Today's Highlight in History:
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.
Today's Birthdays: Former TV host Bob Barker is 90. Basketball Hall of Famer Bob Pettit is 81. Singer Connie Francis is 76. Singer Dionne Warwick is 73. Rock singer-musician Dickey Betts is 70. Former race car driver Emerson Fittipaldi is 67. Actor Wings Hauser is 66. Actor Bill Nighy is 64. Actor Duane Chase (Film: "The Sound of Music") is 63. Country singer LaCosta is 63. Gymnast-turned-actress Cathy Rigby is 61. Author Lorna Landvik is 59. Singer-musician Sheila E. is 56. Actress Sheree J. Wilson is 55. Pop singer Daniel O'Donnell is 52. International Tennis Hall of Famer Tracy Austin is 51. Rock musician Eric Schenkman (Spin Doctors) is 50. Rock musician Nicholas Dimichino (Nine Days) is 46. Author Sophie Kinsella is 44. News anchor Maggie Rodriguez is 44. Actress Jennifer Connelly is 43. Actress Madchen Amick is 43. Actress Regina Hall is 43. Country singer Hank Williams III is 41. Actress Mayim Bialik is 38. Model Bridget Hall is 36.
Thought for Today: "I have never known a man who died from overwork, but many who died from doubt." — Charles Horace Mayo, American surgeon and co-founder of the Mayo Clinic (1865-1939).