"A Christmas Carol" is first published, the NHL plays its first games, Apollo 17 splashes down, and the U.S. House impeaches President Bill Clinton, all on this day.
2012: Former federal judge and conservative legal scholar Robert Bork dies of complications from heart disease at age 85 in Arlington, Va. Bork was best known for his nomination to the Supreme Court by President Ronald Reagan in 1987. He was rejected for the post after a contentious confirmation battle led by left-leaning groups that opposed his conservative judicial philosophies. The vacant seat on the court eventually went to Judge Anthony Kennedy, who was unanimously approved by the Senate.
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