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.
- 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!"