This Day in History: Dec. 4

On this day, Dec. 4 …

1991: Associated Press correspondent Terry Anderson, the longest-held of the Western hostages in Lebanon, is released after nearly seven years in captivity. 

Also on this day:

  • 1619: A group of settlers from Bristol, England, arrive at Berkeley Hundred in present-day Charles City County, Va., where they hold a service thanking God for their safe arrival.
  • 1783: Gen. George Washington bids farewell to his Continental Army officers at Fraunces Tavern in New York.
  • 1867: The National Grange of the Order of Patrons of Husbandry, also known as The Grange, is founded in Washington, D.C., to promote the interests of farmers.
  • 1875: William Marcy Tweed, the “Boss” of New York City’s Tammany Hall political organization, escapes from jail and flees the country.
  • 1945: The Senate approves U.S. participation in the United Nations by a vote of 65-7.
  • 1965: The United States launches Gemini 7 with Air Force Lt. Col. Frank Borman and Navy Cmdr. James A. Lovell aboard on a two-week mission. (While Gemini 7 is in orbit, its sister ship, Gemini 6A, is launched on Dec. 15 on a one-day mission; the two spacecraft are able to rendezvous within a foot of each other.)
  • 1978: San Francisco gets its first female mayor as City Supervisor Dianne Feinstein is named to replace the assassinated George Moscone.
  • 1991: The original Pan American World Airways ceases operations.
  • 1995: The first NATO troops lands in the Balkans to begin setting up a peace mission that brings American soldiers into the middle of the Bosnian conflict.
  • 1996: The Mars Pathfinder lifts off from Cape Canaveral and begins speeding toward the red planet on a 310 million-mile odyssey. (It would arrive on Mars in July 1997.)
  • 2000: In a pair of legal setbacks for Al Gore, a Florida state judge refuses to overturn George W. Bush’s certified victory in Florida and the U.S. Supreme Court sets aside a ruling that had allowed manual recounts.
  • 2008: U.S. automakers draw fresh skepticism from lawmakers during a Senate Banking Committee hearing over their pleas for an expanded $34 billion rescue package they said was needed for them to survive. 
  • 2008: For the first time, an NFL game is broadcast live in 3-D to theaters in Boston, New York and Los Angeles.
  • 2017: Declaring that “public lands will once again be for public use,” President Trump scales back two sprawling national monuments in Utah; it is the first time in a half-century that a president had undone that type of land protection. 
  • 2017: The Supreme Court allows the Trump administration to fully enforce a ban on travel to the United States by residents of six mostly Muslim countries.