Today is the 206th day of 2012. There are 160 days left in the year.
1957: Tunisia becomes independent from France with Habib Bourgiba as president.
1878: China's first diplomatic mission to the US arrives in Washington.
1894: The Sino-Japanese War over influence in Korea is sparked when Japanese navy defeats a Chinese fleet in Kanghwa Bay.
1934: Chancellor Engelbert Dollfuss is assassinated in unsuccessful Nazi coup attempt in Austria.
1943: Benito Mussolini is forced to resign as prime minister of Italy during World War II.
1952: Puerto Rico becomes a selfgoverning commonwealth of the US.
1963: US, the Soviet Union and Britain conclude treaty prohibiting nuclear testing in atmosphere, space or under water.
1968: Pope Paul VI bans all artificial birth control methods for Roman Catholics.
1973: Federal judge rules that US government must halt bombing of Cambodia on grounds it is “unauthorised and unlawful”.
1971: Dr Christiaan Barnard transplants two lungs and a heart into a man in Cape Town, South Africa, and the operation is described as successful.
1991: Mikhail Gorbachev tells Communist Party leaders that building communism in the Soviet Union is no longer a realistic goal and that party must reject “outdated ideological dogmas”.
1998: Government officials say US President Bill Clinton has been subpoenaed to testify in the Monica Lewinsky case.
2002: Zacarias Moussaoui, a French citizen accused of conspiring with 19 hijackers in the Sept 11 attacks, withdraws his guilty plea in a US District Court in Alexandria, Virginia. 2004: Israelis form a human chain stretching 55 miles (90 kilometres) from Gaza to Jerusalem to protest Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's Gaza Strip withdrawal plan, as violence leaves six Palestinian militants dead and five Israeli children wounded in the bloodiest clash in the West Bank in a month.
2006: Thousands of opposition supporters in Congo clash with riot police, burning President Joseph Kabila's campaign posters before historic weekend elections meant to bring lasting peace to the nation. 2008: US President George W Bush signs an executive order to expand sanctions against individuals and organisations in Zimbabwe associated with the regime of President Robert Mugabe.
2009: Protesters around the world call on Iran to end its clampdown on opposition activists, demanding the release of hundreds rounded up during demonstrations against the country's disputed election.
2010: President Hugo Chavez threatens to cut off oil sales to the US if Venezuela is attacked by its US-allied neighbour Colombia in a dispute over allegations Venezuela gives haven to Colombian rebels.
Arthur J Balfour, English statesman (1848-1930); Maxfield Parrish, US illustrator/painter (1870-1966), Davidson Black (1884-1934), Canadian physician/anthropologist, Elias Canetti, Bulgarian writer and Nobel laureate (1905-1994); Estelle Getty, US actress (1923-2008); Iman, Somali model/actress (1955-); Matt LeBlanc, US actor (1967-).