Sunday, December 12, 2010

POPnews (US) - December 12th

[The USS Cairo, first of the US Navy's City class ironclads, was designed by Samuel M. Pook and built by James B. Eads, representing a sea change - get it? - in marine warfare technology. After sinking in 1862 it remained undiscovered on the riverbed until 1959; more than a century's rest was disturbed when the ship was raised on this day in 1964. Currently preserved at Vicksburg National Military Park, it serves its country once more as a museum and tourist attraction.]

1787 - Pennsylvania became the second state to ratify the United States Constitution - just five days after Delaware became the first - making it the second US state.

1862 - The USS Cairo sank on Mississippi's Yazoo River, making it the first armored ship to be sunk by an electrically detonated mine.

1870 - Joseph H. Rainey of South Carolina became the first African-American to take a seat in the US Congress.

1917 - Father Edward J. Flanagan founded Boys Town in Nebraska as a farm village for wayward boys.

1950 - Paula Ackerman became America's first female rabbi.

1985 - Arrow Air Flight 1285 crashed shortly after takeoff from Gander, Newfoundland, killing 256 - including 248 members of the US 101st Airborne Division.

2000 - The US Supreme Court released its decision in Bush v. Gore - not one of its finer moments...
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