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Today in history: December 30

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

Today is Friday, Dec. 30, the 364th day of 2005. There is one day left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:
On Dec. 30, 1903, about 600 people died when fire broke out at the recently opened Iroquois Theater in Chicago.

On this date:
In 1852, future U.S. president Rutherford B. Hayes married Lucy Ware Webb in Cincinnati.

In 1853, the United States bought some 45,000 square miles of land from Mexico in a deal known as the Gadsden Purchase.

In 1911, Sun Yat-sen was elected the first president of the Republic of China.

In 1922, Vladimir I. Lenin proclaimed the establishment of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.

In 1936, the United Auto Workers union staged its first “sit-down” strike, at the Fisher Body Plant No. 1 in Flint, Mich.

In 1940, California’s first freeway, the Arroyo Seco Parkway connecting Los Angeles and Pasadena, was officially opened.

In 1944, King George II of Greece proclaimed a regency to rule his country, virtually renouncing the throne.

In 1948, the Cole Porter musical “Kiss Me, Kate” opened on Broadway.

In 1972, the United States halted its heavy bombing of North Vietnam.

In 1994, a gunman walked into a pair of suburban Boston abortion clinics and opened fire, killing two employees and wounding five other people (John C. Salvi III was later convicted of murder; he committed suicide in prison).

Ten years ago: A U.S. military policeman, Martin John Begosh, became the first American injured in NATO’s fledgling Bosnia peace mission when his Humvee hit an anti-tank mine.

Five years ago: In the Philippines, 22 people were killed in five bombings in the Manila area. Hollywood screenwriter Julius J. Epstein, who co-wrote the script for “Casablanca,” died in Los Angeles at age 91.

One year ago: Democrat Christine Gregoire was declared victor of Washington’s gubernatorial election over Republican Dino Rossi by a mere 129 votes out of more than 2.8 million cast. A fire broke out during a rock concert at a nightclub in Buenos Aires, Argentina, killing 194 people. Bandleader and clarinetist Artie Shaw died in Thousand Oaks, Calif., at age 94.

Today’s Birthdays: Singer-musician Bo Diddley is 77. Actor Joseph Bologna is 71. Actor Russ Tamblyn is 71. Baseball Hall-of-Famer Sandy Koufax is 70. Actor Jack Riley is 70. Folk singer Paul Stookey is 68. TV director James Burrows is 65. Actor Fred Ward is 63. Singer-musician Michael Nesmith is 63. Singer Davy Jones is 60. Singer Patti Smith is 59. Rock singer-musician Jeff Lynne is 58. TV host Meredith Vieira is 52. Actress Sheryl Lee Ralph is 50. Actress Patricia Kalember is 49. Country singer Suzy Bogguss is 49. NBC newscaster Matt Lauer is 48. Actress-singer Tracey Ullman is 46. Rock musician Rob Hotchkiss is 45. Runner Ben Johnson is 44. Singer Jay Kay (Jamiroquai) is 36. Actress Maureen Flannigan is 33. Actor Jason Behr is 32. Golfer Tiger Woods is 30. Singer Tyrese is 27. Actress Eliza Dushku is 25. Actress Kristin Kreuk is 23.

Thought for Today: “Work is a dull thing; you cannot get away from that. The only agreeable existence is one of idleness, and that is not, unfortunately, always compatible with continuing to exist at all.” — Rose Macaulay, English poet and essayist (1881-1958).