This Day in History: Dec. 2

In 1982, in the first operation of its kind, doctors at the University of Utah Medical Center implanted a permanent artificial heart in the chest of retired dentist Dr. Barney Clark, who lived 112 days with the device.

1823: President James Monroe outlined his doctrine opposing European expansion in the Western Hemisphere.

1939: New York Municipal Airport-LaGuardia Field (later LaGuardia Airport) went into operation as an airliner from Chicago landed at one minute past midnight.

1970: The newly created Environmental Protection Agency opened its doors; its first director was William D. Ruckelshaus. 

1995: NASA launched the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO), a joint project of the United States and the European Space Agency, on a $1 billion mission to study the sun and interplanetary space; since then, SOHO has discovered 3,000 comets.

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