There are 19 days left in the year.
Today's Highlight in History:
- On Dec. 12, 2000, George W. Bush was transformed into the president-elect as a divided U.S. Supreme Court reversed a state court decision for recounts in Florida's contested election.
On this date:
- In 1787, Pennsylvania became the second state to ratify the U.S. Constitution.
- In 1870, Joseph H. Rainey of South Carolina became the first black lawmaker sworn into the U.S. House of Representatives.
- In 1897, "The Katzenjammer Kids," the pioneering comic strip created by Rudolph Dirks, made its debut in the New York Journal.
- In 1906, President Theodore Roosevelt nominated Oscar Straus to be Secretary of Commerce and Labor; Straus became the first Jewish Cabinet member.
- In 1917, Father Edward Flanagan founded Boys Town outside Omaha, Neb.
- In 1925, the first motel — the Motel Inn — opened in San Luis Obispo, Calif.
- In 1937, Japanese aircraft sank the U.S. gunboat Panay on China's Yangtze River. (Japan apologized, and paid $2.2 million in reparations.)
- In 1963, Kenya gained its independence from Britain.
- In 1985, 248 American soldiers and eight crew members were killed when an Arrow Air charter crashed after takeoff from Gander, Newfoundland.
- In 1988, 35 people were killed in a triple train collision during morning rush-hour in south London.
Ten years ago:
- The House Judiciary Committee approved a fourth and final article of impeachment, this one accusing President Bill Clinton of abuse of power.
- President Clinton began a three-day visit to the Middle East aimed at rescuing the Wye River peace accords.
- Florida Gov. Lawton Chiles died in Tallahassee at age 68.
- Former U.S. Rep. Morris K. Udall died in Washington, D.C., at age 76.
Five years ago:
- Paul Martin succeeded Jean Chretien as Canada's prime minister.
- Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger was knighted by Britain.
- Keiko, the killer whale made famous by the "Free Willy" movies, died in the Norwegian fjord that he'd made his home.
One year ago:
- Republican presidential rivals gathered in Johnston, Iowa, called for deep cuts in federal spending in a debate remarkably free of acrimony.
- President George W. Bush vetoed a second bill that would have expanded government-provided health insurance for children.
- Three car bombs explode in the southern Shiite city of Amarah, Iraq, killing at least 25 people and wounding dozens.
- Ike Turner, the rock pioneer and ex-husband of Tina Turner, died in San Marcos, Calif., at age 76.
- TV host Bob Barker is 85.
- Former New York City Mayor Edward Koch is 84.
- Singer Connie Francis is 70.
- Singer Dionne Warwick is 68.
- Rock singer-musician Dickey Betts is 65.
- Actor Wings Hauser is 61.
- Actor Bill Nighy is 59.
- Actor Duane Chase (Film: "The Sound of Music") is 58.
- Country singer LaCosta is 58.
- Gymnast-turned-actress Cathy Rigby is 56.
- Author Lorna Landvik is 54.
- Singer-musician Sheila E. is 51.
- Actress Sheree J. Wilson is 50.
- Pop singer Daniel O'Donnell is 47.
- Rock musician Eric Schenkman (Spin Doctors) is 45.
- Rock musician Nicholas Dimichino (Nine Days) is 41.
- News anchor Maggie Rodriguez is 39.
- Actress Jennifer Connelly is 38.
- Actress Madchen Amick is 38.
- Country singer Hank Williams III is 36.
- Actress Mayim Bialik is 33.
- Model Bridget Hall is 31.
Thought for Today:
"I have never known a man who died from overwork, but many who died from doubt."
Charles Horace Mayo, American surgeon and co-founder of the Mayo Clinic (1865-1939).
"Let's all be careful out there!"