 20, Joseph Legros (54), composer, died.
    (MC, 12/20/01)

1802        Dec 20, The United States bought the Louisiana territory from France.
    (HN, 12/20/98)

1803        Dec 20, The Louisiana Purchase was completed as the territory was formally transferred from France to the United States during ceremonies in New Orleans. French Prefect Pierre Clement Laussat, US Gov. William CC Claiborne and US Gen. James Wilkinson signed 4 copies the treaty. The Louisiana Purchase effectively doubled the size of the existing U.S. With 827,987 square miles in the deal, that price translates to roughly $18 per square mile- under 3 cents/acre.
    (AP, 12/20/97)(SSFC, 12/21/03, p.A2)

1812        Dec 20, Achille Peri, composer, was born.
    (MC, 12/20/01)
1812        Dec 20, Sacagawea, Shoshone interpreter for Lewis & Clark, died.
    (MC, 12/20/01)

1813        Dec 20, Dr. Samuel Mudd, doctor who helped Lincoln assassin John Wilkes Booth, was born. [2nd ref. says 1833]
    (HN, 12/20/98)(MC, 12/20/01)

1820        Dec 20, Missouri imposed a $1 bachelor tax on unmarried men between 21 and 50.
    (MC, 12/20/01)

1823        Dec 20, Franz Schubert's "Ballet-Musik aus Rosamunde," premiered in Vienna.
    (MC, 12/20/01)

1830        Dec 20, An international conference declared the dissolution of the Kingdom of the Netherlands effectively recognizing the independence of Belgium.
    (http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~noemeetjesland/1830/1830.htm)

1849        Dec 20, Peter Burnett (1807-1895), the 1st governor of California, gave his inaugural address. Burnett was elected governor of California before it had even become a state. He abruptly resigned from office in 1851. Burnett, who wrote a book about his passionate conversion to Catholicism, is honored with a memorial in the church at Mission Santa Clara. While in office Burnett, a native of Tennessee, proposed that blacks, whether slave or free, be banned from the state by statute. He also saw the necessity for exterminating the state’s Indians if California were to grow.
    (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Hardeman_Burnett)(SFC, 4/14/98, p.E5)(SFC, 5/19/11, p.C1)

1860        Dec 20, South Carolina became the first state to secede from the Union. SC voted 169-0 for Ordinance of Secession.
    (AP, 12/20/97)(HN, 12/20/98)(MC, 12/20/01)

1861        Dec 20, Transports were loaded with 8,000 troops in England. They were setting sail for Canada so that troops would be available if the "Trent Affair" was not settled without war.
    (HN, 12/20/98)

1862        Dec 20, A relatively small force of Southern cavalry troops made an unexpected raid on the Union Arsenal at Holly Springs, Mississippi. This caused General Grant to withdraw his entire army of 75,000 troops from Mississippi.
    (www.civilwarweb.com/articles/07-99/hollyspg.htm)
1862        Dec 20, Brig-gen Nathan B. Forrest occupied Trenton, Kentucky.
    (MC, 12/20/01)
1862        Dec 20-Jan 3, The Vicksburg campaign.
    (MC, 12/20/01)

1864        Dec 20, Confederate forces evacuated Savannah, Ga., as Union Gen. William T. Sherman continued his "March to the Sea."
    (AP, 12/20/97)
1864        Dec 20-27, Battle of Ft. Fisher, NC.
    (MC, 12/20/01)

1865        Dec 20, Maude Gonne, Irish nationalist (Irish Joan of Arc), was born.
    (MC, 12/20/01)

1868        Dec 20, Harvey Firestone, industrialist, was born.
    (HN, 12/20/98)

1876        Dec 20, Hannah Omish (12) was the youngest person ever hanged in US.
    (MC, 12/20/01)

1879        Dec 20, Thomas A. Edison privately demonstrated his incandescent light at Menlo Park, N.J.
    (AP, 12/20/97)

1880        Dec 20, NY's Broadway was lit by electricity. It later became known as "Great White Way."
    (MC, 12/20/01)

1881        Dec 20, Branch Ricky, President of the Brooklyn Dodgers who made Jackie Robinson the first black to play in the modern major leagues in 1947, was born.
    (HN, 12/20/98)

1886        Dec 20, Domingo Julio Gomez Garcia, composer, was born.
    (MC, 12/20/01)

1892        Dec 20, Phileas Fogg completed his around the world trip, according to Jules Verne.
    (MC, 12/20/01)
1892        Dec 20, Pneumatic automobile tire was patented in Syracuse, NY.
    (MC, 12/20/01)

1893        Dec 20, The 1st state anti-lynching statute was approved in Georgia.
    (MC, 12/20/01)

1902        Dec 20, Max Lerner (d.1992), American columnist (NY Post) and public commentator, was born. His work included "America as a Civilization."
    (SFEC, 7/11/99, BR p.6)(MC, 12/20/01)

1912        Dec 20, J. Hartley Manners' "Peg O' My Heart" premiered in NYC.
    (MC, 12/20/01)

1917        Dec 20, Russian secret police in Czechoslovakia was formed under Felix Dzerzhinsky. He helped lead the Bolshevik revolution and set up the communist secret police, the Cheka, which later became the KGB.
    (MC, 12/20/01)(WSJ, 10/15/02, p.D6)

1918        Dec 20, Eugene O'Neill's "Moon of the Caribees" premiered in NYC.
    (MC, 12/20/01)

1919        Dec 20, US House of Representatives restricted immigration.
    (MC, 12/20/01)

1920        Dec 20, The opera "Die Tote Stadt" by Erich Korngold (1897-1957) premiered in Germany. It was first recorded in a 1975 production by Charles Allan Gerhardt (d.1999 at 72).
    (www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2002/Nov02/Korngold_Die_Tote_Stadt.htm)(SFC, 3/2/99, p.A20)

1924        Dec 20, Adolf Hitler was released from prison after serving less than one year of a five year sentence for treason.
    (HN, 12/20/98)

1925        Dec 20, Edward S. Morse (b.1838), American architect and zoologist, died. Morse had found that covering a masonry wall with a sheet of glass would increase its rate of heat gain and reduce that rate of heat loss. In the 1960s Felix Trombe improved on the idea, which became named the Trombe wall. In 1886 Morse had published “Japanese Homes and Their Surroundings," the first Western treatise on Japanese residential architecture of the Meiji period (1615-1868).
    (http://tinyurl.com/2nyjlt)(SFC, 3/29/08, p.F1)

1928        Dec 20, 1st international dogsled mail left Minot, Maine, for Montreal.
    (MC, 12/20/01)

1930        Dec 20, Thousands of Spaniards signed a revolutionary manifesto.
    (HN, 12/20/98)

1933        Dec 20, The German government announced 400,000 citizens were to be sterilized because of hereditary defects.
    (HN, 12/20/98)

1934        Dec 20, California’s new state liquor control law went into effect making it legal to sell hard liquor by the drink in hotels, restaurants and clubs.
    (SSFC, 12/20/09, DB p.46)

1937        Dec 20, Erich Ludendorff (72), German general (WW I), died.
    (MC, 12/20/01)

1938        Dec 20, First electronic television system was patented. [see Dec 30]
    (HN, 12/20/98)

1939        Dec 20, Dianne Arndt, artist, photographer, was born.
    (MC, 12/20/01)
1939        Dec 20, Hans Langsdorff, German captain of the Graf Spee, committed suicide.
    (MC, 12/20/01)

1941        Dec 20, The Flying Tigers, American pilots in China, entered combat against the Japanese over Kunming.
    (HN, 12/20/98)
1941        Dec 20, Japanese troops landed on Mindanao.
    (MC, 12/20/01)

1942        Dec 20, 1st Japanese began the bombing of Calcutta.
    (MC, 12/20/01)

1943        Dec 20, "International" was no longer USSR National Anthem.
    (MC, 12/20/01)
1943        Dec 20, Soviet forces halted a German army trying to relieved the besieged city of Stalingrad.
    (HN, 12/20/98)

1944        Dec 20, Terence Rattigan’s "O Mistress Mine" premiered in London.
    (MC, 12/20/01)
1944        Dec 20, A Catholic Bishop forbade membership in non Catholic unions.
    (MC, 12/20/01)
1944        Dec 20, The Women's Air Force Service Pilots were deactivated. Before deactivation 1,074 WASPs logged 60 million miles flying for the U.S. Army Air Forces.
    (HNPD, 2/25/99)
1944        Dec 20, In Brazil the Fundacao Getulio Vargas (Getulio Vargas Foundation, often abbreviated as FGV or simply GV) was founded as an institution of higher education. Its original goal was to train people for the country's public- and private-sector management.
    (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Funda%C3%A7%C3%A3o_Get%C3%BAlio_Vargas)
1944        Dec 20, In the Battle of Bastogne the Nazis surrounded 101st Airborne. [see Dec 21]
    (MC, 12/20/01)

1945        Dec 20, The US Office of Price Administration announced the end of tire rationing, effective Jan. 1, 1946.
    (AP, 12/20/97)

1946        Dec 20, The Frank Capra film "It's A Wonderful Life," starring James Stewart and Donna Reed, had a preview showing for charity at New York City's Globe Theatre, a day before its "official" world premiere.
    (SFEC, 11/3/96, DB p.54)(SFC, 12/13/96, p.C9)(AP, 12/20/97)
1946        Dec 20, Uri Geller, psychic and fork bender, was born in Israel.
    (MC, 12/20/01)
1946        Dec 20, Viet Minh and French forces fought fiercely in the Annamite section of Hanoi in Vietnam .
    (HN, 12/20/98)

1948        Dec 20, U.S. Supreme Court announced that it had no jurisdiction to hear the appeals of Japanese war criminals sentenced by the International Military Tribunal.
    (HN, 12/20/98)

1949        Dec 20, Maurice Ravel and John Cranko's ballet "Beauty & the Beast" premiered.
    (MC, 12/20/01)

1950        Dec 20, "Harvey," starring James Stewart, premiered in NY.
    (MC, 12/20/01)

1951        Dec 20, Bechtel scientists at a military facility in Idaho powered up a small nuclear reactor and lit 4 light bulbs. It was the 1st fission reactor to generate a usable amount of electricity.
    (SFC, 5/12/05, p.C1)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Experimental_Breeder_Reactor_I)

1954        Dec 20, James Hilton (54), English author (Lost Horizon), died.
    (MC, 12/20/01)

1956        Dec 20, The Supreme Court affirmed the Jun 5 decision against segregation on buses in Montgomery, Alabama. Montgomery removed race-based seat assignments on its buses.
    (SFEM, 1/19/97, BR p.8)(SFEM, 2/2/97, p.12,13)(ON, 4/2011, p.4)

1957        Dec 20, Elvis Presley was given a draft notice to join US Army for National Service.
    (MC, 12/20/01)

1960        Dec 20, Auschwitz-commandant Richard Baar was arrested in German FR.
    (MC, 12/20/01)
1960        Dec 20, National Liberation Front was formed by guerrillas fighting the Diem regime in South Vietnam.
    (HN, 12/20/98)

1961        Dec 20, Moss Hart (b.1904), US dramatist (You can't take it with you), died. His 1959 autobiography was titled “Act One."
    (www.ibdb.com/person.asp?ID=6153)(WSJ, 1/7/07, p.P8)

