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Friday, December 23, 2005

Today in History

0619 - Boniface V begins his reign as Catholic Pope
1482 - Peace of Atrecht
1569 - St Philip of Moscow martyred by Ivan the Terrible
1620 - French huguenots declare war on King Louis XIII
1672 - Giovanni Cassini discovers Rhea, a satellite of Saturn
1688 - English king Jacob II flees to France
1690 - John Flamsteed observes Uranus without realizing it's undiscovered
1715 - Russian/Prussian troops occupy Stralsund
1728 - Prussian Emperor Karel VI sign Treaty of Berlin
1751 - France sets plan to tax clergymen
1776 - Continental Congress negotiates a war loan of $181,500 from France; Thomas Paine writes "These are the times that try men's souls"
1779 - Benedict Arnold court-martialed for improper conduct
1788 - Maryland votes to cede a 10 square mile area for District of Columbia
1793 - Thomas Jefferson warned of slave revolts in West Indies
1823 - "Visit from St Nicholas" by C Moore published in Troy (New York) Sentinel
1832 - Dutch troops in Antwerp surrender
1834 - Joseph Hansom of London receives patent for Hansom cabs
1862 - Union General Ben "Beast" Butler is proclaimed a "felon, outlaw & common enemy of mankind" by Jefferson Davis
1876 - Turkey's 1st constitution proclaimed
1888 - Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh cuts off his left ear
1899 - Fieldmarshal Lord Roberts departs Southampton to South Africa; Tentative Turkish & German treaty on construction of Baghdad railway
1907 - 1st all-steel passenger railroad coach completed, Altoona PA
1909 - Albert becomes king of Belgium
1912 - 1st "Keystone Kops" film, titled "Hoffmeyer's Legacy"; Aswan Dam in Nile begins operation
1913 - President Woodrow Wilson signs Federal Reserve Act into law
1917 - 3 British warships come close to Holland
1919 - 1st hospital ship built to move wounded naval personnel launched; Alice H Parker patents gas heating furnace
1920 - Ireland divided into 2 parts, each with its own parliament; King George V signs Home Rule Act
1922 - BBC Radio began daily newscasts
1925 - Sultan Ibn Saud of Nedzjed conquers Djeddah
1928 - NBC sets up a permanent, coast-to-coast radio network
1930 - Police Bureau of Criminal Alien Investigation started in New York NY
1933 - Marinus van der Lubbe sentenced to death; Train crash in Eastern Paris; 230 die
1938 - Margaret Hamilton's Wicked Witch of the West costume catches fire in filming of "Wizard of Oz"; she is severely burned and off the film for over one month
1939 - Finnish counter offensive at Summa
1941 - American forces on Wake Island surrender to Japanese; British troops overrun Benghazi, Libya; Japan begins assault on Rangoon Burma
1942 - Allies air attack on Den Helder
1943 - General Montgomery told he is appointed commandant for D-day
1946 - University of Tennessee refuses to play Duquesne University, because they may use a black player in their basketball game; Belgian Council of State forms; Highest ridership in NYC subway history (8.8 million passengers)
1947 - Transistor invented by Bardeen, Brattain & Shockley in Bell Labs
1951 - 1st coast-to-coast televised football game (Dumont paid $75,000); Los Angeles Rams beat Cleveland Browns 24-17 in NFL championship game; Last Belgian communities get electricity
1958 - Abdallah Ibrahim forms government of Morocco
1960 - De Quay's Dutch government falls; King Saudi of Saudi-Arabia takes power
1961 - Fidel Castro announces Cuba will release 1,113 prisoners from failed 1961 Bay of Pigs Invasion for $62 million worth of food & medical supplies; Train accident in Italy, 70 die
1962 - Cuba starts returning US prisoners from the Bay of Pigs invasion
1963 - Fire on Greek ship Laconia, 128 die
1964 - India & Ceylon hit by cyclone, about 4,850 killed
1967 - Lyndon B Johnson meets Pope Paul VI at the Vatican; Brussels: NATO-Council accept "Flexible Response" - strategy
1968 - 1st documented US case of space motion sickness; 82 members of US intelligence ship Pueblo released by North Korea; Borman, Lovell & Anders become 1st men to orbit Moon
1970 - New York World Trade Center reaches highest point
1972 - 16 plane crash survivors rescued after 70 days, survived by cannibalism; 6.25 Earthquake destroys central Managua Nicaragua, 10,000 die
1973 - 6 Persian Gulf nations double their oil prices; French Caravelle crashes in Morocco, 106 killed
1975 - Congress passes Metric Conversion Act
1983 - Journal Science publishes 1st report on nuclear winter
1986 - Rutan & Yeager make 1st around-the-world flight without refueling
1987 - Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme, serving a life sentence for attempted assassination of President Gerald R Ford escapes from Alderson Prison
1990 - Slovenians vote to secede from Yugoslavia
1991 - New York Daily News publisher Kevin Maxwell resigns
1996 - 4 women ordained priests in Jamaica, 1st in 330-year Anglican history
1997 - Terry Nichols found guilty of manslaughter in Oklahoma bombing; US Agriculture Department estimates it costs $149,820 to raise a child to 18; Woody Allen, 62 weds Soon-Yi Previn 27, adopted daughter of Mia Farrow

