Whitesburg KY
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Moments in Time




 

 

• On Dec. 13, 1621, the first American fur exports leave for England aboard the Fortune, only to be stolen by the French. The colonists later traded with Native Americans, exchanging corn for beaver skins, which were in turn sold in England.

• On Dec. 18, 1777, the new United States celebrates its first national day of thanksgiving, commemorating the American victory at the Battle of Saratoga after the surrender of 5,000 British troops.

• On Dec. 14, 1799, the first U.S. president, George Washington, dies at his Mount Vernon estate in Virginia. Two days earlier, he’d ridden out into freezing sleet and later refused to change out of his wet clothes. The next day he developed a severe respiratory infection.

• On Dec. 16, 1811, near New Madrid, Missouri, an estimated 8.6 magnitude earthquake slams the region, raising and lowering parts of the Mississippi Valley by as much as 15 feet. The quake temporarily reversed the direction of the Mississippi River, giving rise to Reelfoot Lake in Tennessee.

• On Dec. 17, 1903, near Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, Orville and Wilbur Wright make the first successful flight in history of a selfpropelled, heavier-than-air aircraft. It stayed aloft for 12 seconds and covered 120 feet.

• On Dec. 12, 1989, Leona Helmsley, nicknamed the “Queen of Mean” by the press, receives a four-year prison sentence, 750 hours of community service and a $7.1 million tax-fraud fine in New York. Helmsley had once quipped that “only the little people pay taxes.”

• On Dec. 15, 1998, after nearly 14 hours of debate, the House of Representatives approves two articles of impeachment against President Bill Clinton. The charges of lying under oath and obstructing justice stemmed from testimony about his affair with former White House intern Monica Lewinsky. The Senate later acquitted him of both charges.


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