1962        Dec 20, In its first free election in 38 years, the Dominican Republic chose leftist Juan Bosch Gavino, the leftist leader of the Dominican Revolutionary Party, as president. Juan Bosch (1909-2001) was toppled in the Dominican Republic by the army shortly after being elected. His plans for land reform would have split up sugar plantations owned by generals.
    (SFC, 5/17/96, p.A-14)(SFC, 5/12/98, p.A21)(HN, 12/20/98)(SFC, 11/2/01, p.D6)

1963        Dec 20, The Berlin Wall was opened for the first time to West Berliners, who were allowed one-day visits to relatives in the Eastern sector for the holidays. Four thousand crossed the great wall of Berlin to visit relatives under a 17 day Christmas accord.
    (AP, 12/20/98)(HN, 12/20/98)
1963        Dec 20, The trial of 21 camp guards from Auschwitz began.
    (MC, 12/20/01)

1965        Dec 20, The Dating Game TV show first aired and was the first of many shows created and packaged by Chuck Barris from the 1960s through the 1980s. ABC dropped the show on July 6, 1973, but it continued in syndication for another year (1973–1974) as The New Dating Game.
    (AP, 2/28/14)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Dating_Game)
1965        Dec 20, In the largest U.S. drug bust to date, 209 lb. of heroin was seized in Georgia.
    (HN, 12/20/98)

1967        Dec 20, Ian Anderson & Glenn Cornick formed the rock group Jethro Tull.
    (MC, 12/20/01)
1967        Dec 20, "Graduate," starring Dustin Hoffman and Anne Bancroft, premiered.
    (MC, 12/20/01)
1967        Dec 20, Some 474,300 US soldiers were stationed in Vietnam.
    (MC, 12/20/01)

1968        Dec 20, The first known murder by the  Zodiac killer took place. Two teenagers, David Farraday and Betty Lou Jensen, were shot to death in a parked car on Lake Herman Road outside Vallejo, Ca. The California Zodiac killer later identified himself with a letter to the Times-Harold in Vallejo. After that he claimed to have killed 37 people but the police connected him to only five deaths.
    {SF Bay Area, Murder, USA, California}
    (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zodiac_Killer)(SFEC, 3/1/98, p.W20)(SFC, 10/2/00, p.A19)(SFC, 4/7/04, p.A7)
1968        Dec 20, John Steinbeck (b.1902), California-born author, died from a bad heart in New York City at age 66. He won the Nobel Prize in 1940. In 1995 Jay Parini published "John Steinbeck: A Biography."
    (AP, 12/20/97)(SFEC, 6/21/98, DB p.35)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Steinbeck)

1969        Dec 20, Peter, Paul & Mary's "Leaving on a Jet Plane" reached #1. It was written by John Denver in 1967.
    (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leaving_on_a_Jet_Plane)

1971        Dec 20, Ten French physicians created a team that later became known as "Doctors Without Borders" (Medecins Sans Frontieres) to help the people in the Nigerian region of Biafra. They formed in frustration with the neutrality of the Int'l. Committee of the Red Cross. Bernard Kouchner (1939), later French foreign minister, was among the co-founders.
    (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bernard_Kouchner)(SFC, 10/16/99, p.A17)(SFEC, 12/19/99, p.A14)
1971        Dec 20, Sheik Mujibar Rahman was nominated as president of Bangladesh. He was released from prison in Pakistan on Dec 22 and returned to Bangladesh Jan 10.
    (SFC, 5/21/96, p.A-10)
1971        Dec 20, In Pakistan Ali Zulfikar Bhutto (1928-1979), a Sindhi landlord, took over as President and Chief Martial Law Administrator. He implemented a policy of quotas that promoted the Sindhi language and favored rural Sindhis over Urdu-speaking Muhajirs in university admissions and public sector jobs. This led to a student movement, led by Altaf Hussein and Farooq Sattar, that later became the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM).
    (www.storyofpakistan.com/person.asp?perid=P019&Pg=2)(Econ, 5/25/13, p.44)

1972        Dec 20, Neil Simon's "Sunshine Boys," premiered in NYC.
    (www.nyc.gov/html/om/html/97/sp720-97.html)

1973        Dec 20, Bobby Darin (b.1936), American singer born as Walden Robert Cassotto, died during open heart surgery in LA. He performed in a range of music genres, including pop, rock, jazz, folk, and country. Darin wrote “Simple Song of Freedom" in 1969.
    (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UZ1ohsissjE)(www.history-of-rock.com/bobby_darin.htm)

1976        Dec 20, Hazel Frost testified that she left a Napa restaurant and bar and that Richard Allen Davis jumped into her car and held a shotgun to her neck. She managed to roll out of the car a grabbed a gun loaded with birdshot from under her seat and fired in the direction that she thought Davis was running. Davis had escaped from Napa State Hospital after he faked a suicide attempt in the Alameda County Jail.
    (SFC, 5/17/96, p.A-21)
1976        Dec 20, Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley died at age 74.
    (AP, 12/20/97)
1976        Dec 20, Israel's PM Yitzhak Rabin resigned.
    (http://openweb.tvnews.vanderbilt.edu/1976-12/1976-12-20-ABC-10.html)

1977        Dec 20, Bodies of women began to wash up on a beach in southern Argentina. They were among the leaders of the "Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo" representing relatives of thousands of disappeared. The US soon learned that the ruling junta was responsible. The Carter administration went on to authorize $120 million in military sales and approved over 30 training slots for Argentine officers at US military installations.
    (SFC, 12/17/02, p.A9)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alice_Domon)

1978        Dec 20, Former White House chief of staff H.R. Haldeman was released from prison after serving 18 months for his role in the Watergate cover-up.
    (AP, 12/20/98)
1978        Dec 20, India's former PM, Indira Gandhi, was arrested by police after India's Lower House of Parliament voted to expel her and have her jailed for breach of privilege and contempt of the Lower House. She was released after 6 days.
    (http://archive.gulfnews.com/nation/Media/10176258.html)

1980        Dec 20, The government of the Soviet Union confirmed that former Premier Alexei N. Kosygin had died two days earlier at the age of 76.
    (AP, 12/20/97)

1981        Dec 20, Harry Krieger and Tom Eyen's musical "Dreamgirls" opened at Imperial Theater in NYC for 1522 performances.
    (www.broadwaymusicalhome.com/shows/dreamgirls.htm)

1982        Dec 20, Artur Rubinstein (b.1887), Polish-born Jewish pianist, died in Geneva. In 1946 he became a US citizen. In 1973 he authored “My Young Years" and in 1980 “My Many Years."
    (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arthur_Rubinstein)

1983        Dec 20, Donald Rumsfeld visited Saddam Hussein in Iraq. Following his visit the US supplied Hussein with satellite photos of Iranian deployments and allowed shipment of a variety of materials from American suppliers.
    (NW, 9/23/02, p.37)(www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB82/press.htm)
1983        Dec 20, PLO chairman Yasser Arafat and 4,000 loyalists evacuated Lebanon.
    (http://tinyurl.com/35ek6z)

1985        Dec 20, The passage of US Public Law 99-194 established the position of American Poet Laureate. In 1986 Robert Penn Warren became designated as the 1st Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry.
    (www.barclayagency.com/lc_press.html)

1986        Dec 20, White teenagers beat blacks in Howard Beach, NYC. One of the victims, Michael Griffith, was killed when a passing motorist's car ran over him on the Belt Parkway as he was attempting to flee from the pursuers.
    (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Howard_Beach)

1987        Dec 20, The Dona Paz, a Philippine passenger ship, collided with the tanker Vector off Mindoro island, setting off a double explosion. 4,375 people on the ferry were killed as well as 11 of the tanker's 13-man crew. The passenger ship was owned by  Sulpicio Lines Inc.
    (AP, 2/3/06)(Reuters, 8/17/13)

1988        Dec 20, The International Committee of the Red Cross suspended its operations in Lebanon after receiving death threats.
    (AP, 12/20/98)

1989        Dec 20, The United States launched Operation Just Cause, sending troops into Panama to topple the government of Gen. Manuel Noriega. Guillermo Endara replaced Noriega. The US ended on Feb 13, 1990. It cost $182 million and left 23 US casualties with 320 wounded. A 1997 book: "The Memoirs of Manuel Noriega" by Noriega and Peter Eisner told his version.
    (SFEC, 4/13/97, BR p.3)(AP, 12/20/99)(WSJ, 9/22/99, p.A8)(HN, 12/20/99)
1989        Dec 20, The European Commission advised against Turkey’s membership in the EEC.
    (Econ, 10/23/10, SR p.8)(http://tinyurl.com/29sr46p)

1990        Dec 20, Soviet Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze shocked Soviet lawmakers by announcing his resignation, warning that “dictatorship is coming."
    (AP, 12/20/00)

1991        Dec 20, New York Gov. Mario Cuomo announced he would not be a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination, saying his first responsibility was to deal with his state's budget problems.
    (AP, 12/20/01)
1991        Dec 20, Robert Bardo, the obsessed fan who had stalked actress Rebecca Schaeffer before killing her, was sentenced in Los Angeles to life in prison without parole.
    (AP, 12/20/01)
1991        Dec 20, In Australia Paul Keating took over as the country’s 24th prime minister. He continued to 1996.
    (Econ, 5/28/11, SR p.3)(http://primeministers.naa.gov.au/primeministers/keating/)

1992        Dec 20, Steve Ross (b.1927), head of Time Warner, died of prostate cancer. Ross, born in Brooklyn as Steven Jay Rechnitz, was also founder of the NY Cosmos soccer team. In 1994 Connie Bruck authored “Master of the Game: Steve Ross and the Creation of Time Warner."
    (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steve_Ross_(Time-Warner_CEO))
1992        Dec 20, U.S. Marines and Belgian paratroopers in Somalia took control of Kismayu's port and airport; the first truck convoy in more than a month reached the starving inland town of Baidoa.
    (AP, 12/20/97)
1992        Dec 20, Serbia held elections. Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic won re-election. He defeated the American entrepreneur Milan Panic in elections that were "decidedly unfair."
    (http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/journal_of_democracy/election_watch/v004/)

1993        Dec 20, Real estate developer Donald Trump married Marla Maples in a brief ceremony in the grand ballroom of Trump's Plaza Hotel in New York. The couple separated in 1997.
    (AP, 12/20/98)
1993        Dec 20, Alina Fernandez Revuelta, a daughter of Cuban President Fidel Castro, flew to Spain, where she was granted political asylum by the U.S. Embassy.
    (AP, 12/20/98)

1994        Dec 20, Former President Jimmy Carter succeeded in getting Bosnia's warring factions to agree to a temporary cease-fire.
    (AP, 12/20/99)
1994        Dec 20, Marcelino Corniel, a homeless man, was shot and mortally wounded by White House security officers as he brandished a knife near the executive mansion.
    (AP, 12/20/99)
1994        Dec 20, Intel announced it would replace all flawed Pentium computer chips.
    (AP, 12/20/04)
1994        Dec 20, Former Secretary of State Dean Rusk died in Athens, Ga., at age 85.
    (AP, 12/20/99)
1994        Dec 20, Mexico’s President Ernesto Zedillo announced a 13-15% devaluation of the peso. Over the next 4 months the peso fell 50% in the so-called “tequila crisis." Tighter monetary policy in the US and instability at home contributed to the country’s economic problems.
    (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mexican_peso_crisis)(Econ, 12/13/14, p.74)

