Kihei, Hawaii Whitefish, Montana Bloomington, Minnesota Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria UTC/GMT Iraq Afghanistan Republic of Korea Ocean Grove, Victoria
Optimized for 1280x1024 resolution

Wednesday, December 31, 2008


Today is Wednesday, Dec. 31, the 366th and final day of 2008.

Today's Highlight in History:

  • On Dec. 31, 1879, Thomas Edison first publicly demonstrated his electric incandescent light in Menlo Park, N.J.
  • On this date:
  • In 1775, the British repulsed an attack by Continental Army generals Richard Montgomery and Benedict Arnold at Quebec; Montgomery was killed.
  • In 1857, Britain's Queen Victoria decided to make Ottawa the capital of Canada.
  • In 1877, President Rutherford B. Hayes and his wife, Lucy, celebrated their silver anniversary (actually, a day late) by re-enacting their wedding ceremony in the White House.
  • In 1908, Holocaust survivor and Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal was born in Buczacs in what was then Austria-Hungary.
  • In 1946, President Harry S. Truman officially proclaimed the end of hostilities in World War II.
  • In 1974, private U.S. citizens were allowed to buy and own gold for the first time in more than 40 years.
  • In 1978, Taiwanese diplomats struck their colors for the final time from the embassy flagpole in Washington, marking the end of diplomatic relations with the U.S.
  • In 1985, singer Rick Nelson, 45, and six other people were killed when fire broke out aboard a DC-3 that was taking the group to a New Year's Eve performance in Dallas.
  • In 1986, 97 people were killed when fire broke out in the Dupont Plaza Hotel in San Juan, Puerto Rico. (Three hotel workers later pleaded guilty in connection with the blaze.)
  • In 1997, Michael Kennedy, the 39-year-old son of the late Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, was killed in a skiing accident on Aspen Mountain in Colorado.

Ten years ago:
  • Europe's leaders proclaimed a new era as 11 nations merged currencies to create the euro, a shared money they said would boost business, underpin unity and strengthen their role in world affairs.

Five years ago:
  • A car bomb ripped through a crowded restaurant hosting a New Year's Eve party in Baghdad, killing eight Iraqis.

One year ago:
  • President George W. Bush signed legislation to allow state and local governments to cut investment ties with Sudan because of the violence in Darfur.
  • Sara Jane Moore, who took a shot at President Gerald R. Ford in San Francisco in 1975, was paroled after 32 years behind bars.

Today's Birthdays:
  • TV producer George Schlatter is 79.
  • Actor Sir Anthony Hopkins is 71.
  • Actor Tim Considine ("My Three Sons") is 68.
  • Actress Sarah Miles is 67.
  • Rock musician Andy Summers is 66.
  • Actor Ben Kingsley is 65.
  • Rock musician Peter Quaife (The Kinks) is 65.
  • Producer-director Taylor Hackford is 64.
  • Actor Tim Matheson is 61.
  • Pop singer Burton Cummings (The Guess Who) is 61.
  • Singer Donna Summer is 60.
  • Actor Joe Dallesandro is 60.
  • Rock musician Tom Hamilton (Aerosmith) is 57.
  • Actor James Remar is 55.
  • Actress Bebe Neuwirth is 50.
  • Actor Val Kilmer is 49.
  • Singer Paul Westerberg is 49.
  • Actor Don Diamont is 46.
  • Rock musician Ric Ivanisevich (Oleander) is 46.
  • Rock musician Scott Ian (Anthrax) is 45.
  • Actress Gong Li is 43.
  • Author Nicholas Sparks is 43.
  • Pop singer Joe McIntyre is 36.
  • Rock musician Mikko Siren (Apocalyptica) is 33.
  • Rock musician Bob Bryar (My Chemical Romance) is 29.

Thought for Today:
"In masks outrageous and austere The years go by in single file; But none has merited my fear, And none has quite escaped my smile."
Elinor Wylie, American author (1885-1928).