- Louis I, Duke of Wittelsbach
1544 - Anna, duchess of Saxson/wife of prince Willem of Orange (1561-71)
1732 - Sir Richard Arkwright, inventor (spinning frame)
1750 - Frederik Augustus I, the Righteous, king of Saxony (1806-27)
1777 - Aleksandr I.P. Romanov, Tsar of Russia (1801-25)
1790 - Jean-François Champollion, deciphered Egyptian hieroglyphics
1805 - Joseph Smith, Jr., founder of Mormon church
1808 - Thomas Turner, Union Navy Commander
1815 - Henry Highland Garnet, minister/abolitionist/diplomat
1818 - David Addison Weisiger, Confederate Brigadier-General
1827 - Wilhelm Freiherr von Tegetthoff, Austrian admiral (Helgoland/Lissa)
1845 - Gustave Ador, union President of Austria (1919)
1865 - Albrecht, duke of Württemberg/general-fieldmarshal
1883 - Hubert M.E. Pierlot, Belgian advocate/premier (1939-45)
1923 - James Stockdale, admiral (Vietnam)/Ross Perot's 1992 running mate; Kenneth Henry Lowry Lamb, broadcaster; Lucas M. Mangope, 1st President of Bophuthatswana (1977-94)
1924 - Floyd Kalber, newscaster (NBC Weekend News Anchor-1973)
1933 - Akihito, emperor of Japan (1989- )
1937 - Karol Joseph Bobko, Colonel USAF/astronaut (STS 6, STS 51D, STS 51J)
1943 - Silvia Sommerlath German wife of King Carl XVI of Sweden
1944 - D.J.D. Dees, pharmacist/Dutch minister of WVC (VVD); Enneüs Heerma, Dutch minister of Housing (CDA)

0558 - Childebert, king of France (511-58), dies at about 62
0679 - Dagobert II, king of Austrasia (676-679), murdered
0918 - Conrad I, East Frankish/German king (911-18)
1116 - Ivo van Chartres, French canonist/bishop of Chartres/saint
1502 - Margaretha English princess of Burgundy, dies at 57
1569 - St. Philip, metropolitan of Moscow, martyred by Ivan the Terrible
1588 - Hendrik de Guise, French leader of Catholic League, murdered at 37
1619 - Johan Sigismund, elector of Brandenburg/duke of Prussia, dies at 47
1909 - King Leopold II of Belgium
1939 - Anthony H.G. Fokker, Dutch airplane builder (Spider), dies at 49
1948 - Hideki Tojo, Japan PM, & 6 other Japanese, hanged for war crimes by US
1953 - Lavrenti P. Beria, Soviet minister of internal security, executed
1959 - Edward Halifax, English viscount/viceroy of India, dies at 78; Lord Irwin, ambassador to US (1940-46), dies at 78
1967 - Ruth Fuller Sasaki, head of 1st Zen Institute of America, dies at 75
1972 - Andrej N. Tupolev, Russian aircraft builder, dies at 84
1975 - Richard S. Welch, CIA station chief in Athens, shot dead

