This Day in History — December 14

Thursday, December 14, 2017

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Today is the 348th day of 2017. There are 17 days left in the year.

TODAY HIGHLIGHT

1998: In the presence of US President Bill Clinton, the Palestinian Council votes to revoke a paragraph in its charter that demanded the destruction of Israel.

OTHER EVENTS

1542: Accession of Mary Queen of Scots following the death of King James V.

1799: George Washington, the first president of the United States, dies at his Mount Vernon, Virginia, home at age 67.

1911: Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen becomes first man to reach South Pole.

1912: Louis Botha resigns as South Africa's premier.

1916: People of Denmark vote to sell Danish West Indies to United States for $25 million.

1927: Britain recognises Iraq's independence; China and Soviet Union break relations.

1937: Japan establishes puppet Chinese Government in Peking — now Beijing.

1939: The Soviet Union is dropped from the League of Nations.

1941: US Marines make stand in battle for Wake Island in Pacific during World War II.

1946: UN General Assembly votes to establish UN headquarters in New York City.

1952: Eighty-four Korean Communist prisoners interned on Pongam Island are killed during a riot after attempting to escape.

1958: The United States, Britain and France reject Soviet demands that they withdraw their troops from West Berlin and agree to liquidate the Allied occupation in West Berlin.

1962: North Rhodesia's first African-dominated Government is formed under Kenneth Kaunda.

1972: US Apollo 17 astronauts blast off from the moon after three days of exploration on lunar surface.

1977: The South African Government eases job restrictions on blacks.

1985: Wilma Mankiller becomes the first woman to lead a major American Indian tribe, taking office as principal chief of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma.

1988: Sixty more survivors are pulled from rubble of earthquake that rocked Armenia.

1989: Opposition leader Patricio Aylwin is elected president in Chile's first free election since 1970.

1990: In Hong Kong, 10 Vietnamese boat people set fire to themselves to protest a screening policy that could prevent them from settling in the West.

1991: Former East German leader Erich Honecker, facing extradition to Germany and trial on manslaughter charges, is offered asylum in North Korea.

1992: Easing a 17-year trade embargo, the United States allows its companies to sign contracts in Vietnam.

1999: US and German negotiators agree to establish a fund of $5.2 billion for Nazi-era slaves and forced labourers.

2000: Vladimir Putin, the first Russian president to visit Cuba since the collapse of the Soviet Union, holds talks with Fidel Castro in Havana.

2003: Pakistani President General Pervez Musharraf escapes an assassination attempt when a powerful bomb explodes on a bridge in Rawalpindi less than a minute after his motorcade crosses it.

2006: The Israeli Supreme Court upholds Israel's policy of targeted killings of Palestinian militants, allowing the army to maintain a practice that has drawn widespread international condemnation.

2009: The military may not finish its surge of 30,000 American troops to Afghanistan until nearly a year from now, a senior US commander says — a slower pace than US President Barack Obama has described. The White House insisted it was sticking with a goal of completing the buildup by late summer.

2010: Silvio Berlusconi pulls off another astonishing escape from the political dead, scraping through two confidence votes in a dramatic parliamentary showdown as violent street protests show growing unease with his rule.

2011: A commercial US satellite company says it has captured a photo of China's first aircraft carrier in the Yellow Sea off China's coast.

2012: A man opens fire inside an elementary school in the north-east state of Connecticut, killing 26 people including 20 children in the second-deadliest school shooting in the US.

TODAY'S BIRTHDAYS

Nostradamus, French astrologer and physician (1503-1566); Tycho Brahe, Danish astronomer (1546-1601); James Bruce, Scottish explorer (1730-1794); Roger Fry, English artist (1866-1934); Shirley Jackson, US author (1919-1965); Lee Remick, US actress (1935-1991); Patty Duke, US actress (1946-2016)

— AP

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