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Today in history: December 1

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

Today is Thursday, Dec. 1, the 335th day of 2005. There are 30 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:
Fifty years ago, on Dec. 1, 1955, Rosa Parks, a black seamstress, refused to give up her seat to a white man on a Montgomery, Ala., city bus. Mrs. Parks was arrested, sparking a year-long boycott of the buses by blacks.

On this date:
In 1824, the presidential election was turned over to the U.S. House of Representatives when a deadlock developed between John Quincy Adams, Andrew Jackson, William H. Crawford and Henry Clay. (Adams ended up the winner.)

In 1904, the Louisiana Purchase Exposition in St. Louis closed after seven months and some 20 million visitors.

In 1913, the first drive-in automobile service station opened, in Pittsburgh.

In 1934, Sergei M. Kirov, a collaborator of Josef Stalin, was assassinated in Leningrad, resulting in a massive purge.

In 1942, nationwide gasoline rationing went into effect in the United States.

In 1943, President Roosevelt, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Soviet leader Josef Stalin concluded their Tehran conference.

In 1958, the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical “Flower Drum Song” opened on Broadway.

In 1965, an airlift of refugees from Cuba to the United States began in which thousands of Cubans were allowed to leave their homeland.

In 1969, the U.S. government held its first draft lottery since World War II.

In 1973, David Ben-Gurion, Israel’s first prime minister, died in Tel Aviv at age 87.

Ten years ago: Tens of thousands of people in Dublin, Ireland, warmly welcomed President Clinton to his ancestral homeland. The NATO alliance chose Spanish Foreign Minister Javier Solana to be its new secretary-general.

Five years ago: The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments on a narrow question of Florida election law while the Florida Supreme Court and a circuit judge denied Al Gore’s petitions for immediate recounts. Florida’s high court also refused to order a new election in Palm Beach County, where a “butterfly ballot” drew protests from Democratic voters. Vicente Fox was sworn in as president of Mexico, ending 71 years of ruling-party domination.

One year ago: Tom Brokaw signed off for the last time as principal anchor of the “NBC Nightly News”; he was succeeded by Brian Williams. Texas Gov. Rick Perry blocked the execution of Frances Newton two hours before she was to be lethally injected for the deaths of her husband and two young children so her lawyers can conduct new tests on evidence in the 17-year-old murder case. (Newton was executed in September 2005.)

Today’s Birthdays: Actor Paul Picerni is 83. Former CIA director Stansfield Turner is 82. Actor Robert Symonds is 79. Singer Billy Paul is 71. Actor-director Woody Allen is 70. Singer Lou Rawls is 70. Golfer Lee Trevino is 66. Singer Dianne Lennon (The Lennon Sisters) is 66. Comedian-actor Richard Pryor is 65. Country musician Casey Van Beek (The Tractors) is 63. Television producer David Salzman is 62. Rock singer-musician Eric Bloom (Blue Oyster Cult) is 61. Rock musician John Densmore (The Doors) is 61. Actress-singer Bette Midler is 60. Singer Gilbert O’Sullivan is 59. Actor Treat Williams is 54. Country singer Kim Richey is 49. Actress Charlene Tilton is 47. Actress-model Carol Alt is 45. Actor Jeremy Northam is 44. Actor Nestor Carbonell is 38. Actress Golden Brooks is 35. Actress-comedian Sarah Silverman is 35. Actor Ron Melendez is 33. Singer Sarah Masen is 30. Rock musician Brad Delson (Linkin Park) is 28. Actress Ashley Monique Clark is 17.

Thought for Today: “An educated man should know everything about something, and something about everything.” — Dame C.V. Wedgwood, English historian (1910-1997).