Reported Missing in Action
Shankel, William I., USN (CA); A4C shot down, released by DRV February, 1973 - retired as a Commander - alive and well as of 1998

Reeves, John Howard, USMC (Canada); KIA, body not recovered

The following US Army personnel repored MIA when their U1A broke up in mid-air, all presumed KIA

Booth, Gary P. (WA); crew chief

McAndrews, Michael W. (FL); aircraft commander

Wiseman, Bain W., Jr. (NM); pilot

Yuletide Blogging Reminder

Still looking for holiday messages for our heroes on Christmas Day -

please send your messages to me for posting!

Thanks to all who have sent messages so far!

NORAD Observes 50th Anniversary of Tracking Santa

By Sgt. 1st Class Gail Braymen, USA
Special to American Forces Press Service

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo., Dec. 22, 2005 – The North American Aerospace Defense Command is observing its 50th anniversary of tracking Santa Claus on his annual rounds, NORAD officials said here.

The tradition of tracking Santa began in 1955, when a local Sears, Roebuck and Co. store ran a newspaper ad urging children to make a phone call on Christmas Eve and talk to Santa Claus. As fate would have it, the phone number was misprinted and, instead of reaching Santa, youngsters found themselves talking with Air Force Col. Harry Shoup of the Continental Air Defense Command at Cheyenne Mountain.

Rather than hanging up, Shoup and his troops answered every child's call that night with a report of Santa's location. CONAD personnel kept up the practice until 1958, when NORAD was formed and took over Santa-tracking duties. NORAD has continued the Santa tracking tradition for several reasons, according to Air Force Master Sgt. John Tomassi, co-director of Santa-tracking operations.

"I think in the initial stages, back in the '50s and '60s, it was just a novelty kind of thing," he said. "A lot of people - children and their families - do this tracking Santa as a tradition in their family. We've recognized now that people have taken this program as a tradition, and what we can do is educate them.

"We do track Santa," he continued. "However, we do provide for the defense of the North American aerospace also. We use the satellites to track Santa, we use the radar, we use jet fighters, but all of those exact same things are what we use to monitor the aerospace of North America."

While youngsters are tracking Santa's flight, they may also learn a thing or two about the world around them, Tomassi said.

"We think of it as a geography lesson," said he explained, "because the different places that Santa visits or sightings that we have, a lot of people haven't heard of. If we can get some children to go and look at a map to find out where Timbuktu is, or where India is, or Pakistan, or wherever, then we feel all the better for that."

Last Christmas Eve, volunteers at Cheyenne Mountain answered nearly 55,000 phone calls and 35,000 e-mails from children around the world. During December 2004, the NORAD Tracks Santa Web site had 912 million hits from 181 countries. This year, about 500 volunteers - most of them U.S. and Canadian military personnel and their families - will report for telephone-answering duty on Christmas Eve. But already, youngsters are sending messages to Santa via the NORAD Tracks Santa Web site.

"E-mails are arriving from India and Ireland and all over the world already from children with their wish lists who want to talk to Santa," Tomassi said. "We receive, on average, 200 e-mails a day."

NORAD Tracks Santa volunteers will answer calls from 2 a.m. MST Dec. 24 to 2 a.m. MST Dec. 25 at (877) HiNORAD -- (877) 446-6723 -- toll-free in the United States; or at (719) 474-2111.

(Army Sgt. 1st Class Gail Braymen is assigned to North American Aerospace Defense Command public affairs.)

