Today is the 289th day of 2012. There are 77 days left in the year.
1990: Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev is awarded Nobel Peace Prize.
1529: Suleiman I, Sultan of Turkey, is forced to end siege of Vienna.
1583: The Gregorian calendar goes into effect in the Papal States by decree of Pope Gregory XIII and is soon adopted in other countries.
1917: Mata Hari, a Dutch dancer who spied for the Germans, is executed by a firing squad outside Paris.
1928: German dirigible Graf Zeppelin makes the first commercial flight across the Atlantic Ocean, landing at Lakehurst, New Jersey, in the US
1946: Former head of the Nazi air force, Hermann Goering, sentenced to death as a war criminal, commits suicide by poison hours before his scheduled execution.
1951: The situation comedy I Love Lucy starring Lucille Ball premieres in the United States on CBS television.
1964: Soviet leader Nikita S Khrushchev is removed from office and replaced as premier by Alexei N Kosygin and as Communist Party secretary by Leonid I Brezhnev.
1965: The first draft card is burned in the United States as an anti-Vietnam War protest.
1968: Soviet Union and Czechoslovakia sign a treaty allowing Soviet troops to remain in Czechoslovakia.
1969: US peace demonstrators stage activities across the country, including a candlelight march around the White House, as part of a moratorium against the Vietnam War.
1970: Canadian troops move into Montreal and Quebec City following upsurge of Quebec separatist terrorism.
1974: Israel denounces as illegal a decision by the UN General Assembly to invite the Palestine Liberation Organisation to participate in debate on Palestinian issue.
1978: Syrian troops agree to withdraw from several key positions in Christian east Beirut under an agreement worked out by seven Arab nations.
1981: Two US surveillance planes arrive over Egyptian airspace to demonstrate increased US support for Egyptian and Sudanese security against any hostile moves by Libya.
1987: Fiji's governor general resigns, ending decade of allegiance by the South Pacific island to British crown.
1989: Thousands of blacks hold "victory marches" in South Africa to celebrate the imminent release of eight political prisoners, including Walter Sisulu.
1991: Clarence Thomas narrowly wins confirmation as a justice of the US Supreme Court, overcoming accusations of sexual harassment.
1992: Andrei Chikatilo is sentenced to die in Russia after committing at least 52 sadistic murders.
1993: US scientists report that gene therapy is effective in correcting the underlying molecular defect believed to cause cystic fibrosis.
1994: Democratically elected President Jean-Bertrand Aristide returns to Haiti after US troops landed there in September.
1996: Italy's highest court orders the retrial of Erich Priebke, a former Nazi officer who was acquitted in World War II slaying of 335 civilians in Rome.
1997: Rebels, backed by foreign troops, enter Brazzaville in the Republic of Congo, ending President Pascal Lissouba's four-month struggle to remain in power.
1999: Pakistan's army chief, General Pervez Musharraf, declares a state of emergency and names himself chief executive, two days after he and his troops ousted the democratically elected government in a bloodless coup.
2000: Oil companies evacuate 132 employees from Ecuador's Amazon region after the kidnapping of 10 foreign oil workers.
2006: Thousands of people are evacuated from their homes in the central German city of Hanover as experts dispose of three freshly unearthed World War II bombs.
2007: European Union foreign ministers give their final approval to deploy a 3,000-strong EU peacekeeping force for one year to help refugees and displaced people living along the borders of Sudan's Darfur region with Chad and the Central African Republic.
2008: Thousands of Christians from around the world march in a colourful holiday parade in Jerusalem to commemorate a Jewish holiday and show their support for Israel.
2009: Islamist militants launch coordinated assaults on three police compounds in Lahore, Pakistan's second largest city, the latest in a wave of attacks by insurgents bringing the war to the country's heartland ahead of an expected offensive against their Afghan border sanctuary.
2010: Workers hug, cheer and set off fireworks as the huge drill breaks through the last stretch of rock deep in the Swiss Alps. There was delight at the end of the tunnel — the world's longest — when it is completed.
2011: The United States raises the tempo in its war against al-Qaeda in Yemen, killing nine of the terror group's militants in the second, high-profile airstrike in as many weeks. The dead in the strike included the son of Anwar al-Awlaki, the prominent American-Yemeni militant killed in a September 30 attack.
Virgil, Roman poet (70 BC-19 BC); Evangelista Torricelli, Italian inventor of
barometer (1608-1647); Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche, German philosopher
(1844-1900); P(elham) G(renville) Wodehouse, British-American writer (1881-
1975); Richard Carpenter, US singer/drummer (1946-); Penny Marshall, US