Today is the 235th day of 2012. There are 131 days left in the year.
2008: The Jamaican men's team consisting of Nesta Carter, Michael Frater, Usain Bolt and Asafa Powell clocked a World Record time of 37.10 seconds in the finals of the 4 x 100 relay in Beijing, China earning a gold medal. The corresponding women's team is disqualified for their event.
1642: English Civil War begins when King Charles I brands parliament and its soldiers as traitors.
1654: Jacob Barsimson, said to be the first Jewish immigrant to America, lands at New Amsterdam.
1788: British found settlement in Sierra Leone, Africa, as asylum for freed slaves.
1851: The schooner America beats the Aurora off the English coast to win a trophy that became known as the America's Cup.
1911: Leonardo da Vinci painting Mona Lisa is stolen from Louvre Museum in Paris, France. It is recovered in Italy in 1913.
1963: Five exiled relatives of King Saud, including Prince Talal, his half-brother, petition the Saudi Arabian embassy in Beirut, Lebanon, for permission to return to Saudi Arabia. They had been exiled in 1962 after forming a Saudi Liberation Front in Cairo in opposition to the king.
1972: Rhodesia is asked to withdraw from 20th Summer Olympic Games because of its racial policies.
1990: Scores of angry smokers block street near Moscow's Red Square for hours in protest of summer-long cigarette shortage in the Russian capital.
1993: Former Prime Minister Kasdi Merbah of Algeria, an advocate of dialogue with violent Islamic extremists, is assassinated in an ambush that also killed his son, brother and two others.
1994: Ernesto Zedillo, rolling up a commanding presidential victory in Mexico, vows to stick to the free-market course set by his predecessor.
1997: A cyclone in eastern India leaves 200 fishermen missing on the Bay of Bengal. Tidal waves 6 metres (20 feet) high destroy 2,500 homes.
1999: Prince Faisal bin Fahd, the eldest son of Saudi Arabia's King Fahd, dies at 54. The prince was not in line for the throne.
2005: Saboteurs trigger a cascade of blackouts that halts Iraq's entire oil export capacity, a move that costs Baghdad $4.5 million per hour and removes 1.5 million barrels a day from the world market.
2008: Jamaica's last medal of the games came in the women's 4 x 400 m relay. The team of Shericka Williams, Shereefa Lloyd, Rosemarie Whyte and Novlene Williams claimed bronze. This finally gave Jamaica a medal tally of 6 golds, 3 silvers and 2 bronzes, smashing the previous national record that was set in 1952, and finishing 13th in the medal table.
2010: All 33 Chilean miners trapped deep underground for 17 days are found alive. A probe sent some 2,257 feet (688 metres) deep into the collapsed mine early in the morning comes back with a handwritten note: "All 33 of us are fine in the shelter".
2011: Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi is nowhere to be found as his 42-year rule teeters on the brink of collapse. Months of NATO airstrikes have left his Bab al-Aziziya compound in Tripoli largely demolished. Most of his security forces fled or surrendered when rebel forces rolled into the capital and took control of most of the city.
— Jamaica Observer and AP
Claude Debussy, French composer (1862-1918); Dorothy Parker, U.S. writer/poet (1893-1967); Leni Riefenshtal, German filmmaker (1902-
2003); Deng Xiaoping, Chinese leader (1904-1997); Henri Cartier- Bresson, French photographer (1908-2004); Arthur Sackler, US
physician (1913-1987); Karlheinz Stockhausen, German composer (1928-2007); Ray Bradbury, author (1920-2012); Tori Amos, US