- — Today is Sunday, Dec. 9, the 344rd day of 2012. There are 22 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On Dec. 9, 1942, the Aram Khachaturian ballet “Gayane,” featuring the surging “Sabre Dance,” was first performed by Russia’s Kirov Ballet.
On this date:
In 1608, English poet John Milton was born in London.
In 1854, Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s famous poem, “The Charge of the Light Brigade,” was published in England.
In 1911, an explosion inside the Cross Mountain coal mine near Briceville, Tenn., killed 84 workers. (Five were rescued.)
In 1912, longtime House Speaker Thomas “Tip” O’Neill was born in Cambridge, Mass.
In 1940, British troops opened their first major offensive in North Africa during World War II.
In 1958, the anti-communist John Birch Society was formed in Indianapolis.
In 1962, the Petrified Forest in Arizona was designated a national park.
In 1971, Nobel Peace laureate Ralph Bunche died in New York.
In 1982, special Watergate prosecutor Leon Jaworski died at his Wimberley, Texas, ranch at age 77.
In 1984, the five-day-old hijacking of a Kuwaiti jetliner that claimed the lives of two Americans ended as Iranian security men seized control of the plane, which was parked at Tehran airport.
In 1987, the first Palestinian intefadeh, or uprising, began as riots broke out in Gaza and spread to the West Bank, triggering a strong Israeli response.
In 1992, Britain’s Prince Charles and Princess Diana announced their separation. (The couple’s divorce became final Aug. 28, 1996.)
Ten years ago: President George W. Bush tapped railroad executive John W. Snow to be his new Treasury Secretary, three days after firing Paul O’Neill. Senate Republican leader Trent Lott apologized for remarks he’d made praising the 1948 presidential run of then-segregationist Strom Thurmond, saying, “A poor choice of words conveyed to some the impression that I embraced the discarded policies of the past.” United Airlines filed for bankruptcy protection after losing $4 billion in the previous two years. (United emerged from bankruptcy protection in 2006.)