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Today in history: December 4

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

Today is Sunday, Dec. 4, the 338th day of 2005. There are 27 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:
On Dec. 4, 1783, Gen. George Washington bade farewell to his officers at Fraunces Tavern in New York.

On this date:
In 1816, James Monroe of Virginia was elected the fifth president of the United States.

In 1875, William Marcy Tweed, the “Boss” of New York City’s Tammany Hall political organization, escaped from jail and fled the country.

In 1918, President Wilson set sail for France to attend the Versailles Peace Conference.

In 1942, President Roosevelt ordered the dismantling of the Works Progress Administration, which had been created to provide jobs during the Depression.

In 1942, U.S. bombers struck the Italian mainland for the first time in World War II.

In 1945, the Senate approved U.S. participation in the United Nations.

In 1965, the United States launched Gemini 7 with Air Force Lt. Col. Frank Borman and Navy Cmdr. James A. Lovell aboard.

In 1978, San Francisco got its first female mayor as City Supervisor Dianne Feinstein was named to replace the assassinated George Moscone.

In 1980, the bodies of four American churchwomen slain in El Salvador two days earlier were unearthed. Five national guardsmen were later convicted of murdering nuns Ita Ford, Maura Clarke and Dorothy Kazel, and lay worker Jean Donovan.

In 1984, a five-day hijack drama began as four armed men seized a Kuwaiti airliner en route to Pakistan and forced it to land in Tehran, Iran, where the hijackers killed American passenger Charles Hegna.

Ten years ago: The first NATO troops landed in the Balkans to begin setting up a peace mission that brought American soldiers into the middle of the Bosnian conflict.

Five years ago: In a pair of legal setbacks for Al Gore, a Florida state judge refused to overturn George W. Bush’s certified victory in Florida and the U.S. Supreme Court set aside a ruling that had allowed manual recounts. PepsiCo agreed to pay $13.4 billion to acquire Quaker Oats. European Union farm ministers approved a six-month ban on animal products in fodder, part of an extraordinary plan to stem growing panic over mad cow disease.

One year ago: President Bush received the president of Pakistan, Gen. Pervez Musharraf, in the Oval Office; afterward, Bush pronounced himself “very pleased” with Pakistan’s efforts to flush out terrorists.

Today’s Birthdays: Actress-singer Deanna Durbin is 84. Game show host Wink Martindale is 71. Actor-producer Max Baer Jr. is 68. Actress Gemma Jones is 63. Rock musician Bob Mosley (Moby Grape) is 63. Singer-musician Chris Hillman is 61. Rock singer Southside Johnny Lyon is 57. Actor Jeff Bridges is 56. Rock musician Gary Rossington (Lynyrd Skynyrd; the Rossington Collins Band) is 54. Actress Patricia Wettig is 54. Jazz singer Cassandra Wilson is 50. Country musician Brian Prout (Diamond Rio) is 50. Rock musician Bob Griffin (The BoDeans) is 46. Rock singer Vinnie Dombroski (Sponge) is 43. Actress Marisa Tomei is 41. Actress Chelsea Noble is 41. Rapper Jay-Z is 36. Actress-model Tyra Banks is 32. Country singer Lila McCann is 24. Actress Lindsay Felton is 21. Actor Orlando Brown is 18.

Thought for Today: “Beauty is the promise of happiness.” — Stendahl (Henri Beyle), French author and critic (1783-1842).