Today is Thursday, Dec. 5, the 339th day of 2013. There are 26 days left in the year.
On this date in:
1776: The first scholastic fraternity in America, Phi Beta Kappa, is organized at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Va.
1782: The eighth president of the United States, Martin Van Buren, is born in Kinderhook, N.Y.; he is the first chief executive to be born after American independence.
1791: Composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart dies in Vienna, Austria, at age 35.
1831: Former President John Quincy Adams takes his seat as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives.
1848: President James K. Polk triggers the Gold Rush of ’49 by confirming that gold has been discovered in California.
1932: German physicist Albert Einstein is granted a visa, making it possible for him to travel to the United States.
1933: National Prohibition ends as Utah becomes the 36th state to ratify the 21st Amendment to the Constitution, repealing the 18th Amendment.
1955: The American Federation of Labor and the Congress of Industrial Organizations merge to form the AFL-CIO under its first president, George Meany.
1979: Feminist Sonia Johnson is formally excommunicated by the Mormon Church because of her outspoken support for the proposed Equal Rights Amendment to the Constitution.
1991: Richard Speck, who’d murdered eight student nurses in Chicago in 1966, dies in prison a day short of his 50th birthday.
1994: Republicans choose Newt Gingrich to be the first GOP speaker of the House in four decades.
2008: The Labor Department reports that an alarming half-million jobs had vanished in November 2008 as unemployment hit a 15-year high of 6.7 percent.
1988: Ohio license registrars and political party loyalists are less than enthusiastic about Ohio’s new system that will allow motorists to renew their license plates by mail.
Five former Youngstown All-City players are active in the National Football League: Matt Cavanaugh, Philadelphia Eagles quarterback; Michael Zordich, New York Jets, both of Chaney, and Jerry Taylor of Rayen, with Seattle. Jerry Angelo of Chaney is personnel director with Tampa Bay, and Jim Vechiarella of Rayen, an assistant coach with the Jets.
Two of eight defendants charged in the July beating death of Howland resident Daniel Gilmore in Cleveland are sentenced to maximum terms in state prisons, 10-to-25 years on involuntary manslaughter.
1973: Two Youngstown patrolmen, Robert M. Pavelko, 36, and John Leonard, 40, are injured when a car goes out of control on the Market Street Bridge and strikes their cruiser nine minutes before the officers were to go off duty.
A camper van bursts into flames in the driveway of a Poland home, killing Phillip Cipriano, 21, of Brookfield. Cause of the fire is unknown.
The Youngstown Board of Health withdraws its selection of Dr. Ataolah Amini, a native of Iran, as city health commissioner.
1963: Mrs. Helen Strouss Meyer, 82, of Jerald-Jean farm, North Lima, a daughter of one of the founders of the Strouss-Hirshberg Co., dies of a heart ailment in North Side Hospital.
Mayor-elect Anthony B. Flask says that he has six men under consideration for Youngstown police chief.
The Youngstown Players opens a $40,000 drive to retire the mortgage on the $500,000 playhouse and to complete several projects, including paving the parking lot.
1938: Nick Babich of Warren, a 54-year-old ex- convict, murders his wife with a hatchet and a razor, eludes a posse for four hours, and then murders a neighbor, Dan Gross, 50, by slashing his throat. Bebich is arrested about an hour later.
The warmest fall in 63 years has cut Youngstown area coal and steam sales.
Ohio Sen.-elect Robert A. Taft says he will not be a candidate for the Republican nomination for president in 1940.