Hoosier History: On This Day, December 9
Today is Sunday, Dec. 9, the 343rd day of 2018. There are 22 days left in the year.
Today’s Hoosier Highlights in History:
On Dec. 9, 1967, Grammy award-winning violinist and conductor Joshua Bell is born in Bloomington. Bell would begin taking violin lessons at the age of four and appeared as a soloist with the Philadelphia Orchestra at age 14. Bell, a graduate of Bloomington High School and the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, made his Carnegie Hall debut at age 17. He celebrates his 50th birthday today.
Also on Dec. 9, 1967, hundreds of children and their parents in Evansville witness a tragic end to the arrival of a shopping center Santa Claus in a Hughes 300 helicopter. The copter clipped three electrical power lines as it prepared to land, then crashed in the parking lot of the North Park Shopping Center, killing the pilot and his passenger.
On Dec. 9, 1866, noted author Meredith Nicholson is born in Crawfordsville. With Booth Tarkington, George Ade, and James Whitcomb Riley, he was part of the “Golden Age of Literature” in Indiana. His popular novels include The House of a Thousand Candles. He also served in the Indiana legislature and was U.S. Envoy to Paraguay, Venezuela, and Nicaragua. (Source: Hoosier History Highlights from the Indiana Department of Administration; Photo: Wikimedia)
On Dec. 9, 1958, the anti-communist, right-wing John Birch Society is formed in Indianapolis by a group of 12 led by Robert W. Welch, Jr., a retired candy manufacturer. Welch named the new organization after John Birch, an American Baptist missionary and military intelligence officer who was shot and killed by communist forces in China in August 1945, shortly after the conclusion of World War II. (Pictured: Robert Weslsh with a portrait of his hero John Birch – Photo credit: Brown University)
On Dec. 9, 1916, using no hooks or ladders, Harry Gardiner climbs up to the top of the Tippecanoe Courthouse in Lafayette. Over 10,000 spectators witness the event. Gardiner, who called himself “The Human Fly,” performed similar feats in Muncie, Fort Wayne, Richmond, and other cities in Indiana and across America. (Source: Hoosier History Highlights from the Indiana Department of Administration; Pictured: Harry Gardiner hanging from a New York hotel – Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
On this date elsewhere:
In 1608, English poet John Milton was born in London.
In 1917, British forces captured Jerusalem from the Ottoman Turks.
In 1935, the Downtown Athletic Club of New York honored college football player Jay Berwanger of the University of Chicago with the DAC Trophy, which later became known as the Heisman Trophy.
In 1940, British troops opened their first major offensive in North Africa during World War II.
In 1962, the Petrified Forest in Arizona was designated a national park.
In 1965, “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” the first animated TV special featuring characters from the “Peanuts” comic strip by Charles M. Schulz, premiered on CBS.
In 1975, President Gerald R. Ford signed a $2.3 billion seasonal loan-authorization that officials of New York City and State said would prevent a city default.
In 1984, the five-day-old hijacking of a Kuwaiti jetliner that claimed the lives of two Americans ended as Iranian security men seized control of the plane, which was parked at Tehran airport.
In 1987, the first Palestinian intefadeh, or uprising, began as riots broke out in Gaza and spread to the West Bank, triggering a strong Israeli response.
In 1990, Solidarity founder Lech Walesa (lek vah-WEN’-sah) won Poland’s presidential runoff by a landslide.
In 1992, Britain’s Prince Charles and Princess Diana announced their separation. (The couple’s divorce became final in Aug. 1996.)
In 2000, the U-S Supreme Court ordered a tmporary halt in the Florida vote count on which Al Gore pinned his best hopes of winning the White House.
Ten years ago: Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich (blah-GOY’-uh-vich) was arrested after prosecutors said he was caught on wiretaps scheming to sell Barack Obama’s vacant Senate seat for cash or a plum job for himself in the new administration.(Blagojevich was convicted of wide-ranging corruption in 2011 and sentenced to 14 years in prison.) NBC announced that “Tonight Show” host Jay Leno would be moving to prime time.
Five years ago: North Korea announced it had sacked leader Kim Jong Un’s uncle, Jang Song Thaek, long considered the country’s No. 2 power, for leading a “dissolute and depraved life” (Jang was reportedly executed three days later). Scientists revealed that NASA’s Curiosity rover had uncovered signs of an ancient freshwater lake on Mars. Retired managers Joe Torre, Tony La Russa and Bobby Cox were unanimously elected to the baseball Hall of Fame by the expansion era committee. Actress Eleanor Parker, 91, who played a scheming baroness in “The Sound of Music,” died in Palm Springs, California.
One year ago: After more than three years of combat operations, Iraq announced that the fight against the Islamic State group was over, and that Iraq’s security forces had driven the extremists from all of the territory they once held. Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield became the sixth Sooner to win college football’s Heisman Trophy.
Today’s Birthdays: Actor Kirk Douglas is 102. Actor-writer Buck Henry is 88. Actress Dame Judi Dench is 84. Actor Beau Bridges is 77. Football Hall of Famer Dick Butkus is 76. Comedian-songwriter Neil Innes is 74. Actor Michael Nouri is 73. Former Sen. Thomas Daschle, D-S.D., is 71. World Golf Hall of Famer Tom Kite is 69. Singer Joan Armatrading is 68. Actor Michael Dorn is 66. Actor John Malkovich is 65. Country singer Sylvia is 62. Singer Donny Osmond is 61. Rock musician Nick Seymour (Croded House) is 60. Comedian Mario Cantone is 59. Actor David Anthony Higgins is 57. Actor Joe Lando is 57. Actress Felicity Huffman is 56. Crown Princess Masako of Japan is 55. Country musician Jerry Hughes (Yankee Grey) is 53. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., is 52. Rock singer-musician Thomas Flowers (Oleander) is 51. Rock musician Brian Bell (Weezer) is 50. Rock singer-musician Jakob Dylan (Wallflowers) is 49. TV personality-businessperson Lori Greiner (TV: “Shark Tank”) is 49. Country musician Brian Hayes (Cole Deggs and the Lonesome) is 49. Actress Allison Smith is 49. Songwriter and former “American Idol” judge Kara DioGuardi (dee-oh-GWAHR’-dee) is 48. Country singer David Kersh is 48. Actress Reiko (RAY’-koh) Aylesworth is 46. Rock musician Tre Cool (Green Day) is 46. Rapper Canibus is 44. Actor Kevin Daniels is 42. Actor-writer-director Mark Duplass is 42. Rock musician Eric Zamora (Save Ferris) is 42. Rock singer Imogen Heap is 41. Actor Jesse Metcalfe is 40. Actor Simon Helberg is 38. Actress Jolene Purdy is 35. Actor Joshua Sasse is 31. Actress Ashleigh Brewer is 28. Olympic gold and silver medal gymnast McKayla Maroney is 23.
(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)