Year
1972

Negotiations to resume in Paris

Officials in Washington, D.C., announce that the peace talks in Paris between National Security Adviser Henry Kissinger and North Vietnamese negotiator Le Duc Tho will resume on January 2.

On December 28, Hanoi agreed to return to the negotiations, and President Nixon ordered a halt to Linebacker II, the intensive bombing campaign of North Vietnam. Nixon initiated the campaign on December 18 when the North Vietnamese, who walked out of the peace negotiations in Paris, refused his ultimatum to return to the talks. During the course of the bombing, 700 B-52 sorties and more than 1,000 fighter-bombers dropped an estimated 20,000 tons of bombs, mostly over the densely populated area between Hanoi and Haiphong.

When the communist negotiators returned to Paris, the peace talks moved along quickly. On January 23, 1973, the United States, North Vietnam, the Republic of Vietnam, and the Viet Cong signed a cease-fire agreement that took effect five days later.

ALSO ON THIS DAY

Southern U.S. border established

James Gadsden, the U.S. minister to Mexico, and General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, the president of Mexico, sign the Gadsden Purchase in Mexico City. The treaty settled the dispute over the location of the Mexican border west of El Paso, Texas, and established the final ...read more

Rasputin murdered

Grigory Rasputin, a self-fashioned Russian holy man, is murdered by Russian nobles eager to end his sway over the royal family. Rasputin won the favor of Czar Nicholas II and Czarina Alexandra through his ability to stop the bleeding of their hemophiliac son, Alexei. Although the ...read more

Marcos inaugurated

Former Philippines Senate president Ferdinand Marcos is inaugurated president of the Southeast Asian archipelago nation. Marcos’ regime would span 20 years and become increasingly authoritarian and corrupt. Ferdinand Marcos was a law student in the late 1930s, when he was tried ...read more

Sit-down strike begins in Flint

At 8 p.m. on December 30, 1936, in one of the first sit-down strikes in the United States, autoworkers occupy the General Motors Fisher Body Plant Number One in Flint, Michigan. The autoworkers were striking to win recognition of the United Auto Workers (UAW) as the only ...read more

USSR established

In post-revolutionary Russia, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) is established, comprising a confederation of Russia, Belorussia, Ukraine, and the Transcaucasian Federation (divided in 1936 into the Georgian, Azerbaijan, and Armenian republics). Also known as the ...read more

Tojo is born

On this day, Hideki Tojo, prime minister of Japan during the war, is born in Tokyo. After graduating from the Imperial Military Academy and the Military Staff College, Tojo was sent to Berlin as Japan’s military attache after World War I. Having already earned a reputation for ...read more

Rasputin is murdered

Sometime over the course of the night and the early morning of December 29-30, 1916, Grigory Efimovich Rasputin, a self-proclaimed holy man, is murdered by Russian nobles eager to end his influence over the royal family. Rasputin, a Siberian-born muzhik, or peasant, who ...read more

Rutherford B. Hayes marries Lucy Webb

On this day in 1852, Rutherford B. Hayes marries Lucy Webb, a gregarious, devout Methodist from his home state of Ohio. She was 24 and he was 33. According to the National First Ladies Library, Lucy met Rutherford when she was only 14, but the two did not start courting until she ...read more

Fire breaks out in Chicago theater

A fire in the Iroquois Theater in Chicago, Illinois, kills more than 600 people on this day in 1903. It was the deadliest theater fire in U.S. history. Blocked fire exits and the lack of a fire-safety plan caused most of the deaths. The Iroquois Theater, designed by Benjamin ...read more

An anti-abortion activist goes on a murder spree

John Salvi III walks into two separate abortion clinics in Brookline, Massachusetts, and shoots workers with a rifle, killing two receptionists and wounding five other employees. He was captured the next day after firing 23 shots at a Norfolk, Virginia, medical clinic. Salvi, who ...read more

U.S.S. Monitor sinks

On this day in 1862, the U.S.S. Monitor sinks in a storm off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. Just nine months earlier, the ship had been part of a revolution in naval warfare when the ironclad dueled to a standstill with the C.S.S. Virginia (Merrimack)off Hampton Roads, Virginia, ...read more