Rescuers reach the Donner Party, Edison patents the phonograph, the Soviet Union launches the Mir space station, and Fidel Castro resigns as Cuban president, all on this day.
1847: The first group of rescuers reaches the Donner Party, who were starving and feeble, with some having turned to cannibalism to survive. Weather conditions were so bad that three rescue groups were required to lead the rest of the survivors to California, the last group arriving in March. Forty-eight members out of an original group of 87 ultimately survived to live in California.
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