Today is the 209th day of 2012. There are 157 days left in the year.
1940: Billboard magazine begins publishing its best-seller charts of albums and singles;
1795: Spain signs peace treaty with France, ceding its part of Santo Domingo.
1839: Opium War between China and Britain begins after Chinese authorities seize and burn British cargoes of opium.
1940: Bugs Bunny makes his film debut in the US in the Warner Brothers release called A Wild Hare.
1953: An armistice is signed at Panmunjom, after three years of negotiations. The agreement, in practice, ends the Korean War.
1978: UN Security Council endorses Western plan for ending guerrilla warfare in Southwest Africa and making it independent new state of Namibia.
1980: The deposed Shah of Iran dies at a military hospital outside Cairo, Egypt, at age 60.
1991: Albert Zafy, the top opposition leader in Madagascar, is arrested and thousands of his supporters protest in a central square.
1993: The Bosnian factions meet in Geneva for their first direct talks on a Serbo-Croat plan for a confederation of three ethnic mini-states.
2000: In Fiji a new cabinet is sworn in, with hopes of restoring calm to the island nation wracked by unrest from a May 19 coup.
2002: Iran's Revolutionary Court, a conservative institution controlled by unelected clerics, disbands the Iran Freedom Party, a religious nationalist opposition party, and sentences 33 of its members to jail for "acting against national security".
2003: American cyclist Lance Armstrong wins the 100th Tour de France for the fifth year in a row, tying him with Spain's Miguel Indurain for the most consecutive wins.
2005: India's financial capital is shut down by the strongest rains ever recorded in Indian history, with the intense deluge — 37 inches (94 centimetres) in one day.
2006: Former Haitian Prime Minister Yvon Neptune is released from jail, more than two years after his arrest on charges of orchestrating the killing of political opponents at the start of a rebellion that engulfed the country.
2007: Bhutan's prime minister and six members of his Cabinet resign to pave the way for the first parliamentary elections in the Buddhist kingdom and its transition to democracy.
2008: Iran hangs 29 people after they have been convicted of murder, drug trafficking and other crimes.
2010: A US audit has found that the Pentagon cannot account for over 95 per cent of $9.1 billion in
Iraq reconstruction money, spotlighting Iraqi complaints that there is little to show for the massive funds pumped into their cash-strapped, war-ravaged nation.
2011: Britain has officially recognised Libya's main opposition group as the country's legitimate government, the UK foreign secretary says, announcing the expulsion of all diplomats loyal to Moammar Gadhafi's regime.
Kukai, Japanese Buddhist saint (774-835); Ludovico Sforza, Italian Renaissance
prince (1452-1508); Enrique Granados, Spanish composer (1867-1916); Ernst
Dohnanyi, Hungarian composer (1877-1960); Geoffrey De Havilland, English
aircraft designer (1882-1965); Leo Durocher, US baseball manager (1906-1991);
Norman Lear, US TV producer (1922-); Jerry Van Dyke, US actor (1931-); Bobbie
Gentry, country singer (1944-); Pete Yorn, rock singer/songwriter (1974-);
Jonathan Rhys Meyers, British actor (1977-).