On This Day: December 22

Updated December 21, 2011, 1:28 pm

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On Dec. 22, 1864, during the Civil War, Union Gen. William T. Sherman sent a message to President Lincoln from Georgia, saying, “I beg to present you as a Christmas gift the city of Savannah.”

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On Dec. 22, 1907, Dame Peggy Ashcroft, the British stage actress , was born. Following her death on June 14, 1991, her obituary appeared in The Times.

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On This Date

By The Associated Press
1858 Opera composer Giacomo Puccini was born in Lucca, Italy.
1864 During the Civil War, Union Gen. William T. Sherman sent a message to President Abraham Lincoln from Georgia, saying, “I beg to present you as a Christmas gift the city of Savannah.”
1894 French army officer Alfred Dreyfus was convicted of treason in a court-martial that triggered worldwide charges of anti-Semitism. (He was eventually vindicated.)
1912 Lady Bird Johnson, the wife of President Lyndon B. Johnson, was born Claudio Alta Taylor in Karnack, Texas.
1941 British Prime Minister Winston Churchill arrived in Washington, D.C., for a wartime conference with President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
1944 During the Battle of the Bulge, Germany demanded the surrender of American troops at Bastogne, Belgium; Brigadier Gen. Anthony C. McAuliffe reportedly replied: “Nuts!”
1984 New York City resident Bernhard Goetz shot four black youths on a Manhattan subway, claiming they were about to rob him.
1990 Lech Walesa took the oath of office as Poland’s first popularly elected president.
2000 Pop singer Madonna married film director Guy Ritchie in Scotland. (The couple divorced in 2008.)
2001 Richard C. Reid, a passenger on an American Airlines flight from Paris to Miami, tried to ignite explosives in his shoes, but was subdued by flight attendants and fellow passengers.
2005 Astronomers announced the discovery of two more rings encircling the planet Uranus.
2010 President Barack Obama signed a law allowing gays for the first time in history to serve openly in America’s military.

Current Birthdays

By The Associated Press
Hector Elizondo, Actor

Actor Hector Elizondo turns 75 years old today.

AP Photo/Dan Steinberg

Ralph Fiennes, Actor

Actor Ralph Fiennes turns 49 years old today.

AP Photo/Evan Agostini

1922 Jim Wright, Former House speaker, turns 89
1943 Paul Wolfowitz, Former World Bank president, turns 68
1944 Steve Carlton, Baseball Hall of Famer, turns 67
1945 Diane Sawyer, Broadcast journalist (“Good Morning America”), turns 66
1946 Rick Nielsen, Rock musician (Cheap Trick), turns 65
1949 Robin Gibb, Singer (The Bee Gees), turns 62
1951 Jan Stephenson, Golfer, turns 60
1960 Luther Campbell, Rapper (2 Live Crew), turns 51
1973 Heather Donahue, Actress (“The Blair Witch Project”), turns 38
1989 Jordin Sparks, R&B singer (“American Idol”), turns 22

Historic Birthdays

Dame Peggy Ashcroft 12/22/1907 – 6/14/1991 English actress. Go to obituary »
88 James Oglethorpe 12/22/1696 – 6/30/1785
English founder of the British colony of Georgia
91 Jean Henri Fabre 12/22/1823 – 10/11/1915
French entomologist
87 Thomas Higginson 12/22/1823 – 5/9/1911
American abolitionist
80 Frank Kellogg 12/22/1856 – 12/21/1937
American secretary of state
65 Giacomo Puccini 12/22/1858 – 11/29/1924
Italian composer
67 Filippo Tommaso Marinetti 12/22/1876 – 12/2/1944
Italian-born French novelist, poet, and dramatist; founded Futurist artistic movement
82 Giacomo Manzu 12/22/1908 – 1/17/1991
Italian sculptor

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