On This Day December 19
1979 – Elvis Presley’s personal physician, George Nichopoulos, is charged with ‘illegally and indiscriminately’ prescribing more than 12,000 uppers, downers and painkillers for the star during the 20 months preceding his untimely death.
2000 – Roebuck “Pops” Staples, gospel singer, songwriter, guitarist and founding member of the Staple Singers, dies at age 85. The group had hits including “I’ll Take You There,” “Respect Yourself” and “Let’s Do It Again” in the 1970s.
1732 – Benjamin Franklin begins publishing “Poor Richard’s Almanack.” The book, filled with proverbs preaching industry and prudence, is published continuously for 25 years and becomes one of the most popular publications in colonial America, selling an average of 10,000 copies a year.
1972 – NASA’S Apollo manned lunar-landing program ends as the last three astronauts to travel to the moon safely splash down in the Pacific Ocean. Apollo 17 had blasted off from Cape Canaveral, Florida, 10 days earlier.
1998 – President Bill Clinton is impeached on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice by a divided House of Representatives, which recommends virtually along party lines that the Senate remove the nation’s 42d president from office. Clinton vows to finish his term.