Tabloid Tales of the Past

Dec. 20, 2011

Mayor Joseph A. Griffo is in favor of running an outdoor rink in Rome this winter, but "how, when, and where need to be determined." Griffo and Parks and Recreation Director Richard A. Miller participated in a meeting with citizens concerned with the city’s indecision on whether to have a rink at Franklyn’s Field this winter. Councilor Louis J. DiMarco Jr., D-7, and Councilor-elect Joseph R. Fusco Jr., C-4, also attended.

A federal grant of $500,000 has been approved for the Millennium Project, a partnership between Mohawk Valley Community College and the Utica City School District. The grant was announced today by Rep. Sherwood L. Boehlert, R-23, New Hartford, as part of the House/Senate conference report of the fiscal 2002 lab and health and human services spending bill. Senate action on the conference report is expected shortly, and the legislation should then be signed into law by the president.

Dec. 20, 1991

A combination of underbudgeting a year ago and continued overcrowding at the county jail is forcing the county to reappropriate nearly $900,000 to fund operations at the jail.

Dec. 20, 1981

CAMDEN — Cable television will be turned on in portions of the village during the week of Dec. 28, with other sections of the village following as soon as the Niagara Mohawk Power Company finishes its rewiring project.

Dec. 20, 1971

Robert M. Lake received the medal of 1777 during the annual meeting of the Rome Historical Society. Dr. Louis L. Tucker, state historian, was the speaker.

Dec. 20, 1961

Two Air Force planes are searching the Camden area for the missing F-86 Sabre jet fighter which crashed in dense woods off Mexico Road. The pilot, Capt. P.F. Fleming, Milwaukee, bailed out safely. He was on a training flight from Griffiss Air Force Base.

Three new members of the Sherrill City Commission will take office Jan. 1. They are: Marion T. Thurston, Marshall R. Friske and James R. Graves.

Dec. 20, 1951

Slush, freezing rain and a warning of heavy snow added to the sleet and rain of last night has put Central New York into real winter, although the season hasn’t officially arrived. Planes are grounded, and trains are running late.

Today is Tuesday, Dec. 20, the 354th day of 2011. There are 11 days left in the year. The Jewish Festival of Lights, Hanukkah, begins at sunset.

Today in History

On Dec. 20, 1860, South Carolina became the first state to secede from the Union as all 169 delegates to a special convention in Charleston voted in favor of separation.

On this date:

In 1790, the first successful cotton mill in the United States began operating at Pawtucket, R.I.

In 1803, the Louisiana Purchase was completed as ownership of the territory was formally transferred from France to the United States.

In 1864, Confederate forces evacuated Savannah, Ga., as Union Gen. William T. Sherman continued his "March to the Sea."

In 1945, the Office of Price Administration announced the end of tire rationing, effective Jan. 1, 1946.

In 1961, playwright-director Moss Hart, 57, died in Palm Springs, Calif.

In 1963, the Berlin Wall was opened for the first time to West Berliners, who were allowed one-day visits to relatives in the Eastern sector for the holidays.

In 1978, former White House chief of staff H.R. Haldeman was released from prison after serving 18 months for his role in the Watergate cover-up.

In 1987, more than 4,300 people were killed when the Dona Paz, a Philippine passenger ship, collided with the tanker Vector off Mindoro island.

In 1989, the United States launched Operation Just Cause, sending troops into Panama to topple the government of Gen. Manuel Noriega.

In 1999, the Vermont Supreme Court ruled that homosexual couples were entitled to the same benefits and protections as wedded couples of the opposite sex.

Ten years ago

Argentine President Fernando de la Rua resigned, hours after his economy minister, following two days of anti-government unrest that left about two dozen people dead and more than 200 injured. The U.N. Security Council authorized a multinational force for Afghanistan. Microsoft admitted its new Windows XP operating system software was vulnerable to hacking. Comedian Foster Brooks, known for his "Lovable Lush" fake drunk act, died in Encino, Calif., at age 89.

Five years ago

Acknowledging deepening frustration over Iraq, President George W. Bush told a news conference he was considering an increase in American forces and warned that the next year would bring more painful U.S. losses. Recently sworn-in Defense Secretary Robert Gates made an unannounced visit to Iraq.

One year ago

In the biggest anti-terrorist sweep in Britain in nearly two years, police arrested a dozen men accused of plotting a large-scale terror attack on targets inside the United Kingdom. Former Mexican presidential candidate Diego Fernandez de Cevallos was freed more than seven months after his kidnapping by suspected leftist rebels. "Barney Miller" actor Steve Landesberg died in Los Angeles.

Today’s Birthdays

Actress Audrey Totter is 94. Actor John Hillerman is 79. Actress Kathryn Joosten is 72. Rock musician-music producer Bobby Colomby is 67. Rock musician Peter Criss is 66.

Psychic/illusionist Uri Geller is 65. Producer Dick Wolf ("Law & Order") is 65. Rock musician Alan Parsons is 63. Actress Jenny Agutter is 59. Actor Michael Badalucco is 57. Actress Blanche Baker is 55. Rock singer Billy Bragg is 54. Rock singer-musician Mike Watt (The Secondmen, Minutemen, fIREHOSE) is 54. Actor Joel Gretsch is 48. Country singer Kris Tyler is 47. Rock singer Chris Robinson is 45.

Actress Nicole deBoer is 41. Movie director Todd Phillips is 41. Singer David Cook ("American Idol") is 29. Actor Jonah Hill is 28. Singer JoJo is 21.

Thought for Today

"All the mistakes I ever made were when I wanted to say ‘No’ and said ‘Yes."’ - Moss Hart (1904-1961).