Tooele Transcript Bulletin – News in Tooele, Utah
image Jack Johnson

December 23, 2013
Week of December 23, 2013

• On Dec. 26, 1908, Jack Johnson becomes the first black American to win the world heavyweight title when he knocks out Canadian Tommy Burns in the 14th round in a championship bout near Sydney, Australia. Johnson held the heavyweight title until 1915.


• On Dec. 25, 1914, just after midnight on Christmas morning, German troops fighting in World War I cease firing their guns and artillery, and commence to sing Christmas carols. At points along the eastern and western fronts, Russian, French and British soldiers even heard brass bands joining the Germans in their joyous singing.


• On Dec. 28, 1938, silent-film star Florence Lawrence commits suicide in Beverly Hills, Calif. Lawrence also was an inventor: She designed the first “auto signaling arm,” a mechanical turn signal, along with the first mechanical brake signal. She did not patent these inventions, however, and as a result she received no credit for — or profit from — either one.


• On Dec. 23, 1946, President Harry Truman appoints an amnesty board to review cases of conscientious objectors who were imprisoned after refusing to serve during World War II. Of the 15,000 violators of the World War II Selective Service Act, only 1,500 were considered entitled to full amnesty.


• On Dec. 29, 1956, the New York Times leaks the news that the United States is preparing a major policy statement on the Middle East. The U.S. would oppose any Soviet military intervention in the region, and Middle Eastern powers could count on economic help and military help in opposing any Soviet aggression.


• On Dec. 27, 1968, Apollo 8, the first manned mission to orbit the moon, returns safely to Earth after an historic six-day journey. Astronauts Frank Borman, James Lovell, Jr., and William Anders were the first human beings to see the dark side of the moon.


• On Dec. 24, 1972, comedian Bob Hope gives what he says is his final Christmas show to U.S. forces in Saigon. The show marked Hope’s ninth consecutive Christmas appearance in Vietnam.

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