Today is the 287th day of 2012. There are 79 days left in the year.
1923: Ankara, formerly Angora, becomes the new capital of Turkey.
1792: The cornerstone of the Executive Mansion, later known as the White House, is laid during a ceremony in Washington, DC.
1880: Transvaal declares independence from Britain.
1889: Boers rebel against British in South Africa.
1957: The East German government seals its borders and recalls all East-mark holdings for conversion into a new currency.
1969: Soviet Union sends third spacecraft into orbit in as many days, putting seven cosmonauts in space.
1970: Canada and China announce they will establish diplomatic relations. Taiwan promptly breaks ties with Canada.
1981: Voters in Egypt participate in a referendum to elect Vice President Hosni Mubarak as the new president, one week after the assassination of Anwar Sadat.
1987: Costa Rica's President Oscar Arias Sanchez wins Nobel Peace Prize for sponsoring a plan to end civil wars in Central America.
1988: Egyptian author Naguib Mahfouz becomes first Arabic-language writer to win Nobel Prize for literature.
1992: The pyramids, the Sphinx and other monuments survive a Cairo earthquake that kills at least 400 and injures more than 4,000.
1994: In the largest deal between software firms, Intuit Inc accepts a US$1.5 billion takeover offer from Microsoft Corp.
1996: In response to strikes in its Canadian plants, General Motors Corp lays off more than 1,300 workers at its Cadillac assembly plant outside Detroit.
1997: Queen Elizabeth II begins visit to India to mark the 50th anniversary of the subcontinent's independence from Britain.
1999: French lawmakers adopt a law giving unwed gay and straight couples the same rights previously limited to the married. Similar legislation already exists in several European countries.
2000: Muslim Christian riots result in the deaths of 13 Nigerians in the capital Lagos.
2006: Bangladeshi economist Muhammad Yunus and the Grameen Bank he founded win the Nobel Peace Prize for their pioneering use of tiny loans — microcredit — to lift millions out of poverty.
2008: Police fire tear gas at thousands of angry pro-Serb Montenegrins who pelt state buildings with rocks and flares to protest their government's recognition of Kosovo's independence. At least 34 are injured.
2010: With remarkable speed — and flawless execution — miner after miner climbs into a cramped cage deep beneath the Chilean earth, and is hoisted through 2,000 feet (610 metres) of rock and sees precious sunlight after the longest underground entrapment in history.
Yves Montand, Italian-born French singer-actor (1921-1991); Margaret Thatcher, British prime minister (1925-); Paul Simon, US singer (1941-); Marie Osmond, US actress/singer (1959-); Sacha Baron Cohen, British actor (1971-).