GOOD MORNING – TODAY IS SATURDAY, December 13, the 347th day of 2014 with 18 to follow. Sunrise in the Boston area is @ 7:04 and sunset is @ 4:11. The moon is waxing. The morning stars are stars are Jupiter, Mercury & Saturn. The evening stars are Mars, Neptune, Uranus & Venus.
ON THIS DAY IN: 1474 – Isabella and her husband, Ferdinand of Aragon, were proclaimed Queen and King of Castile.
1577 – Sir Francis Drake of England set out with five ships on a nearly three-year journey around the world.
1621 – The first American furs to be exported from the continent left for England aboard the Fortune, under the care of Robert Cushman.
1642 – Dutch navigator Abel Tasman arrived in present-day New Zealand.
1769 – Dartmouth College, in New Hampshire, received its charter.
1862 – Confederate General Robert E. Lee’s vastly outnumbered army defeated Union General Ambrose Burnside and his troops in the Battle of Fredericksburg.
1903 – Molds for ice cream cones were patented by Italo Marcione of New York.
1928 – George Gershwin’s musical work “An American in Paris” premiered at Carnegie Hall in New York.
1937 – The Japanese army occupied Nanking, China — the beginning of the “Rape of Nanking.”
1973 – Great Britain cut the work week to three days to save energy.
1978 – The Philadelphia Mint began stamping the Susan B. Anthony dollar.
1981 – Poland’s Communist government declared martial law, arrested Lech Walesa and other Solidarity leaders, and declared the Solidarity trade union illegal. (Martial law formally ended in 1983. )
1989 – South African President F.W. de Klerk met for the first time with imprisoned African National Congress leader Nelson Mandela, in Cape Town.
1991 – North Korea and South Korea signed a treaty of reconciliation and nonaggression, formally ending the Korean War 38 years after fighting ceased in 1953.
1998 – Voters in Puerto Rico rejected U.S. statehood in a non-binding referendum.
2000 – Republican George W. Bush claimed the presidency 36 days after Election Day; Democrat Al Gore conceded defeat.
2001 – President George W. Bush formally announced the United States withdrawal from the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty.
2001 – The Pentagon released a videotape of Osama bin Laden in which the al-Qaeda leader said the September 11 attacks exceeded his “most optimistic” expectations.
2003 – A tip led U.S. soldiers to a farm outside Tikrit, Iraq, where they found Saddam Hussein hiding in a hole and arrest him; the capture is announced to the world the following day.
2004 – A jury in Redwood City, Calif., recommended the death penalty for Scott Peterson for the murders of his wife and unborn child.