"Let's all be careful out there!"


"Let's all be careful out there!"

Tuesday, December 30, 2008


Today is Tuesday, Dec. 30, the 365th day of 2008.
There is one day left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

  • On Dec. 30, 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. (The area is located in present-day southern Arizona and southwestern New Mexico.)

On this date:

  • In 1813, the British burned Buffalo, N.Y., during the War of 1812.
  • In 1903, about 600 people died when fire broke out at the recently opened Iroquois Theater in Chicago.
  • In 1907, the Mills Commission issued its final report concluding that Abner Doubleday invented baseball, a finding that few sports historians embrace.
  • In 1922, Vladimir I. Lenin proclaimed the establishment of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.
  • In 1936, the United Auto Workers union staged its first "sit-down" strike, at the Fisher Body Plant No. 1 in Flint, Mich.
  • In 1940, California's first freeway, the Arroyo Seco Parkway connecting Los Angeles and Pasadena, was officially opened.
  • In 1948, the Cole Porter musical "Kiss Me, Kate" opened on Broadway.
  • In 1972, the United States halted its heavy bombing of North Vietnam.
  • In 1994, a gunman walked into a pair of suburban Boston abortion clinics and opened fire, killing two employees and wounding five other people. (John C. Salvi III was later convicted of murder; he died in prison, an apparent suicide.)
  • 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:
  • Weak but radiant with pride, Nkem Chukwu, the mother of the Houston octuplets, went home from the hospital.

Five years ago:
  • The Bush administration announced it was banning the sale of ephedra, and urged consumers to immediately stop using the herbal stimulant linked to 155 deaths and dozens of heart attacks and strokes.
  • Author John Gregory Dunne died in New York City at age 71.

One year ago:
  • Kenya's President Mwai Kibaki was declared the winner of an election that opponents and observers alleged was rigged.
  • The 19-year-old son of assassinated opposition leader Benazir Bhutto, Bilawal Zardari, was named symbolic leader of her Pakistan Peoples Party, while Bhutto's widower took effective control.

Today's Birthdays:
  • Actor Joseph Bologna is 74.
  • Actor Russ Tamblyn is 74.
  • Baseball Hall-of-Famer Sandy Koufax is 73.
  • Actor Jack Riley is 73.
  • Folk singer Paul Stookey is 71.
  • TV director James Burrows is 68.
  • Actor Fred Ward is 66.
  • Singer-musician Michael Nesmith is 66.
  • Singer Davy Jones is 63.
  • Singer Patti Smith is 62.
  • Rock singer-musician Jeff Lynne is 61.
  • "Today Show" co-host Meredith Vieira is 55.
  • Actress Sheryl Lee Ralph is 53.
  • Actress Patricia Kalember is 52.
  • Country singer Suzy Bogguss is 52.
  • Newscaster Matt Lauer is 51.
  • Actress-comedian Tracey Ullman is 49.
  • Rock musician Rob Hotchkiss is 48.
  • Radio-TV commentator Sean Hannity is 47.
  • Runner Ben Johnson is 47.
  • Singer Jay Kay (Jamiroquai) is 39.
  • Rock musician Byron McMackin (Pennywise) is 39.
  • Actress Meredith Monroe is 39.
  • Actor Daniel Sunjata is 37.
  • Actress Maureen Flannigan is 36.
  • Actor Jason Behr is 35.
  • Golfer Tiger Woods is 33.
  • Singer Tyrese is 30.
  • Actress Eliza Dushku is 28.
  • Rock musician Tim Lopez (Plain White T's) is 28.
  • Actress Kristin Kreuk is 26.

Thought for Today:
"Beauty is only skin deep, but ugly goes clear to the bone."

"Let's all be careful out there!"


"Let's all be careful out there!"

