Today's Highlight in History:
On Dec. 10, 1520, Martin Luther publicly burned the papal edict demanding that he recant, or face excommunication.
On this date:
In 1787, Thomas H. Gallaudet, a pioneer of educating the deaf, was born in Philadelphia.
In 1817, Mississippi was admitted as the 20th state of the Union.
In 1861, the Confederacy admitted Kentucky as it recognized a pro-Southern shadow state government that was acting without the authority of the pro-Union government in Frankfort.
In 1906, President Theodore Roosevelt became the first American to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, for helping mediate an end to the Russo-Japanese War.
In 1931, Jane Addams became the first American woman to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize; the co-recipient was Nicholas Murray Butler.
In 1948, the U.N. General Assembly adopted its Universal Declaration on Human Rights.
In 1950, Ralph J. Bunche was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, the first black American to receive the award.
In 1962, "Lawrence of Arabia," David Lean's epic film starring Peter O'Toole as British military officer T.E. Lawrence, had its royal gala premiere in London, with Queen Elizabeth II and her husband, Prince Philip, in attendance.
In 1964, Martin Luther King Jr. received his Nobel Peace Prize.
In 1967, singer Otis Redding, 26, and six others were killed when their plane crashed into Wisconsin's Lake Monona.
In 1972, baseball's American League adopted the designated hitter rule on an experimental basis for three years.
In 1987, President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev concluded three days of summit talks in Washington.
Ten years ago: A divided Supreme Court upheld the broadest restrictions on campaign donations in nearly 30 years. An appeals court ordered a new trial for Lionel Tate, a Florida teen sentenced to life for causing the death of a 6-year-old playmate, Tiffany Eunick. (Lionel, who'd originally been convicted of first-degree murder, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and went free in January 2004.) Iranian democracy activist Shirin Ebadi, the first Muslim woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize, accepted the award in Oslo, Norway.
Five years ago: Defying calls for his resignation, Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich showed up for work on his 52nd birthday despite charges he'd schemed to enrich himself by offering to sell President-elect Barack Obama's Senate seat. The House approved a plan, 237-170, to speed $14 billion in loans to Detroit's automakers. U.S. Special Forces killed six Afghan police in a case of mistaken identity by both sides after the police fired on the Americans during an operation against an insurgent commander.
One year ago: President Barack Obama told auto workers in Michigan that he would not compromise on his demand that tax rates go up for the top 2 percent of American earners to help reduce the deficit. A judge announced that former International Monetary Fund leader Dominique Strauss-Kahn and a New York City hotel maid had signed a settlement of her sexual-assault lawsuit stemming from a May 2011 hotel encounter. Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez arrived in Cuba to undergo his fourth cancer-related operation there.
Today's Birthdays: Soap opera creator Agnes Nixon is 86. Former Agriculture Secretary Clayton Yeutter is 83. Actor Tommy Kirk is 72. Actress Fionnula Flanagan is 72. Pop singer Chad Stuart (Chad and Jeremy) is 72. Actress-singer Gloria Loring is 67. Pop-funk musician Walter "Clyde" Orange (The Commodores) is 67. Rhythm-and-blues singer Ralph Tavares is 65. Rhythm-and-blues singer Jessica Cleaves (Friends of Distinction) is 65. Country singer Johnny Rodriguez is 62. Actress Susan Dey is 61. Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich is 57. Jazz musician Paul Hardcastle is 56. Actor-director Kenneth Branagh is 53. Actress Nia Peeples is 52. TV chef Bobby Flay is 49. Rock singer-musician J Mascis is 48. Country singer Kevin Sharp is 43. Rock musician Scot Alexander (Dishwalla) is 42. Actress-comedian Arden Myrin is 40. Rock musician Meg White (The White Stripes) is 39. Rapper Kuniva (D12) is 38. Actor Gavin Houston is 36. Violinist Sarah Chang is 33. Rock musician Noah Harmon (Airborne Toxic Event) is 32. Actress Raven-Symone is 28.
Thought for Today: "To have news value is to have a tin can tied to one's tail." — T.E. Lawrence (1888-1935).