Today in History: December 7 2007-War, Terror, Politics, Society, Culture, Disasters


On Dec. 7, 1941, without warning, Japanese forces attacked American and British territories and possessions in the Pacific, including the home base of the U.S. Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii.

In 2002, Iraq handed over its long-awaited arms declaration to the United Nations, denying it had doomsday weapons. President Saddam Hussein grudgingly apologized to Kuwait for his 1990 invasion.


In 1787, Delaware became the first state to ratify the U.S. Constitution.

In 1796, electors chose John Adams to be the second president of the United States.

In 1836, Martin Van Buren was elected the eighth president of the U.S.

In 1987, Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev set foot on American soil for the first time, arriving for a Washington summit with President Reagan.

In 1997, Republicans threatened Attorney General Janet Reno with contempt of Congress over her decision to forgo an independent counsel's investigation of Clinton White House campaign fund raising.


In 1987, 43 people were killed after a gunman aboard a Pacific Southwest Airlines jetliner in California apparently opened fire on a fellow passenger, the two pilots and himself, causing the plane to crash.

In 2002, bombs tore through four movie theaters in Bangladesh, killing 19.

In 2006, the U.S. military transferred the first group of Guantanamo Bay detainees to a new maximum-security prison on the naval base.


In 1946, fire broke out at the Winecoff Hotel in Atlanta; the blaze killed 119 people, including hotel founder W. Frank Winecoff.

In 1983, in Madrid, Spain, an Aviaco DC-9 collided on a runway with an Iberia Air Lines Boeing 727 that was accelerating for takeoff, killing all 42 people aboard the DC-9 and 51 aboard the Iberia jet.

Azra Akin, Miss Turkey, won the Miss World contest in London, bringing to a close an international pageant that had incited deadly rioting in Nigeria, the original site of the event.


In 1907, the first Christmas Seals to help the fight against tuberculosis were sold, in Wilmington, Del. (Some sources say Dec. 9.)

In 1982, convicted murderer Charlie Brooks Jr. became the first U.S. prisoner to be executed by injection, at a prison in Huntsville, Texas.


Actor Eli Wallach is 92. Bluegrass singer Bobby Osborne is 76. Actress Ellen Burstyn is 75. Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss., is 70. Broadcast journalist Carole Simpson is 67. Baseball Hall-of-Famer Johnny Bench is 60. Country singer Gary Morris is 59. Singer-songwriter Tom Waits is 58. Sen. Susan M. Collins, R-Maine, is 55. Actress Priscilla Barnes is 52. Basketball Hall-of-Famer Larry Bird is 51. Former "Tonight Show" announcer Edd Hall is 49. Rock musician Tim Butler (The Psychedelic Furs) is 49. Actor Jeffrey Wright is 42. Actor C. Thomas Howell is 41. Pop singer Nicole Appleton (All Saints) is 32. Country singer Sunny Sweeney is 31. Actress Shiri Appleby is 29. Singer Aaron Carter is 20.

Today is Friday, Dec. 7, the 341st day of 2007. There are 24 days left in the year.

compiled by Mondoreb
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