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Moments in Time

 

 

• On Dec. 8, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln offers his conciliatory plan for reunification of the United States with his Proclamation of Amnesty and Reconstruction. It allowed for a full pardon for and restoration of property to all engaged in the rebellion with the exception of the highest Confederate officials and military leaders.

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• On Dec. 6, 1933, a federal judge rules that “Ulysses” by James Joyce is not obscene. The book had been banned in both the United States and England when it came out in 1922. Three years earlier, its serialization in an American review had been cut short by the U.S. Post Office.

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• On Dec. 5, 1941, John Steinbeck’s nonfiction book “The Sea of Cortez” is published. The book reflects Steinbeck’s serious study of marine biology. He would later use his knowledge of the sea and its creatures in creating Doc, the marine biologist in “Cannery Row” (1945).

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• On Dec. 4, 1952, heavy smog begins to hover over London. Smoke, soot and sulfur dioxide from the area’s industries and cars were trapped by a highpressure air mass, leading to the deaths of at least 4,000 people, many of whom died in their sleep.

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• On Dec. 3, 1967, Lewis Washkansky, 53, receives the first human heart transplant, in Cape Town, South Africa. He was given drugs to keep his body from rejecting the heart, but died 18 days later.

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• On Dec. 7, 1982, the first execution by lethal injection takes place in Texas, when Charles Brooks Jr. receives a fatal dose of a barbiturate by intravenous injection.

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• On Dec. 9, 1992, nearly 2,000 U.S. Marines arrive in Mogadishu, Somalia, to spearhead a multinational force aimed at restoring order in the conflict-ridden country. In October 1993, rebels shot down two U.S. Army Black Hawk helicopters and killed 18 American soldiers.

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