Today Yesterday



5th December

1766 The founder of the famous London auctioneers, James Christie, held his first sale.

1791 Austrian composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart died from typhus.

1839 * George Armstrong Custer, US cavalry commander.

1848 US President Polk triggered off the Gold Rush of 1848 when he confirmed that gold had been discovered in California.

1870 Alexandre Dumas, the French author of "The Three Musketeers" died in Dieppe.

1872 The ship, the Marie Celeste was found abandoned, drifting in the Atlantic off Portugal. No trace of her crew was ever found

1901 * Walt Disney, US cartoon film producer.

1933 Prohibition ended after 14 years in the US.

1935 * Little Richard (Richard Penniman), US rock 'n roll innovator who sang 'Tutti Frutti' (1956).

1945 Five US Navy bombers on a training flight In the "Bermuda Triangle", disappeared without trace.

1946 * Josť Carreras, Spanish operatic tenor.

1950 Chinese troops entered the North Korean capital, Pyongyang, as United Nations forces were pushed steadily back towards South Korea.

1956 Britain's first woman judge, Miss Rose Heilbron, was appointed.

1977 President Anwar al-Sadat of Egypt broke off all relations with Syria, Libya, Algeria and South Yemen.

1991 Administrators were called in to try to salvage the Maxwell business empire, which was at least £1bn in debt.

1995 Sri Lankan troops drove the Tamil Tiger guerrillas out of their heartland capital of Jaffna in a 49-day operation.

1995 The last US hostage in Beirut, Terry Anderson was released from captivity.

2004 Hamid Karzai was sworn in as Afghanistan's first popularly elected president.

xxxx * = Date of birth

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