Today is Tuesday, Dec. 4, the 339th day of 2012. There are 27 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On Dec. 4, 1619, a group of settlers from Bristol, England, arrived at Berkeley Hundred in present-day Charles City County, Va., where they held a service thanking God for their safe arrival. (Some suggest this was the true first Thanksgiving in America, ahead of the Pilgrims’ arrival in Massachusetts.)
On this date:
• In 1783, Gen. George Washington bade farewell to his Continental Army officers at Fraunces Tavern in New York.
• In 1816, James Monroe of Virginia was elected the fifth president of the United States.
• In 1912, Medal of Honor recipient Gregory “Pappy” Boyington, the Marine Corps pilot who led the “Black Sheep Squadron” during World War II, was born in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.
• In 1918, President Woodrow Wilson left Washington on a trip to France to attend the Versailles Peace Conference.
• In 1942, U.S. bombers struck the Italian mainland for the first time in World War II.
• In 1965, the United States launched Gemini 7 with Air Force Lt. Col. Frank Borman and Navy Cmdr. James A. Lovell aboard.
• In 1978, San Francisco got its first female mayor as City Supervisor Dianne Feinstein was named to replace the assassinated George Moscone.
• In 1984, a five-day hijack drama began as four armed men seized a Kuwaiti airliner en route to Pakistan and forced it to land in Tehran, where the hijackers killed American passenger Charles Hegna.
• In 1991, Associated Press correspondent Terry Anderson, the longest held of the Western hostages in Lebanon, was released after nearly seven years in captivity. Pan American World Airways ceased operations.
• In 1992, President George H.W. Bush ordered American troops to lead a mercy mission to Somalia, threatening military action against warlords and gangs who were blocking food for starving millions.
• In 1996, the Mars Pathfinder lifted off from Cape Canaveral and began speeding toward Mars on a 310 million-mile odyssey. (It arrived on Mars in July 1997.)
Ten years ago:
• United Airlines lost its bid for $1.8 billion in federal loan guarantees, a major setback to the nation’s second-largest air carrier in its efforts to avoid bankruptcy.
• Supreme Court justices heard arguments on whether federal laws intended to combat organized crime and corruption could be used against anti-abortion demonstrators. (The Court later ruled that such laws were improperly used to punish abortion opponents.)
Five years ago:
• Defending his credibility, President George W. Bush said Iran was dangerous and needed to be squeezed by international pressure despite a U.S. intelligence finding that Tehran had halted its nuclear weapons program four years earlier.
• The intelligence report on Iran figured in a Democratic debate on National Public Radio as rivals assailed front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton for voting in favor of a Senate resolution designating Iran’s Revolutionary Guard a terrorist organization.
One year ago:
• Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s party hung onto its majority in Russia’s parliamentary election, but faced accusations from opponents of rigging the vote.
• Rafael Nadal recovered from a terrible start and beat Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina 1-6, 6-4, 6-1, 7-6 (0) to give Spain its fifth Davis Cup title.
• After going more than two years and 26 tournaments without a victory, Tiger Woods won the Chevron World Challenge.
Actress-singer Deanna Durbin is 91. Game show host Wink Martindale is 79. Pop singer Freddy Cannon is 76. Actor-producer Max Baer Jr. is 75. Actress Gemma Jones is 70. Rock musician Bob Mosley (Moby Grape) is 70. Singer-musician Chris Hillman is 68. Musician Terry Woods (The Pogues) is 65. Rock singer Southside Johnny Lyon is 64. Actor Jeff Bridges is 63. Rock musician Gary Rossington (Lynyrd Skynyrd; the Rossington Collins Band) is 61. Actress Patricia Wettig is 61. Actor Tony Todd is 58. Jazz singer Cassandra Wilson is 57. Country musician Brian Prout (Diamond Rio) is 57. Rock musician Bob Griffin (The BoDeans) is 53. Rock singer Vinnie Dombroski (Sponge) is 50. Actress Marisa Tomei is 48. Actress Chelsea Noble is 48. Actor-comedian Fred Armisen is 46. Rapper Jay-Z is 43. Actor Kevin Sussman is 42. Actress-model Tyra Banks is 39. Country singer Lila McCann is 31. Actress Lindsay Felton is 28. Actor Orlando Brown is 25.