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Today in history: December 3

Celebrity birthdays, highlights in history, plus more facts about this day
/ Source: The Associated Press

Today is Saturday, Dec. 3, the 337th day of 2005. There are 28 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:
On Dec. 3, 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.

On this date:
In 1818, Illinois was admitted as the 21st state.

In 1828, Andrew Jackson was elected president of the United States.

In 1925, “Concerto in F,” by George Gershwin, had its world premiere at New York’s Carnegie Hall, with Gershwin himself at the piano.

In 1947, the Tennessee Williams play “A Streetcar Named Desire” opened on Broadway.

In 1953, the musical “Kismet” opened on Broadway.

In 1960, the musical “Camelot” opened on Broadway.

In 1964, police arrested some 800 students at the University of California at Berkeley, one day after the students stormed the administration building and staged a massive sit-in.

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.

In 1984, thousands of people died after a cloud of methyl isocyanate gas escaped from a pesticide plant operated by a Union Carbide subsidiary in Bhopal, India.

In 1992, the Greek tanker Aegean Sea spilled 21½ million gallons of crude oil when it ran aground at La Coruna, Spain.

Ten years ago: President Clinton, wrapping up a five-day European trip, authorized a vanguard of 700 American troops to open a risky mission in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Former South Korean president Chun Doo-hwan was arrested for his role in a 1979 coup that was followed by the most violent crackdown in the nation’s history.

Five years ago: Space shuttle Endeavour’s astronauts attached the world’s largest, most powerful set of solar panels to the international space station. Sandra Baldwin was elected the first female president of the U.S. Olympic Committee. (Baldwin resigned in May 2002 after she admitted lying about her academic credentials.) Poet Gwendolyn Brooks, the first African-American to win a Pulitzer Prize, died in Chicago at age 83.

One year ago: It was announced that Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld was staying on the job. Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson resigned, warning as he left of a possible terror attack on the nation’s food supply. The Ukraine Supreme Court ordered a rerun of the head-to-head presidential contest, setting off rejoicing by supporters of Western-leaning Viktor Yushchenko, who ended up the winner.

Today’s Birthdays: Country singer Ferlin Husky is 80. Singer Andy Williams is 78. Movie director Jean-Luc Godard is 75. Singer Jaye P. Morgan is 74. Actress Mary Alice is 64. Rock singer Ozzy Osbourne is 57. Actress Heather Menzies is 56. Country musician Paul Gregg (Restless Heart) is 51. Actor Steven Culp (“Desperate Housewives”) is 50. Actress Daryl Hannah is 45. Actress Julianne Moore is 45. Actor Brendan Fraser is 37. Singer Montell Jordan is 37. Actor Royale Watkins is 36. Actor Bruno Campos is 32. Actress Holly Marie Combs is 32. Actress Lauren Roman is 30. Actress Anna Chlumsky is 25. Actor Brian Bonsall is 24. Actor Michael Angarano is 18.

Thought for Today: “It is right noble to fight with wickedness and wrong; the mistake is in supposing that spiritual evil can be overcome by physical means.” — Lydia Maria Child, American author (1802-1880).