1995         Dec 20, An American Airlines Boeing 757, Flight 965 jet crashed in Columbia with 164 people on board. Four survivors were reported. It smashed into a mountain near Cali enroute from Miami. It was later reported that pilots had entered an incorrect code for the approach to Cali.
    (WSJ, 12/22/95, p.A-1)(SFC, 5/12/96, p.A-14)(SFC, 4/18/00, p.A5)(WSJ, 11/13/01, p.A14)
1995        Dec 20, Three teenagers were found shot through the head on a remote logging road in Lane County, Oregon. One was a 15-year old girl, who was also raped. Later Jonathon Wayne Susbauer, 22, and Conan Wayne Hale, 20, were arrested. Authorities taped a confession by Hale while he confessed to a Roman Catholic priest. Catholic leaders in Portland have requested that the tape be destroyed.
    (SFC, 5/11/96, p.A-3)
1995        Dec 20, In Bosnia-Herzegovina, NATO began its peacekeeping mission, taking over from the United Nations.
    (AP, 12/20/00)

1996        Dec 20, President Clinton selected Federico Pena as energy secretary, Rodney Slater as transportation secretary, Andrew Cuomo as housing secretary and Alexis Herman as labor secretary.
    (AP, 12/20/97)
1996        Dec 20, A judge in Orange County, Calif., gave O.J. Simpson full custody of his young children.
    (www.law.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/Simpson/Simpsonchron.html)
1996        Dec 20, Carl Sagan, astronomer and writer, died in Seattle at age 62.
    (SFC, 12/21/96, p.A1)(AP, 12/20/97)
1996        Dec 20, In Tajikistan lieutenants of Rizvan “Rambo" Sadirov kidnapped 23 people including 8 UN observers. They demanded that a safe corridor be created for the return of Sadirov and his fighters from Afghanistan.
    (SFC, 12/21/96, p.A12)

1997        Dec 20, Vincent Ciccone, candy-maker, died in New Jersey. He invented the “Blow Pop" lollipop, a lollipop with a bubble-gum center, and a method to combine hard candies with medicine used in throat lozenges.
    (SFC,12/26/97, p.B6)
1997        Dec 20, Denise Levertov (74), poet, died in Seattle. Her first book of essays was: “The Poet in the World."
    (SFC,12/23/97, p.D4)
1997        Dec 20, Pope John Paul II sent Christmas greetings to the Cuban people in advance of his visit to the island.
    (AP, 12/20/98)
1997        Dec 20, In Cambodia Theng Bunma, business tycoon and accused drug trafficker, was awarded an honorary doctorate from Iowa Wesleyan College via the manipulations of Ted Sioeng, an Indonesia-born businessman. Sioeng is at the heart of the “donorgate" scandal over China’s attempt to influence the 1996 US elections.
    (WSJ, 1/13/98, p.A22)
1997        Dec 20, In Tokyo, Japan, Juzo Itami (64), film director, jumped in suicide from his 8th story office, just before a magazine report about an affair. He made 10 films in 13 years that included “Tampopo."
    (SFC,12/22/97, p.A19)
1997        Dec 20, In Nigeria there was an alleged coup and Gen’l. Donaldson Oladipu Diya and 11 others were arrested.
    (SFC,12/24/97, p.A6)
1997        Dec 20, President Nelson Mandela stepped down as leader of South Africa's governing African National Congress. [see Dec 16]
    (AP, 12/20/98)
1997        Dec 20, In South Korea Pres. Kim Young Sam and pres.-elect Kim Dae Jung agreed to pardon two jailed, former military-backed presidents, Chun Doo Hwan and Roh Tae Woo.
    (SFC,12/20/97, p.A13)

1998        Dec 20, In Houston Nken Chukwu gave birth to 5 girls and 2 boys 12 days after giving birth to another girl. The tiniest of the babies died a week later.
    (SFC, 12/21/98, p.A1)(AP, 12/20/99)
1998        Dec 20, Snow flakes fell in SF and low temperature records were made around the Bay with 40 degrees in SF and 35 in Fremont.
    (SFC, 12/21/98, p.A1)
1998        Dec 20, Balloonists Fossett, Branson and Per Lindstrand successfully ran through a thunderstorm to avoid traveling over Iraq, Russia and Iran.
    (SFC, 12/21/98, p.B4)
1998        Dec 20, In Cambodia there were riots in Sihanoukville to protests suspected toxic waste imports from Taiwan. Hundreds of Cambodians fled the city after reports of deaths from 3,000 tons of toxic waste dumped 2 weeks ago. The waste was loaded with mercury and a plan was made to move it away from Sihanoukville. Taiwan ordered Formosa Plastics to take back the 3,000 tons of waste but the firm said the government used tests by an environmental group.
    (WSJ, 12/21/98, p.A1)(WSJ, 12/22/98, p.A1)(WSJ, 12/28/98, p.A1)(WSJ, 12/29/98, p.A1)
1998        Dec 20, Germany extradited Mamdouh Mahmud Salim to the US in relation to the bombing of the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.
    (SFC, 12/21/98, p.B4)

1999        Dec 20, A federal judge ruled that a school voucher program in Cleveland violates the Constitution's separation of church and state.
    (SFC, 12/21/99, p.A1)
1999        Dec 20, The Vermont Supreme Court ruled that homosexual couples were entitled to the same benefits and protections as wedded couples of the opposite sex.
    (SFC, 12/21/99, p.A1)(AP, 12/20/00)
1999        Dec 20, The near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous spacecraft was scheduled to begin its orbit of the Eros asteroid, a rock about 24 miles by 8 in size.
    (SFC, 10/13/98, p.A5)
1999        Dec 20, Country music legend Hank Snow died in Nashville, Tennessee, at age 85.
    (AP, 12/20/00)
1999        Dec 20, In Burundi Gabriel Gisabwamana, a Hutu member of parliament, was shot and killed by soldiers at a checkpoint after the 10 p.m. curfew.
    (SFC, 12/22/99, p.C11)
1999        Dec 20, In Colombia the biggest rebel group called a holiday truce through Jan 9. The last week of fighting killed some 220 soldiers and guerrillas.
    (WSJ, 12/21/99, p.A1)
1999        Dec 20, Macao, a enclave of 430,000 under Portugal, reverted to Chinese control. Edmond Ho, local banker, took over to head the new government. Local autonomy was to be had for at least 50 years.
    (WSJ, 10/26/95, p.A-18)(SFEC, 12/19/99, p.A28)(SFC, 12/20/99, p.A10)
1999        Dec 20, Singapore Airlines agreed to buy a 49% stake in Richard Branson’s Virgin Atlantic.
    (www.iht.com/articles/1999/12/21/virgin.2.t.php)

2000        Dec 20, Pres.-elect Bush appointed Paul O’Neill (65) as head of the Treasury Dept., Ann Veneman (51) as Sec. of Agriculture, Mel Martinez (54) as Sec. of Housing and Urban Development, and Don Evans (54) as Sec of Commerce. Andrew Card (53) was appointed his Chief of Staff and Karen Hughes (43) as Communications Director.
    (SFC, 12/21/00, p.A23)
2000        Dec 20, US stock fell sharply. Nasdaq dropped 178 to 2,332, while the Dow dropped 265 to 10,318.
    (SFC, 12/21/00, p.A1)
2000        Dec 20, It was reported that four-fifths of the salmon spawning in the last free-flowing reach of the Columbia River had reverted to female sex for unknown reasons. Water temperature and environmental pollutants were suspect.
    (SFC, 12/18/00, p.C3)
2000        Dec 20, A new EPA regulation required oil refineries to remove 97% of the sulfur from diesel fuel by 2006.
    (WSJ, 12/21/00, p.A1)
2000        Dec 20, John V. Lindsay, former NYC mayor (1966-1973), died at age 79.
    (SFC, 12/21/00, p.A31)
2000        Dec 20, In Afghanistan the Taliban ordered UN offices closed and pledged to boycott peace talks. New sanctions were imposed in response to the Taliban’s refusal to surrender Osama bin Laden.
    (SFC, 12/21/00, p.A20)
2000        Dec 20, In Chechnya 5 students and an instructor from the university in Grozny were killed in a battle with Russian soldiers. One soldier was killed and 4 injured.
    (SFC, 12/21/00, p.C6)
2000        Dec 20, In Guatemala the Congress approved the use of the US dollar for everyday business.
    (SFC, 12/21/00, p.C6)
2000        Dec 20, India and Pakistan took steps to reduce tensions in Kashmir. India extended its cease-fire and Pakistan announced a partial troop withdrawal.
    (SFC, 12/21/00, p.A20)
2000        Dec 20, In Indonesia 9 people were killed in a rash of shootings in Aceh province.
    (SFC, 12/21/00, p.C6)
2000        Dec 20, A UN panel linked Liberian Pres. Charles Taylor to illegal diamond smuggling and arms trafficking with the rebels in Sierra Leone.
    (SFC, 12/21/00, p.C6)
2000        Dec 20, In Turkey the fight to gain control of the prisons entered a 2nd day. The DHKP-C, a splinter group of Dev-Sol, led the hunger strike.
    (SFC, 12/21/00, p.A20)

2001        Dec 20, Pres. Bush marked the 100-day anniversary of Sep 11 by freezing the assets of 2 Pakistan-based groups suspected of terrorist support.
    (WSJ, 12/21/01, p.A1)
2001        Dec 20, It was reported that the US economy showed nascent signs of recovery.
    (WSJ, 12/21/01, p.A1)
2001        Dec 20, Bio-Rad Labs and 3 large licensees were reported to have little incentive to sell a rapid AIDS test domestically because they already dominated the slower lab-based testing market.
    (WSJ, 12/20/01, p.A1)
2001        Dec 20, Microsoft admitted its new Windows X-P operating system software was vulnerable to hacking.
    (AP, 12/20/02)
2001        Dec 20, It was reported that researchers had identified red wine pigments (polyphenols) as a factor in inhibiting the production of a peptide that stimulates hardening of the arteries.
    (WSJ, 12/20/01, p.A1)
2001        Dec 20, Comedian Foster Brooks, known for his "Lovable Lush" fake drunk act, died in Encino, Calif., at age 89.
    (AP, 12/20/02)
2001        Dec 20, In Afghanistan the 1st int’l. peacekeeping forces arrived from Britain as the U.N. Security Council authorized a multinational force for Afghanistan. A grenade attack in Mazar-e-Sharif market wounded some 35-100 people. US air strikes at Asmani and Pokharai killed about 50 civilians.
    (SFC, 12/21/01, p.A24)(WSJ, 12/21/01, p.A1)(AP, 12/20/02)
2001        Dec 20, Argentine President Fernando De la Rua resigned, hours after his economy minister, following two days of anti-government unrest that left 22 people dead and more than 200 injured. The foreign debt stood at $132 billion.
    (SFC, 12/21/01, p.A1)(AP, 12/20/02)
2001        Dec 20, It was reported that Adnan Ihsan Saeed al-Haideri, a defector from Iraq, said he worked on renovations of secret facilities for biological, chemical and nuclear weapons in Iraq before fleeing a year ago.
    (SFC, 12/20/01, p.A5)
2001        Dec 20, Following a 3-day lull Palestinian police in Gaza clashed with Hamas supporters and one Palestinian was killed. Another died in a gunfight with Israeli troops in the West Bank.
    (SFC, 12/21/01, p.A3)
2001        Dec 20, Leopold Sedar Senghor (b.1906), poet and former president of Senegal (1960-1980), died in France at age 95.
    (SFC, 12/21/01, p.A34)(NW, 12/31/01, p.108)
2001        Dec 20, In Zimbabwe 2 opposition officials, Milton Chambati (45) and Titus Neya (50) were killed west of Harare. Youth leader Trymore Midzi was assaulted the next day and died Dec 24.
    (SFC, 12/25/01, p.A20)

