Today in History: December 19

A plane sits in the upper deck of Baltimore's Memorial Stadium after crashing into the stands, on Dec. 19, 1976, during a game between the Baltimore Colts and the Pittsburgh Steelers. (AP Photo)

Today in History

Today is Monday, Dec. 19, the 354th day of 2016. There are 12 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Dec. 19, 1946, war broke out in Indochina as troops under Ho Chi Minh launched widespread attacks against the French.

On this date:

In 1777, Gen. George Washington led his army of about 11,000 men to Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, to camp for the winter.

In 1813, British forces captured Fort Niagara during the War of 1812.

In 1843, “A Christmas Carol,” by Charles Dickens, was first published in England.

In 1907, 239 workers died in a coal mine explosion in Jacobs Creek, Pennsylvania.

In 1932, the British Broadcasting Corp. began transmitting overseas with its Empire Service to Australia.

In 1957, Meredith Willson’s musical play “The Music Man” opened on Broadway.

In 1961, former U.S. Ambassador Joseph P. Kennedy Sr., 73, suffered a debilitating stroke while in Palm Beach, Florida.

In 1974, Nelson A. Rockefeller was sworn in as the 41st vice president of the United States in the U.S. Senate chamber by Chief Justice Warren Burger with President Gerald R. Ford looking on.

In 1975, John Paul Stevens was sworn in as an Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.

In 1986, the Soviet Union announced it had freed dissident Andrei Sakharov from internal exile, and pardoned his wife, Yelena Bonner. Lawrence E. Walsh was appointed independent counsel to investigate the Iran-Contra affair.

In 1996, the television industry unveiled a plan to rate programs using tags such as “TV-G” (suitable for all ages), “TV-Y” (suitable for all youngsters) and “TV-M” (for mature audiences only). Actor Marcello Mastroianni died in Paris at age 72.

In 1998, President Bill Clinton was impeached by the Republican-controlled House for perjury and obstruction of justice (he was subsequently acquitted by the Senate).

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