In 1818, Illinois was admitted as the 21st state.In 1960, the Lerner and Loewe musical “Camelot,” starring Julie Andrews as Guenevere, Richard Burton as King Arthur and Robert Goulet as Lancelot, opened on Broadway.
In 1964, police arrested some 800 students at the University of California at Berkeley, one day after the students stormed the administration building and staged a massive sit-in.
In 1967, a surgical team in Cape Town, South Africa, led by Dr. Christiaan Barnard performed the first human heart transplant on Louis Washkansky, who lived 18 days with the donor organ, which came from Denise Darvall, a 25-year-old bank clerk who had died in a traffic accident.
In 1979, 11 people were killed in a crush of fans at Cincinnati’s Riverfront Coliseum, where the British rock group The Who was performing.
In 1980, Bernadine Dohrn, a former leader of the radical Weather Underground, surrendered to authorities in Chicago after more than a decade as a fugitive.
In 1984, thousands of people died after a cloud of methyl isocyanate gas escaped from a pesticide plant operated by a Union Carbide subsidiary in Bhopal, India.
In 1991, radicals in Lebanon released American hostage Alann Steen, who’d been held captive nearly five years.
In 1992, the first telephone text message was sent by British engineer Neil Papworth, who transmitted the greeting “Merry Christmas” from his work computer in Newbury, Berkshire, to Vodafone executive Richard Jarvis’ mobile phone. The Greek tanker Aegean Sea spilled more than 21 million gallons of crude oil when it ran aground off northwestern Spain.
In 1999, Tori Murden of the United States became the first woman to row across the Atlantic Ocean alone as she arrived at the French Caribbean island of Guadeloupe, 81 days after leaving the Canary Islands near the coast of Africa.
In 2001, in the wake of bombings that had killed 26 Israelis, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon declared a war on terror. Homeland Security Director Tom Ridge asked Americans to return to a high state of alert, citing threats of more terrorist attacks.
In 2002, thousands of personnel files released under a court order showed that the Archdiocese of Boston went to great lengths to hide priests accused of abuse, including clergy who’d allegedly snorted cocaine and had sex with girls aspiring to be nuns.
In 2009, President Barack Obama hosted a White House-sponsored jobs forum, where he said he’d heard many “exciting ideas” and proposals and expressed hope some could be put into action quickly. Pope Benedict XVI and visiting Russian President Dmitry Medvedev agreed to upgrade Vatican-Kremlin ties to full diplomatic relations. Comcast and GE announced joint venture plans, with Comcast owning a 51% controlling stake in NBC Universal. British actor Richard Todd died in Little Humby, Lincolnshire, England, at age 90.
In 2014, a Staten Island, New York, grand jury declined to indict police officer Daniel Pantaleo in the July 2014 chokehold death of Eric Garner, an unarmed black man stopped on suspicion of selling loose, untaxed cigarettes. Herman Badillo, a Bronx politician who was the first person born in Puerto Rico to become a U.S. congressman, died at age 85.