2002        Dec 20, Trent Lott (61) of Mississippi stepped down as Senate Majority Leader two weeks after igniting a political firestorm with racially charged remarks. Sen. Bill Frist (50), a  Tennessee heart surgeon, was expected to replace him.
    (SFC, 12/20/02, p.A3)(SFC, 12/21/02, p.A1)(AP, 12/20/03)
2002        Dec 20, U.S. jets fired on two Iraqi air defense sites in the southern no-fly zone after an Iraqi jet entered the restricted air space.
    (AP, 12/20/02)
2002        Dec 20, Ted Williams' eldest daughter, Bobby-Jo Williams Ferrell, dropped her objections to her siblings' decision to have the Hall of Famer's body frozen at a cryonics lab in Arizona.
    (AP, 12/20/03)
2002        Dec 20, The US 10 biggest brokerages agreed to pay $1.44 billion and fundamentally change the way they did business to settle allegations they'd misled investors by hyping certain companies' stocks.
    (AP, 12/20/03)
2002        Dec 20,  Grote Reber (90), a pioneer of radio astronomy died in Tasmania. He followed up Karl Jansky's 1933 announcement of the discovery of radio waves from space and in his spare time in 1937 built a 30-foot antenna dish, the 1st radio telescope, in his back yard in Wheaton, Ill., and managed to pick up signals two years later.
    (AP, 12/25/02)
2002        Dec 20, Canada's Supreme Court ruled that the book "One Dad, Two Dads, Brown Dad, Blue Dads" and others with gay themes cannot be banned from kindergarten classrooms of a Canadian school on religious grounds.
    (Reuters, 12/20/02)
2002        Dec 20, Climbing energy prices pushed Canadian inflation to an 11-year high last month, well above the central bank's target range, but analysts said the steep inflation rate would not yet trigger higher interest rates.
    (Reuters, 12/20/02)
2002        Dec 20, Colombia's senate extended a measure that gives the government emergency powers in its battle against outlawed armed groups. Suspected ELN rebels opened fire on a police station and set off a car bomb in an attack in eastern Colombia that left four people dead and 17 wounded.
    (AP, 12/21/02)
2002        Dec 20, The European Union agreed to cuts in its fleet and cod catch quotas, but ignored scientific advice to ban cod fishing altogether to save stocks from near extinction in EU waters.
    (AP, 12/20/02)
 2002        Dec 20, Pope John Paul II brought Mother Teresa (d.1997) closer to sainthood when he approved a miracle attributed to the nun.
    (AP, 12/20/02)
2002        Dec 20, U.N. weapons inspectors put Iraq on notice that it must provide far more evidence about its weapons of mass destruction. Chief U.N. weapons inspector Hans Blix urged the United States and Britain to hand over any evidence they have about Iraq's secret weapons programs so U.N. inspectors can check it on the ground. The US began sharing sensitive information with the UN.
    (AP, 12/20/02)(AP, 12/21/02)(SFC, 12/21/02, p.A7)
2002        Dec 20, In Venezuela hundreds of thousands of whistle-blowing demonstrators demanding President Hugo Chavez's resignation took to the streets on the 19th day of a general strike.
    (AP, 12/20/02)
2002        Dec 20, Yemeni security forces battled suspected al-Qaida members holed up in a building in a gunfight that left 2 policemen dead.
    (AP, 12/20/02)

2003        Dec 20, Friends and relatives of Michael Jackson descended on his Neverland Ranch to show their support for the entertainer as he fought child molestation charges.
    (AP, 12/20/04)
2003        Dec 20,  Lt. Gen. David W. Barno, the new U.S. commander in Afghanistan said he will use his forces to open up the lawless south and east to development aid, in a tactical switch to beat a stubborn insurgency threatening next year's elections.
    (AP, 12/20/03)
2003        Dec 20, A rescue team picked up two injured British adventurers after their helicopter crashed in the Antarctic during a round-the world voyage. Jennifer Murray and Colin Bodill, who were attempting to circumnavigate the Earth across both poles, were found "safe and well."
    (AP, 12/20/03)
2003        Dec 20, In Chechnya 10 Russian servicemen were killed in rebel attacks over 24 hours.
    (AP, 12/21/03)
2003        Dec 20, A German bus swerved off a Belgian highway, crashed against a concrete divider and caught fire, killing 12 people and injuring dozens more.
    (AP, 12/20/03)
2003        Dec 20, Insurgents attacked pipelines and an oil storage depot in three parts of Iraq, setting fires that blazed for hours and lost millions of gallons of oil.
    (AP, 12/21/03)
2003        Dec 20, The third year of fighting between Israelis and Palestinians saw a decline in the number of people killed, according to an AP count. Violence claimed nearly 800 lives in 2003.
    (AP, 12/20/03)
2003        Dec 20, A Lebanese military court convicted 32 people of bombing American and British businesses, and imposed sentences ranging from three months to life imprisonment.
    (AP, 12/20/03)
2003        Dec 20, Spain's PM Jose Maria Aznar paid a surprise visit to Spanish troops in Iraq.
    (AP, 12/20/03)
2003        Dec 20, Four Venezuelan National Guard soldiers were killed in an ambush while patrolling an area near the Colombian border.
    (AP, 12/21/03)

2004        Dec 20, In a sobering assessment of the Iraq war, President Bush acknowledged during a news conference that Americans’ resolve had been shaken by grisly scenes of death and destruction, and he pointedly criticized the performance of US-trained Iraqi troops.
    (AP, 12/20/05)
2004        Dec 20, Attorneys presented opening statements in the Robert Blake murder trial in Los Angeles.
    (AP, 12/20/05)
2004        Dec 20, Researchers said radio waves from mobile phones harm body cells and damage DNA in laboratory conditions, according to a new study majority-funded by the EU.
    (AP, 12/20/04)
2004        Dec 20, Jack Newfield (66), NYC reporter and columnist, died. His books included “Robert Kennedy: A Memoir" (1969).
    (SFC, 12/22/04, p.B5)
2004        Dec 20, Frank Seals (62), Chicago blues guitarist and singer, died.
    (WSJ, 12/22/04, p.A1)
2004        Dec 20, A truck and a bus collided head-on in northeastern Brazil, killing 19 people and injuring 34 others.
    (AP, 12/20/04)
2004        Dec 20, A Chilean appeals court upheld the indictment and house arrest of General Augusto Pinochet on murder and kidnapping charges during his rule.
    (AP, 12/20/05)
2004        Dec 20, Thousands of mourners attended funerals and Iraqi authorities detained 50 suspects in connection with an explosion in the Shiite holy city of Najaf that killed at least 54 people and wounded 142.
    (AP, 12/20/04)
2004        Dec 20, Thieves stole more than $39 million from the Belfast headquarters of Northern Bank, the biggest robbery in Northern Ireland history. In 2008 detectives charged a man with laundering money from the robbery that authorities blamed on the outlawed IRA. In 2009 a jury found Ted Cunningham, a private financier, guilty of handling millions stolen from Northern Bank, a raid blamed on the outlawed IRA.
    (AP, 12/21/04)(SFC, 12/22/04, p.A3)(AP, 3/20/08)(AP, 3/27/09)
2004        Dec 20, The civil liberties group Freedom House said Russia has fallen to the status of “not free" for the 1st time since the 1991 Soviet collapse.
    (WSJ, 12/21/04, p.A1)
2004        Dec 20, Ten men charged with plotting to overthrow Sierra Leone's government last year were convicted of treason and sentenced to death by hanging.
    (AP, 12/20/04)

