AP NEWS
Related topics

Friday, December 19

December 12, 2014

Today is Friday, Dec. 19, the 353rd day of 2014. There are 12 days left in the year.

Highlights in history on this date:

1547 - Great Britain passes a vagabond law.

1793 - A young Napoleon Bonaparte takes Toulon, France, from the British and Spanish in his first major military victory.

1795 - Austria signs armistice with France.

1842 - The United States recognizes independence of Hawaii.

1843 - Charles Dickens’ classic Yuletide tale, “A Christmas Carol,” is first published in England.

1885 - Germany’s dispute with Spain over Caroline Islands in Pacific is settled in favor of Spain.

1907 - A coal mine explosion in Jacobs Creek, Pennsylvania, kills 239 workers.

1909 - A civil war starts in Honduras.

1915 - British troops begin withdrawal from Suvla and Anzac troops from Gallipoli during Turkish campaign in World War I.

1932 - The British Broadcasting Corp. begins transmitting overseas with its “Empire Service” to Australia.

1941 - German dictator Adolf Hitler dismisses his chief of staff and takes personal command of the German army after military setbacks.

1946 - War breaks out in Indochina as troops under Ho Chi Minh launch widespread attacks against the French.

1951 - The New Treaty of Friendship is signed between Oman and Britain, recognizing full independence of the sultanate.

1955 - Sudan’s Parliament declares independence.

1961 - Goa and two other Portuguese-controlled enclaves on India’s west coast fall to forces of the Indian government.

1962 - Senegal’s President Leopold Senghor takes charge of government in Dakar after ouster of the West African nation’s premier.

1966 - U.N. General Assembly endorses a draft treaty banning the use of weapons of mass destruction in space.

1972 - Apollo 17 spacecraft splashes down on target in Pacific Ocean, ending U.S. Apollo program of landing men on Moon.

1978 - Indian Parliament ousts former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi from her newly elected seat and orders her jailed for contempt and breach of privilege.

1984 - Prime Ministers Margaret Thatcher of Britain and Zhao Ziyang of China sign a joint declaration spelling out the terms for Hong Kong’s return to Chinese sovereignty on July 1, 1997.

1985 - Muslim gunmen kidnap 10 Christians in Beirut, Lebanon, stepping up the campaign of terror.

1990 - Albanian authorities formally recognize the country’s first non-communist party.

1992 - Taiwan holds its first full legislative elections after retiring hundreds of lawmakers who were elected in China in 1949 and stayed in office.

1994 - Russian helicopters and airplanes bomb Grozny, capital of the breakaway Chechnya region.

1995 - The first Russian soldiers arrive in Bosnia for a NATO-led peacekeeping mission.

1996 - Former Indian Prime Minister Narasimha Rao steps down from his last government post after corruption charges.

1998 - As U.S. forces bomb Iraq, the U.S. House of Representatives impeaches President Bill Clinton for obstructing justice and lying under oath about his affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky.

1999 - Survivors wander through streets covered with rocks and mud as the death toll from massive mudslides and flooding in Venezuela surpasses 5,000.

2001- Jobless Argentines unleash their anger over a deep economic tailspin in a burst of looting and violence that targets supermarkets and shops on the fringes of Buenos Aires.

2002 - U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell says Iraq is in “material breach” of U.N. Security Council resolutions for alleged omissions in a declaration of its weapons programs.

2003 - Libya agrees to abandon its programs pursuing internationally banned weapons, including chemical, biological and nuclear weapons as well as long-range missiles. It agrees to respect the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.

2004 - Car bombs rock Iraq’s two holiest Shiite cities, killing at least 62 people and wounding more than 120, while in downtown Baghdad dozens of gunmen carry out a brazen ambush, pulling out three election officials and executing them on the pavement in the middle of morning traffic.

2005 - Uganda’s main opposition leader pleads not guilty to treason charges in a trial supporters claim is being staged to keep him out of 2006 presidential elections.

2006 - A Libyan court convicts five Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian doctor and condemns them to death for infecting 400 children with HIV. Nearly seven months later, they are allowed to return to Bulgaria.

2007 - Former Hyundai CEO Lee Myung-bak claims victory in South Korea’s presidential election, as voters overlook fraud allegations in hopes he will revive the economy.

2008 - The Pentagon formally approves war crimes charges against Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, a Guantanamo detainee accused of masterminding the 2000 bombing of the USS Cole off Yemen.

2009 - After months of denials, Iran acknowledges that at least three people detained in the country’s postelection turmoil were beaten to death by their jailers.

2010 - Police in Denmark and Sweden say they thwarted a terrorist attack possibly hours before it was to begin, arresting five men they say planned to shoot as many people as possible in a Copenhagen building housing the newsroom of a paper that published cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad.

2011 - North Koreans march by the thousands to their capital’s landmarks to mourn Kim Jong Il, many crying uncontrollably in grief over the death of their “Dear Leader.”

2012 - French President Francois Hollande announces a new era with Algeria — a strategic partnership among equals — during a visit to the North African nation that was once a prized colony in the French empire.

2013 — Egypt’s military-backed authorities step up their crackdown on liberal icons of the 2011 uprising against President Hosni Mubarak with security forces storming the headquarters of a rights group and arresting six activists.

Today’s Birthdays:

Su Tung-p’o, Chinese poet (1036-1101); Sir Ralph Richardson, British actor (1902-1983); Leonid I. Brezhnev, Soviet Communist Party chief (1906-1982); Jean Genet, French writer (1910-1986); Edith Piaf, French singer (1915-1963); Robert Urich, U.S. actor (1946-2002); Richard E. Leakey, Kenyan paleontologist (1944--); Jennifer Beals, U.S. actress (1963--); Jake Gyllenhaal, U.S. actor (1980--); Lady Sovereign, British rapper (1985--).

Thought For Today:

And so, as Tiny Tim observed, God Bless Us, Every One! — the closing line of “A Christmas Carol,” by Charles Dickens (1812-1870).

AP RADIO
Update hourly