THIS DAY IN HISTORY:
In 1776, George Washington's retreating army crossed the Delaware River from New Jersey to Pennsylvania during the American Revolution.
In 1854, 150 years ago, Pope Pius IX proclaimed the Roman Catholic dogma of the Immaculate Conception, which holds that Mary, the mother of Jesus, was free of original sin from the moment of her own conception.
In 1863, President Abraham Lincoln announced his plan for the reconstruction of the South.
In 1886, the American Federation of Labor was founded in Columbus, Ohio.
In 1914, "Watch Your Step," the first musical revue to feature a score composed entirely by Irving Berlin, opened in New York.
In 1941, the United States entered World War II as Congress declared war against Japan, a day after the attack on Pearl Harbor. (Bonus: link to the NYTimes article from back then.)
In 1949, the Chinese Nationalist government moved from the Chinese mainland to Formosa as the Communists pressed their attacks.
In 1978, former Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir died in Jerusalem at age 80.
In 1980, rock star John Lennon was shot to death outside his New York City apartment building by an apparently deranged fan.
In 1987, President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev signed a treaty calling for destruction of intermediate-range nuclear missiles.
In 1987, the "intefadeh" by Palestinians in the Israeli-occupied territories began.
In 1993, President Bill Clinton signed into U.S. law the North American Free Trade Agreement, which went into effect at the start of 1994.
Ten years ago today: Bosnian Serbs released dozens of hostage peacekeepers, but continued to detain about 300 others. In Los Angeles, 12 alternate jurors were chosen for the O.J. Simpson murder trial.
In 1995, the Grateful Dead announced they were breaking up after 30 years of making music. The news came four months after the death of lead guitarist Jerry Garcia.
Five years ago today: A jury in Memphis, Tenn., hearing a lawsuit filed by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s family found that the civil rights leader had been the victim of a vast murder conspiracy, not a lone assassin. A Russian diplomat was ordered to leave the U.S. after he was allegedly caught gathering information from the State Department with an eavesdropping device.
One year ago today: President Bush signed a $400 billion Medicare overhaul bill that included a prescription drug plan for the elderly. Congress approved legislation to stem the flood of unwanted junk e-mail known as "spam." U.S. Rep. Bill Janklow, R-S.D., resigned after being convicted in the traffic death of a motorcyclist, Randy Scott. A Greek anti-terrorism court convicted 15 members of the November 17 terrorist cell for their roles in a nearly 30-year killing campaign.
Today's Birthdays: Movie director Richard Fleischer is 88. Actor-director Maximilian Schell is 74. Actor David Carradine is 68. Actor James MacArthur is 67. Flutist James Galway is 65. Singer Jerry Butler is 65. Pop musician Bobby Elliott (The Hollies) is 62. Actor John Rubinstein is 58. Rock singer-musician Gregg Allman is 57. Actress Kim Basinger is 51. Rock musician Warren Cuccurullo is 48. Rock musician Phil Collen (Def Leppard) is 47. Country singer Marty Raybon is 45. Rock musician Marty Friedman is 42. Actor Malcolm Gets is 41. Actor Wendell Pierce is 41. Actress Teri Hatcher is 40. Rapper Bushwick Bill (The Geto Boys) is 38. Singer Sinead O'Connor is 38. Actor Matthew Laborteaux is 38. Rock musician Ryan Newell (Sister Hazel) is 32. Actor Dominic Monaghan is 28. Actor Ian Somerhalder is 26.