Today is the 258th day of 2012. There are 108 days left in the year.
1752: Britain adopts Gregorian calendar.
1770: Freedom of the press is allowed in Denmark.
1814: Francis Scott Key writes America's national anthem, The Star Spangled Banner.
1923: Miguel Primo de Rivera assumes dictatorship in Spain.
1948: A ground-breaking ceremony takes place in New York at the site of the UN world headquarters.
1959: The Soviet space probe Luna 2 becomes the first man-made object to reach the moon.
1960: Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries is founded.
1982: Princess Grace of Monaco, formerly actress Grace Kelly, dies at age 52 of injuries from a car crash the day before.
1993: Israel and Jordan sign an "agenda for peace" in Washington. One day after Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organisation signed their interim accord for Palestinian self-rule.
1994: Tropical storms in north-central Africa kill about 100 people.
1996: Bosnia holds its first post-war election.
2006: Germany ordains its first rabbis since World War II — an event hailed as a milestone in the rebirth of Jewish life in the nation.
2007: Vladimir Putin rewrites the rules for Russia's closely watched presidential succession and names his new prime minister, Viktor Zubkov.
2009: In a case that altered airport security worldwide, three British Muslims are imprisoned for at least 30 years each for a plot to kill thousands by blowing up trans-Atlantic airliners with liquid explosives hidden in soda bottles.
Maria Luigi Cherubini, Italian composer (1760-1842); Alexander von Humboldt, German astronomer-explorer (1769-1859); Ivan Pavlov, Russian physiologist (1849-1936); Alice Stone Blackwell, US women's suffragist (1857-1950); Margaret Sanger, US birth control pioneer (1879-1966); Zoe Caldwell, Australian actress (1933-); Sam Neill, Irish actor (1947-); Amy Winehouse, singer/songwriter (1983-2011).