spotlight Today In History, Dec. 5: Newt Gingrich Dec 5, 2018 0 Facebook Twitter SMS Email Print Save Today is Wednesday, Dec. 5.Today's Highlight in History: 1994: Newt Gingrich On Dec. 5, 1994, Republicans chose Newt Gingrich to be the first GOP speaker of the House in four decades. AP 1782: Martin Van Buren In 1782, the eighth president of the United States, Martin Van Buren, was born in Kinderhook, New York; he was the first chief executive to be born after American independence. AP 1901: Walt Disney In 1901, movie producer Walt Disney was born in Chicago. AP 1932: Albert Einstein In 1932, German physicist Albert Einstein was granted a visa, making it possible for him to travel to the United States. AP 1933: 21st Amendment In 1933, national Prohibition came to an end as Utah became the 36th state to ratify the 21st Amendment to the Constitution, repealing the 18th Amendment. AP 1945: "The Lost Squadron" In 1945, five U.S. Navy torpedo bombers mysteriously disappeared after taking off from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on a training mission with the loss of all 14 crew members; "The Lost Squadron" contributed to the legend of the Bermuda Triangle. AP 1952: The Great Smog of London In 1952, the Great Smog of London descended on the British capital; the unusually thick fog, which contained toxic pollutants, lasted five days and was blamed for causing thousands of deaths. AP 1977: Egypt In 1977, Egypt broke diplomatic relations with Syria, Libya, Algeria, Iraq and South Yemen in the wake of criticism that followed President Anwar Sadat's peace overtures to Israel. AP 1988: Jim Bakker In 1988, a federal grand jury in North Carolina indicted PTL founder Jim Bakker and former aide Richard Dortch on fraud and conspiracy charges. (Bakker was convicted on all counts; Dortch pleaded guilty to four counts and cooperated with prosecutors in exchange for a lighter sentence. Bakker was initially sentenced to 45 years in prison; the term was eventually reduced to eight years, and he served a total of about five.) AP 2008: Labor Department Ten years ago: The Labor Department reported that an alarming half-million jobs had vanished in Nov. 2008 as unemployment hit a 15-year high of 6.7 percent. AP 2008: O.J. Simpson Ten years ago: A judge in Las Vegas sentenced O.J. Simpson to 33 years in prison (with eligibility for parole after nine) for an armed robbery at a hotel room. (Simpson was released to parole on Oct. 1, 2017.) AP 2013: Nelson Mandela Five years ago: Nelson Mandela, the anti-apartheid leader who became South Africa's first black president, died at age 95. AP 2017: International Olympic Committee One year ago: The International Olympic Committee barred Russia and its sports leaders from the upcoming Winter Olympics in South Korea after concluding that members of the Russian government concocted a doping scheme at the 2014 Sochi Games; some Russians would be able to compete as "Olympic Athletes from Russia." AP 2017: John Conyers One year ago: Democratic congressman John Conyers of Michigan resigned from Congress after a nearly 53-year career, becoming the first Capitol Hill politician to lose his job amid the sexual misconduct allegations sweeping through the nation's workplaces. AP 2017: Keisha Lance Bottoms One year ago: In a bitterly contested runoff election, Atlanta voters narrowly chose Keisha Lance Bottoms as the city's next mayor; a result that would be upheld after a recount requested by rival Mary Norwood. 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