Today is the 109th day of 2012. There are 257 days left in the year.
1924: Simon and Schuster publishes the first crossword puzzle book in the US.
1858: A 60-day-long rainfall begins in Chicago.
1906: Earthquake rocks San Francisco, California, touching off fires that almost destroy city and killing about 700 people.
1946: The League of Nations comes to an end.
1965: Uganda becomes first non-communist nation to formally denounce US involvement in Vietnam.
1980: The former Rhodesia becomes independent Zimbabwe.
1989: Thousands of Chinese students demanding democracy try to storm Communist Party headquarters in Beijing.
1991: Iraq submits list of chemical and biological weapons capabilities and nuclear facilities to the UN secretary-general.
1993: President Ghulam Ishaq Khan of Pakistan dismisses the government and dissolves parliament, the culmination of a bitter power struggle with the prime minister.
1994: Former US President Richard M Nixon suffers a stroke at his home in Park Ridge, New Jersey. He dies four days later at a New York hospital.
1996: A passenger train collides with a stopped freight train at a railroad station in central India, killing at least 60 people.
1998: The first official talks in four years between North and South Korea end with the two sides unable to resolve a dispute over aid to the starving North and reuniting families.
1999: The 25th straight day of NATO attacks on Yugoslavia is the most intense yet, with 500 missions pummelling refineries, bridges and dozens of other targets.
2003: The leaders of Taiwan's two main opposition parties, Lien Chan of the Nationalist Party and James Soong of the People First Party, announce plans to run together in a presidential election scheduled for March 2004 against incumbent Chen Shui-bian.
2006: The UN health agency says that about 9,300 people are likely to die of cancers caused by radiation from the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster, while a report from Greenpeace put the potential toll 10 times higher.
2008: The son of the Dutch defence chief Gen Peter van Uhm is killed by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan, casting a cloud over Dutch involvement in NATO's mission just months after the Netherlands reluctantly agreed to extend its mission.
Leopold Stokowski, English-born conductor (1882-1977); Franz von Suppe,
Austrian-born composer (1819-1895); Ian Smith, Rhodesian leader (1919-
2007); Tadeusz Mazowiecki, first post-communist prime minister of Poland
(1927-); Hayley Mills, British actress (1946-); James Woods, US actor (1947-);
Maria Bello, US actress (1967-); America Ferrara, US actress (1984-).