A Blast from the Past

By United Press International   |   Dec. 23, 2002 at 3:00 AM   |   Comments

Today is Dec. 23.

The second defendant in the Oklahoma City bombing trial was convicted of conspiracy and involuntary manslaughter -- but not first-degree murder -- by a federal court jury in Denver on this date in 1997. Terry Nichols was later sentenced to life in prison. He still faced state criminal charges in connection with the April 19, 1995, blast that killed 168 people.


It was on this date in 1948 that former Premier Hideki Tojo of Japan and six other Japanese war leaders were hanged at Sugamo Prison in Tokyo under sentence of the Allied War Crimes Commission. Tojo had served as Japan's prime minister from Oct. 1941 until his resignation in July 1944. After Japan's surrender in August 1945, Tojo was arrested as a war criminal, tried by a military tribunal and sentenced to death.

The first American casualties of the U.S.-led relief operation in the African nation of Somalia occurred on this date in 1992. A vehicle hit a landmine near the city of Badera, killing one civilian and injuring three others.

Entire families were among the more than 500 people who were killed on this date in 1995 in Mandi Dabwali, India, when fire engulfed a tent set up for a school ceremony.

This is the anniversary of the establishment, in 1913, of the Federal Reserve System. The system serves as the nation's central bank and has responsibility for the execution of monetary policies.

The transistor was invented on this date in 1947 by John Bardeen, Walter Brattain and William Shockley of Bell Laboratories. The transistor led to a revolution in communications and electronics -- being smaller, lighter, more reliable and generating less heat than the vacuum tubes that'd been used up until this time. For their work, Bardeen, Brattain and Shockley were awarded the Nobel Prize.

And it was on this date in 1987 that Dick Rutan and Jeana Yaeger landed the experimental aircraft Voyager at Edwards Air Force Base in California. Voyager had taken off on Dec. 14 and spent the next nine days in the air, covering a record 25,012 miles without refueling.

We now return you to the present, already in progress.

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