In Photos: This Week in History

Dec. 14, 1799: George Washington dies

The first president of the U.S. died of acute laryngitis and pneumonia at his Mount Vernon estate in Virginia, aged 67. He is believed to have said “Tis well,” as his last words.

National Archives/Newsmakers/Hulton Archive via Getty Images

Dec. 15, 1978: US announces recognition to communist China

U.S. President Jimmy Carter confirmed that his country would formally recognize the communist regime of China from Jan. 1, 1979, severing its diplomatic ties with Taiwan. Subsequently, the U.S. embassy was abolished, and the American Institute in Taiwan was established in its place.

AP Photo

Dec. 16, 1773: Boston Tea Party takes place

The political protest was organized by the Sons of Liberty in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S., in defiance of the British Parliament’s Tea Act of 1773. Disguised as Native Americans, they destroyed an entire shipment of tea that was sent by the East India Company.

Bettmann Archive/Getty Images

Dec. 16, 1950: Harry S. Truman declares state of emergency

The 33rd U.S. president signed a proclamation declaring a state of emergency to fight “Communist imperialism,” which was a reference to the Chinese forces in the Korean War. He stated, “…that the military, naval, air, and civilian defenses of this country be strengthened as speedily as possible to the end that we may be able to repel any and all threats against our national security.”

Historical/Corbis/Getty Images


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