Short Essay Tsunami 2004 Info

Also on this day

Lead Story

1946

Bugsy Siegel opens Flamingo Hotel

Well-known singer and comedian Jimmy Durante headlined the entertainment, with music by Cuban band leader Xavier Cugat. Some of Siegel’s Hollywood friends, including actors George Raft, George Sanders, Sonny Tufts and George Jessel were in attendance. The grand opening, however, was a flop. Bad weather kept many other Hollywood guests from...

American Revolution

1776

Washington wins first major U.S. victory at Trenton

At approximately 8 a.m. on the morning of December 26, 1776, General George Washington’s Continental Army reaches the outskirts of Trenton, New Jersey, and descends upon the unsuspecting Hessian force guarding the city. Trenton’s 1,400 Hessian defenders were still groggy from the previous evening’s Christmas festivities and had underestimated...

Automotive

1956

Carmaker Preston Tucker dies

On December 26, 1956, the visionary carmaker Preston Tucker dies of lung cancer. He was just 53 years old. Tucker began his career in the auto industry as a mail messenger at General Motors. He quickly worked his way out of the mailroom, however, and before he turned 30 he was...

Civil War

1861

Mason and Slidell freed

On this day in 1861, Confederate diplomatic envoys James Mason and John Slidell are freed by President Abraham Lincoln’s administration, heading off a possible war between the United States and Great Britain. The two men were aboard the Trent, a British mail steamer, on November 8, 1861,when they were pulled over...

Cold War

1955

Porgy and Bess opens in Leningrad

In one of the most publicized cultural exchanges of the Cold War, Porgy and Bess, an opera featuring an African-American cast, opens in Leningrad. Performances were also staged in Moscow in January of the next year.The opera was only one part of a significant U.S. effort during the 1950s...

Crime

1610

Bathory’s torturous escapades are exposed

On this day in 1609 or 1610 (sources are not conclusive), Count Gyorgy Thurzo makes an investigative visit to Csejthe Castle in Hungary on orders from King Matthias and discovers Countess Elizabeth Bathory directing a torture session of young girls. Bathory was already infamous in the area for her torture...

General Interest

1908

Jack Johnson wins heavyweight title

Jack Johnson becomes the first African 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, who held the heavyweight title until 1915, was reviled by whites for his defiance of the “Jim Crow”...

1941

Churchill addresses Congress

Less than three weeks after the American entrance into World War II, Winston Churchill becomes the first British prime minister to address Congress. Churchill, a gifted orator, urged Congress to back President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s proposal that America become the “great arsenal of democracy” and warned that the Axis powers...

1966

The first Kwanzaa

The first day of the first Kwanzaa is celebrated in Los Angeles under the direction of Maulana Karenga, the chair of Black Studies at California State University at Long Beach. The seven-day holiday, which has strong African roots, was designed by Dr. Karenga as a celebration of African American family,...

2004

Tsunami wreaks havoc on Southeast Asia

On the day after Christmas in 2004, a massive undersea earthquake occurs just off the coast of Indonesia at a few minutes before 8 a.m. local time. With a magnitude of 9.3, the quake was  the most powerful of the last 40 years and the second largest earthquake in recorded...

Hollywood

1973

The Exorcist opens

On this day in 1973, The Exorcist, a horror film starring the actress Linda Blair as a girl possessed by an evil spirit, makes its debut in theaters; it will go on to earn a reputation as one of the scariest movies in history. The Exorcist was based on William...

Literary

1606

King Lear performed at Court

On this day in 1606, William Shakespeare’s play King Lear is performed at the court of King James I of England. Lear is one of the later works penned by the playwright. Shakespeare’s father was probably a common tradesman. He became an alderman and bailiff in Stratford-upon-Avon, and Shakespeare was baptized...

Music

1966

Jimi Hendrix writes “Purple Haze”

After a stint in the U.S. Army and a creatively unfulfilling stretch as a session musician and sideman to acts like Little Richard and The Isley Brothers, 21-year-old Jimi Hendrix moved to New York City in 1964 to set about building a solo career. “Discovered” two years later by the...

