GOOD MORNING – TODAY IS SATURDAY, December 20, the 354th day of 2014 with 11 to follow. Sunrise in the Boston area is @ 7:09 and sunset is @ 4:13. 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: 1790 – The first successful cotton mill in the U.S. began operating at Pawtucket, Rhode Island.
1803 – The Louisiana Purchase was completed as ownership of the territory was formally transferred from France to the United States during ceremonies in New Orleans. The massive land purchase, nearly doubled the size of the young republic, and was Thomas Jefferson’s most notable achievement as President.
1860 – South Carolina became the first state to secede from the Union.
1879 – Thomas A. Edison privately demonstrated his incandescent light at Menlo Park, New Jersey.
1880 – Electric lights were installed throughout Broadway’s theater section in New York City.
1892 – The pneumatic tire was patented.
1922 – The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics was formed when 15 eastern European republics merged to form the USSR.
1924 – Adolf Hitler was released from prison after serving less than one year of a five-year sentence for treason.
1938 – The kinescope, now known as the cathode-ray tube, was patented by Russian immigrant Vladimir Zworykin.
1965 – “The Dating Game” premiered on television.
1989 – U.S. armed forces invaded Panama to overthrow military dictator Manuel Antonio Noriega, who had been indicted in the United States on drug trafficking charges and accused of suppressing democracy in Panama.
1999 – The Vermont Supreme Court ruled that homosexual couples were entitled to the same benefits and protections as wedded couples of the opposite sex.
1999 – Macau reverted to Chinese rule; it had been a Portuguese colony since 1557.