This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future
Find the past “On This Day in History” here.
December 7 is the 341st day of the year (342nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 24 days remaining until the end of the year.
On this day in 1787, (In) Dover, Delaware, the U.S. Constitution is unanimously ratified by all 30 delegates to the Delaware Constitutional Convention, making Delaware the first state of the modern United States.
Less than four months before, the Constitution was signed by 37 of the original 55 delegates to the Constitutional Convention meeting in Philadelphia. The Constitution was sent to the states for ratification, and, by the terms of the document, the Constitution would become binding once nine of the former 13 colonies had ratified the document. Delaware led the process, and on June 21, 1788, New Hampshire became the ninth state to ratify the Constitution, making federal democracy the law of the land. Government under the U.S. Constitution took effect on March 4, 1789.
Delaware is a U.S. state located on the Atlantic Coast in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States. The state takes its name from Thomas West, 3rd Baron De La Warr, an English nobleman and Virginia’s first colonial governor, after whom (what is now called) Cape Henlopen was originally named.
Delaware is located in the northeastern portion of the Delmarva Peninsula and is the second smallest state in area (after Rhode Island). Estimates in 2007 rank the population of Delaware as 45th in the nation, but 6th in population density, with more than 60% of the population in New Castle County. Delaware is divided into three counties. From north to south, these three counties are New Castle, Kent, and Sussex. While the southern two counties have historically been predominantly agricultural, New Castle County has been more industrialized.
The state ranks second in civilian scientists and engineers as a percentage of the workforce and number of patents issued to companies or individuals per 1,000 workers. The history of the state’s economic and industrial development is closely tied to the impact of the Du Pont family, founders and scions of E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company, one of the world’s largest chemical companies.
Before its coastline was first explored by Europeans in the 16th century, Delaware was inhabited by several groups of Native Americans, including the Lenape in the north and Nanticoke in the south. It was initially colonized by Dutch traders at Zwaanendael, located near the present town of Lewes, in 1631. Delaware was one of the thirteen colonies participating in the American Revolution and on December 7, 1787, became the first state to ratify the Constitution of the United States, thereby becoming known as The First State.
Delaware is the home state of Vice President Joseph Biden
43 BC – Marcus Tullius Cicero is assassinated.
1696 – Connecticut Route 108, third oldest highway in Connecticut, is laid out to Trumbull.
1724 – Tumult of Thorn – religious unrest is followed by the execution of nine Protestant citizens and the mayor of Thorn (Torun) by Polish authorities.
1732 – The Royal Opera House opens at Covent Garden, London.
1776 – Marquis de Lafayette attempts to enter the American military as a major general.
1787 – Delaware becomes the first state to ratify the United States Constitution.
1862 – US Civil War: Battle of Prairie Grove, Arkansas.
1869 – American outlaw Jesse James commits his first confirmed bank robbery in Gallatin, Missouri.
1900 – Max Planck, in his house at Grunewald, on the outskirts of Berlin, discovers the law of black body emission.
1917 – World War I: The United States declares war on Austria-Hungary.
1936 – Australian cricketer Jack Fingleton becomes the first player to score centuries in four consecutive Test innings.
1941 – World War II: Attack on Pearl Harbor – The Imperial Japanese Navy attacks the US Pacific Fleet and its defending Army Air Forces and Marine air forces at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, causing a declaration of war to Japan by the USA.
1946 – A fire at the Winecoff Hotel in Atlanta, Georgia kills 119 people, the deadliest hotel fire in U.S. history.
1949 – Chinese Civil War: The government of Republic of China moves from Nanking to Taipei.
1962 – Prince Rainier III of Monaco revises the principality’s constitution, devolving some of his power to advisory and legislative councils.
1963 – Instant Replay is used for the first time in a Army-Navy game by its inventor, director, Tony Verna.
1965 – Pope Paul VI and Patriarch Athenagoras simultaneously lift mutual excommunications that had been in place since 1054.
1966 – A fire at an army barracks in Erzurum, Turkey kills 68 people.
1970 – The first ever general election on the basis of direct adult franchise is held in Pakistan for 313 National Assembly seats.
1971 – Pakistan President Yahya Khan announces the formation of a Coalition Government at Centre with Nurul Amin as Prime Minister and Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto as Vice-Prime Minister.
1972 – Apollo 17, the last Apollo moon mission, is launched. The crew takes the photograph known as The Blue Marble as they leave the Earth.
1975 – Indonesia invades East Timor.
1982 – In Texas, Charles Brooks, Jr. becomes the first person to be executed by lethal injection in the United States.
1983 – An Iberia Airlines Boeing 727 collides with an Aviaco DC-9 in dense fog while the two airliners are taxiing down the runway at Madrid Barajas International Airport, killing 93 people.
1987 – Pacific Southwest Airlines Flight 1771 crashes near Paso Robles, California, killing all 43 on board, after a disgruntled passenger shoots his ex-boss traveling on the flight, then shoots both pilots and himself.
1987 – Alianza Lima air disaster. A plane crashes killing all Alianza Lima team in Ventanilla, Callao, Peru.
1988 – Spitak Earthquake: In Armenia an earthquake measuring 6.9 on the Richter scale kills nearly 25,000, injures 15,000 and leaves 400,000 homeless.
1988 – Yasser Arafat recognizes the right of Israel to exist.
1993 – The Long Island Rail Road massacre: Passenger Colin Ferguson murders six people and injures 19 others on the LIRR in Nassau County, New York.
1994 – Norfolk Southern ends its steam excursion program. This is the last time that Norfolk and Western 611 is under steam.
* 1995 – The Galileo spacecraft arrives at Jupiter, a little more than six years after it was launched by Space Shuttle Atlantis during Mission STS-34.
1999 – The Recording Industry Association of America files a lawsuit against the Napster file-sharing client alleging copyright infringement.
2003 – The Conservative Party of Canada is officially recognized after the merger of the Canadian Alliance and Progressive Conservative Party of Canada.
2005 – Rigoberto Alpizar, a passenger on American Airlines Flight 924 who allegedly claimed to have a bomb, is shot and killed by a team of U.S. federal air marshals at Miami International Airport.
2006 – A tornado strikes Kensal Green, North West London, seriously damaging about 150 properties.
2007 – The Hebei Spirit oil spill begins in South Korea after a crane barge that had broken free from a tug collides with the Very Large Crude Carrier, Hebei Spirit.
* Armed Forces Flag Day (India)
* Christian Feast Day:
o Aemilianus (Greek Church)
* Dia de las Velitas, begins after sunset. (Colombia)
*International Civil Aviation Day (International)
* National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day (United States)
* Spitak Remembrance Day (Armenia)