Today is Thursday, Dec. 12, the 346th day of 2013. There are 19 days left in the year.
On Dec. 12, 2000, George W. Bush was transformed into the president-elect as a divided U.S. Supreme Court reversed a state court decision for recounts in Florida’s contested election.
On this date:
In 1787, Pennsylvania became the second state to ratify the U.S. Constitution.
In 1870, Joseph H. Rainey of South Carolina became the first black lawmaker sworn into the U.S. House of Representatives.
In 1897, “The Katzenjammer Kids,” the pioneering comic strip created by Rudolph Dirks, made its debut in the New York Journal.
In 1906, President Theodore Roosevelt nominated Oscar Straus to be secretary of Commerce and Labor; Straus became the first Jewish Cabinet member.
In 1911, Britain’s King George V announced during a visit to India that the capital would be transferred from Calcutta to Delhi.
In 1917, Father Edward Flanagan founded Boys Town outside Omaha, Neb.
In 1925, the first motel — the Motel Inn — opened in San Luis Obispo, Calif.
In 1937, Japanese aircraft sank the U.S. gunboat Panay on China’s Yangtze River. (Japan apologized, and paid $2.2 million in reparations.)
In 1946, a United Nations committee voted to accept a six-block tract of Manhattan real estate offered as a gift by John D. Rockefeller Jr. to be the site of the U.N.’s headquarters.
In 1963, Kenya gained its independence from Britain.
In 1972, Irwin Allen’s all-star disaster movie “The Poseidon Adventure” was released.
In 1985, 248 American soldiers and eight crew members were killed when an Arrow Air charter crashed after takeoff from Gander, Newfoundland.
Ten years ago: Paul Martin succeeded Jean Chretien as Canada’s prime minister. Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger was knighted by Britain. Keiko, the killer whale made famous by the “Free Willy” movies, died in the Norwegian fjord that he’d made his home.
Five years ago: A bomb exploded inside the West Coast Bank in Woodburn, Ore., killing Woodburn Police Capt. Thomas Tennant and Oregon State Police Senior Trooper William Hakim. Actor Van Johnson died in Nyack, N.Y. at age 92.
One year ago: Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said uncertainty over the possible effects of automatic tax hikes and spending cuts scheduled to take effect the following month were adversely affecting consumer and business confidence. Pedro Hernandez, charged with killing a 6-year-old New York City boy, pleaded not guilty to murder, even though police said he had confessed to killing Etan Patz, who disappeared as he walked to the bus stop on his way to school in 1979.