ON THIS DAY
1620 – Mayflower docks at Plymouth Harbor: On December 18, 1620, the British ship Mayflower docked at modern-day Plymouth, Massachusetts, and its passengers prepared to begin their new settlement, Plymouth Colony.
1777 – The United States celebrates its first Thanksgiving, marking the recent victory by the American rebels over British General John Burgoyne at Saratoga in October.
1787 – New Jersey becomes the third state to ratify the U.S. Constitution.
1865 – US Secretary of State William Seward proclaims the adoption of the Thirteenth Amendment, prohibiting slavery throughout the USA.
1888 – Wetherill and Mason discover Mesa Verde: While searching for stray cattle in the isolated canyons of southwest Colorado, Richard Wetherill and his brother-in-law stumble upon the magnificent ancient Indians ruins of Mesa Verde.
1946 – Director Steven Spielberg born: On this day in 1946, Steven Spielberg, who will become one of the most successful directors in modern movie history with such blockbusters as Jaws, E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Schindler’s List and Saving Private Ryan, is born in Cincinnati, Ohio.
1972 – Vietnam War: President Richard Nixon announces that the United States will engage North Vietnam in Operation Linebacker II, a series of Christmas bombings, after peace talks collapsed with North Vietnam on the 13th.
2017 – Amtrak Cascades passenger train 501, derailed near DuPont, Washington, a city in United States near Olympia, Washington killing 6 people, and injuring 70 others.