Today is Monday, Dec. 30, the 364th day of 2019. There is one day left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On Dec. 30, 1922, Vladimir Lenin proclaimed the establishment of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, which lasted nearly seven decades before dissolving in December 1991.
On this date:
In 1813, British troops burned Buffalo, New York, during the War of 1812.
In 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.
In 1860, 10 days after South Carolina seceded from the Union, the state militia seized the United States Arsenal in Charleston.
In 1903, about 600 people died when fire broke out at the recently opened Iroquois Theater in Chicago.
In 1936, the United Auto Workers union staged its first “sit-down” strike at the General Motors Fisher Body Plant No. 1 in Flint, Michigan. (The strike lasted until Feb. 11, 1937.)
In 1940, California’s first freeway, the Arroyo Seco Parkway connecting Los Angeles and Pasadena, was officially opened by Gov. Culbert L. Olson.
In 1942, a near-riot of bobby-soxers greeted the opening of Frank Sinatra’s singing engagement at the Paramount Theater in New York’s Times Square.
In 1972, the United States halted its heavy bombing of North Vietnam.
In 1979, Broadway composer Richard Rodgers died in New York at age 77.
In 1989, a Northwest Airlines DC-10, which had been the target of a telephoned threat, flew safely from Paris to Detroit with 22 passengers amid extra-tight security.
In 1997, a deadly massacre in Algeria’s insurgency began in four mountain villages as armed men killed women and children in an attack that lasted from dusk until dawn the following morning; up to 412 deaths were reported.
In 2006, a state funeral service was held in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda for former President Gerald R. Ford.
Ten years ago: Seven CIA employees and a Jordanian intelligence officer were killed by a suicide bomber at a U.S. base in Khost (hohst), Afghanistan. British contractor Peter Moore was freed more than two years after he was abducted outside Iraq’s Finance Ministry. Former Indonesian President Abdurrahman Wahid (ahb-doo-RAHK’-mahn wah-HEED’), 69, who had ruled after the fall of dictator Suharto, died in Jakarta.
Five years ago: President Vladimir Putin’s chief political foe, Alexei Navalny, was convicted along with his brother, Oleg, in a fraud case widely seen as a vendetta by the Kremlin, triggering one of Russia’s boldest anti-government demonstrations in years. Luise Rainer, a star of cinema’s golden era who won back-to-back Oscars but then walked away from a glittering Hollywood career, died in London at age 104.
One year ago: President Donald Trump’s outgoing chief of staff, John Kelly, told the Los Angeles Times that Trump had long ago backed away from his campaign pledge to construct a solid wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. A lion killed an intern, 22-year-old Alexandra Black, at a zoo in North Carolina after the animal got loose from a locked space; deputies said the lion was then shot and killed after attempts to tranquilize it failed. The former top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, retired Gen. Stanley McChrystal, criticized the reported plans to withdraw up to half of the 14,000 American troops still serving there, saying it would reduce the incentive for the Taliban to negotiate a peace deal.
Today’s Birthdays: Actor Russ Tamblyn is 85. Baseball Hall of Famer Sandy Koufax is 84. Folk singer Noel Paul Stookey is 82. TV director James Burrows is 79. Actor Fred Ward is 77. Singer-musician Michael Nesmith is 77. Actress Concetta Tomei (toh-MAY’) is 74. Singer Patti Smith is 73. Rock singer-musician Jeff Lynne is 72. TV personality Meredith Vieira is 66. Actress Sheryl Lee Ralph is 64. Actress Patricia Kalember is 63. Country singer Suzy Bogguss is 63. Former “Today” show co-host Matt Lauer is 62. Actress-comedian Tracey Ullman is 60. Rock musician Rob Hotchkiss is 59. Radio-TV commentator Sean Hannity is 58. Sprinter Ben Johnson is 58. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is 56. Actor George Newbern is 56. Movie director Bennett Miller is 53. Singer Jay Kay (Jamiroquai) is 50. Rock musician Byron McMackin (Pennywise) is 50. Actress Meredith Monroe is 50. Actor Daniel Sunjata is 48. Actress Maureen Flannigan is 47. Actor Jason Behr is 46. Golfer Tiger Woods is 44. TV personality-boxer Laila Ali is 42. Actress Lucy Punch is 42. Singer-actor Tyrese Gibson is 41. Actress Eliza Dushku is 39. Rock musician Tim Lopez (Plain White T’s) is 39. Actress Kristin Kreuk is 37. Folk-rock singer-musician Wesley Schultz (The Lumineers) is 37. NBA player LeBron James is 35. Rhythm-and-blues singer Andra Day is 35. Actress Anna Wood is 34. Pop-rock singer Ellie Goulding (GOL’-ding) is 33. Actress Caity Lotz is 33. Actor Jeff Ward is 33. Country musician Eric Steedly is 29. Pop-rock musician Jamie Follese (FAHL’-es-ay) (Hot Chelle (shel) Rae) is 28.
Thought for Today: “The meek shall inherit the earth — if that’s all right with you.” — Author unknown.