updated 12/5/2005 12:53:36 AM ET 2005-12-05T05:53:36

Today is Monday, Dec. 5, the 339th day of 2005. There are 26 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:
On Dec. 5, 1933, national Prohibition came to an end as Utah became the 36th state to ratify the 21st Amendment to the Constitution, repealing the 18th Amendment.

On this date:
In 1776, the first scholastic fraternity in America, Phi Beta Kappa, was organized at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Va.

In 1782, the first native U.S. president, Martin Van Buren, was born in Kinderhook, N.Y.

In 1791, composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart died in Vienna, Austria, at age 35.

In 1792, George Washington was re-elected president; John Adams was re-elected vice president.

In 1831, former President John Quincy Adams took his seat as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives.

In 1848, President Polk triggered the Gold Rush of 1949 by confirming that gold had been discovered in California.

In 1901, movie producer Walt Disney was born in Chicago.

In 1932, German physicist Albert Einstein was granted a visa, making it possible for him to travel to the United States.

In 1955, the American Federation of Labor and the Congress of Industrial Organizations merged to form the AFL-CIO under its first president, George Meany.

In 1994, Republicans chose Newt Gingrich to be the first GOP speaker of the House in four decades.

Ten years ago: In the first hint of movement at budget talks, White House officials and Democratic congressional leaders said they were preparing a seven-year budget-balancing plan.

Five years ago: Florida’s highest court kept the presidential race on the legal fast track, agreeing to a speedy hearing of Al Gore’s appeal of a ruling that in effect awarded George W. Bush the state’s 25 electoral votes.

One year ago: Gunmen ambushed a bus carrying unarmed Iraqis to work at a U.S. ammo dump near Tikrit, killing 17. Egypt freed an Israeli Arab man convicted of spying in exchange for Israel’s release of six Egyptian students who were suspected of trying to kidnap Israeli soldiers. Carlos Moya beat Andy Roddick 6-2, 7-6 (1), 7-6 (5) to clinch Spain’s second Davis Cup title.

Today’s Birthdays: Singer Little Richard is 73. Author Joan Didion is 71. Author Calvin Trillin is 70. Musician J.J. Cale is 67. Actor Jeroen Krabbe is 61. Opera singer Jose Carreras is 59. Pop singer Jim Messina is 58. Actress Morgan Brittany is 54. Actor Brian Backer is 49. Country singer Ty England is 42. Rock singer-musician John Rzeznik (The Goo Goo Dolls) is 40. Country singer Gary Allan is 38. Comedian-actress Margaret Cho is 37. Writer-director Morgan J. Freeman is 36. Actress Amy Acker is 29. Actor Nick Stahl is 26. Actor Frankie Muniz (“Malcolm in the Middle”) is 20. Actor Ross Bagley is 17.

Thought for Today: “All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.” — Walt Disney (1901-1966).

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