Today In History

Today is Thursday, Dec. 6, the 341st day of 2012. There are 25 days left in the year.
Highlights in history on this date:
1534 - Spanish conquistadors establish presence in Quito, an Inca city in the Andes.
1790 - Congress moves from New York City to Philadelphia.
1857 - British forces recapture Cawnpore in India.
1884 - Army engineers complete construction of the Washington Monument.
1906 - Self-government is granted in Transvaal and Orange River colonies in what is now South Africa.
1907 - Frontier between Uganda and East Africa is defined.
1916 - Bucharest, capital of Romania, falls to German troops.
1917 - Republic of Finland is proclaimed; collision between Belgian and French ammunition ships at Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, takes 1,600 lives.
1921 - Britain signs peace treaty with Ireland establishing Irish Free State, and Ireland accepts Dominion status.
1923 - A presidential address is broadcast on radio for the first time as U.S. President Calvin Coolidge speaks to a joint session of Congress.
1929 - Women's suffrage begins in Turkey.
1938 - France and Germany sign pact on inviolability of their frontier.
1941 - U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt appeals for peace to Japan's Emperor Hirohito _ one day before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. He also authorizes the Manhattan Project, which results in the creation of the atomic bomb.
1947 - Everglades National Park in Florida is dedicated by U.S. President Harry S. Truman.
1957 - America's first attempt at putting a satellite into orbit blows up on the launch pad at Cape Canaveral, Florida.
1959 - U.N. General Assembly says Togoland should receive independence.
1961 - Heavy fighting erupts in Congo's Katanga Province between United Nations and Katanga forces.
1966 - Britain calls for United Nations sanctions against rebellious Rhodesia, including ban on oil shipments.
1978 - A referendum approves constitution returning Spain to democracy.
1984 - Death toll rises to 1,600 from gas leak from U.S.-built pesticide plant in Bhopal, India.
1987 - Bangladesh government dissolves Parliament amid opposition campaign to topple President Hussain Mohammad Ershad's administration.
1988 - Sources say ethnic violence kills at least three people and injures six others in southern Soviet republics of Azerbaijan and Armenia.
1989 - Gunman kills 14 women and wounds nine women and four men at University of Montreal before killing himself; car bomb believed to be set by drug traffickers kills 59 in Colombia.
1990 - Gen. Hussain Mohammad Ershad, who ruled Bangladesh for nine years after coming to power in a coup, steps down at the height of a pro-democracy movement.
1993 - Serb forces shell Sarajevo for five hours, taking aim at shoppers bartering for food and mourners burying their dead. Five people are killed and at least 27 wounded.
1997 - Yehuda Gil, an agent for Israel's Mossad spy agency, is found to have been feeding Israelis damaging disinformation on Syria for years. This comes on heels of a September scandal _ a botched Mossad assassination of a Palestinian figure in Jordan.
1998 - Six years after staging a bloody coup attempt, former Lt. Col. Hugo Chavez is elected president of Venezuela, dealing a blow to the establishment that ruled the country for 40 years.
1999 - NASA says it has not detected a signal from the Mars Polar Lander, two days after it began its ascent to Mars. It is later determined that the robot spacecraft was destroyed following a software glitch.
2002 - Israeli forces kills 10 Palestinians, including two United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) school employees, during a pre-dawn incursion into the Bureij refugee camp in the Gaza Strip.
2004 - Islamic militants set off explosives and shoot their way into the heavily guarded U.S. consulate in Jiddah_ a bold assault that shows Saudi Arabia's crackdown on terrorists has not succeeded.
2005 - A military plane loaded with Iranian journalists slams into a Tehran apartmant building as it attempts to make an emergency landing. At least 115 people are killed including passengers and residents of the building.
2006 - After decades of dictatorship and wars, Congo swears in its first freely elected president since 1960, installing Joseph Kabila, the son of a rebel leader, who promises a new era of order.
2007 - A land mine explosion blamed on Tamil separatists tears through a passenger bus crowded with civilians in northern Sri Lanka, killing at least 16 people and wounding 22 others.
2008 - Amsterdam unveils plans to close brothels, sex shops and marijuana cafes in its ancient city center as part of a major effort to drive organized crime out of the tourist haven.
2009 - Delegates converge for the grand finale of two years of tough, sometimes bitter negotiations on a climate change treaty, as U.N. officials calculated that pledges offered in the last few weeks to reduce greenhouse gases put the world within reach of keeping global warming under control.
2010 _ A French court convicts Continental Airlines and one of its mechanics of manslaughter for setting off a chain of events that sent a supersonic Concorde crashing into a hotel outside Paris a decade ago, killing 113 people and marking the beginning of the sleek jet's demise.
2011 - In Afghanistan's first major sectarian assault since the fall of the Taliban regime a decade ago, a suicide bomber slaughters 56 Shiite worshippers and wounds more than 160 others y outside a Shiite shrine in the capital.
Today's Birthdays:
Joseph-Louis Gay-Lussac, French physicist and chemist (1778-1850); Joyce Kilmer, U.S. poet (1886-1918); Ira Gershwin, U.S. lyricist of Broadway musicals and films (1896-1983); Gunnar Myrdal, Swedish economist and sociologist, Nobel laureate (1898-1987); Alfred Eisenstaedt, U.S. photojournalist (1898-1995); James Braddock, U.S. boxer (1905-1974); Dave Brubeck, U.S. jazz pianist (1920-2012); Peter Handke, Austrian novelist and playwright (1942--).
Thought For Today:
In dreams begins responsibility _ William Butler Yeats, Irish Nobel Prize-winning poet (1865-1939).