Harriet Tubman escapes slavery, the capstone is set on the Washington Monument, the TV special "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" debuts, and Roy Orbison passes away, all on this day.
1917: The USS Jacob Jones becomes the first American destroyer to be sunk by enemy action when it is torpedoed by German submarine SM U-53. A total of 66 men died as the ship sunk in eight minutes.
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