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In the Good Old Days Antiques Corner This Week in History
This Week in History

A Surprise Attack, One Long Space Flight and the True Meaning of Christmas

-- On Dec. 16, 1944: The Battle of the Bulge began in the Ardennes region when the Germans attacked the Allies in a surprise offensive. Fighting began during inclement weather which initially kept the Allied air forces grounded. However, when the weather finally improved on Dec. 24, the Allies were able to attack the German lines from the air. A few days later, General Patton and the United States Third Army arrived and attacked the German flank. The Battle of the Bulge lasted over a month and was a bloody battle for American troops who comprised a large portion of the Allied fighting forces during the battle. Despite challenging conditions, the Allied forces were able to emerge from the battle victorious.

-- On Dec. 18, 1965: Gemini VII splashed down in the Atlantic Ocean after astronauts Jim Lovell and Frank Borman had spent nearly 14 days in space -- a record at that point in time. The mission was designed to test the effects of a long space flight on humans and showed that long space flights were safe. During the flight, Gemini VII rendezvoused with Gemini VI-A, another key accomplishment of the mission.

-- On Dec. 18, 1966: The animated Christmas special How the Grinch Stole Christmas! first aired on television. The show featured the song You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch, performed by Thurl Ravenscroft (also the voice of Frosted Flakes' Tony the Tiger), which described the infamous Grinch as "cuddly as a cactus" and whose "heart's an empty hole." The Grinch stole Christmas gifts from all the Who households down in Whoville, hoping to ruin their Christmas joy. Instead of lamenting their loss, the Who in Whoville end up showing the Grinch the true meaning of Christmas.

-- Compiled by M. Moeller

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