This wintry view comes from Oregon’s Painted Hills, part of the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument and home to one of the most complete fossil records on the planet. Paleontologists have uncovered fossils here that date as far back as 44 million years ago, when this region had a hot, wet, subtropical climate, home to crocodiles and rhino-like plant eaters. And what’s above ground here is equally impressive. This is only a glimpse of the portion of the monument called the Painted Hills, named for its vivid colors that are a result of layers of sediment from various geologic periods.
Born: Dec 11, 1910 · Philadelphia, PA
Died: Aug 28, 1972 · Philadelphia, PA
Buried: Philadelphia · Har Nebo Cemetery
Parents: Samson · Celia GoldHighlights
- 1910: Harry Gold was born on December 11, 1910, in Bern, Switzerland to Samson and Celia Gold.
- 1929: He developed a pronounced interest in chemistry and graduated from South Philadelphia High School in 1929.
- 1940: In 1940, Jacob Golos activated Harry Gold for Soviet espionage, but he was not a recruited agent of the rezidentura.
- 1944: Semenov remained Gold’s control officer until March 1944.
- 1951: In 1951, Gold was sentenced to 30 years imprisonment
- 1972: In 1972, he died in Philadelphia, age 62; he was interred in Har Nebo Cemetery in Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania.
U.S. vs. Julius & Ethel Rosenberg and Martin Sobell, Government Exhibit 5, photograph of Harry Gold – NARA – 278750
Also on this day,
1965 | Charlie Brown’s ‘Christmas’ becomes a classic
Charles Schulz’ comic strip ‘Peanuts’ may be a huge hit, but CBS predicts disaster when ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’ premieres tonight. Child actors voicing the characters, no laugh track, a jazz score, and a depressed lead character all spell doom. But the show will become an instant classic, airing every Christmas season since.1990 | Lech Walesa elected president of Poland
In a landslide, the mustachioed labor leader and electrician becomes the first directly elected president of Poland in decades with the slogan: “I don’t want to, but I’ve got no choice.” Walesa rose to prominence in the Solidarity movement and was awarded the 1983 Nobel Peace Prize for his work.2000 | Supreme Court halts Florida recount in presidential race
The US Supreme Court, in 5-to-4 ruling, dashes Vice President Al Gore’s hopes to win the presidency when it reverses a lower court ruling and suspends Florida’s hand recount of votes. This sets the stage for the Court’s final ruling three days later, allowing George W. Bush to keep his slim lead in Florida and win the White House.
Bush v. Gore, 531 U.S. 98 (2000), was a decision of the United States Supreme Court. It resolved the dispute surrounding the 2000 presidential election. The ruling was issued on December 12, 2000. On December 9, the Court had preliminarily halted the Florida recount that was occurring. Eight days earlier, the Court unanimously decided the closely related case of Bush v. Palm Beach County Canvassing Board, 531 U.S. 70 (2000). The Electoral College was scheduled to meet on December 18, 2000, to decide the election.
In a per curiam decision, the Court ruled that there was an Equal Protection Clause violation in using different standards of counting in different counties and ruled that no alternative method could be established within the time limit set by Title 3 of the United States Code (3 U.S.C.), § 5 ("Determination of controversy as to appointment of electors"), which was December 12. The vote regarding the Equal Protection Clause was 7–2, and regarding the lack of an alternative method was 5–4. Three concurring justices also asserted that the Florida Supreme Court had violated Article II, § 1, cl. 2 of the Constitution, by misinterpreting Florida election law that had been enacted by the Florida Legislature.
The Supreme Court decision allowed the previous vote certification to stand, as made by Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris, for George W. Bush as the winner of Florida's 25 electoral votes. Florida's votes gave Bush, the Republican candidate, 271 electoral votes, one more than the required 270 to win the Electoral College, and the defeat of Democratic candidate Al Gore, who received 266 electoral votes (a "faithless elector" from the District of Columbia abstained).
Media organizations subsequently analyzed the ballots and found that the originally proposed county-based recounts would have resulted in a different outcome (Bush victory) than a full statewide recount (Gore victory). Florida subsequently changed to new voting machines to avoid punch cards which had allowed dimpled or hanging chads.