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Today’s History Spotlight
German forces at the Battle of the Bulge demand an American surrender. Deep within the Ardennes Forest in Belgium, American and German troops engaged in one of the coldest and snowiest battles of World War II. This also proved to be one of the bloodiest battles in US history.
It ended on January 22, 1945, and was the last major German offensive on the Western Front. The battle paved the way for Allied forces to begin their last march towards victory. When the Germans demanded the American surrender, General Anthony McAuliffe responded with, “Nuts!”
What Happened On This Day – December 22
- 2010 Don’t ask don’t tell was repealed. President Obama signed the repeal of the don’t ask, don’t tell policy that governed the recruitment and service of LGBTQ members in the United States military. The policy was put in place by the Clinton Administration in 1994.
- 1989 Romanian President Nicolae Ceaușescu overthrown. The Communist President was ousted after widespread demonstrations in the country. Ceaușescu and his wife Elena tried to flee the country, but were captured, tried and executed by a firing squad. The Romanian Revolution was the only violent overthrow of a communist government in the 1980s.
- 1937 Lincoln Tunnel opens. The 1.5-mile-long (2.4 km) long tunnel passes under the Hudson River and connects New Jersey to New York City.
- 1891 First asteroid discovered through astrophotography. 323 Brucia was discovered by Max Wolf and was named after Catherine Wolfe Bruce, an American patron of astronomy.
- 1882 First Christmas tree to be illuminated by electric lights displayed. Edward H. Johnson, an associate of inventor Thomas Edison and the Vice President of the Edison Electric Light Company, became the first person to decorate a Christmas tree with electric lights at his home in New York City.
Births On This Day – December 22
- 1989 Jordin Sparks – American singer-songwriter, actress
- 1943 Paul Wolfowitz – American politician, 25th United States Deputy Secretary of Defense
- 1912 Lady Bird Johnson – American wife of Lyndon B. Johnson, 38th First Lady of the United States
- 1887 Srinivasa Ramanujan – Indian mathematician
- 1666 Guru Gobind Singh – Indian guru
Deaths On This Day – December 22
- 2014 Joe Cocker – English singer-songwriter
- 2002 Joe Strummer – English singer-songwriter, guitarist, actor
- 1989 Samuel Beckett – Irish/French author, playwright, director, Nobel Prize laureate
- 1942 Franz Boas – German anthropologist
- 1880 George Eliot – English author
The sections “What Happened On This Day,” “Births On This Day,” and “Deaths On This Day” originally appeared at TimeandDate.com and is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.