Related Sites:
NORAD Tracks Santa
North American Aerospace Defense Command

TROOP VISIT — Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld poses for photos and greets the troops at the Al-Faw palace in Baghdad, Iraq, Dec. 22, 2005. Rumsfeld was in the country visiting with the troops, thanking them for their service and wishing them a happy holiday season. Defense Dept. photo by U.S. Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Chad J. McNeeley

In Today's News - Friday, December 23, 2005

Quote of the Day
"Only our individual faith in freedom can keep us free."
-- Dwight D. Eisenhower

News of Note
Operation Iraqi Freedom
Troop Cuts
Rumsfeld makes announcement in Baghdad
Video: Rumsfeld Stops in Baghdad
US soldier called focus in probe of Italy agent's death
Judge says Hussein denied being abused
Blair says British troops could start leaving in '06

Operation Enduring Freedom
Netherlands hedges on NATO's Afghan mission
2 to be hanged for kidnapping

Homeland Security / War on Terror
Italian Judge Issues Warrants for CIA Operatives
Congress Extends Patriot Act
Indonesia Deploys Troops After Warnings

Welcome Home!
Ingleside EOD Sailors Return from Iraq Deployment
Photos: Michigan Army Guard Engineer Unit Returns

Supporting our Heroes
'Grateful citizen' hands cash to troops

Media in the News
China to Put NY Times Researcher on Trial

Yep, that sounds about right..
New Jersey: Land without sarcasm
Diamonds for dessert: Cake a sweet $1.7 million
Secret Santa paying parking tickets
Husky frozen on railroad tracks rescued
Rainbow trout had two mouths to feed

Other News of Note
Beijing is said to rebuke general

Fox News
NYC Transit Workers Back on the Job
University Fires S. Korean Cloning Scientist
Judge Dismisses Pope From Sex-Abuse Suit
Tommy Hilfiger Sold for $1.6B
Wal-Mart Must Pay $172M to Workers Denied Breaks
Navy Chaplain on Hunger Strike Outside White House
Roche Grants Tamiflu License to Indian Company
Sheriff: Colts Coach's Son's Death Appears to Be Suicide
Santorum Distances Himself From Intelligent Design Firm
Stocks to Watch, Dec. 23

Reuters: Top News
Rumsfeld eyes US pullback in Iraq
Eight Iraqi soldiers killed in checkpoint attack
REUTERS Pictures of the year 2005
Roche grants Tamiflu licence to Indian firm
Poker's lucky streak seen fading in US shops
Alexza Pharmaceuticals files for $86.25 mln IPO
Stocks edge up on aircraft orders data
New York subways, buses back in action
Israel threatens Gaza strikes to clear rocket zone Video
Judge says he can't free Uighurs at Guantanamo
After tough year, White House cites only successes
S.Korean panel says stem-cell result fabricated
Alaska braces for possible volcanic eruption
EU threatens Microsoft with daily fines
Google, Microsoft settle dispute over China exec
Where does Santa live?
Bright holidays for 'fragile' champagne makers
College students not alone in dangerous drinking
Trend of earlier puberty continues among US girls
'Lost' cast named entertainer of the year
'Narnia' may beat ape at Christmas box office

AP World News
Iraqis March, Say Elections Were Rigged
Arab TV: Six Sudanese Abducted in Iraq
South Korean Stem-Cell Researcher Resigns
Judge: Ex-Yukos Exec to Stay in Britain .
Spielberg Film Gets Widows' Endorsement
WHO Calls on China to Release Flu Samples
Israel Threatens Response for Rocket Fire
Berlusconi Says Antitrust Probe Unfounded
Kremlin: Water Safe to Drink in Khabarovsk
India's Parliament Expels 11 Lawmakers
Sharon Cholesterol, Blood Pressure Normal
China's Nov. Auto Production Sets Record
Russian Parliament Approves Curbs on NGOs
China Prosecutes 96 for Coal Mine Deaths
Poland Inaugurates New President
12 Sri Lankan Sailors Killed in Mine Blast

