On Dec. 16, 1773, the Boston Tea Party took place as

American colonists boarded a British ship and dumped more than 300 chests of tea into Boston Harbor to protest tea taxes.

Ten years ago

In a stinging defeat for President George W. Bush, Senate Democrats blocked passage of a new Patriot Act to combat terrorism at home. (The result was a revised Patriot Act signed by Bush in March 2006.) Actor John Spencer, who’d played the powerful chief of staff on TV’s “The West Wing,” died in Los Angeles at age 58. Singeractor Enzo Stuarti died in Midland, Texas, at age 86. Jessica Simpson filed for divorce from Nick Lachey.

Five years ago

The House joined the Senate in passing a massive bipartisan tax package preventing a big New Year’s Day tax hike for millions of Americans. Interviewer Larry King, joined by a parade of former guests, concluded his CNN talk show after 25 years.

One year ago

Taliban gunmen stormed a military-run school in the northwestern Pakistan city of Peshawar, killing at least 148 people, mostly children. Nick Bjugstad scored the gamewinning goal in the longest shootout in NHL history to lift the Florida Panthers over the Washington Capitals 2-1.

— By The Associated Press