2005        Dec 20, Pres. Bush signed legislation to establish a national databank for umbilical cord blood and bone marrow.
    (WSJ, 12/21/05, p.A1)
2005        Dec 20, The Pentagon said US troop levels in Afghanistan will be reduced by about 3,500 next spring, thanks to increased NATO forces and a growing Afghan army.
    (AP, 12/20/05)
2005        Dec 20, A US federal court in Pennsylvania ruled it was unconstitutional to teach schoolchildren the intelligent design theory of life as an alternative to evolution, dealing a blow to religious conservatives. Local parents had sued the Dover, Pa., school board after the board required that ninth-grade biology students be read a statement critical of evolution.
    (AFP, 12/21/05)(SFC, 12/21/05, p.A1)
2005        Dec 20, Joseph Nacchio (56), former Qwest Communications chief executive, was indicted in Denver on 42 counts of insider trading. He sold some $101 million worth of company stock in the 1st five months of 2001 ahead of publicly announced revenue problems.
    (SFC, 12/21/05, p.C3)
2005        Dec 20, In NYC subways and buses ground to a halt morning as transit workers walked off the job at the height of the holiday shopping and tourist season, forcing millions of riders to find new ways to get around.
    (AP, 12/20/05)
2005        Dec 20, In San Jose, Ca., struggling power generator Calpine Corp. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection as it grapples with more than $22 billion in debt.
    (AP, 12/21/05)(SFC, 12/21/05, p.C1)
2005        Dec 20, Seagate Corp., a computer disk drive maker, agreed to pay $1.9 billion for rival Maxtor Corp.
    (WSJ, 12/21/05, p.A3)
2005        Dec 20, Wyoming planned to embark on an $8.8 million, five-year cloud-seeding project that aims to bolster mountain snowpack, and possibly yield proof of whether cloud seeding actually works.
    (AP, 12/20/05)
2005        Dec 20, In Algeria the facade of a dilapidated hotel collapsed in Algiers, killing eight people and injuring 21 others.
    (AP, 12/20/05)
2005        Dec 20, One in three Australians believe too many immigrants are allowed into the country and 16 percent oppose multiculturalism, according to a survey after the country's worst racial violence in decades.
    (AFP, 12/20/05)
2005        Dec 20, In Australia Rebekah Lawrence (34) committed suicide in Sydney. In 2009 a coroner said that participation in an intense self-help course led a woman to suffer a psychotic breakdown before she stripped naked and leaped to her death from an office window in front of horrified co-workers. Her death came two days after she completed The Turning Point, a four-day seminar run by the Sydney self-development company People Knowhow.
    (AP, 12/8/09)
2005        Dec 20, Evo Morales, Bolivia's presidential front-runner said he would not allow unlimited production of coca, the crop used to produce cocaine. He said coca farmers should have a say in controlling the crop, but left unclear how that could be accomplished. Morales also said that the current foreign firm contracts for exploration and production of natural gas were illegal and a re-negotiation would be necessary.
    (AP, 12/21/05)(WSJ, 12/21/05, p.A14)
2005        Dec 20, China said its economy is much bigger and less dependent on exports than previously reported, issuing new data that analysts said make its roaring growth look easier to sustain and could encourage even more foreign investment.
    (AP, 12/20/05)
2005        Dec 20, The "Yes" vote in Democratic Republic of Congo's referendum on whether to accept a post-war constitution took a strong early lead after a poll seen as paving the way for elections next year.
    (AP, 12/20/05)
2005        Dec 20, France's antitrust regulator slapped a 14.4 million euros ($17.2 million) fine on Buena Vista Home Entertainment Inc., a unit of Walt Disney Co., and three French retailers for fixing home video prices between 1995 and 1998.
    (AP, 12/20/05)
2005        Dec 20, A Canadian police officer serving as a UN peacekeeper in Haiti was shot to death near a volatile slum on the outskirts of the capital.
    (AP, 12/21/05)
2005        Dec 20, In Indonesia a court convicted a pilot of poisoning a top human rights activist and sentenced him to 14 years in prison. But the victim's widow alleged there was a larger conspiracy and demanded an investigation into the pilot's links with a senior intelligence official. The court said Pollycarpus Priyanto, an off-duty pilot, placed a massive dose of arsenic in Munir Thalib's meal on a Garuda Indonesia airlines flight on Sept. 7, 2004, because he wanted to silence the outspoken government critic.
    (AP, 12/20/05)
2005        Dec 20, Sunni Arabs alleged that last week's parliamentary elections were fraudulent, especially in Baghdad province, and they said if the irregularities are not corrected, new balloting must be held in Iraq's largest electoral district.
    (AP, 12/20/05)
2005        Dec 20, Italy’s government passed an overhaul package to scale back the power and responsibilities of the central bank governor.
    (WSJ, 12/21/05, p.A14)
2005        Dec 20, Argentina Brunetti (98), a character actress who played the worried wife of Mr. Martini in the classic film "It's a Wonderful Life" (1946), died in Rome. Her autobiography, "In Sicilian Company," which chronicles her family's show business adventures, was released in October.
    (AP, 12/25/05)
2005        Dec 20, Jordan named a tough anti-terrorism general to replace the country's top intelligence operative and approved a new Cabinet, part of a political and security overhaul since last month's deadly hotel bombings.
    (AP, 12/20/05)
2005        Dec 20, The Mexican government, angered by a U.S. proposal to extend a wall along the border to keep out migrants, pledged to block the plan and organize an international campaign against it.
    (AP, 12/21/05)
2005        Dec 20, The impeached governor of a Nigerian oil-exporting state faces charges of stealing $55 million in public funds, according to a charge sheet produced in court by Nigeria's anti-corruption agency.
    (Reuters, 12/20/05)
2005        Dec 20, In southern Nigeria attackers blew up a Royal Dutch Shell PLC pipeline carrying crude oil across, killing at least eight people and cutting crude production in Africa's oil giant.
    (AP, 12/20/05)
2005        Dec 20, About two dozen gunmen briefly seized Bethlehem's city hall on Manger Square, demanding money and jobs in the Palestinian security forces. Worried clergy temporarily closed the nearby Church of the Nativity for safety reasons.
    (AP, 12/20/05)
2005        Dec 20, In Peru some 20 suspected Shining Path rebels killed 8 police officers in an ambush near the town of Aucayacu in Leoncio Prado province.
    (AP, 12/22/05)
2005        Dec 20, Troops in southern Thailand struggled through mountains of mud in an effort to reach thousands stranded by floods and landslides that have killed at least 35 people.
    (AP, 12/20/05)
2005        Dec 20, Ukraine began pulling its remaining 876 troops out of Iraq, the defense ministry said, making it the latest nation to wind down its presence in the U.S.-led coalition.
    (AP, 12/20/05)

2006        Dec 20, Pres. George W. Bush signed the Stolen Valor Act prohibiting anyone from falsely claiming to have won a military decoration.
    (SFC, 10/18/11, p.A6)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stolen_Valor_Act_of_2005)
2006        Dec 20, Acknowledging deepening frustration over Iraq, President Bush told a news conference he was considering an increase in American forces and warned that the next year would bring more painful US losses.
    (AP, 12/20/07)
2006        Dec 20, The USDA for the 1st time released a database that included the recipients of about $56 billion in subsidies. The USDA also suspended Australia’s state wheat export monopoly, AWB Ltd., for its dealings with the former Saddam Hussein regime in Iraq.
    (AP, 12/19/06)(WSJ, 12/20/06, p.A8)
2006        Dec 20, Pennsylvania cleared the way for 2 slot machine casino licenses in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.
    (SFC, 12/21/06, p.A3)
2006        Dec 20, Iraqi forces assumed security responsibilities in relatively peaceful Najaf province, marking the first such handover by US troops as Washington struggles to get Iraq's fragile government to stand on its own. Robert Gates, the new US Defense Secretary, began a surprise visit to Baghdad. 2 suicide car bombers killed at least 12 people in separate attacks in Baghdad. A bomb killed an American soldier and wounded three others south of Baghdad.
    (AP, 12/20/06)(AP, 12/21/06)
2006        Dec 20, In Calabria, Italy, ‘ndrangheta, the Mafia ruling the region, broke into the workshop of the Cooperativa Valle del Marro, the 1st firm in the region to have established a legitimate business using assets once owned by the Mafia.
    (Econ, 2/3/07, p.64)
2006        Dec 20, Officials said flooding caused by heavy monsoon rains has forced more than 20,000 people to flee their homes in the southern Malaysian state of Johor.
    (AP, 12/20/06)
2006        Dec 20, The parliament in Mozambique approved a new law to pave the way for elections at local and national level despite a boycott of the vote by the main opposition party.
    (AFP, 12/20/06)
2006        Dec 20, Ayman al-Zawahri, the deputy leader of al-Qaida, criticized both sides of the Palestinian power struggle in a video, calling the Palestinian president "America's man" but also lashing out at the Islamic group Hamas. Hamas gunmen killed two Palestinian policemen loyal to the rival Fatah movement, hours after the sides agreed to a new cease-fire meant to end more than a week of factional fighting.
    (AP, 12/20/06)
2006        Dec 20, Heavy fighting broke out between Somalia's government troops and rival Islamic militia.
    (AP, 12/20/06)
2006        Dec 20, The Sudanese army killed 200 rebels while repelling an attack in Darfur, the deadliest single military operation reported in the war-torn region since fighting started there four years ago. The army also said that 20 of its troops were wounded during the fighting.
    (AFP, 12/21/06)
2006        Dec 20, In the UAR hand-selected voters cast the third and final round of votes to choose members of a government advisory panel in this oil-rich country's first-ever elections.
    (AP, 12/20/06)

2007        Dec 20, US regulators cleared a plan by Google to acquire online advertising giant DoubleClick, which had sparked concerns about privacy risks and still faces a challenge in the European Union.
    (AP, 12/20/07)
2007        Dec 20, Bear Stearns reported the first quarterly loss in its 84-year history as it wrote down $1.9 billion in mortgage assets.
    (WSJ, 12/21/07, p.A1)
2007        Dec 20, NetSuite Inc., a software maker majority-owned by Larry Ellison, rose 37% in its first day of trading after raising $161.2 million in an IPO a day earlier at $26 per share.
    (SFC, 12/21/07, p.D1)
2007        Dec 20, The New Orleans City Council voted to demolish 4,500 public housing units as police used chemical spray and stun guns to on dozens of protesters who tried to force themselves into the council chamber.
    (SFC, 12/21/07, p.A6)
2007        Dec 20, MBIA Inc, the world's largest bond insurer, said it had guaranteed $8.1 billion of the riskiest mortgage securities, imperiling its entire net worth and sending its shares plunging 26 percent.
    (Reuters, 12/20/07)
2007        Dec 20, Jeanne Carmen (b.1930), the "little country girl" who became a 1950s pinup and actress and hobnobbed with Frank Sinatra and other stars, died at her home in Orange County, Ca.
    (AP, 12/26/07)
2007        Dec 20, Lydia Mendoza (91), a pioneer of Mexican American music, died in San Antonio, Texas.
    (SFC, 12/31/07, p.B7)
2007        Dec 20, In Sao Paulo, Brazil, thieves homed in on two paintings, the Portrait of Suzanne Bloch" by Pablo Picasso and “O Lavrador de Cafe" by Candido Portinari (1903-1962), in the first successful heist in the 60-year history of Brazil's premier modern art museum. In Jan, 2007, police recovered the paintings and had 2 suspects under arrest.
    (AP, 12/21/07)(SFC, 12/21/07, p.A2)(AP, 1/9/08)
2007        Dec 20, In China a female tiger was found with its head, legs and skin missing at the Three Gorges Forest Wild Animal World in Yichang city in Hubei province. The WWF conservation group lists the Siberian tiger as "critically endangered" and says there are only about 530 of the animals alive in the wild.
    (AP, 12/23/07)
2007        Dec 20, Conservationists said illegal trappers on Cyprus killed more than half a million protected birds this fall for sale at local restaurants.
    (AP, 12/20/07)
2007        Dec 20, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovenia, Slovakia and the Czech Republic halted land and sea border controls at midnight in a wave of new members of Europe's passport-free Schengen zone. They all joined the EU on May 1, 2004.
    (AFP, 12/20/07)(WSJ, 12/21/07, p.A1)
2007        Dec 20, Iran’s state television reported that security forces killed four leaders of a Sunni Muslim rebel group that Tehran has previously linked to al-Qaeda and blamed for several attacks in the Islamic state.
    (Reuters, 12/20/07)
2007        Dec 20, A suicide bomber blew himself up outside a city council meeting in Kanaan northeast of Baghdad, killing 6 people, including a US soldier, during a 4-day Islamic holiday. In Baghdad a car bomb exploded outside a liquor store, killing 4 civilians and wounding 36. At least 17 suspected al-Qaeda gunmen were killed in clashes overnight with Iraqi and US troops west of Baquba. An Iraqi soldier was killed in a road bomb attack in Baquba. One al-Qaeda militant was killed by security forces in the town of Abbarah, north of Baquba.
    (AFP, 12/20/07)(SFC, 12/21/07, p.A19)
2007        Dec 20, Israeli troops killed at least 6 Gaza militants, a day after rejecting an unofficial truce offer from the besieged Hamas rulers of the coastal territory.
    (AP, 12/20/07)(SFC, 12/21/07, p.A18)(WSJ, 12/21/07, p.A1)
2007        Dec 20, Latvian lawmakers approved a new center-right government that will face an uphill battle to restore popular trust and prevent the country's red-hot economy from abruptly reversing course. Ivars Godmanis (56) became prime minister. He led a four-party coalition which is facing a sharply slowing economy and record high inflation.
    (AP, 12/20/07)(Reuters, 6/18/08)
2007        Dec 20, Hundreds of workers marched on Macau’s government in a rare protest demanding full democracy in this booming Chinese casino enclave.
    (AP, 12/20/07)
2007        Dec 20, Radio Rwanda reported that the Belgian government has this month given Rwanda 39.5 million euros (56.6 million dollars), mainly to help its small former colony with power supplies, health and education.
    (AP, 12/20/07)
2007        Dec 20, South Africa's top prosecutor said he had enough evidence to bring corruption charges against Jacob Zuma, the man standing in line to be the country's next president.
    (AP, 12/20/07)
2007        Dec 20, Spain banned parents from using corporal punishment on children.
    (WSJ, 12/21/07, p.A1)
2007        Dec 20, Thailand's military-installed parliament approved a controversial internal security law. Critics warned it will allow the military to maintain a grip on power even after this weekend's general election.
    (AP, 12/21/07)

