Today is Tuesday, Dec. 30, the 364th day of 2014. There is one day left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On Dec. 30, 1922, Vladimir I. Lenin proclaimed the establishment of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, which lasted nearly seven decades before dissolving in Dec. 1991.
On this date:
In 1813, British troops burned Buffalo, New York, during the War of 1812.
In 1853, the United States and Mexico signed a treaty under which the U.S. agreed to buy some 45,000 square miles of land from Mexico for $10 million in a deal known as the Gadsden Purchase.
In 1903, about 600 people died when fire broke out at the recently opened Iroquois Theater in Chicago.
In 1936, the United Auto Workers union staged its first “sit-down” strike at the General Motors Fisher Body Plant No. 1 in Flint, Michigan. (The strike lasted until Feb. 11, 1937.)
In 1944, King George II of Greece proclaimed a regency to rule his country, virtually renouncing the throne.
In 1954, Olympic gold medal runner Malvin G. Whitfield became the first black recipient of the James E. Sullivan Award for amateur athletes.
In 1965, Ferdinand Marcos was inaugurated for his first term as president of the Philippines.
In 1979, Broadway composer Richard Rodgers died in New York at age 77.
In 1989, a Northwest Airlines DC-10, which had been the target of a telephoned threat, flew safely from Paris to Detroit with 22 passengers amid extra-tight security.
In 1994, a gunman walked into a pair of suburban Boston abortion clinics and opened fire, killing two employees. (John C. Salvi III was later convicted of murder; he died in prison, an apparent suicide.)
In 1999, former Beatle George Harrison fought off a knife-wielding intruder who broke into his mansion west of London and stabbed him in the chest. (Michael Abram was later acquitted of attempted murder by reason of insanity.)
In 2006, Iraqis awoke to news that Saddam Hussein had been hanged; victims of his three decades of autocratic rule took to the streets to celebrate.
Ten years ago: Democrat Christine Gregoire was declared victor of Washington’s gubernatorial election over Republican Dino Rossi by 129 votes out of more than 2.8 million cast. A fire broke out during a rock concert at a nightclub in Buenos Aires, Argentina, killing 194 people. Bandleader and clarinetist Artie Shaw died in Thousand Oaks, California, at age 94.
Five years ago: Seven CIA employees and a Jordanian intelligence officer were killed by a suicide bomber at a U.S. base in Khost, Afghanistan. British contractor Peter Moore was freed more than two years after he was abducted outside Iraq’s Finance Ministry. Former Indonesian President Abdurrahman Wahid, 69, who had ruled after the fall of dictator Suharto, died in Jakarta.
One year ago: Six states were named by federal officials to develop test sites for drones: Alaska, Nevada, New York, North Dakota, Texas and Virginia. Barely 12 hours after the NFL’s regular season ended, four more head coaches were fired: Washington’s Mike Shanahan, Detroit’s Jim Schwartz, Minnesota’s Leslie Frazier and Tampa Bay’s Greg Schiano. (Cleveland’s Rob Chudzinski had been fired the night before).
Today’s Birthdays: Actor Joseph Bologna is 80. Actor Russ Tamblyn is 80. Baseball Hall-of-Famer Sandy Koufax is 79. Actor Jack Riley is 79. Folk singer Noel Paul Stookey is 77. TV director James Burrows is 74. Actor Fred Ward is 72. Singer-musician Michael Nesmith is 72. Actress Concetta Tomei (toh-MAY’) is 69. Singer Patti Smith is 68. Rock singer-musician Jeff Lynne is 67. TV personality Meredith Vieira is 61. Actress Sheryl Lee Ralph is 59. Actress Patricia Kalember is 58. Country singer Suzy Bogguss is 58. “Today” show co-host Matt Lauer is 57. Actress-comedian Tracey Ullman is 55. Rock musician Rob Hotchkiss is 54. Radio-TV commentator Sean Hannity is 53. Sprinter Ben Johnson is 53. Actor George Newbern is 51. Singer Jay Kay (Jamiroquai) is 45. Rock musician Byron McMackin (Pennywise) is 45. Actress Meredith Monroe is 45. Actor Daniel Sunjata is 43. Actress Maureen Flannigan is 42. Actor Jason Behr is 41. Golfer Tiger Woods is 39. TV personality-boxer Laila Ali is 37. Actress Lucy Punch is 37. Singer-actor Tyrese Gibson is 36. Actress Eliza Dushku is 34. Rock musician Tim Lopez (Plain White T’s) is 34. Actress Kristin Kreuk is 32. Folk-rock singer-musician Wesley Schultz (The Lumineers) is 32. NBA player LeBron James is 30. Pop-rock singer Ellie Goulding (GOL’-ding) is 28. Pop-rock musician Jamie Follese (FAHL’-es-ay) (Hot Chelle (shel) Rae) is 23.
Thought for Today: “I respect faith, but doubt is what gives you an education.” — Wilson Mizner, American playwright (1876-1933).