Today is the 262st day of 2012. There are 104 days left in the year.
2008: Somchai Wongsawat is inaugurated as Thailand's prime minister.
1759: The French formally surrender Quebec to the British.
1793: George Washington lays the US Capitol Building's cornerstone in Washington.
1810: Chile declares its independence from Spain.
1850: US Congress passes the Fugitive Slave Act, which allows slave owners to reclaim slaves who escaped to free states.
1851: The New York Times newspaper publishes its first issue.
1927: The Columbia Phonograph Broadcasting System — later CBS — debuts in the US with a network of 16 radio stations.
1947: The US National Security Act, unifying the Navy, Army and newly formed Air Force goes into effect.
1948: Indonesian Communists set up Soviet-style government in Java but are forced to withdraw.
1955: At least 166 people are killed, 100 go missing and 1,000 are injured due to destructive winds and floods in the central and northern Gulf Coast area of Mexico where Hurricane Hilda struck.
1973: East Germany, West Germany and the Bahamas are admitted to the UN.
1975: Newspaper heiress Patricia Hearst is captured by the FBI in San Francisco, 19 months after being kidnapped by the Symbionese Liberation Army and then becoming one of its members.
2005: Afghans choose a legislature for the first time in decades, embracing their newly recovered democratic rights and braving threats of Taliban attacks to cast votes in schools, tents and mosques.
2009: Tens of thousands of protesters — many decked out in the green colors of the reform movement and chanting "Death to the dictator!" — rally in defiance of Iran's Islamic leadership, clashing with police and confronting state-run anti-Israel rallies.
2011: Dominique Strauss-Kahn breaks his silence four months after a New York hotel maid accused him of sexual assault, calling his encounter with the woman a "moral failing" he deeply regrets.
Samuel Johnson, English poet-critic (1709-1784); Jean-Bernard-Leon Foucault,
French scientist (1819-1868); Greta Garbo, Swedish-born actress (1905-1990);
Agnes Demille, US dancer/choreographer (1905-1993); Kwame Nkrumah,
Ghanaian statesman (1909-1972); Robert Blake, US actor (1933-); Dee Dee
Ramone, US rock musician (1952-2002).