Today in History

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Posted: Dec 12, 2011 12:02 AM
Today in History

Today in History

Today is Monday, Dec. 12, the 346th day of 2011. There are 19 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On Dec. 12, 1911, Britain's King George V, who also held the title Emperor of India, announced during a visit that the Indian capital would be transferred from Calcutta to Delhi.

On this date:

In 1787, Pennsylvania became the second state to ratify the U.S. Constitution.

In 1870, Joseph H. Rainey of South Carolina became the first black lawmaker sworn into the U.S. House of Representatives.

In 1906, President Theodore Roosevelt nominated Oscar Straus to be Secretary of Commerce and Labor; Straus became the first Jewish Cabinet member.

In 1917, Father Edward Flanagan founded Boys Town outside Omaha, Neb.

In 1937, Japanese aircraft sank the U.S. gunboat Panay on China's Yangtze River. (Japan apologized, and paid $2.2 million in reparations.)

In 1946, a United Nations committee voted to accept a six-block tract of Manhattan real estate offered as a gift by John D. Rockefeller Jr. to be the site of the U.N.'s headquarters.

In 1963, Kenya gained its independence from Britain.

In 1971, broadcasting pioneer David Sarnoff died in New York at age 80.

In 1985, 248 American soldiers and eight crew members were killed when an Arrow Air charter crashed after takeoff from Gander, Newfoundland.

In 2000, George W. Bush was transformed into the president-elect as a divided U.S. Supreme Court reversed a state court decision for recounts in Florida's contested election.

Ten years ago: A bus ambush killed ten Jewish settlers, prompting Israeli warplanes to strike back; Yasser Arafat bowed to longstanding Israeli demands by closing the offices of the militant Hamas and Islamic Jihad. Gerardo Hernandez, the leader of a Cuban spy ring, received a life sentence from a federal court in Miami for his role in the infiltration of U.S. military bases and the deaths of four Cuban-Americans.

Five years ago: A suicide bomber struck a crowd of mostly poor Shiites in Baghdad, killing some five dozen people and wounding more than 200. A two-day conference questioning the existence of the Nazi Holocaust ended in Tehran. Actor Peter Boyle died in New York at age 71.

One year ago: An explosives-packed minibus blew up at the entrance of a joint NATO-Afghan base in southern Afghanistan, killing six NATO troops and two Afghan soldiers as they prepared to head out on patrol. The inflatable roof of the Minneapolis Metrodome collapsed following a snow storm that had dumped 17 inches on the city. (The NFL was forced to shift an already rescheduled game between the Minnesota Vikings and New York Giants to Detroit's Ford Field.)

Today's Birthdays: Former TV host Bob Barker is 88. Former New York City Mayor Edward Koch (kahch) is 87. Basketball Hall of Famer Bob Pettit is 79. Singer Connie Francis is 74. Singer Dionne Warwick is 71. Rock singer-musician Dickey Betts is 68. Former race car driver Emerson Fittipaldi is 65. Actor Wings Hauser is 64. Actor Bill Nighy (ny) is 62. Actor Duane Chase (Film: "The Sound of Music") is 61. Country singer LaCosta is 61. Gymnast-turned-actress Cathy Rigby is 59. Author Lorna Landvik is 57. Singer-musician Sheila E. is 54. Actress Sheree J. Wilson is 53. Pop singer Daniel O'Donnell is 50. Rock musician Eric Schenkman (Spin Doctors) is 48. Rock musician Nicholas Dimichino (Nine Days) is 44. News anchor Maggie Rodriguez is 42. Actress Jennifer Connelly is 41. Actress Madchen Amick is 41. Country singer Hank Williams III is 39. Actress Mayim Bialik is 36. Model Bridget Hall is 34.

Thought for Today: "Anyone who keeps the ability to see beauty never grows old." _ Franz Kafka, author (1883-1924).

(Above Advance for Use Monday, Dec. 12)

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