Today in History: Nelson Mandela dies in 2013
By The Associated Press
Today is Thursday, Dec. 5, the 339th day of 2019. There are 26 days left in the year.
On Dec. 5, 2013, Nelson Mandela, the anti-apartheid leader who became South Africa’s first black president, died at age 95.
On this date:
In 1791, composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart died in Vienna, Austria, at age 35.
In 1848, President James K. Polk triggered the Gold Rush of ’49 by confirming that gold had been discovered in California.
In 1901, movie producer Walt Disney was born in Chicago.
In 1932, German physicist Albert Einstein was granted a visa, making it possible for him to travel to the United States.
In 1933, national Prohibition came to an end as Utah became the 36th state to ratify the 21st Amendment to the Constitution, repealing the 18th Amendment.
In 1945, five U.S. Navy torpedo bombers mysteriously disappeared after taking off from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on a training mission with the loss of all 14 crew members; “The Lost Squadron” contributed to the legend of the Bermuda Triangle.
In 1952, the Great Smog of London descended on the British capital; the unusually thick fog, which contained toxic pollutants, lasted five days and was blamed for causing thousands of deaths.
In 1994, Republicans chose Newt Gingrich to be the first GOP speaker of the House in four decades.
In 1998, James P. Hoffa claimed the Teamsters presidency after challenger Tom Leedham conceded defeat in the union’s presidential election.
In 2002, Strom Thurmond, the oldest and — until Robert Byrd overtook him — longest-serving senator in history, celebrated his 100th birthday on Capitol Hill. In toasting the South Carolina lawmaker, Senate Republican leader Trent Lott seemed to express nostalgia for Thurmond’s segregationist past; the resulting political firestorm prompted Lott to resign his leadership position.
In 2003, the two makers of flu shots in the United States, Chiron and Aventis Pasteur, announced they had run out of vaccine and would not be able to meet a surge in demand.
In 2008, the Labor Department reported that an alarming half-million jobs had vanished in Nov. 2008 as unemployment hit a 15-year high of 6.7 percent. A judge in Las Vegas sentenced O.J. Simpson to 33 years in prison with eligibility for parole after nine for an armed robbery at a hotel room. Simpson was released to parole on Oct. 1, 2017.
Ten years ago: A jury in Perugia, Italy convicted American student Amanda Knox and her former Italian boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, of murdering Knox’s British roommate, Meredith Kercher, and sentenced them to long prison terms. After a series of back-and-forth rulings, Knox and Sollecito were definitively acquitted in 2015 by Italy’s highest court.
A nightclub blaze in Perm, Russia, killed more than 150 people. Spain won the Davis Cup for the second straight year.