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.
1884: The capstone of the Washington Monument in Washington, D.C., is set, bringing construction on the memorial to President George Washington to an end. Upon completion, it became the world's tallest structure, a title previously held by the Cologne Cathedral, although the 555-foot-5-inch obelisk would only hold that title until 1889 when the Eiffel Tower was completed in Paris, France.
National Archives and Records Administration
Department of Defense
From Scott Gries/Comedy Central
Rob Carr/Getty Images
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