In 1999, Europe’s new currency, the euro, got off to a strong start on its first trading day, rising against the dollar on world currency markets. Former professional wrestler Jesse Ventura took the oath of office as Minnesota’s governor.
In 2002, Sgt. 1st Class Nathan Ross Chapman, a U.S. Army Special Forces soldier, was killed by small-arms fire during an ambush in eastern Afghanistan; he was the first American military death from enemy fire in the war against terrorism.
In 2006, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon suffered a significant stroke; his official powers were transferred to his deputy, Ehud Olmert (EH’-hood OHL’-murt). (Sharon remained in a coma until his death in January 2014.)
In 2015, Pope Francis named 156 new cardinals, selecting them from 14 countries, including far-flung corners of the world, to reflect the diversity of the Roman Catholic church and its growth in places like Asia and Africa.
Ten years ago: Defying Republican lawmakers, President Barack Obama barreled past the Senate by using a recess appointment to name Richard Cordray the first director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
Five years ago: President Barack Obama urged congressional Democrats to “look out for the American people” in defending his legacy health care overhaul, while Vice President-elect Mike Pence stood firm in telling Republicans that dismantling “Obamacare” was No. 1 on Donald Trump’s list. Macy’s said it was eliminating more than 10,000 jobs and planned to move forward with 68 store closures after a disappointing holiday shopping season.
One year ago: At a campaign rally in Georgia for the Republican candidates in the state’s U.S. Senate runoff elections the following day, President Donald Trump declared that he would “fight like hell” to hold on to the presidency and appealed to Republican lawmakers to reverse his election loss. Bracing for possible violence, the nation’s capital mobilized the National Guard ahead of planned protests by Trump supporters in connection with the congressional vote to affirm Joe Biden’s election victory. A British judge rejected the United States’ request to extradite WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to face espionage charges, saying it would be “oppressive” because of his mental health. (An appellate court later overturned that ruling; Assange’s lawyers are seeking to appeal.) Death claimed actors Gregory Sierra, 83, known for the 1970s sitcoms “Barney Miller” and “Sanford and Son,” and Tanya Roberts, who was in the James Bond movie “A View to a Kill” and the TV sitcom “That ’70s Show”; she was 65.
Today’s Birthdays: Actor Barbara Rush is 95. Opera singer Grace Bumbry is 85. Actor Dyan Cannon is 83. Author-historian Doris Kearns Goodwin is 79. Country singer Kathy Forester (The Forester Sisters) is 67. Actor Ann Magnuson is 66. Rock musician Bernard Sumner (New Order, Joy Division) is 66. Country singer Patty Loveless is 65. Actor Julian Sands is 64. Rock singer Michael Stipe is 62. Actor Patrick Cassidy is 60. Actor Dave Foley is 59. Actor Dot Jones is 58. Actor Rick Hearst is 57. Singer-musician Cait O’Riordan is 57. Actor Julia Ormond is 57. Former tennis player Guy Forget (ghee fohr-ZHAY’) is 57. Country singer Deana Carter is 56. Rock musician Benjamin Darvill (Crash Test Dummies) is 55. Actor Josh Stamberg is 52. Actor Damon Gupton is 49. Actor-singer Jill Marie Jones is 47. Actor D’Arcy Carden is 42. Christian rock singer Spencer Chamberlain (Underoath) is 39. Actor Lenora Crichlow is 37. Comedian-actor Charlyne Yi is 36. MLB All-Star Kris Bryant is 30. Actor-singer Coco Jones is 24.