2008        Dec 20, The NY Times said China has blocked access to its Web site, days after the central government defended its right to censor online content it deems illegal.
    (AP, 12/20/08)
2008        Dec 20, San Francisco Police Chief Heather Wong (52) announced her retirement. She became the city’s first female police chief nearly 5 years ago.
    (SSFC, 12/21/08, p.A1)
2008        Dec 20, In Afghan coalition forces killed four armed militants and detained five suspects during an operation in Zabul province. Afghan and coalition troops found and destroyed 2.5 tons of marijuana in an abandoned school in southern Kandahar province.
    (AP, 12/21/08)
2008        Dec 20, Militant environmental activists said they had intercepted the Japanese whaling fleet in Antarctic waters and attempted to attack one of the boats with stink bombs.
    (AP, 12/20/08)
2008        Dec 20, Belgium's King Albert consulted political leaders after the government collapsed for the third time in a year following its botched attempt to bail out financial group Fortis.
    (AP, 12/20/08)
2008        Dec 20, The British government said it has sold its final stake in the country's nuclear weapons plant, prompting criticism from MPs who said it throws the independence of the British nuclear deterrent into question. State-owned British Nuclear Fuels Limited (BNFL) sold its one-third stake of the Aldermaston Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) at Aldermaston, Berkshire, to Jacobs Engineering Group of the United States.
    (AFP, 12/20/08)
2008        Dec 20, The Canadian and Ontario governments announced they would follow the US in providing C$4 billion ($3.3 billion) in emergency loans to the Canadian arms of Detroit's ailing automakers to keep them operating while they restructure their businesses.
    (Reuters, 12/20/08)
2008        Dec 20, Central African Republic peace talks wrapped up with rebels and government officials expressing hope that the meeting had paved the way for lasting solutions to the country's unrest.
    (AP, 12/20/08)
2008        Dec 20, China said it will send two destroyers and a supply vessel to the seas off Somalia to back international efforts to fight piracy.
    (AP, 12/20/08)
2008        Dec 20, In Greece protesters attacked a city-sponsored Christmas tree in central Athens Saturday, tossing garbage and hanging trash bags from its branches before clashing with riot police.
    (AP, 12/20/08)
2008        Dec 20, Iranian state radio said Iran has sent a warship to the coast of Somalia to protect its cargo ships against piracy.
    (AP, 12/20/08)
2008        Dec 20, An Israeli air strike against a Gaza rocket squad killed a Palestinian militant, the first death since Hamas militants formally declared an end to a six-month truce with Israel.
    (AP, 12/20/08)
2008        Dec 20, In Mali suspected Tuareg rebels attacked an army outpost in the country's remote north, setting off a battle in which 20 people were killed.
    (AP, 12/21/08)
2008        Dec 20, Some 500 motorists rallied in Russia's far east to protest the government's decision to raise car import tariffs. Thousands of others were expected to stage similar demonstrations across Russia on Dec 21.
    (AP, 12/20/08)
2008        Dec 20, In Russia Olga Lepeshinskaya (b.1916), a Soviet-era prima ballerina who danced with the Bolshoi Ballet for decades, died.
    (AP, 12/20/08)

2009        Dec 20, The US Justice Dept. said the US has transferred 12 Guantanamo detainees back to their home countries, including 4 to Afghanistan, 2 to Somaliland, and 6 to Yemen.
    (SFC, 12/21/09, p.A12)
2009        Dec 20, A slow-moving storm that blanketed swaths of the mid-Atlantic with nearly 2 feet of snow reached southern New England in a weekend assault along the East Coast that caused at least 5 deaths, crippled travel and left empty stores normally crammed with holiday shoppers.
    (AP, 12/20/09)
2009        Dec 20, Brittany Murphy (32), star of films such as "Clueless" and "8 Mile," died after collapsing at her Hollywood Hills home. Paramedics tried to revive her, but she was pronounced dead at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.
    (AP, 12/21/09)
2009        Dec 20, In Afghanistan 8 insurgents were killed in southern Helmand province, 6 in Ghazni in the east, 7 in northern Kunduz province, 2 in Kandahar province in the south and one in Wardak, west of Kabul. The joint Afghan-international force killed several militants after coming under fire while searching a compound in Wardak province. In eastern Nangarhar province a civilian was killed and 2 were injured when their vehicle was hit by a roadside bomb.
    (AP, 12/21/09)
2009        Dec 20, Tens of thousands of European travelers were stranded in rail stations, traffic jams and airports as heavy snow and ice caused massive disruption at the start of the Christmas holiday season.
    (AGFP, 12/20/09)
2009        Dec 20, Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri (87), Iran's most senior dissident cleric, died. He had emerged as the spiritual father of the reform movement.
    (AP, 12/20/09)
2009        Dec 20, Iraqi oil workers returned to the disputed oil well No. 4 in southern Iraq that was seized by Iranian forces Dec 17. Baghdad also confirmed that Iranian troops left the well.
    (AP, 12/20/09)
2009        Dec 20, Iraq's PM Nouri al-Maliki opened a landmark visit to Egypt in what aides described as an ambitious attempt to improve relations with one of the Arab world's most powerful players.
    (AP, 12/20/09)
2009        Dec 20, Italian state-run and private television stations said a third Tunisian detainee from Guantanamo Bay is being moved to Italy to face international terrorism charges for having allegedly recruited fighters for Afghanistan. He was identified as Moez Ben Abdelkader Fezzani (40), also known as Abou Nassim.
    (AP, 12/20/09)
2009        Dec 20, Four of the world's last known 8 northern white rhinos landed in Kenya and were transported to a game park. No white rhinos are known to remain in the wild, and the animals transported have produced no offspring after nearly 24 years in a Czech zoo. Officials hoped the endangered mammals will reproduce and save their subspecies. Two northern whites remained behind; two others are in San Diego.
    (AP, 12/20/09)
2009        Dec 20, In Malawi a 6.0 earthquake destroyed several buildings in the southeastern Karonga district, killing at least three people and injuring about 200.
    (AP, 12/20/09)
2009        Dec 20, In Nepal hundreds of riot police used tear gas and batons as they clashed with Maoist protesters in Kathmandu during the first day of a three-day general strike.
    (AFP, 12/20/09)
2009        Dec 20, Dutch sports carmaker Spyker said it has made a new bid for Sweden's Saab Automobile, two days after General Motors said it would close the loss-making unit.
    (AFP, 12/20/09)
2009        Dec 20, In Nigeria 12 people were burned to death when the two vehicles they were traveling in collided and burst into flames at Sabongida-Tasharanda in Bauchi State. A separate crash in neighboring Gombe State killed 9 people and injured five others in a head-on collision between a commuter bus and a car at Lafiyawo village.
    (AFP, 12/21/09)
2009        Dec 20, Polish police found the "Arbeit macht frei" metal sign that had hung over the former  Auschwitz Nazi death camp. It was cut in 3 pieces and hidden under snow. 5 men were detained for stealing it and police said the suspects were common thieves, not neo-Nazis.
    (Reuters, 12/21/09)(AP, 12/22/09)
2009        Dec 20, A Russian Soyuz TMA-17 rocket blasted off from a cosmodrome in Kazakhstan carrying an American, a Russian and a Japanese astronaut to the int’l. space station.
    (SFC, 12/21/09, p.A2)
2009        Dec 20, In Somalia Islamic militants fired mortars into Mogadishu's police compound as the force was celebrating its 66th anniversary, sparking a battle that killed at least 12 civilians and a police officer.
    (AP, 12/20/09)
2009        Dec 20, Sudan’s Parliament passed a new law curbing the powers of the intelligence services, although former southern rebels and some opposition parties rejected the move as not going far enough.
    (AFP, 12/20/09)
2009        Dec 20, In Taiwan tens of thousands of opposition demonstrators marched through the streets of the central Taichung, ahead of the arrival of a senior Chinese envoy for trade talks that some on the island fear could eventually lead to unification. They condemned a pact the government wanted to sign with China, formally known as the Economic Co-operation Framework Agreement (ECFA).
    (AP, 12/20/09)(Econ, 1/2/10, p.32)

