Today is the 331st day of 2012. There are 35 days left in the year.
1992: Britain's Queen Elizabeth II announces she would start paying taxes on her personal income and take her children off the national payroll.
1095: Pope Urban urges the faithful to wrest the Holy Land from the Muslims, heralding start of Crusades.
1580: Peace of Fleix ends Seventh War of Religion in France.
1648: Pope Innocent X condemns Peace of Westphalia, which ended 30 Years War one month earlier.
1789: A day of Thanksgiving is set aside by US President George Washington to observe the adoption of America's Constitution.
1812: French army meets disaster in retreating across Russia's Beresina River.
1825: The first US college social fraternity, Kappa Alpha, is formed at Union College in Schenectady, New York.
1857: First Australian Parliament opens in Melbourne.
1896: Russia discloses plan to seize Constantinople if Britain intervenes in Crete.
1922: King Tutankhamen's tomb is opened in Egypt.
1939: Soviet Union attacks Finland leading to 105-day Winter War.
1940: Half-million Jews of Warsaw, Poland, are ordered to live within a walled ghetto.
1942: The film Casablanca, starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman, has its world premiere at the Hollywood Theater in New York.
1943: The HMT Rohna, a British transport ship carrying US soldiers, is hit by a German missile off Algeria; 1,138 men are killed, including 1,015 American troops.
1949: India adopts constitution as federal republic within British Commonwealth.
1950: China enters the Korean conflict, launching a counteroffensive against soldiers from the United Nations, the United States and South Korea.
1965: France launches its first satellite, sending a 41-kilogramme (92-pound) capsule into orbit.
1967: Death toll is put at 250 in floods in central Portugal.
1970: A Bolivian painter, disguised as a priest, tries to kill Pope Paul VI in Manila, Philippines, but pontiff escapes injury.
1975: A federal jury in Sacramento, California, finds Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme, a follower of Charles Manson, guilty of trying to assassinate US President Gerald Ford.
1986: Iranian missile slams into crowded residential district of Baghdad, Iraq, killing 48 civilians and wounding 52.
1987: Powerful typhoon whips across Philippines, killing 270 people and damaging or destroying 14,000 homes.
1990: Five permanent members of UN Security Council agree on peace plan for Cambodia.
1991: UNICEF says fighting and crop failures in southern Sudan have forced unprecedented exodus of 200,000 people.
1992: An aid agency predicts disaster if the United States sends a large military force to Somalia; Britain's Queen Elizabeth II announces she would start paying taxes on her personal income and take her children off the national payroll.
1993: A US diplomat is kidnapped by Yemeni tribesmen. Government officials negotiate for his release in the first known kidnapping of a diplomat in faction-ridden Yemen.
1996: Supporters of President Alexander Lukashenko break away from Belarus' Parliament, setting up their own assembly.
1998: The Supreme Court of Canada rules that authorities at elementary and secondary schools have the right to search a student without first obtaining a search warrant.
1999: A Norwegian high-speed passenger ferry carrying 85 people sinks in the North Sea off western Norway, killing 16 people.
2000: Florida certifies George W. Bush as the winner of the state's electoral votes for the US presidential election. US Vice-President and Democratic rival Al Gore challenges the decision.
2001: Former French intelligence chief General Paul Aussaressess says in testimony that the orders he issued to torture and kill prisoners during the Algerian independence war were justifiable acts of duty.
2002: Attorney Gloria Allred asks California authorities to investigate singer Michael Jackson because of news videotape of the star holding his baby son over a fourth-floor railing at a hotel in Germany.
2009: Dubai is now so swamped in debt that it is asking for a six-month reprieve on paying its bills -- causing a drop on world markets and raising questions about Dubai's reputation as a magnet for international investment.
Eugene Ionesco, Romanian-born French dramatist (1909-1994); Bruce Paltrow,
U.S. director/producer (1943-2002); Tina Turner, US pop singer (1939-); Illona
Staller (La Cicciolina), porn star and Italian member of Parliament (1951-).