Today is the 288th day of 2012.
There are 78 days left in the year.
2008: Syria formally recognises Lebanon by establishing diplomatic relations with the nation.
1933: Germany leaves disarmament conference and League of Nations.
1936: Belgium renounces military alliance with France.
1944: German Field Marshal Erwin Rommel commits suicide rather than face execution for allegedly conspiring against Adolf Hitler.
1947: US Air Force Capt Chuck Yeager becomes the first person to fly faster than sound as he tests a rocket-powered research plane over California.
1964: US civil rights leader Reverend Dr Martin Luther King Jr wins the Nobel Peace Prize.
1968: The first live telecast from a manned US spacecraft is transmitted from Apollo 7.
1973: Sanya Thammasak, university administrator, is named premier of Thailand after violent clashes between troops and students.
1986: Holocaust survivor and human rights advocate Elie Wiesel wins the Nobel Peace Prize.
1992: A judge in Rostov-on-Don, Russia convicts Andrei Chikatilo of the sex murders of 52 children and young women over a 12-year period. The horrific nature of the crimes makes Chikatilo one of the worst serial killers in history.
1995: Greece lifts its embargo on the former Yugoslav republic of Macedonia, which agrees to change its flag and declare that it has no claims on Greek territory.
2000: Alija Izetbegovic, who led the Bosnian Muslims through Europe's bloodiest conflict since World War II, resigns from the Bosnian presidency, leaving power in a manner rare in the Balkans.
2003: John Allen Muhammad, one of two suspects in a series of October 2002 sniper shootings in the Washington, DC area that killed 10 people and wounded three others, pleads not guilty to four murder charges.
2006: The UN Security Council votes unanimously to impose punishing sanctions on North Korea for its claimed nuclear test, declaring that its action posed "a clear threat to international peace and security."
2009: Iraq's government says at least 85,000 Iraqis were killed from 2004 to 2008, officially answering one of the biggest questions of the conflict — how many perished in the sectarian violence that nearly led to a civil war.
2011: Britain's defence minister Liam Fox quits his post after days of allegations about the influence-peddling of a close personal friend who joined key visits overseas and posed as an unofficial aide.
Eamon de Valera, Irish statesman (1882-1975); Dwight D Eisenhower, US general and 34th US president (1890-1969); Mobuto Sese Seko, Zairian dictator (1930-1997), Cliff Richard, British singer (1940-); Roger Moore, British actor (1927-).