On This Day: December 12
Today is Thursday, December 12, 2013. This is the 346th day of the year, with 19 days remaining in 2013.
Fact of the Day: NBA basketball
For the 2006 season, the NBA introduced a new game ball made of a composite material that was meant to ensure a better grip. The new ball, which does not have to be broken in before the start of a game, retires the leather one that was used for 60 years. The last time the NBA redesigned its basketball was 35 years ago, when the ball went from four panels to eight. The NCAA has already been using a composite ball in its basketball tournament for the past few years.
Kenya: National Day/Jamhuri Day (independence from Britain, 1963).
Feast day of St. Jane Frances de Chantel, St. Corentin or Cury, Saints Epimachus and Alexander, St. Edburga of Minster, St. Vicelin, and St. Finnian of Clonard.
Mexico: Guadalupe Day/La Virgen de Guadalupe/Our Lady of Guadalupe Day.
Russia: Constitution Day (1993).
1787 - Pennsylvania became the second state to ratify the Constitution of the United States of America.
1870 - Joseph H. Rainey, Republican of South Carolina, became the first black lawmaker sworn into the U.S. House of Representatives.
1896 - The "Katzenjammer Kids," a comic strip created by Rudolph Dirks, debuted in the Sunday supplement of the "New York Journal."
1896 - Guglielmo Marconi gave the first public demonstration of radio at Toynbee Hall, London.
1899 - The golf tee was patented by George F. Grant of Boston.
1901 - Italian physicist Guglielmo Marconi sent the first wireless signal, from England to Newfoundland, 2232 miles away.
1913 - The "Mona Lisa" painting, stolen in 1911 from the Louvre in Paris, was recovered in Florence, Italy.
1917 - Boys Town was founded by Father Edward Flanagan in Omaha, Nebraska.
1925 - The first motel, the "Motel Inn," opened in San Luis Obispo, California.
1937 - During the battle for Nanking in the Sino-Japanese War, the U.S. gunboat Panay was attacked and sunk by Japanese warplanes in Chinese waters.
1947 - The United Mine Workers union withdrew from the American Federation of Labor.
1955 - British engineer Christopher Cockerell patented the first hovercraft.
1998 - The House Judiciary Committee approved a fourth and final article of impeachment against President Bill Clinton and submitted the case to the full House.
2000 - The U.S. Supreme Court halted the presidential recount in Florida, effectively making Republican George W. Bush the winner.
1745 - John Jay, American statesman, first Chief Justice of U.S. Supreme Court (1789-1795).
1821 - Gustave Flaubert, French author.
1863 - Edvard Munch, Norwegian painter.
1893 - Edward G. Robinson, Romanian-born American stage and film actor.
1915 - Frank Sinatra, American singer, actor.
1923 - Bob Barker, game show host.
1924 - Edward Koch, former New York City mayor.
1960 - Emerson Fittipaldi, highly successful Brazilian racing driver.
1889 - Robert Browning, English poet of the Victorian age.
1939 - Douglas Fairbanks, American film actor and producer.
1999 - Joseph Heller, American author of "Catch-22" and other works.
2007 - Ike Turner, musician born in Clarksdale, Mississippi, best known for his work with his former wife, Tina Turner, and as one-half of the Ike and Tina Turner duo.