Today is the 240th day of 2012. There are 126 days left in the year
1828: Uruguay is formally proclaimed independent at preliminary peace talks between Brazil and Argentina.
1789: French National Assembly adopts Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, proclaiming that "men are born and remain free and equal in rights".
1883: The most powerful volcanic eruption ever recorded blows apart Mount Krakatau in the Sunda Straits, Indonesia. Shock waves travel around the earth and tidal waves kill an estimated 36,000 people.
1969: Israeli commando force penetrates deep into Egyptian territory to stage mortar attack on regional army headquarters in Nile Valley of Upper Egypt.
1975: The governor of Portuguese Timor abandons the capital of Dili and flees to Atauro Island, leaving the control of Timor to a rebel group.
1979: British war hero Lord Louis Mountbatten is killed off the coast of Ireland in a boat explosion; the Irish Republican Army claims responsibility. Two other bomb attacks kill 18 British soldiers.
1990: The five permanent members of the UN Security Council agree to a plan to end the 11-year-old Cambodian civil war. The plan would take effect only with the approval of the four warring factions.
1991: During session of national legislature, Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev appeals to 15 Soviet republics to at least preserve military and economic union.
1994: Algeria closes its border with Morocco in an escalating dispute over the arrest of two Algerians accused of plotting to attack Moroccan banks, security forces and civilians.
2002: A judge in Tokyo District Court issues a ruling acknowledging Japan engaged in biological warfare in China in World War II and conducted experiments on Chinese prisoners of war.
2004: Armed with knives, Eritrean deportees hijacked a plane that left Libya carrying about 80 fellow Eritreans and forced it to land in the Sudanese capital before surrendering to security forces.
2005: Right-wing paramilitary warlords formally surrender control of a government-granted safe haven in northwest Colombia, in what officials say is a step toward wrapping up demobilisation talks with the government.
2009: Fighting reportedly breaks out between an ethnic militia and government security forces in northeastern Myanmar, breaching a two-decade ceasefire.
2010: Cuba issues a pair of surprising free-market decrees, allowing foreign investors to lease government land for up to 99 years — potentially touching off a golf-course building boom — and loosening state controls on commerce to let islanders grow and sell their own fruit and vegetables.