December 19

1732

Benjamin Franklin began publishing Poor Richard's Almanac.

1776

Thomas Paine published his first American Crisis essay, in which he wrote, "These are the times that try men's souls."

1843

Charles Dickens published "A Christmas Carol."

1946

War broke out in Indochina when Ho Chi Minh attacked the French.

1972

Apollo 17 splashed down in the Pacific, ending the Apollo program of manned lunar landings.

1984

Britain and China signed an accord returning Hong Kong to Chinese sovereignty on July 1, 1997.

1998

President Bill Clinton impeached on two counts by the House of Representatives.

2003

Muammar al-Qaddafi of Libya announced that his country would discontinue development of weapons of mass destruction.

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