Today is the 301st day of 2012. There are 65 days left in the year.
1977: US President Jimmy Carter rules out any US embargo on trade with South Africa or any ban on US investments to protest its racial policies.
1807: Spain and France agree to conquer Portugal.
1871: Britain annexes the diamond fields of Kimberly, South Africa.
1904: The first rapid transit subway opens in New York City.
1922: Southern Rhodesia referendum rejects joining Union of South Africa.
1938: US company DuPont, announces the invention of nylon.
1961: US and Soviet tanks are brought to the border between East and West Berlin because of a decree ordering all foreigners to submit to identity controls on entering East Berlin.
1966: The UN General Assembly proclaims termination of South Africa's mandate over Southwest Africa.
1987: South Korean voters approve a new constitution, clearing the way for the first direct presidential elections in 16 years.
1999: Up to five gunmen seize Armenia's parliament in a torrent of automatic weapons fire, killing the prime minister and seven others before taking dozens hostage.
2001: Britain announces it will provide up to 600 special forces for operations in Afghanistan in a sign that allied forces are preparing for a sustained campaign of raids.
2002: Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva wins Brazil's presidential runoff election, becoming the nation's first leftist and working-class president.
2004: Pleading they cannot properly defend an unwilling client, Slobodan Milosevic's court-appointed lawyers ask to quit, leaving the UN tribunal in a dilemma over how to conclude the most important war crimes trial in half a century in a way history will judge as fair.
2006: Germany's military suspends two soldiers from duty in connection with photos of troops posing with a skull in Afghanistan.
2007: Astronauts add a new room to the international space station, attaching a bus-sized living compartment named Harmony with the help of spacewalkers working outside and robot arm operators working inside.
2008: Mexicans would live an average of two months longer if they breathed cleaner air, Harvard researchers conclude. The study found that some 7,600 people's lives were cut short each year by diseases related to air pollution between 2001-2005, representing about 1.6 percent of annual deaths in Mexico.
Niccolo Paganini, Italian composer (1782-1840); Gen Fructuoso Rivera, first president of Uruguay (1784-1854); Theodore Roosevelt, US president (1858-1919); Dylan Thomas, British poet (1914-1953); John Cleese, British actor (1939-); Peter Martins, Danish dancer (1946-); Simon LeBon, English pop singer (1958-); Roberto Benigni, Italian actor/director (1952-).