This Day in History— December 12

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

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Today is the 346th day of 2018. There are 19 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight

1800: Washington, DC, is established as the capital of the United States.

Other Events

1642: Dutch navigator Abel Tasman discovers New Zealand.

1804: Spain declares war on Britain.

1870: Joseph H Rainey of South Carolina takes his seat in the US House of Representatives, becoming the first black congressman.

1875: Sultan of Turkey promises reforms throughout Ottoman Empire to meet rebel demands.

1894: Japanese troops invade Korea.

1899: African American George Grant receives the first patent for a golf tee.

1913: The Mona Lisa is recovered in Italy, two years after it was stolen from the Louvre museum in Paris.

1935: Nationalists demand restitution of Egypt's Constitution of 1923.

1946: A UN committee votes to accept a six-block tract of Manhattan real estate offered as a gift by John D Rockefeller Jr to be the site of UN headquarters.

1953: US test pilot Chuck Yeager reaches Mach 2.3 (2.3 times the speed of sound) in a Bell X-1A rocket plane.

1963: Kenya becomes independent within British Commonwealth and a republic a year later.

1985: An Arrow Air charter flight crashes after take-off from Gander, Newfoundland, killing 248 American soldiers and eight crew members.

2000: The US Supreme Court reverses the Florida Supreme Court's order to begin manual recounts of presidential votes in certain counties and Democrat Al Gore concedes defeat to Republican George W Bush.

2006: Ethiopian dictator Mengistu Haile Mariam, known as “the butcher of Addis Ababa”, is convicted of genocide in a rare case of an African strongman being held to account by his own country.

2012: North Korea successfully launches its first satellite into space, heightening concerns it has moved one step closer to being capable of lobbing nuclear bombs over the Pacific.

2013: The sign language interpreter at Nelson Mandela's memorial says he suffers from schizophrenia and hallucinated while gesturing incoherently just 3 feet (1 metre) away from President Barack Obama and other world leaders, outraging deaf people worldwide who said his signs amounted to gibberish.

Today's Birthdays

John Jay, US revolutionary, diplomat, Supreme Court Justice (1745-1829); Gustave Flaubert, French author (1821-1880);Frank Sinatra, US singer/actor (1915-1998); Bob Barker, US game show host (1923-); Jennifer Connelly, US actress (1970- )

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