On this day - December 2

2009-12-02 08:12

Today is Friday, December 2, the 336th day of 2011. There are 29 days left in the year.

Highlights in history on this date:

1790 - Austrian troops re-enter Brussels and suppress the revolution.

1804 - Napoleon Bonaparte crowns himself emperor of France in Paris, taking the crown from attending Pope Pius VII.

1815 - Britain and Rajah of Nepal sign a peace treaty.

1816 - The first savings bank in the United States, the Philadelphia Savings Fund Society, opens for business.

1823 - US President James Monroe declares the Monroe Doctrine which opposes European expansion into the Western Hemisphere.

1848 - Austria's Emperor Ferdinand I abdicates in favour of Franz Joseph I.

1851 - Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte, president of France, suspends the constitution during a coup. Street fighting breaks out in Paris.

1852 - Second French Empire is proclaimed with Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte as Emperor Napoleon III.

1854 - Austria concludes alliance with Britain and France.

1856 - France and Spain reach agreement on their frontiers.

1920 - Armenia cedes territory to Turkey by Treaty of Alexandropol while Communists seize power in Armenian capital Yerevan and proclaim a Soviet republic.

1942 - Nuclear chain reaction is demonstrated for the first time by scientists working on the Manhattan Project underneath the University of Chicago's football stadium.

1950 - United Nations agrees to hand over Eritrea to Ethiopia.

1954 - US Senator Joseph McCarthy is censured by the Senate for browbeating Army personnel with his Communist witch hunts.

1960 - The Archbishop of Canterbury visits Pope John XXIII. The two heads of the two major religions break a 400-year-old tradition set in the 1500s by Britain's King Henry VIII and Pope Leo X.

1961 - Britain refuses Uganda's request for independence; Cuban leader Fidel Castro declares himself a Marxist-Leninist who will lead Cuba to Communism.

1969 - The Boeing 747 jumbo jet makes its debut as 191 people, most of them reporters and photographers, fly from Seattle to New York City.

1971 - Britain terminates all treaties with crucial states in Gulf, leading to formation of United Arab Emirates.

1975 - Israeli jets carry out massive raids against Palestinian targets in southern and northern Lebanon, killing 91 people and wounding 150. Residents of adjacent Lebanese villages in the south are among the dead and injured.

1982 - In the first operation of its kind, doctors at the University of Utah Medical Centre implant a permanent artificial heart. Barney Clark, a retired dentist, lives 112 days with the device.

1986 - More than 16 000 Hindus go on a rampage in New Delhi to protest Sikh terrorist killings in Punjab state.

1988 - Arab diplomats introduce resolution in United Nations to move General Assembly to Geneva so PLO Chairperson Yasser Arafat can address the world body.

1991 - Kidnappers release American Joseph Cicippio, held hostage in Beirut for more than five years.

1993 - Drug lord Pablo Escobar, one of the world's most wanted men, is killed in a gunfight with security forces in Colombia, 16 months after he escaped from prison.

1994 - Ferry carrying more than 600 people collides with a freighter and sinks in Manila Bay, Philippines. Sixty bodies are recovered, 85 people are missing.

1995 - A Singapore court sentences former trader Nick Leeson to 6 1/2 years in prison in the crash of Britain's oldest merchant bank.

2000 - A German court rules that prostitution cannot be considered illegal if it is done willingly without criminal ties.

2001 - Enron Corp, the largest United States energy-trading company, files for bankruptcy protection, dealing a blow to financial markets worldwide. It is the largest bankruptcy in US history.

2004 -Gunfire crackles across Haiti's capital, a day after a prison riot and shootouts killed a dozen people and left scores injured during US Secretary of State Colin Powell's visit aimed at halting bloodshed and promoting democracy.

2006 - Fidel Castro fails to attend a military parade marking the 50th anniversary of the date he and his rebels launched their revolution, fuelling speculation that the ailing Cuban leader may not return to power.

2007 - Choe Jeong-in and Cho Ah-ra become the first South Koreans to hold a wedding ceremony in the communist country North Korea. They marry at the Diamond Mountain resort where they met.

2008 - Thai Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat's party is found guilty of electoral fraud and dissolved. He is barred from politics for five years and Deputy Prime Minister Chaowarat Chandeerakul becomes acting prime minister.

2009 - Iran's president declares that his country will enrich uranium to a much higher level - a fresh rejection of an international plan to curb Tehran's nuclear programme.

2010 - Swedish authorities win a court ruling in their bid to arrest the WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange for questioning in a rape case.

Today's Birthdays:
Georges Seurat, French artist (1859-1891); George Richards Minot, US physician/Nobel laureate (1885-1950); Otto Dix, German artist (1891-1969); Maria Callas, US opera singer (1923-1977); Gianni Versace, Italian fashion designer (1946-1997); Monica Seles, Yugoslav tennis player (1973--); Britney Spears, US pop singer (1981--); Lucy Liu, US actress (1968--).

Thought For Today:
When we cannot find contentment in ourselves it is useless to seek it elsewhere - Francois, Duc de la Rochefoucauld, French author (1613-1680).