There are 26 days left in the year.
Today's Highlight in History:
- On Dec. 5, 1933, national Prohibition came to an end as Utah became the 36th state to ratify the 21st Amendment to the Constitution, repealing the 18th Amendment.
On this date:
- In 1776, the first scholastic fraternity in America, Phi Beta Kappa, was organized at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Va.
- In 1782, the eighth president of the United States, Martin Van Buren, was born in Kinderhook, N.Y. (He was the first chief executive to be born after American independence).
- In 1791, composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart died in Vienna, Austria, at age 35.
- In 1792, George Washington was re-elected president; John Adams was re-elected vice president.
- In 1831, former President John Quincy Adams took his seat as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives.
- In 1848, President James K. Polk triggered the Gold Rush of '49 by confirming that gold had been discovered in California.
- In 1932, German physicist Albert Einstein was granted a visa, making it possible for him to travel to the United States.
- In 1955, the American Federation of Labor and the Congress of Industrial Organizations merged to form the AFL-CIO under its first president, George Meany.
- In 1991, Richard Speck, who'd murdered eight student nurses in Chicago in 1966, died in prison a day short of his 50th birthday.
- In 1994, Republicans chose Newt Gingrich to be the first GOP speaker of the House in four decades.
Ten years ago:
- James P. Hoffa claimed the Teamsters presidency after challenger Tom Leedham conceded defeat in the union's presidential election.
- Former Sen. Albert Gore Sr., father of the vice president, died at his home in Carthage, Tenn.; he was 90.
Five years ago:
- The two makers of flu shots in the United States, Chiron and Aventis Pasteur, announced they had run out of vaccine and would not be able to meet a surge in demand.
- A suicide bombing on a commuter train in southern Russia killed 44 people, two days before the nation's parliamentary elections.
- Six children were killed during an assault by U.S. forces on a compound in eastern Afghanistan.
- A federal judge in Utah threw out the case against two civic leaders accused of bribery in their efforts to bring the 2002 Winter Games to Salt Lake City.
One year ago:
- A teenage gunman went on a shooting rampage at the Westroads Mall in Omaha, Neb., killing six store employees and two customers; Robert A. Hawkins, 19, then took his own life.
- President George W. Bush, trying to keep pressure on Iran, called on Tehran to "come clean" about the scope of its nuclear activities or else face diplomatic isolation.
- Singer Little Richard is 76.
- Author Joan Didion is 74.
- Author Calvin Trillin is 73.
- Musician J.J. Cale is 70.
- Actor Jeroen Krabbe is 64.
- Opera singer Jose Carreras is 62.
- Pop singer Jim Messina is 61.
- Actress Morgan Brittany is 57.
- Actor Brian Backer is 52.
- Country singer Ty England is 45.
- Rock singer-musician John Rzeznik (The Goo Goo Dolls) is 43.
- Country singer Gary Allan is 41.
- Comedian-actress Margaret Cho is 40.
- Writer-director Morgan J. Freeman is 39.
- Actress Alex Kapp Horner is 39.
- Rock musician Regina Zernay (Cowboy Mouth) is 36.
- Actress Paula Patton is 33.
- Actress Amy Acker is 32.
- Actor Nick Stahl is 29.
- Actor Frankie Muniz is 23.
- Actor Ross Bagley is 20.
Thought for Today:
"As a rule, there is no surer way to the dislike of men than to behave well where they have behaved badly."
Lew Wallace, American author (1827-1905).
"Let's all be careful out there!"