Today is Friday, Dec. 30, the 364th day of 2011. There is one day left in the year.
Today's Highlight in History:
On Dec. 30, 1936, the United Auto Workers union staged its first "sit-down" strike at the General Motors Fisher Body Plant No. 1 in Flint, Mich. (The strike lasted until Feb. 11, 1937.)
On this date:
In 1813, the British burned Buffalo, N.Y., 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 1922, Vladimir I. Lenin proclaimed the establishment of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.
In 1940, California's first freeway, the Arroyo Seco Parkway connecting Los Angeles and Pasadena, was officially opened by Gov. Culbert L. Olson.
In 1948, the Cole Porter musical "Kiss Me, Kate" opened on Broadway.
In 1965, Ferdinand Marcos was inaugurated for his first term as president of the Philippines.
In 1972, the United States halted its heavy bombing of North Vietnam.
In 1994, a gunman walked into a pair of suburban Boston abortion clinics and opened fire, killing two employees. (John C. Salvi III was later convicted of murder; he died in prison, an apparent suicide.)
Ten years ago: Argentina's interim president, Adolfo Rodriguez Saa, resigned after seven days in office, charging that his Peronist party had abandoned him.
Five years ago: Iraqis awoke to news that Saddam Hussein had been hanged; victims of his three decades of autocratic rule took to the streets to celebrate. A state funeral service was held in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda for former President Gerald R. Ford. More than 8,500 James Brown fans filled an arena in Augusta, Ga., for a final, joyful farewell to the "Godfather of Soul." Gerald "Wash" Washington, the first black mayor-elect of Westlake, La., was found shot to death in a parking lot; authorities ruled his death a suicide, a conclusion disputed by his family.
One year ago: Republican Lisa Murkowski was officially named winner of Alaska's U.S. Senate race following a period of legal fights and limbo that had lasted longer than the write-in campaign she waged to keep her job. Former Israel President Moshe Katsav was convicted of raping an employee when he was a Cabinet minister (he is serving a seven-year sentence). Top-ranked Connecticut's record 90-game winning streak in women's basketball ended when No. 9 Stanford outplayed the Huskies in a 71-59 victory at Maples Pavilion. Bobby Farrell, 61, of the pop-disco group Boney M, died while on tour in St. Petersburg, Russia. Veteran U.S. diplomat Barry Zorthian, 90, died in Washington.
Today's Birthdays: Actor Joseph Bologna is 77. Actor Russ Tamblyn is 77. Baseball Hall-of-Famer Sandy Koufax is 76. Actor Jack Riley is 76. Folk singer Noel Paul Stookey is 74. TV director James Burrows is 71. Actor Fred Ward is 69. Singer-musician Michael Nesmith is 69. Singer Davy Jones is 66. Actress Concetta Tomei is 66. Singer Patti Smith is 65. Rock singer-musician Jeff Lynne is 64. TV host Meredith Vieira is 58. Actress Sheryl Lee Ralph is 56. Actress Patricia Kalember is 55. Country singer Suzy Bogguss is 55. "Today" show co-host Matt Lauer is 54. Actress-comedian Tracey Ullman is 52. Rock musician Rob Hotchkiss is 51. Radio-TV commentator Sean Hannity is 50. Sprinter Ben Johnson is 50. Actor George Newbern is 48. Singer Jay Kay (Jamiroquai) is 42. Rock musician Byron McMackin (Pennywise) is 42. Actress Meredith Monroe is 42. Actor Daniel Sunjata is 40. Actress Maureen Flannigan is 39. Actor Jason Behr is 38. Golfer Tiger Woods is 36. TV personality-boxer Laila Ali is 34. Singer-actor Tyrese Gibson is 33. Actress Eliza Dushku is 31. Rock musician Tim Lopez (Plain White T's) is 31. Actress Kristin Kreuk is 29. NBA player LeBron James is 27. Pop-rock musician Jamie Follese (Hot Chelle (shel) Rae) is 20.
Thought for Today: "The meek shall inherit the earth -- if that's all right with you." -- Anonymous.