This Day in History — December 3

Today is the 337th day of 2021. There are 28 days left in the year.


1964: Police arrest some 800 students at the University of California at Berkeley, one day after the students stormed the administration building and staged a massive sit-in.


1621: Galileo perfects the telescope.

1694: Triennial Bill becomes law in England, providing for new Parliament to be elected every third year.

1775: Lieutenant John Paul Jones hoists the first seagoing American flag on the newly commissioned continental Naval ship, the Alfred.

1810: British capture Mauritius from French.

1828: Andrew Jackson is elected the seventh president of the United States.

1948: The House of Representatives Un-American Activities Committee announces former Communist spy Whittaker Chambers produced a microfilm of secret documents hidden inside a pumpkin on his Maryland farm.

1952: UN General Assembly adopts India's proposal for Korean armistice.

1958: Dutch businesses are nationalised in Indonesia.

1961: United States deploys troops along border between East and West Berlin as East Germany begins strengthening Berlin Wall.

1962: London is blanketed by one of the worst fogs in years, and scores of people die of sulfur dioxide poisoning before fog lifts four days later.

1967: Surgeons in Cape Town, South Africa, led by Dr Christiaan Barnard, perform the first human heart transplant. Louis Washkansky lives 18 days with the new heart.

1970: British envoy James R Cross is rescued after being held by Quebec terrorists in Canada for almost two months.

1971: India declares state of emergency as Pakistani planes attack north-western India in dispute over Kashmir.

1975: Communists take control of Laos and declare end to 600-year-old monarchy.

1979: Christie's auction house in New York sets a record, selling a thimble for US$18,400.

1984: More than 4,000 people die after a cloud of gas escapes from a pesticide plant operated by a Union Carbide subsidiary in Bhopal, India.

1988: Pakistan's Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, in first official act, calls for release of about 1,000 political prisoners and commutes all death sentences.

1990: Two jets taxiing for a take-off at Detroit airport collide killing nine people.

1993: The United States and Ukraine fail to resolve a dispute over Ukraine's stockpile of more than 1,000 long-range nuclear warheads.

1997: South Korea strikes a deal with the International Monetary Fund for a record US$55-billion bailout of its floundering economy; representatives of more than 120 nations gather in Ottawa, Canada, to sign a treaty banning land mines.

1998: Making their first collective decision about monetary policy, 11 European nations cut interest rates in a surprise move to fight the global economic slowdown.

1999: Tori Murden, a Kentucky lawyer, becomes the first American — and first woman — to row 4,800 kilometres (3,000 miles) across the Atlantic alone.

2000: Pakistan offers a truce to Indian soldiers along the disputed Kashmir border.

2002: World Food Programme warns the UN Security Council that a record 38 million people are at risk of starvation in Africa. The southern nations of Zimbabwe, Malawi, Swaziland, Lesotho, Zambia and Mozambique are among the worst affected.

2007: Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez loses a constitutional vote that would have let him run for re-election indefinitely.

2008: Russia says it is sending a warship through the Panama Canal for the first time since World War II, a short journey loaded with symbolic weight; the destroyer will dock at a former US naval base, showcasing Russia's growing influence in the region.

2009: Afghan President Hamid Karzai says he is willing to talk with the Taliban chief in a bid to bring peace to the country if the move has the backing of the United States and other international partners.

2011: Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki confidently predicts that his country will achieve stability and remain independent of its giant neighbour Iran even without an American troop presence that is ending within weeks.

2012: US President Barack Obama warns Syria that the use of chemical weapons would be “totally unacceptable” and that the country's leaders would be held accountable.

2013: French scientists looking into the death of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat dismiss poisoning by radioactive polonium, his widow says, contradicting earlier findings by a Swiss lab.


Anna Freud, Austrian psychoanalyst (1895-1982); Andy Williams, US Singer (1927-2012); Jean-Luc Godard, French film director (1930- ); Ozzy Osbourne, British rock singer (1948- ); Daryl Hannah, US actress (1960- ); Julianne Moore, US actress (1960- )

— AP

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