Today is the 186th day of 2012. There are 180 days left in the year.
1893: Norman Washington Manley — who along with his cousin Alexander Bustamante are the Founding Fathers of Jamaica's Independence — is born in Roxborough, Manchester. As a young man Manley served in WWI, was awarded a Rhodes scholarship, practised law, and later founded the left-wing People's National Party. He is one of Jamaica's national heroes.
1776: American Declaration of Independence is approved by the Continental Congress in Philadelphia. The day is now Independence Day in the US.
1779: French forces take Grenada in West Indies from the British, who retake it four years later.
1946: Republic of the Philippines is founded after 47 years of US rule.
1957: V Molotov, DJ Shepilov and GM Malenkov are expelled from the leadership of the Soviet Communist Party after trying to remove Nikita Khrushchev.
1974: Ethiopia's Emperor Haile Selassie agrees to military supervision of his government and speedup of democratic reforms.
1990: Kremlin lifts 10-week ban on rail transport of foodstuffs into Lithuania, ending an effort to quell republic's independence movement.
1994: Tutsi rebels seize most of Kigali and another key city in Rwanda, ending the worst of the genocide by Hutu militants in those areas.
2001: Congolese President Joseph Kabila and Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni meet for first face-to-face peace talks in Tanzania as part of an effort to end the three-year war in Congo.
2004: Indonesia's young democracy holds its first direct presidential election, coming six years after President Suharto's 32-year dictatorship was overthrown.
2006: North Korea test-fires a long-range missile and four shorter range missiles in an exercise the US terms "a provocation" but not an immediate threat.
2008: Italy grants Pompeii emergency status, a move that will allow authorities to appoint a special commissioner to oversee the site's preservation and management.
2009: North Korea launches seven ballistic missiles into waters off its east coast in a show of military firepower that defies U.N. resolutions and draws global expressions of condemnation and concern.
Nathaniel Hawthorne, US author (1804-1882); Giuseppe Garibaldi, Italian soldier-statesman (1807-1882); Louis Armstrong, US jazz musician (1900-1971); Neil Simon, U.S. playwright (1927-); Geraldo Rivera, TV personality/news correspondent (1943-); John Waite, singer (1955-).