Tuesday, December 7, 2010
43 B.C. – Republican Rome’s greatest lawyer, Marcus Tullius Cicero (left) is murdered by agents of his political rival Marc Antony. His hands and head are cut off and nailed to the rostrum of the Forum.
1295 – Gilbert de Clare, 7th Earl of Gloucester, whose strategic default on his debts involved sacking the Jewish quarter of Canterbury, burning its records, and killing several creditors and bystanders, dies wealthy and respected at Monmouth Castle.
1732 – Actor and theatrical entrepreneur John Rich, having made a fortune off his earlier production of The Beggar’s Opera, opens his new Royal Opera House opens at Covent Garden, London.
1787 – Delaware, whose state capital happens to be the closest to Philadelphia, becomes the first state to ratify the United States Constitution.
1869 – Jesse James and his brother Frank stage their first bank robbery, at the Daviess County Savings Bank in Gallatin, Mo. They kill the cashier but escape with very little cash.
1928 – Future linguist, philosopher, cognitive scientist, political activist, and general man-about-town Avram Noam Chomsky is born at Philadelphia.
1930 – Television station W1XAV in Boston, Mass., broadcasts the first television commercial in the United States, an advertisement for I. J. Fox Furriers. The station is immediately boycotted by PETA.
1941 – The Imperial Japanese Navy launches a surprise attack on the U.S. Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. This will turn ultimately turn out badly for Japan.
1985 – Former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Potter "I know it when I see it" Stewart dies at Hanover, New Hampshire.