2010        Dec 20, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg toured the offices of Baidu, China's top search engine, during a visit that has sparked speculation the social networking magnate is looking for business opportunities in the world's largest Internet market.
    (AP, 12/20/10)
2010        Dec 20, International observers and Western governments accused Belarus' strongman leader of using fraud and violence to remain in power after more than 16 years of repressive rule, saying that Pres. Lukashenko's re-election had been seriously flawed.
    (AP, 12/20/10)
2010        Dec 20, British police arrested a dozen men suspected of plotting a large-scale terror attack, the biggest anti-terrorist sweep since April 2009, when 12 men were detained over an alleged al-Qaida bomb plot in the northern city of Manchester.
    (AP, 12/20/10)
2010        Dec 20, China's state news agency said eight people have been sentenced to prison terms of up to two-and-a-half years for selling fake rabies vaccines that contributed to the death of one boy. A court in southwestern Guangxi region sentenced Zhang Dazhi to 30 months' jail while seven others were handed one-year prison terms.
    (AP, 12/20/10)
2010        Dec 20, In Colombia another mudslide caused by weeks of rains destroyed 52 makeshift mountainside homes. Two people were missing.
    (AP, 12/23/10)
2010        Dec 20, An Egyptian State Security prosecutor said that authorities have charged a local businessman, Tarek Hassan, and two Israelis for recruiting agents in Egypt, Syria, and Lebanon to spy for Israeli intelligence.
    (AP, 12/20/10)
2010        Dec 20, Snow and frigid temperatures caused disruption across northern Europe for a third day, stranding travelers, snarling traffic and shutting schools, and the bad weather is likely to run through Christmas.
    (Reuters, 12/20/10)
2010        Dec 20, Iran and Qatar pledged to cooperate for greater regional security during a visit to Tehran by Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, the emir of the tiny but energy-rich Gulf state.
    (AFP, 12/20/10)
2010        Dec 20, Iran hanged 11 men authorities said were members of Jundallah, an armed Sunni militant group, convicted of bombings.
    (AP, 12/20/10)
2010        Dec 20, Iran's judiciary spokesman confirmed that Mohammad Reza Rahimi, the country's first vice president, was facing corruption charges. Iran has 12 vice presidents but Rahimi is the most senior among them.
    (AP, 12/20/10)
2010        Dec 20, In southeastern Iran a magnitude 6.5 earthquake struck a remote area late at night, killing at least 11 people and injuring 40 people.
    (AP, 12/21/10)(SFC, 12/22/10, p.A3)
2010        Dec 20, Iraqi army special forces killed three Libyans allegedly planning suicide bombings ahead of Christmas in a raid in the northern city of Mosul.
    (AFP, 12/20/10)
2010        Dec 20, In Malaysia a double-decker bus carrying Thai tourists overturned on a highway, killing 28 people on their way back from a hill resort.
    (AP, 12/20/10)
2010        Dec 20, North Korea said it would not react to "reckless" military drills by the South, despite an earlier threat to retaliate, and CNN reported that Pyongyang had agreed to the return of nuclear inspectors.
    (AP, 12/20/10)
2010        Dec 20, In Pakistan militants fired rockets at a NATO convoy carrying supplies to Afghanistan, destroying two oil tankers and wounding two people in the Khyber tribal region.
    (AP, 12/20/10)
2010        Dec 20, Palestinian militants in Gaza fired seven mortar shells into southern Israel that fell on open ground and caused no casualties.
    (AP, 12/20/10)
2010        Dec 20, In Puerto Rico at least 17 people were detained as students at the largest public university in the Caribbean clashed with police during an indefinite strike over a new fee.
    (AP, 12/21/10)
2010        Dec 20, A Puerto Rico National Guard UH-72 Lakota helicopter crashed in the ocean while returning from a drug raid on Vieques. 3 bodies of the six people on board were found and the remaining were feared dead. The last body was recovered on Jan 23.
    (AP, 12/21/10)(AP, 12/22/10)(AP, 1/23/11)
2010        Dec 20, Serbia urged international authorities to investigate allegations of a trade in the kidneys and other organs of civilians slain in the aftermath of Kosovo's 1999 war for secession.
    (AP, 12/20/10)
2010        Dec 20, Somali pirates hijacked the MV Orna cargo vessel after firing rocket propelled grenades and small arms at the ship, a Panama-flagged, bulk cargo vessel owned by a company in the United Arab Emirates. In June, 2011, pirate a said an undisclosed number of pirates and hostages were forced to abandon the bulk cargo carrier MV Orna. Abdi said it is believed the fire was caused by an electrical problem in the ship's kitchen.
    (AP, 12/20/10)(AP, 6/15/11)
2010        Dec 20, Venezuela’s government formally rejected Larry Palmer, Washington's nominee for ambassador. The US State Department said the decision will have consequences on their relations. Venezuela’s parliament passed a law banning for the first time Internet content that promotes social unrest, challenges authority or condones crime, fueling outrage by the opposition.
    (AP, 12/20/10)(AFP, 12/21/10)

2011        Dec 20, The United States extradited Edin Dzeko (39), a native Bosnian, suspected of participation in the wartime killing of Bosnian Croat civilians. According to charges, Dzeko was a member of a Bosnian Army unit that attacked the southern Bosnian Croat village of Trusina in 1993, killed 18 civilians and wounded several others, including children.
    (AP, 12/20/11)
2011        Dec 20, American authorities said they had asked the world’s leading scientific journals to withhold research on bird flu after researcher teams in Madison and Rotterdam engineered the virus so that it could be transmitted through the air from ferret to ferret. In January scientists agreed to suspend their research for 60 days. On April 20, 2012, the US reversed its stance. On April 27 the Dutch government gave Ron Fouchier permission to publish his paper. A 2nd paper by Yoshihiro Kawaoka of the Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison was published in May.
    (www.economist.com/node/21542156)(SFC, 1/21/12, p.A4)(Econ, 5/5/12, p.78)(Econ, 6/23/12, p.81)
2011        Dec 20, In Spokane, Washington, Kevin Harpham (37) was sentenced to 32 years in prison for planting a poison-laced bomb last January 17 along a Martin Luther King Jr. Day parade route.
    (SFC, 12/21/11, p.A8)
2011        Dec 20, NASA scientists reported the discovery of a pair of planets, the size of Earth and Venus, named Kepler 20e and Kepler 20f. Both orbited a star 3,900 light-years away.
    (SFC, 12/21/11, p.A10)
2011        Dec 20, A small plane crashed on I-287 in New Jersey killing all 5 people aboard.
    (SFC, 12/21/11, p.A12)
2011        Dec 20, Algerian troops were reported to have crossed into Mali to help government forces combat groups affiliated to Al-Qaeda.
    (AFP, 12/20/11)
2011        Dec 20, The Bahrain News Agency said the king issued a decree ordering government agencies to reinstate 180 government employees who were fired on suspicion of participating in opposition rallies. Bahraini labor groups claimed up to 2,500 people were purged from jobs during the unrest. The government put the number at 1,623.
    (AP, 12/20/11)
2011        Dec 20, British treasury minister Danny Alexander said the government has reached a tentative deal on pension reform with most public sector unions, easing fears of further strikes after a mass walkout over the issue last month.
    (Reuters, 12/20/11)
2011        Dec 20, In southern China police fired tear-gas and beat demonstrators who stormed government buildings to protest against a power plant in Haimen, Guangdong province.
    (AFP, 12/20/11)
2011        Dec 20, Colombia's President Juan Manuel Santos approved details of a plan to pay compensation to an estimated 4 million victims of the country's long-running civil conflict. Santos signed five decrees laying out regulations under the so-called Victims Law. The Congress approved the law in May, and Santos signed it in June.
    (AP, 12/20/11)
2011        Dec 20, Egyptian troops and riot police raided Tahrir again in their latest attempt to evict protesters. Some 10,000 angry women marched in central Cairo to denounce the attacks on protesters and call on the ruling generals to step down. Their anger was mostly focused on the case of the woman stripped half naked and beaten. At least 14 people have been killed in five days of clashes. 
    (AP, 12/20/11)(AP, 12/21/11)
2011        Dec 20, The European Court of Human Rights ordered Russia to pay more than €1 million ($1.3 million) to dozens of plaintiffs over the country's bungled efforts to end a 2002 Moscow theater siege by Chechen militants.
    (AP, 12/20/11)
2011        Dec 20,  Five Iranian engineers working on an electricity power plant in Jandar, close to the city of Homs, Syria, were abducted. Two others working for Iran Power Plant Projects Management Company (Mapna) were taken when they went to investigate their colleagues' disappearance. On Jan 2 an unknown group calling itself the "Movement Against the Expansion of Shiism in Syria" claimed responsibility for their abduction.
    (AFP, 1/4/12)
2011        Dec 20, Japan chose the as-yet unproven F-35 stealth jet for its next-generation mainstay fighter.
    (AFP, 12/20/11)
2011        Dec 20, Kenyan military jets targeted several locations in Hosingow in the Lower Juba region of Somalia, close to the Kenyan border. 11 people, most of them civilians, were reported killed in the raid.
    (AFP, 12/21/11)
2011        Dec 20, Lebanese troops found the body of American John Redwine, who had been missing for three days in a remote mountainous area of the country.
    (AP, 12/20/11)
2011        Dec 20, Mauritanian paramilitary police officer "Ely Ould Moktar was kidnapped from his unit in Adel Begrou. On March 10 he was freed in exchange for Abderrahmane Ould Meddou of Mali, who was serving a 5-year jail sentence for involvement in the abduction of an Italian couple earlier this year.
    (AFP, 3/10/12)
2011        Dec 20, In northern Nigeria gunmen killed five people in a pre-dawn attack in Kagoro town, Kaduna state, the epicentre of post-election violence earlier this year.
    (AFP, 12/20/11)
2011        Dec 20, Palestinian foreign affairs minister Riyad Al Maliki signed a free trade agreement with the Mercosur trade group during the organization's presidential summit in Uruguay.
    (AFP, 12/20/11)
2011        Dec 20, Papua New Guinea’s governor general Michael Ogio reversed course and threw his weight behind the government of Peter O’Neill.
    (SFC, 12/21/11, p.A7)
2011        Dec 20, Philippines’ President Benigno Aquino flew to Mindanao to survey the devastation by air, coordinate the relief effort. Some 1249 were killed after tropical storm Washi lashed the southern island of Mindanao.
    (AFP, 12/20/11)(AP, 12/27/11)
2011        Dec 20, In Senegal suspected rebels from the separatist Casamance region left 13 people dead in the enclaved region.
    (AFP, 12/20/11)
2011        Dec 20, In Somalia 200 troops from Djibouti arrived in Mogadishu to join the African Union force that helps protect the government and fight Islamist insurgents.
    (AP, 12/20/11)
2011        Dec 20, In South Africa Julius Malema (30), the suspended youth leader of the ruling African National Congress, was elected to a senior party post by members in his home province of Limpopo.
    (AFP, 12/20/11)
2011        Dec 20, Sudanese riot police used batons to beat youths shouting anti-regime slogans in support of residents displaced by the giant Merowe dam.
    (AFP, 12/20/11)
2011        Dec 20, Syrian state-run news agency SANA said President Bashar Assad has issued a new law under which anyone found guilty of distributing weapons with the aim of committing "terrorist acts" would be sentenced to death. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Assad's forces carried out a "massacre" by killing some 110 civilians in the northwestern town of Kfar Owaid. 12 more people were killed in Homs. In addition, at least 100 army deserters were killed or wounded over the last 24 hours in Idlib. 14 security force members were killed in southern Daraa province. An Arab League official said an advance team will arrive in Syria this week to prepare for an observer mission as a possible step toward solving the crisis. 5 Iranian engineers working at a power plant project in Homs were abducted.
    (AP, 12/20/11)(AFP, 12/21/11)(AP, 12/22/11)(Econ, 1/28/12, p.47)
2011        Dec 20, Turkish police detained 48 people, including journalists, as part of a growing investigation into a Kurdish group that prosecutors accuse of links to Kurdish rebels.
    (AP, 12/20/11)(AP, 12/24/11)
2011        Dec 20, In Uruguay a hotel maid found the body of Ivan Heyn (34), Argentina’s deputy foreign commerce secretary. He was there for  the Mercosur summit.
    (AP, 12/21/11)

