Today's Highlights in History:
On Dec. 6, 1889, Jefferson Davis, the first and only president of the Confederate States of America, died in New Orleans. The Mark Twain novel "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court" was first published in England under the title "A Yankee at the Court of King Arthur" (it was published in the U.S. under its more familiar name four days later).
On this date:
In 1790, Congress moved to Philadelphia from New York.
In 1865, the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, abolishing slavery, was ratified as Georgia became the 27th state to endorse it.
In 1907, the worst mining disaster in U.S. history occurred as 362 men and boys died in a coal mine explosion in Monongah, West Virginia.
In 1916, the musical "Her Soldier Boy," featuring the song "Pack Up Your Troubles in Your Old Kit-Bag," opened on Broadway.
In 1917, some 2,000 people died when an explosives-laden French cargo ship collided with a Norwegian vessel at the harbor in Halifax, Nova Scotia, setting off a blast that devastated the city.
In 1922, the Anglo-Irish Treaty, which established the Irish Free State, came into force one year to the day after it was signed in London.
In 1939, the Cole Porter musical comedy "Du Barry Was a Lady" opened on Broadway.
In 1947, Everglades National Park in Florida was dedicated by President Harry S. Truman.
In 1957, America's first attempt at putting a satellite into orbit failed as Vanguard TV3 rose about four feet off a Cape Canaveral launch pad before crashing down and exploding.
In 1969, a free concert by The Rolling Stones at the Altamont Speedway in Alameda County, California, was marred by the deaths of four people, including one who was stabbed by a Hell's Angel.
In 1973, House minority leader Gerald R. Ford was sworn in as vice president, succeeding Spiro T. Agnew.
In 1989, 14 women were shot to death at the University of Montreal's school of engineering by a man who then took his own life.
Ten years ago: The bipartisan Iraq Study Group concluded that President George W. Bush's war policies had failed in almost every regard, and said the situation in Iraq was "grave and deteriorating." The Senate voted, 95-2, to confirm Robert Gates as defense secretary.
Five years ago: Declaring the American middle class in jeopardy, President Barack Obama, speaking in Osawatomie, Kansas, outlined a populist economic vision that would drive his re-election bid, insisting the United States had to reclaim its standing as a country in which everyone could prosper if provided "a fair shot and a fair share." A suicide bomber slaughtered 56 Shiite worshippers and wounded more than 160 others outside a shrine in Afghanistan's capital. Balladeer Dobie Gray, 69, who recorded the hit "Drift Away" in 1973, died in Nashville, Tennessee.
One year ago: In an Oval Office address, President Barack Obama vowed the U.S. would overcome a new phase of the terror threat that sought to "poison the minds" of people here and around the world, as he tried to reassure Americans shaken by recent attacks in Paris and California. Former President Jimmy Carter said his most recent brain scan showed no sign of cancer, four months after he was diagnosed with melanoma. A U.S. shipment of much-needed supplies rocketed toward the International Space Station. Venezuela's opposition won an upset in legislative elections against the ruling socialists. The Kennedy Center Honors recognized "Star Wars" creator George Lucas, singer-songwriter Carole King, actress-singer Rita Moreno, conductor Seiji Ozawa and actress Cicely Tyson.
Today's Birthdays: Comedy performer David Ossman is 80. Actor Patrick Bauchau is 78. Country singer Helen Cornelius is 75. Actor James Naughton is 71. Former Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood is 71. Rhythm-and-blues singer Frankie Beverly (Maze) is 70. Former Sen. Don Nickles, R-Okla., is 68. Actress JoBeth Williams is 68. Actor Tom Hulce is 63. Actor Wil Shriner is 63. Actor Kin Shriner is 63. Actor Miles Chapin is 62. Rock musician Rick Buckler (The Jam) is 61. Comedian Steven Wright is 61. Country singer Bill Lloyd is 61. Singer Tish Hinojosa is 61. Rock musician Peter Buck (R.E.M.) is 60. Rock musician David Lovering (Pixies) is 55. Actress Janine Turner is 54. Rock musician Ben Watt (Everything But The Girl) is 54. Writer-director Judd Apatow is 49. Rock musician Ulf "Buddha" Ekberg (Ace of Base) is 46. Writer-director Craig Brewer is 45. Actress Colleen Haskell is 40. Actress Lindsay Price is 40. Actress Ashley Madekwe is 35. Actress Nora Kirkpatrick is 32. Christian rock musician Jacob Chesnut (Rush of Fools) is 27.
Thought for Today: "Do not wait to strike till the iron is hot; but make it hot by striking." — William Butler Yeats, Irish Nobel Prize-winning poet (1865-1939).