Wed, Dec 22

2001—Richard Reid’s shoe-bomb fizzles, but all air passengers must now remove shoes before boarding.

1989—RIP Samuel Beckett.

1984—Asked for money on a New York subway, Bernhard Goetz responds with lead instead. Then he flees to New Hampshire. Of course.

1981—Ronald Reagan gives the poor 30 million lbs. of moldy cheese.

1974—Seymour Hersh exposes the CIA’s Operation Chaos in the New York Times: 10,000 Americans under illegal surveillance since 1967.

1973—“Dick” Nixon’s paranoid agitation at a Joint Chiefs of Staff meeting leaves four-stars wondering, “did he just ask us if we’d back a coup?”

1967—The CIA hands the President the second of four reports on its illegal surveillance of anti-war activists. Because it, too, refutes his belief in foreign influence, LBJ rejects it and demands another.

1944—With his 101st Airborne surrounded in Bastogne, and Germans demanding surrender, General Anthony McAuliffe replies “Nuts.”

1909—Belgians boo their sovereign, King Leopold II, at his funeral.

1813—In downtown Portsmouth, N.H., 18 acres burn, from Daniel to Court Streets, from Fleet to the river; 272 buildings are destroyed.

1757—A Portsmouth mob, hundreds strong, incensed by British press gangs, drags HMS Enterprise’s longboat two miles inland and burns it.

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