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Today in History for Dec. 3, 2012

Today is Monday, Dec. 3, the 338th day of 2012. There are 28 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight:

On Dec. 3, 1992, the first telephone text message was sent by British engineer Neil Papworth, who transmitted the greeting “Merry Christmas” from his work computer in Newbury, Berkshire, to Vodafone executive Richard Jarvis’ mobile phone.

On this date:

In 1810, British forces captured Mauritius from the French, who had renamed the island nation off southeast Africa “Ile de France.”

In 1818, Illinois was admitted as the 21st state.

In 1828, Andrew Jackson was elected president of the United States by the Electoral College.

In 1833, Oberlin College in Ohio – the first truly coeducational school of higher learning in the United States – began holding classes.

In 1925, George Gershwin’s Concerto in F had its world premiere at New York’s Carnegie Hall, with Gershwin at the piano.

In 1947, the Tennessee Williams play “A Streetcar Named Desire” opened on Broadway.

In 1960, the Lerner and Loewe musical “Camelot” opened on Broadway.

In 1967, surgeons in Cape Town, South Africa led by Dr. Christiaan Barnard performed the first human heart transplant on Louis Washkansky, who lived 18 days with the new heart. The 20th Century Limited, the famed luxury train, completed its final run from New York to Chicago.

In 1979, 11 people were killed in a crush of fans at Cincinnati’s Riverfront Coliseum, where the British rock group The Who was performing.

In 1984, thousands of people died after a cloud of methyl isocyanate gas escaped from a pesticide plant operated by a Union Carbide subsidiary in Bhopal, India.

In 1991, radicals in Lebanon released American hostage Alann Steen, who’d been held captive nearly five years.

In 1992, the Greek tanker Aegean Sea spilled more than 21 million gallons of crude oil when it ran aground off northwestern Spain.

Ten years ago: Thousands of personnel files released under a court order showed that the Archdiocese of Boston went to great lengths to hide priests accused of abuse, including clergy who’d allegedly snorted cocaine and had sex with girls aspiring to be nuns. U.N. weapons inspectors made their first unannounced visit to one of Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein’s presidential palaces.

Five years ago: A U.S. intelligence report concluded that Iran had halted its nuclear weapons development program in the fall of 2003 under international pressure but was continuing to enrich uranium. British teacher Gillian Gibbons, jailed in Sudan for insulting Islam after allowing her students to name a teddy bear Muhammad, flew home after being pardoned by the country’s president. Former commissioner Bowie Kuhn was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame; former Dodgers owner Walter O’Malley, managers Dick Williams and Billy Southworth and ex-Pirates owner Barney Dreyfuss also were elected.

One year ago: In Atlanta, a defiant Herman Cain suspended his faltering bid for the Republican presidential nomination amid a drumbeat of sexual misconduct allegations, which he condemned as “false and unproven.” Oklahoma State defeated Oklahoma 44-10 to win the Big 12 championship. (Exultant Oklahoma State fans stormed the field, resulting in a dozen injuries.)

Today’s birthdays: Movie director Jean-Luc Godard is 82. Singer Jaye P. Morgan is 81. Actor Nicolas Coster is 79. Actress Mary Alice is 71. Rock singer Ozzy Osbourne is 64. Actress Heather Menzies is 63. Rock singer Mickey Thomas is 63. Country musician Paul Gregg (Restless Heart) is 58. Actor Steven Culp is 57. Actress Daryl Hannah is 52. Actress Julianne Moore is 52. Olympic gold medal figure skater Katarina Witt is 47. Actor Brendan Fraser is 44. Singer Montell Jordan is 44. Actor Royale Watkins is 43. Actor Bruno Campos is 39. Actress Holly Marie Combs is 39. Actress Liza Lapira (“Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23″) is 37. Actress Lauren Roman is 37. Pop-rock singer Daniel Bedingfield is 33. Actress Anna Chlumsky is 32. Actor Brian Bonsall is 31. Pop/rock singer-songwriter Andy Grammer is 29. Actress Amanda Seyfried is 27. Actor Michael Angarano is 25. Actor Jake T. Austin is 18.

Thought for today: “What the world really needs is more love and less paper work.” — Pearl Bailey, American entertainer (1918-1990).

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

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