Today in history


Today is Monday, Dec. 12, the 347th day of 2016. There are 19 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Dec. 12, 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.

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 1915, singer-actor Frank Sinatra was born Francis Albert Sinatra in Hoboken, New Jersey.

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

In 1925, the first motel — the Motel Inn — opened in San Luis Obispo, California.

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 1947, the United Mine Workers union disaffiliated from the American Federation of Labor.

In 1963, Kenya became independent of Britain.

In 1975, Sara Jane Moore asked a federal court in San Francisco to allow her to plead guilty to trying to kill President Gerald R. Ford. (After the judge ruled Moore competent to change her plea, she was sentenced to life. Moore was released on parole on New Year’s Eve 2007 after serving 32 years behind bars.)

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 became 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 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.

Five years ago: President Barack Obama met at the White House with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki (NOO’-ree ahl-MAHL’-ih-kee); afterward, the president declared that U.S. troops were leaving Iraq “with honor and with their heads held high.” Bert Schneider, 78, a producer credited with inspiring a “New Hollywood” band of independent filmmakers in the 1970s and 1980s, died in Los Angeles.

One year ago: Nearly 200 nations meeting in Paris adopted the first global pact to fight climate change, calling on the world to collectively cut and then eliminate greenhouse gas pollution but imposing no sanctions on countries that didn’t do so. Women across Saudi Arabia marked a historic milestone, both voting and running as candidates in government elections for the first time; voters elected 20 women for local government seats. Fire at a Russian home for mentally ill patients killed 23 men. Derrick Henry became the second Alabama player to receive the Heisman Trophy.

Today’s Birthdays: Former TV host Bob Barker is 93. Basketball Hall of Famer Bob Pettit is 84. Singer Connie Francis is 79. Singer Dionne Warwick is 76. Rock singer-musician Dickey Betts is 73. Hall of Fame race car driver Emerson Fittipaldi is 70. Actor Wings Hauser is 69. Actor Bill Nighy (ny) is 67. Actor Duane Chase (Film: “The Sound of Music”) is 66. Country singer LaCosta is 66. Gymnast-turned-actress Cathy Rigby is 64. Author Lorna Landvik is 62. Singer-musician Sheila E. is 59. Actress Sheree J. Wilson is 58. Pop singer Daniel O’Donnell is 55. International Tennis Hall of Famer Tracy Austin is 54. Rock musician Eric Schenkman (Spin Doctors) is 53. Rock musician Nicholas Dimichino (Nine Days) is 49. Author Sophie Kinsella is 47. News anchor Maggie Rodriguez is 47. Actress Jennifer Connelly is 46. Actress Madchen Amick is 46. Actress Regina Hall is 46. Country singer Hank Williams III is 44. Actress Mayim Bialik is 41. Model Bridget Hall is 39.

Thought for Today: “I have never known a man who died from overwork, but many who died from doubt.” — Charles Horace Mayo, American surgeon and co-founder of the Mayo Clinic (1865-1939).

The Associated Press

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