The Seattle Times
Down to one senator, Congress finishes business
Gulf Coast relief gains approval
Enrollment data on drug plan net mixed reactions
Spying program was justified, Congress told
Dam blocks another toxic spill in China
Cockpit voice recording from seaplane of no use
Kilt: point of pride or plaid faux pas?
Rhode Island red-faced after killing official tree
U.N. rejects Iraqi call to review vote results
Israel kills 3 militants; Palestinians fire rockets
Man charged in failed London attacks
Holocaust a "myth," Egypt politician says
The honey hunters are often the hunted
Footprints left 20,000 years ago give insight into Aboriginal life
Jesuit magazine sorry for running ad with condom
Pontiff steps out in style
Hope fading for baby penguin
Wal-Mart loses class-action suit

Chicago Sun-Times
Gas gouging suspects warned Memo: Alito advocated reversing Roe v. Wade
Hurricane leaves a sour taste: Price of holiday goodies goes up
Feds raid home of Melrose Park police chief
Metra urged to make safety upgrades
Serial rapist gets 59 years for 3 attacks
Massachusetts bans gifts of baby formula for new moms
In letter to Congress, administration defends spying
Police: Inmate had planned his escape for 3 months
2 dusty rings discovered for Uranus
City wraps up $1.5 billion O'Hare bond sale
Cop accused of killing 2 Baltimore officers
Abusive man banned from living with women for 1 year
Don Ho says stem cell operation saved him
Less lead urged in Mexican-style candy
Mom flies 2,500 miles to get food for baby
Lottery haul in Spanish town a fat $612 million
Green Bay pol accused of making racist comment under fake name

Boston Globe: World
Group limits charity by serving pork
Two convicted, fined for insulting Turkey
Compensation ordered for Cypriots
No alarm seen on bird flu
China says it poses no threat to others
US group accuses Vietnam of persecution
Navy 51, Colorado St. 30
Soldiers Train for Iraq on Sheep Farm
Veterans, Survivors Miss out on Pensions
Senators Urge Bush Not to Cut Procurement

CENTCOM: News Releases

Department of Defense
U.S. Forces to Take on Different Role - Story Video
Secretary Hints at Troop Reductions in Iraq - Story
Rumsfeld Cites 2005 Successes, New Year Challenges
Rumsfeld Visits Troops at Bagram, Kandahar - Story Photos
Iraqi, Coalition Progress 'Unprecedented' - Commentary
Security, Sunni Involvement Deterred Violence
Iraqi Security Forces Gain in Quality, General Says

Platoon Perfects Art of Locating Weapons - Story
Polish Prime Minister Visits Camp Echo - Story

Supplies Donated for Iraqi Kindergarten
Operation Liberty Express Vets Stand Post Together

Marine Travels the World Through Corps - Story


Troops’ Homes Get Holiday Look - Story
'Cookie Lady' Efforts Spur Support

Secretary of Defense Holiday Message
Joint Chiefs Chairman Holiday Message

IED Kills U.S. Soldier
Mosul Projects Point to Better Life
Security Goal: Self-Sufficiency
Bomb Kills U.S. Soldier
Rumsfeld Topic: Strategy, Progress
Hadley Nixes Early Withdrawal Talk
New Year Will Focus on Police
'Cross-ethnic' Government Needed
Army Unit Closer to Full Readiness
Report: Strategy for Victory in Iraq
Iraq Daily Update
This Week in Iraq (pdf)
Multinational Force Iraq
Eye on Iraq Update (pdf)
State Dept. Weekly Iraq Report (pdf)
'Boots on the Ground' Audio Archive
Iraq Reconstruction

Ceremony Marks Bank Renovation
U.S. Troop Levels to Drop Video
Afghanistan Daily Update

Fact Sheet: War on Terror
Fact Sheet: Terror Plots Disrupted
Waging and Winning the War on Terror
Terrorism Timeline
Terrorism Knowledge Base

Bush Thanks Caregivers at Hospital
National Guard, Reserve Update

Officials Identify Army Casualties - Story

Al Azamiyah Al Basrah Al Hillah Al Karkh Al Kazimiyah Al Kut An Nasiriyah Baghdad Baqubah Mosul Najaf Nineveh Tall Kayf

Bost/Laskar Ghurian Herat Kabul Qandahar


National Hurricane Center