Today is the 300th day of 2012. There are 66 days left in the year.
1795: The first jackasses arrive in America through Boston Harbor as a gift from the King of Spain to US President George Washington, so they could be mated with mares to produce America's first native mules.
1896: Italy concedes Ethiopia's independence by Treaty of Addis Ababa after a crushing defeat at Adwa earlier in the year.
1917: Brazil declares war against Germany in World War I.
1955: Republic of South Vietnam is proclaimed under Ngo Dinh Diem.
1962: Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev offers to withdraw missiles from Cuba if US removes bases in Turkey, but is rebuffed.
1975: Anwar Sadat becomes the first Egyptian president to pay an official visit to the US.
1979: South Korea's President Park Chung-Hee is slain by his lifelong friend Kim Jae Kyu, the head of the Korean intelligence agency.
1987: US President Ronald Reagan announces an embargo on all US imports from Iran because of its "unprovoked attacks" on American military forces and merchant ships.
1990: President Alberto Fujimori announces a plan to employ free market incentives as a way to stop Peruvian farmers from their economic dependence on growing coca, the plant used to make cocaine.
1992: An elaborate pageant for Queen Elizabeth II in celebration of the 40th anniversary of her accession to the British throne is held in London.
1994: Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin of Israel and Prime Minister Abdel Salam Majali of Jordan sign a peace treaty ending 46 years of hostility.
1996: As eastern Zaire slides into chaos, the United Nations evacuates aid workers from the camp in Bukavu, leaving half a million Hutu refugees from Rwanda to fend for themselves.
1999: Britain's House of Lords votes to end the right of hereditary peers to sit and vote in Britain's upper chamber of Parliament.
2000: Supporters of Ivory Coast's president-elect and his political rival fight bloody clashes in Abidjan over a demand for new presidential elections.
2001: US President George W Bush signs a sweeping anti-terrorism bill into law, giving police and intelligence agencies vast new powers.
2007: Nine French citizens who are a part of the group L'Arche de Zoe are arrested in Chad after the group tried to fly more than 100 African children to France, saying it wanted to save them from the crisis in neighboring Darfur.
2009: One of Fidel Castro's sisters says in a memoir that she collaborated with the CIA against her brother, starting shortly after the US' failed Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba in 1961.
2010: A volcanic eruption and a tsunami kill scores of people hundreds of kilometres apart in Indonesia — spasms from the Pacific "Ring of Fire", which spawns disasters from deep within the Earth.
Domenico Scarlatti, Italian composer (1685-1757); Georges Jacques Danton, French revolutionary leader (1759-1794); William Charles Wentworth, Australian explorer (1790-1872); Mohammed Reza Pahlevi, deposed Shah of Iran (1919-1980); Bob Hoskins, British actor (1942-); Hillary Rodham Clinton, US secretary of state and former US first lady (1947-); Jaclyn Smith, US actress (1945-); Natalie Merchant, US singer (1963-); Keith Urban, Australian country singer (1967-).