This day in history

Today is Saturday, Dec. 22, the 356th day of 2018. There are nine days left in the year.

Birthdays: Actor Hector Elizondo is 82. Country singer Red Steagall is 80. Baseball All-Star Steve Garvey is 70. Golfer Jan Stephenson is 67. Actress Lauralee Bell is 50. Country singer Lori McKenna is 50. Actress Dina Meyer is 50. Actor Chris Carmack is 38. Actor Harry Ford is 36. Actor Greg Finley is 34. Actor Logan Huffman is 29. Pop singer Meghan Trainor is 25.

In 1894, French army officer Alfred Dreyfus was convicted of treason in a court-martial that triggered worldwide charges of anti-Semitism. (Dreyfus was eventually vindicated.)


In 1917, Mother Frances Xavier Cabrini, who later became the first naturalized US citizen to be canonized, died in Chicago at age 67.

In 1937, the first, center tube of the Lincoln Tunnel connecting New York City and New Jersey beneath the Hudson River was opened to traffic.

In 1968, Julie Nixon married David Eisenhower in a private ceremony in New York.

In 1977, three dozen people were killed when a 250-foot-high grain elevator at the Continental Grain Company plant in Westwego, La., exploded.

In 1984, New York City resident Bernhard Goetz shot and wounded four youths on a Manhattan subway, claiming they were about to rob him.

In 1989, Romanian President Nicolae Ceausescu, the last of Eastern Europe’s hard-line Communist rulers, was toppled from power in a popular uprising. Playwright Samuel Beckett died in Paris at age 83.

In 1991, the body of Marine Lt. Col. William R. Higgins, an American hostage slain by his terrorist captors, was recovered after it had been dumped along a highway in Lebanon.

In 2001, Hamid Karzai was sworn in as prime minister of Afghanistan’s interim government. 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 and the flight was diverted to Boston. (Reid is serving a life sentence in federal prison.)


In 2008, Five Muslim immigrants accused of scheming to massacre U.S. soldiers at Fort Dix were convicted of conspiracy in Camden, N.J. (Four were later sentenced to life in prison; one received a 33-year sentence.) Toyota projected its first operating loss in 70 years due to the global economic slowdown. The president of Guinea, Lansana Conte, died nearly a quarter of a century after seizing power in a coup; he was believed to be in his 70s.

In 2010, President Obama signed a law allowing gays for the first time in history to serve openly in America’s military, repealing the ‘‘don’t ask, don’t tell’’ policy.