Today is Monday, December 1, the 335th day of 2014. There are 30 days left in the year.
Highlights in history on this date:
1530 – Margaret of Savoy, Governor of the Netherlands, dies. She ruled the country for her nephew, who later became Holy Roman Emperor Charles V.
1640 – Portugal revolts against Spanish control and becomes independent under John IV.
1813 – Allies agree to invade France after Napoleon Bonaparte‘s vague replies to peace terms.
1821 – The Dominican Republic declares independence from Spain.
1824 – The Presidential election is turned over to the U.S. House of Representatives when a deadlock develops among John Quincy Adams, Andrew Jackson, William H. Crawford and Henry Clay. Adams is declared the winner.
1887 – Portugal secures the secession of Macau from China.
1913 – The first U.S. drive-in automobile service station opens in Pittsburgh.
1918 – Croatia becomes part of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes — later Yugoslavia; Transylvania, formerly under Hungarian rule, unites with Romania; Iceland becomes a separate state under the Danish crown.
1925 – Through the Locarno Treaties Belgium, Britain, Italy, Germany and France agree to a mutual peace in Europe.
1934 – Sergei Kirov, a trusted aide of Soviet leader Joseph Stalin but also a possible rival, is assassinated, prompting Stalin to purge the Communist Party.
1935 – Chiang Kai-Shek is elected President of Kuomintang, China’s ruling party.
1948 – Arab conference at Jericho proclaims Abdullah of Transjordan King of Palestine.
1954 – United States signs mutual security pact with Nationalist China — now Taiwan.
1955 – Rosa Parks, a black seamstress, defies the law by refusing to give up her seat to a white man aboard a Montgomery, Alabama city bus. She is arrested, sparking a yearlong boycott of buses by blacks.
1959 – Representatives of 12 countries, including the United States, sign a treaty in Washington setting aside Antarctica as a scientific preserve, free from military activity.
1962 – India rejects Chinese proposals for cease-fire and negotiations over disputed border territory.
1965 – An airlift of refugees from Cuba to the United States begins. Thousands of Cubans are allowed to leave their homeland.
1971 – The “Croatian Spring,” a movement for more independence within Yugoslavia, is crushed.
1978 – U.S. President Jimmy Carter places more than 56 million acres (22.4 million hectares) of Alaska’s federal lands into the national parks system.
1981 – A chartered Yugoslav DC-9 jetliner slams into a Corsican mountain as it approaches Ajaccio Airport, killing all 174 people aboard.
1988 – Benazir Bhutto is named Pakistan’s Prime Minister, becoming the first woman to lead a modern-day Muslim nation.
1990 – Chad’s President Hissene Habre flees the country after Libyan-armed guerrillas march into the capital; British and French workers digging the Channel Tunnel between their countries finally meet after knocking out a passage in a service tunnel.
1991 – Ukrainians vote 9-to-1 in favor of independence from Soviet Union in a referendum.
1992 – A tear gas grenade blows off a farmer’s hand as tens of thousands of European farmers protest in Paris against a U.S.-European accord to cut farm subsidies.
1993 – The United States and Britain increase pressure on Belgrade ahead of Bosnian peace talks by stopping a Russian proposal to supply natural gas to Yugoslavia during the winter.
1995 – Prosecutors in South Africa formally charge former Defense Minister Gen. Magnus Malan and 19 others with the murders of 13 people in 1987.
1997 – Historians say banks in Switzerland received three times more gold than previously believed from the Nazis during World War II and that as much as one sixth was stolen from concentration camp victims.
1999 – Scientists announce for the first time they have virtually mapped an entire human chromosome, one of the chains of molecules that bear the genetic recipe for human life.
2000 – Vicente Fox is elected President of Mexico, ending the seven-decade political dynasty of the Institutional Revolutionary Party. The election marks the first peaceful transfer of power to an opposition party in Mexico’s history.
2001 – Japan’s Crown Prince Naruhito‘s wife, Crown Princess Masako gives birth to a daughter, the couple’s first child, and long-awaited royal heir.
2005 – Police firing tear gas clash with opposition supporters as Egypt holds the last round of its parliamentary elections.
2006 – Hundreds of thousands of Lebanese heed a call by Hezbollah and congregate in downtown Beirut to pressure the U.S.-supported government to resign.
2007 – Colombian government officials release a letter written by former Presidential candidate, Ingrid Betancourt, and videos that are the first evidence in years that she and other rebel-held hostages including three U.S. military contractors may still be alive.
2008 – One of the highest tides in its history brings Venice, Italy, to a virtual halt, flooding its historic St. Mark’s Square and rekindling a debate over a plan to build moveable flood barriers.
2009 – President Barack Obama sends 30,000 more U.S. troops to Afghanistan, accelerating a risky and expensive war buildup, even as he assures the nation that U.S. forces will begin coming home in July 2011.
2010 – A new study suggests there are a mind-blowing 300 sextillion stars, or three times as many as scientists previously calculated. That is a 3 followed by 23 zeros. Or 3 trillion times 100 billion.
2011 – Israel’s Defense Minister says Israel does not want to take military action against Iran over its nuclear program, but at some point may have no other option.
2012 – Internet and telephone service are restored in Syria after a two-day, nationwide communications blackout that came during some of the worst fighting to hit the capital since July.
2013 – A protest by about 300,000 Ukrainians angered by their government’s decision to freeze relations with the West turns violent when a group of demonstrators besiege the president’s office and police drive them back with tear gas and flash grenades. Dozens are injured.
Gerard Swope, U.S. industrialist (1872-1957); Rex Stout, U.S. mystery writer (1886-1975); Walter Alston U.S. baseball manager (1911-1984); Mary Martin, U.S. actress (1913-1990); former Vietnamese President Le Duc Anh (1920-); Woody Allen, U.S. director (1935–); Bette Midler, U.S. singer/actress (1945–); Jeremy Northam, British actor (1961–).
Thought For Today:
The only people who attain power are those who crave it — Erich Kastner, German author and poet (1899-1974).