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Today in History for Dec. 6, 2012

Today is Thursday, Dec. 6, the 341st day of 2012. There are 25 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight:

On Dec. 6, 1922, the Anglo-Irish Treaty, which established the Irish Free State, came into force one year to the day after it was signed in London.

On this date:

In 1790, Congress moved to Philadelphia from New York.

In 1884, Army engineers completed construction of the Washington Monument by setting an aluminum capstone atop the obelisk.

In 1889, Jefferson Davis, the first and only president of the Confederate States of America, died in New Orleans.

In 1907, the worst mining disaster in U.S. history occurred as 362 men and boys died in a coal mine explosion in Monongah, W.Va.

In 1917, some 2,000 people died when an explosives-laden French cargo ship collided with a Norwegian vessel at the harbor in Halifax, Nova Scotia, setting off a blast that devastated the city.

In 1942, comedian Fred Allen premiered “Allen’s Alley,” a recurring sketch on his CBS radio show spoofing small town America.

In 1947, Everglades National Park in Florida was dedicated by President Harry S. Truman.

In 1957, America’s first attempt at putting a satellite into orbit failed as Vanguard TV3 rose about four feet off a Cape Canaveral launch pad before crashing down and exploding.

In 1962, 37 coal miners were killed in an explosion at the Robena No. 3 Mine operated by U.S. Steel in Carmichaels, Pa.

In 1971, the original Auto-Train, which carried rail passengers and their motor vehicles from Lorton, Va., to Sanford, Fla., went into operation. (Although the privately owned line went out of business in 1981, Amtrak revived the service in 1983.)

In 1982, 11 soldiers and 6 civilians were killed when an Irish National Liberation Army bomb exploded at a pub in Ballykelly, Northern Ireland.

In 1989, 14 women were shot to death at the University of Montreal’s school of engineering by a man who then took his own life.

Ten years ago: President George W. Bush pushed Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill and economic adviser Larry Lindsey from their jobs in a Cabinet shakeup. Actress Winona Ryder was sentenced to community service as part of a probationary term for stealing more than $5,500 worth of merchandise from a Saks Fifth Avenue store in Beverly Hills. Ten Palestinians, including two U.N. employees, were killed in chaotic battles when Israeli forces poured into a Gaza Strip refugee camp, searching for a fugitive militant. Anti-war activist Philip Berrigan died in Baltimore at age 79.

Five years ago: CIA Director Michael Hayden revealed the agency had videotaped its interrogations of two terror suspects in 2002 and destroyed the tapes three years later out of fear they would leak to the public and compromise the identities of U.S. questioners. President George W. Bush announced a plan to freeze interest rates on subprime mortgages held by hundreds of thousands of homeowners. Republican Mitt Romney, speaking at the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum in Texas, said his Mormon faith should neither help nor hinder his quest for the White House and vowed to serve the interests of the nation, not the church, if elected president.

One year ago: Declaring the American middle class in jeopardy, President Barack Obama, speaking in Osawatomie, Kan., outlined a populist economic vision that would drive his re-election bid, insisting the United States must reclaim its standing as a country in which everyone can prosper if provided “a fair shot and a fair share.” A suicide bomber slaughtered 56 Shiite worshippers and wounded more than 160 others outside a shrine in Afghanistan’s capital. Balladeer Dobie Gray, 69, who recorded the hit “Drift Away” in 1973, died in Nashville, Tennessee.

Today’s birthdays: Jazz musician Dave Brubeck is 92. Comedy performer David Ossman is 76. Actor Patrick Bauchau is 74. Country singer Helen Cornelius is 71. Actor James Naughton is 67. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood is 67. Rhythm-and-blues singer Frankie Beverly (Maze) is 66. Former Sen. Don Nickles, R-Okla., is 64. Actress JoBeth Williams is 64. Actor Tom Hulce is 59. Actor Kin Shriner is 59. Actor Wil Shriner is 59. Actor Miles Chapin is 58. Rock musician Rick Buckler (The Jam) is 57. Comedian Steven Wright is 57. Country singer Bill Lloyd is 57. Singer Tish Hinojosa is 57. Rock musician Peter Buck (R.E.M.) is 56. Rock musician David Lovering (Pixies) is 51. Actress Janine Turner is 50. Rock musician Ben Watt (Everything But The Girl) is 50. Writer-director Judd Apatow is 45. Rock musician Ulf “Buddha” Ekberg (Ace of Base) is 42. Writer-director Craig Brewer is 41. Actress Colleen Haskell is 36. Actress Lindsay Price is 36. Actress Ashley Madekwe is 31. Christian rock musician Jacob Chesnut (Rush of Fools) is 23.

Thought for today: “Do not wait to strike till the iron is hot; but make it hot by striking.” — William Butler Yeats, Irish Nobel Prize-winning poet (1865-1939).

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

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