It’s Tuesday, Dec. 4, the 339th day of 2012. There are 27 days left in the year.
Highlights: In 1619, a group of settlers from Bristol, England, arrived at Berkeley Hundred in present-day Charles City County, Va., where they held a service thanking God for their safe arrival. (Some suggest this was the true first Thanksgiving in America, ahead of the Pilgrims’ arrival in Massachusetts.) In 1918, President Woodrow Wilson left Washington on a trip to France to attend the Versailles Peace Conference. In 1984, a five-day hijack drama began as four armed men seized a Kuwaiti airliner en route to Pakistan and forced it to land in Tehran, where the hijackers killed American passenger Charles Hegna. In 1996, the Mars Pathfinder lifted off from Cape Canaveral and began speeding toward Mars on a 310 million-mile odyssey. (It arrived on Mars in July 1997.)
Ten years ago: United Airlines lost its bid for $1.8 billion in federal loan guarantees, a major setback to the nation’s second-largest air carrier in its efforts to avoid bankruptcy. Supreme Court justices heard arguments on whether federal laws intended to combat organized crime and corruption could be used against anti-abortion demonstrators. (The court later ruled that such laws were improperly used to punish abortion opponents.)
Five years ago: Defending his credibility, President George W. Bush said Iran was dangerous and needed to be squeezed by international pressure despite a U.S. intelligence finding that Tehran had halted its nuclear weapons program four years earlier. The intelligence report on Iran figured in a Democratic debate on National Public Radio as rivals assailed front-runner Hillary Clinton for voting in favor of a Senate resolution designating Iran’s Revolutionary Guard a terrorist organization.
One year ago: Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s party hung onto its majority in Russia’s parliamentary election, but faced accusations from opponents of rigging the vote.
Actor Jeff Bridges is 63. Rock musician Gary Rossington (Lynyrd Skynyrd; the Rossington Collins Band) is 61. Actress Patricia Wettig is 61. Actress Marisa Tomei is 48. Rapper Jay-Z is 43. Actress-model Tyra Banks is 39.
— From wire reports