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This Day in History: December 14


1814 – War of 1812: The Royal Navy seizes control of Lake Borgne, Louisiana.

1819 – Alabama becomes the 22nd U.S. state.

1902 – The Commercial Pacific Cable Company lays the first Pacific telegraph cable, from San Francisco to Honolulu.

1903 – The Wright brothers make their first attempt to fly with the Wright Flyer at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.

1946 – The United Nations General Assembly votes to establish its headquarters in New York, New York.

1962 – NASA's Mariner 2 becomes the first spacecraft to fly by Venus.

1963 – The dam containing the Baldwin Hills Reservoir bursts, killing five people and damaging hundreds of homes in Los Angeles, California.

1964 – American Civil Rights Movement: Heart of Atlanta Motel v. United States: The Supreme Court of the United States rules that Congress can use the Constitution's Commerce Clause to fight discrimination.

1972 – Apollo program: Eugene Cernan is the last person to walk on the moon, after he and Harrison Schmitt complete the third and final extravehicular activity (EVA) of the Apollo 17 mission.

2008 – Muntadhar al-Zaidi throws his shoes at then-U.S. President George W. Bush during a press conference in Baghdad, Iraq.

2012 – Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting: Twenty-eight people, including the gunman, are killed in Sandy Hook, Connecticut.


1775 – Philander Chase, American bishop and educator, founded Kenyon College (d. 1852)

1896 – Jimmy Doolittle, American general and pilot, Medal of Honor recipient (d. 1993)

1897 – Margaret Chase Smith, American educator and politician (d. 1995)

1922 – Don Hewitt, American journalist and producer, created 60 Minutes (d. 2009)

1946 – Patty Duke, American actress (d. 2016)


1799 – George Washington, American general and politician, 1st President of the United States (b. 1732)

1873 – Louis Agassiz, Swiss-American zoologist and geologist (b. 1807)

1902 – Julia Grant, American wife of Ulysses S. Grant, 19th First Lady of the United States (b. 1826)

1920 – George Gipp, American football player (b. 1895)

1943 – John Harvey Kellogg, American physician and businessman, co-invented corn flakes (b. 1852)

1963 – Dinah Washington, American singer and pianist (b. 1924)

1974 – Walter Lippmann, American journalist and author (b. 1889)

1985 – Roger Maris, American baseball player and coach (b. 1934)

1994 – Orval Faubus, American soldier and politician, 36th Governor of Arkansas (b. 1910)