Today is Saturday, Dec. 3, the 337th day of 2011. There are 28 days left in the year.
On Dec. 3, 1911, Italian film composer Nino Rota, known for scoring works by such directors as Federico Fellini and Luchino Visconti, as well as the first two “Godfather” movies, was born in Milan.
On this date:
In 1810, British forces captured Mauritius from the French, who had renamed the island nation off southeast Africa “Ile de France.”
In 1818, Illinois was admitted as the 21st state.
In 1828, Andrew Jackson was elected president of the United States by the Electoral College.
In 1833, Oberlin College in Ohio — the first truly coeducational school of higher learning in the United States — began holding classes.
In 1925, George Gershwin’s Concerto in F had its world premiere at New York’s Carnegie Hall, with Gershwin at the piano.
In 1947, the Tennessee Williams play “A Streetcar Named Desire” opened on Broadway.
In 1967, surgeons in Cape Town, South Africa led by Dr. Christiaan Barnard performed the first human heart transplant on Louis Washkansky, who lived 18 days with the new heart. The 20th Century Limited, the famed luxury train, completed its final run from New York to Chicago.
In 1979, 11 people were killed in a crush of fans at Cincinnati’s Riverfront Coliseum, where the British rock group The Who was performing.