Old West

1820

Moses Austin asks Spanish for Texas colony

Hoping to recover from bankruptcy with a bold scheme of colonization, Moses Austin meets with Spanish authorities in San Antonio to ask permission for 300 Anglo-American families to settle in Texas. A native of Durham, Connecticut, Austin had been a successful merchant in Philadelphia and Virginia. After hearing reports of rich...

Presidential

1972

Truman dies

On this day in 1972, former President Harry S. Truman dies in Independence, Missouri. Then-President Richard Nixon called Truman a man of “forthrightness and integrity” who had a deep respect for the office he held and for the people he served, and who “supported and wisely counseled each of his successors.” Truman...

Sports

1908

Jack Johnson wins heavyweight boxing title

On this day in 1908, the boxer John Arthur Johnson defeats Tommy Burns in Sydney, Australia, becoming the first black heavyweight champion of the world and an international icon. Born in Galveston, Texas, in 1878, Johnson began boxing professionally in 1897, when it was a relatively new sport. In an era...

Vietnam War

1967

Laos says communists launched an offensive

Laotian Premier Souvanna Phouma reports that North Vietnamese troops have started a general offensive against government forces in southern Laos. Phouma reported that at least one battle was being waged near Pha Lane, but said Laotian troops appeared to be in control of the situation. On December 29, North Vietnam...

1971

U.S. jets strike North Vietnam

In the sharpest escalation of the war since Operation Rolling Thunder ended in November 1968, U.S. fighter-bombers begin striking at North Vietnamese airfields, missile sites, antiaircraft emplacements, and supply facilities. These raids continued for five days. They were begun in response to intelligence that predicted a North Vietnamese build up of...

World War I

1917

U.S. government takes over control of nation’s railroads

Eight months after the United States enters World War I on behalf of the Allies, President Woodrow Wilson announces the nationalization of a large majority of the country’s railroads under the Federal Possession and Control Act. The U.S. entry into the war in April 1917 coincided with a downturn in...

World War II

1943

Britain surprises German attacker in the Arctic

On this day, the German battle cruiser Scharnhorst is sunk by British warships in the Arctic after decoded German naval signals reveal that the Scharnhorst is on a mission to attack an Anglo-American convoy to Russia. Hitler’s navy had posed serious threats to convoys shipping supplies to the Soviet Union since...

1944

Patton relieves Bastogne

On this day, General George S. Patton employs an audacious strategy to relieve the besieged Allied defenders of Bastogne, Belgium, during the brutal Battle of the Bulge. The capture of Bastogne was the ultimate goal of the Battle of the Bulge, the German offensive through the Ardennes forest. Bastogne provided a...

Indian Ocean tsunami of 2004, tsunami that hit the coasts of several countries of South and Southeast Asia in December 2004. The tsunami and its aftermath were responsible for immense destruction and loss on the rim of the Indian Ocean.

On December 26, 2004, at 7:59 am local time, an undersea earthquake with a magnitude of 9.1 struck off the coast of the Indonesian island of Sumatra. Over the next seven hours, a tsunami—a series of immense ocean waves—triggered by the quake reached out across the Indian Ocean, devastating coastal areas as far away as East Africa. Some locations reported that the waves had reached a height of 30 feet (9 metres) or more when they hit the shoreline.

The tsunami killed at least 225,000 people across a dozen countries, with Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India, Maldives, and Thailand sustaining massive damage. Indonesian officials estimated that the death toll there alone ultimately exceeded 200,000, particularly in northern Sumatra’s Aceh province. Tens of thousands were reported dead or missing in Sri Lanka and India, a large number of them from the Indian Andaman and Nicobar Islands territory. The low-lying island country of Maldives reported more than a hundred casualties and immense economic damage. Several thousand non-Asian tourists vacationing in the region also were reported dead or missing. The lack of food, clean water, and medical treatment—combined with the enormous task faced by relief workers trying to get supplies into some remote areas where roads had been destroyed or where civil war raged—extended the list of casualties. Long-term environmental damage was severe as well, with villages, tourist resorts, farmland, and fishing grounds demolished or inundated with debris, bodies, and plant-killing salt water.

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