2012        Dec 20, The US Marine Corps said Marine Staff Sergeant Joseph Chamblin, who urinated on dead Taliban insurgents and posed for photographs with the bodies in Afghanistan in July, 2011, has pleaded guilty to two charges in a military court. His sentence was a reduction in rank and forfeiture of $500 in pay.
    (Reuters, 12/21/12)
2012        Dec 20, A statement from RAND spokesman Jeffrey Hiday says the group shut its Abu Dhabi office at the "request" of officials. The office conducted research into areas such as education and environment.
    (AP, 12/20/12)
2012        Dec 20, In Afghanistan a powerful roadside bomb killed five civilians and two police officers near a police checkpoint in Nimroz province.
    (AP, 12/20/12)
2012        Dec 20, In Argentina a wave of sporadic looting began in the Patagonian ski resort of Bariloche. Looters continued to ransack supermarkets the next day in several cities causing two deaths.
    (SFC, 12/22/12, p.A2)
2012        Dec 20, Authorities declared a state of emergency in northeastern Bulgaria as heavy snow and freezing temperatures are causing disruptions in both Bulgaria and Romania.
    (AP, 12/20/12)
2012        Dec 20, Rebels in Central African Republic seized another town in their rapid offensive, moving to within about 400 km (250 miles) of the capital as the rebels said they were ready for negotiations with the government.
    (AP, 12/20/12)
2012        Dec 20, A Costa Rican ban on in-vitro fertilization was struck down by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in a decision that reproductive health groups said could lead to greater access to abortion and some contraception in other Latin American countries.
    (AP, 12/21/12)
2012        Dec 20, Talaat Abdullah, Egypt's top prosecutor, retracted his resignation, a decision that could cause a new uproar in the country after he was accused of pressuring a judge not to release protesters opposed to the Islamist president.
    (AP, 12/20/12)
2012        Dec 20, French President Francois Hollande acknowledged the "unjust" and "brutal" nature of France's occupation of Algeria for 132 years, but stopped short of apologizing for the past as many Algerians have demanded on the second day of his state visit to Algeria.
    (AP, 12/20/12)
2012        Dec 20, In Libya 4 people were killed when a protest outside a base for security forces in Benghazi turned violent less than a week after suspected Islamic militants killed four policemen at the same compound.
    (AP, 12/20/12)
2012        Dec 20, In Mexico the group Propuesta Civica, or Civic Proposal, released data on missing persons. It said 20,851 people have disappeared over the past six years. Not every case on the list has been proven related to the drug war and the lsit was said to be incomplete.
    (AP, 12/22/12)
2012        Dec 20, In Pakistan another victim from attacks on UN-backed anti-polio teams in Pakistan died, bringing the three-day death toll in the wave of assaults on volunteers vaccinating children across the country to nine. Hilal Khan (20) died a day after he was shot in the head in Peshawar.
    (AP, 12/20/12)
2012        Dec 20, Philippine Pres. Benigno Aquino III signed a “sin tax" bill boosting taxes on cigarettes and liquor.
    (SFC, 12/21/12, p.A4)
2012        Dec 20, In Puerto Rico Joe Ramos, president of WAPA TV, told reporters that the SuperXclusivo show will be taped two hours before it is broadcast. The announcement follows a recent outcry over comments that the controversial puppet, known as La Comay, made about a man who was brutally killed.
    (AP, 12/21/12)
2012        Dec 20, In Syria days of intense fighting in a Palestinian refugee camp subsided and some of the more than 100,000 residents who fled the violence in the capital Damascus began to trickle back.
    (AP, 12/20/12)
2012        Dec 20, A Thai court ordered the extradition of Vito Roberto Palazzolo (65), a fugitive Italian banker found guilty of laundering money for some of Italy's top mobsters through New York pizzerias from 1975-1984. Palazzolo has written about his legal woes and getting swept up in the Pizza Connection probe on his website, www.vrpalazzolo.com.
    (AP, 12/20/12)
2012        Dec 20, The UN Security Council authorized military action to wrest northern Mali from the control of al-Qaida extremists, but demanded progress first on political reconciliation, elections and training African troops and police.
    (SFC, 12/21/12, p.A8)

2013        Dec 20, President Barack Obama said the United States has deployed 45 military personnel to volatile South Sudan to protect the embassy and US government employees there.
    (Reuters, 12/20/13)
2013        Dec 20, The United States said it is pledging up to $100 million to help support African Union efforts in the Central African Republic.
    (Reuters, 12/20/13)
2013        Dec 20, The US Senate voted to confirm John Koskinen (74), a retired turnaround specialist, to head the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for a 5-year term.
    (SFC, 12/21/13, p.A6)
2013        Dec 20, In Florida 17 teams competed in the DARPA Robotics Challenge at a speedway track near Miami. Only one robot, SCHAFT, made it to the top of a nine-step aluminum ladder. It was created by a Japanese startup owned by Google.
    (Econ, 3/29/14, SR p.3)(http://tinyurl.com/lsbfd5n)
2013        Dec 20, In Illinois an off-duty sheriff’s deputy was fatally shot while trying to break up an armed robbery in suburban Chicago.
    (SSFC, 12/22/13, p.A9)
2013        Dec 20, A US federal judge scrapped Utah’s ban on same-sex marriages. The ban was approved by 66% of state voters in 2004.
    (Econ, 1/4/14, p.21)
2013        Dec 20, Wyoming Governor Matt Mead said his state will challenge a US government ruling that more than one million acres of the western state's land still legally belongs to two Native American tribes.
    (Reuters, 12/21/13)
2013        Dec 20, Bolivia launched its first telecom satellite.
    (SFC, 12/21/13, p.A2)
2013        Dec 20, The British government said it has agreed to destroy part of Syria's chemical weapons stockpile at a commercial facility.
    (Reuters, 12/20/13)
2013        Dec 20, Canada's highest court struck down the country's anti-prostitution laws, a victory for sex workers who had argued that a ban on brothels and other measures made their profession more dangerous.
    (AP, 12/20/13)
2013        Dec 20, In the Central African Republic more than 30 people, including a Chadian peacekeeper, were killed overnight in a fresh outbreak of brutal sectarian violence.
    (AFP, 12/20/13)
2013        Dec 20, China's ruling Communist Party said it was investigating Li Dongsheng, a vice minister of public security, for alleged disciplinary violations, the latest official to be targeted in a high-profile campaign to root out corruption. state media said Cao Jianliao, a top official in Guangdong province, is being investigated for "serious discipline violations", which is often a euphemism for corruption.
    (AFP, 12/20/13)(Reuters, 12/20/13)
2013        Dec 20, Cuba’s VP Marino Murillo told parliament that the peso pegged to the dollar, known as the CUC, would disappear, the first time the government has explicitly said that. He promised that savings in the convertible pesos would retain their value until the change took place.
    (AP, 12/20/13)
2013        Dec 20, In Cuba lawmaker Mariela Castro cast a no vote to a workers’ rights bill that she felt did not go far enough to prevent discrimination against people with HIV or with unconventional gender identities. This appeared to be the first no vote ever in the 612-seat post-revolution National Assembly.
    (SFC, 8/20/14, p.A2)
2013        Dec 20, In Egypt an army raid in the Sinai peninsula led to a firefight the left at least 2 soldiers and 3 militants dead. Police in Cairo clashed with protesters demanding the reinstatement of deposed Islamist president Mohamed Morsi.
    (AFP, 12/20/13)(SFC, 12/21/13, p.A2)
2013        Dec 20, In France a helicopter went down carrying Lam Kok, a Chinese tea tycoon, overflying his newly-purchased vineyard. The body of Kok's 12-year-old son was pulled out of the Dordogne River. French winemaker James Gregoire, the helicopter pilot and owner of Chateau de la Riviere, and their interpreter were also killed.
    (AFP, 12/21/13)(SFC, 12/24/13, p.A2)
2013        Dec 20, India's government petitioned the Supreme Court urging it to reverse a ban on gay sex, saying individual rights must be respected.
    (Reuters, 12/20/13) 
2013        Dec 20, Indian protesters ransacked a Dominos Pizza outlet in a Mumbai suburb, demanding a ban on US goods as officials from the two countries struggled to defuse a row over the arrest of an Indian diplomat in New York.
    (Reuters, 12/20/13)
2013        Dec 20, Bombings in Iraq, including two in a market and a third at a cemetery where victims of the earlier attack were to be buried killed 14 people.
    (AFP, 12/20/13)
2013        Dec 20, Italy's justice minister has announced that Bartolomeo Gagliano, a serial killer who failed to return to prison after a two-day good-behavior pass, has been recaptured in France.
    (AP, 12/20/13)
2013        Dec 20, Italian authorities said that the Camorra syndicate's mobsters have expanded their multibillion-euro toxic-waste disposal racket to Tuscany and beyond Italian borders to eastern Europe.
    (AP, 12/20/13)
2013        Dec 20, Kazakhstan’s President Nursultan Nazarbayev, backed by the legislature, decided to send officers to aid UN peacekeeping missions next year for the first time since independence in 1991.
    (Reuters, 12/20/13)
2013        Dec 20, In Libya the head of military intelligence in Benghazi was shot dead during a visit to his family in nearby Derna. 3 tribesman and 5 soldiers were killed in fighting that grew out of disputes between army units under conflicting orders over who controls key resources in the east.
    (AFP, 12/20/13)(AP, 12/23/13)
2013        Dec 20, Madagascar residents went to the polls for a second round of presidential and legislative elections. On Jan 3, 2014, Hery Rajaonarimampianina was declared the winner with 53.5% of the vote.
    (AP, 12/20/13)(Reuters, 1/3/14)
2013        Dec 20, In Nigeria a Federal High Court sentenced Kabiru Sokoto (30), the alleged mastermind of a 2011 Christmas Day bombing of a Catholic Church, to life in prison for "facilitating the commission of terrorist acts" in northern Sokoto state between 2007 and 2012, including last year's bombing of the police headquarters in Sokoto city.
    (AP, 12/20/13)
2013        Dec 20, In Nigeria Boko Haram Islamist sect fighters, armed with anti-aircraft guns and grenade launchers, attacked a barracks in Bama in the volatile northeast and battled soldiers for several hours.
    (Reuters, 12/21/13)
2013        Dec 20, In the Philippines a gunman attacked  Labangan Mayor Ukol Talumpa as he left the Manila main airport along with crowds of Christmas travelers, killing him, his wife, a child and another man.
    (AP, 12/20/13)
2013        Dec 20, Russia closed a deal to buy Ukraine's newly-issued $3 billion Eurobond, part of a $15 billion bailout of its smaller neighbor.
    (Reuters, 12/23/13)
2013        Dec 20, In Russia oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky, who has been pardoned by Pres. Putin, left jail after 10 years and left for Germany.
    (AP, 12/20/13)
2013        Dec 20, Saudi Arabia beheaded another drug trafficker. 77 people have been executed in Saudi Arabia this year, according to an AFP count.
    (AFP, 12/20/13)
2013        Dec 20, South Africa’s biggest trade union called for President Jacob Zuma to resign and said it will not support the ANC in next year's elections.
    (AP, 12/20/13)
2013        Dec 20, Spain's government approved a tightening of the abortion law that would overturn women's right to abort freely up to 14 weeks of pregnancy.
    (AFP, 12/20/13)
2013        Dec 20, Molhem Barakat, a Syrian photographer who took pictures for Reuters on a freelance basis, was killed while covering fighting in Aleppo.
    (Reuters, 12/21/13)
2013        Dec 20, Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete sacked four ministers following accusations of abuses committed by security forces during a huge operation against wildlife poaching.
    (Reuters, 12/21/13)
2013        Dec 20, Turkey’s PM Tayyip Erdogan pressed a widening purge of the police command, tackling the biggest challenge of his rule from what he describes as a foreign-backed conspiracy to undermine him and create a state within a state.
    (Reuters, 12/20/13)
2013        Dec 20, Ugandan lawmakers passed an anti-gay bill that calls for life imprisonment for "aggravated homosexuality," drawing criticism from rights campaigners who called it draconian and unnecessary in a country where homosexuality has long been criminalized.
    (AP, 12/20/13)
2013        Dec 20, The United Nations says 34,000 people in South Sudan are seeking refuge at UN bases in three locations across the country.
    (AP, 12/20/13)
2013        Dec 20, In northern Yemen 9 people were killed in ongoing sectarian fighting between Shiite Huthi rebels and Sunni Islamists backed by local tribes.
    (AFP, 12/20/13)

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