Monday, December 29, 2008


Today is Monday, Dec. 29, the 364th day of 2008.
There are 2 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

  • Two hundred years ago, on Dec. 29, 1808, the 17th president of the United States, Andrew Johnson, was born in Raleigh, N.C.

On this date:

  • In 1170, Thomas Becket, the Archbishop of Canterbury, was murdered in Canterbury Cathedral by knights loyal to King Henry II.
  • In 1845, Texas was admitted as the 28th state.
  • In 1851, the first American Young Men's Christian Association was organized, in Boston.
  • In 1890, the Wounded Knee massacre took place in South Dakota as an estimated 300 Sioux Indians were killed by US troops sent to disarm them.
  • In 1916, Grigory Rasputin, the so-called "Mad Monk" who'd wielded great influence with Czar Nicholas II, was murdered by a group of Russian noblemen in St. Petersburg.
  • In 1934, Japan formally denounced the Washington Naval Treaty of 1922.
  • In 1940, during World War II, Germany dropped incendiary bombs on London, setting off what came to be known as "The Second Great Fire of London."
  • In 1957, singers Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme were married in Las Vegas, Nevada.
  • In 1975, a bomb exploded in the main terminal of New York's LaGuardia Airport, killing 11 people.
  • In 1978, during the Gator Bowl, Ohio State University coach Woody Hayes punched Clemson player Charlie Bauman, who'd intercepted an Ohio pass. (Hayes was fired by Ohio State the next day.)

Ten years ago:
  • Two top Khmer Rouge leaders apologized for the deaths of as many as two million people during their regime in the 1970s, and asked Cambodians to forget the past.

Five years ago:
  • Monsignor Michael Courtney, Pope John Paul II's ambassador in Burundi, was shot and killed by unidentified gunmen.
  • Actor Earl Hindman, who'd played the mostly unseen neighbor Wilson on "Home Improvement," died in Stamford, Conn., at age 61.

One year ago:
  • Australian David Hicks, the first person convicted at an American war crimes trial since World War II, was freed from prison in Adelaide after completing a US-imposed sentence.
  • The New England Patriots ended their regular season with a remarkable 16-0 record following a thrilling 38-35 comeback victory over the New York Giants. (New England became the first NFL team since the 1972 Dolphins to win every game on the schedule.)

Today's Birthdays:
  • Actor Clarence Swensen (''The Wizard of Oz'') is 91.
  • Actress Inga Swenson is 76.
  • ABC newscaster Tom Jarriel is 74.
  • Actress Mary Tyler Moore is 71.
  • Actor Jon Voight is 70.
  • Country singer Ed Bruce is 69.
  • Rock musician Ray Thomas is 67.
  • Singer Marianne Faithfull is 62.
  • Jockey Laffit Pincay Jr. is 62.
  • Actor Ted Danson is 61.
  • Actor Jon Polito is 58.
  • Singer-actress Yvonne Elliman is 57.
  • Actress Patricia Clarkson is 49.
  • Comedian Paula Poundstone is 49.
  • Rock singer-musician Jim Reid (The Jesus and Mary Chain) is 47.
  • Rock singer Dexter Holland (The Offspring) is 43.
  • Actor-comedian Mystro Clark is 42.
  • Actor Jason Gould is 42.
  • Movie director Andy Wachowski is 41.
  • Actress Jennifer Ehle is 39.
  • Rock singer-musician Glen Phillips is 38.
  • Actor Kevin Weisman is 38.
  • Actor Jude Law is 36.
  • Actor Mekhi Phifer is 34.
  • Actor Shawn Hatosy is 33.
  • Actor Diego Luna is 29.
  • Country singer Jessica Andrews is 25.

Thought for Today:
'Ours is the age of substitutes: Instead of language we have jargon; instead of principles, slogans; and instead of genuine ideas, bright suggestions.''
Eric Bentley, British-born American author and educator.

"Let's all be careful out there!"


"Let's all be careful out there!"