Today In History

Today is Monday, December 3, the 338th day of 2012. There are 28 days left in the year.
Highlights in history on this date:
1621 - Galileo perfects the telescope.
1694 - Triennial Bill becomes law in England, providing for new Parliament to be elected every third year.
1775 - Lieutenant John Paul Jones hoists the first seagoing American flag on the newly commissioned continental Naval ship, the Alfred.
1808 - Madrid surrenders to Napoleon Bonaparte's French forces.
1810 - British capture Mauritius from French.
1828 - Andrew Jackson is elected the seventh president of the United States.
1912 - Turkey, Bulgaria, Serbia and Montenegro sign an armistice.
1944 - U.S. forces cross Saar River in Germany in World War II.
1948 - The House of Representatives Un-American Activities Committee announces former Communist spy Whittaker Chambers produced a microfilm of secret documents hidden inside a pumpkin on his Maryland farm.
1952 - U.N. General Assembly adopts India's proposal for Korean armistice.
1958 - Dutch businesses are nationalized in Indonesia.
1961 - United States deploys platoon of troops along border between East and West Berlin as East Germany begins strengthening Berlin Wall.
1962 - London is blanketed by one of the worst fogs in years, and scores of people die of sulfur dioxide poisoning before fog lifts four days later.
1964 - Police arrest some 800 students at the University of California at Berkeley, one day after the students stormed the administration building and staged a massive sit-in.
1967 - Surgeons in Cape Town, South Africa, led by Dr. Christiaan Barnard, perform the first human heart transplant. Louis Washkansky lives 18 days with the new heart.
1970 - British envoy James R. Cross is rescued after being held by Quebec terrorists in Canada for almost two months.
1971 - India declares state of emergency as Pakistani planes attack northwestern India in dispute over Kashmir.
1975 - Communists take control of Laos and declare end to 600-year-old monarchy.
1979 - Christie's auction house in New York sets a record, selling a thimble for $18,400.
1984 - More than 4,000 people die after a cloud of gas escapes from a pesticide plant operated by a Union Carbide subsidiary in Bhopal, India.
1988 - Pakistan's Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, in first official act, calls for release of about 1,000 political prisoners and commutes all death sentences.
1990 - Two jets taxiing for a takeoff at Detroit airport collide killing nine people.
1991 - Alann Steen, an American held hostage for nearly five years, is released by Shiite Muslim kidnappers in Beirut.
1992 - A spill of millions of gallons of crude oil off the coast of La Coruna, Spain, threatens ecological disaster.
1993 - The United States and Ukraine fail to resolve a dispute over Ukraine's stockpile of more than 1,000 long-range nuclear warheads.
1996 - A bomb explodes on a commuter train in Paris, killing four people and injuring 86.
1997 - South Korea strikes a deal with the International Monetary Fund for a record $55 billion bailout of its foundering economy; representatives of more than 120 nations gather in Ottawa, Canada, to sign a treaty banning land mines.
1998 - Making their first collective decision about monetary policy, 11 European nations cut interest rates in a surprise move to fight the global economic slowdown.
1999 - Tori Murden, a Kentucky lawyer, becomes the first American _ and first woman _ to row 4,800 kilometers (3,000 miles) across the Atlantic alone.
2000 - Pakistan offers a truce to Indian soldiers along the disputed Kashmir border.
2001 - Israel attacks Palestinian targets in the West Bank and Gaza Strip in response to suicide bombings by the militant group Hamas that killed 25 people.
2002 - World Food Program warns the U.N. Security Council that a record 38 million people are at risk of starvation in Africa. The southern nations of Zimbabwe, Malawi, Swaziland, Lesotho, Zambia and Mozambique are among the worst affected.
2004 - President Alvaro Uribe signs the final order Friday to extradite Gilberto Rodriguez Orejuela, leader of the once-feared feared Cali drug cartel and the most powerful Colombian trafficker to ever face trial in the United States.
2006 - Separate clashes between rival political activists and police in Bangladesh leave one man dead and dozens injured, as a major political alliance stages a nationwide transport blockade to force electoral reforms.
2007 - Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez loses a constitutional vote that would have let him run for re-election indefinitely.
2008 - Russia says it is sending a warship through the Panama Canal for the first time since World War II, a short journey loaded with symbolic weight: the destroyer will dock at a former U.S. naval base, showcasing Russia's growing influence in the region.
2009 - Afghan President Hamid Karzai says he is willing to talk with the Taliban chief in a bid to bring peace to the country if the move has the backing of the United States and other international partners.
2010 _ Aircraft from Turkey, Greece, Cyprus and Britain dump sea water and flame retardant, battling a woodland inferno in Israel that has killed dozens, displaced thousands and ravaged one of the Holy Land's most prized forests.
2011 _ Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki confidently predicts that his country will achieve stability and remain independent of its giant neighbor Iran even without an American troop presence that is ending within weeks.
Today's Birthdays:
Aaron Ludwig Holberg, Danish philosopher-poet (1684-1754); Joseph Conrad, Polish-British writer (1857-1924); Anna Freud, Austrian psychoanalyst (1895-1982); Andy Williams, U.S. Singer (1927--2012); Jean-Luc Godard, French film director (1930--); Ozzy Osbourne, British rock singer (1948--); Daryl Hannah, U.S. actress (1960--); Julianne Moore, U.S. actress (1960--).
Thought For Today:
There is many a good man to be found under a shabby hat _ Chinese proverb.1