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Today in History - Dec. 3

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

Today is Sunday, Dec. 3, the 337th day of 2006. 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 by the Electoral College.

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 1991, radicals in Lebanon released American hostage Alann Steen, who’d been held captive nearly five years.

Ten years ago: Four people were killed in a subway bombing in southern Paris. The Justice Department barred 16 Japanese army veterans suspected of World War II atrocities from entering the United States. A judge in Hawaii ruled that the state had to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, prompting an appeal.

Five years ago: In the wake of bombings that killed 26 Israelis, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon declared war on terror. President Bush’s homeland security chief, Tom Ridge, asked Americans to return to a high state of alert, citing threats of more terrorist attacks. Enron took steps to bolster its weak financial footing following its historic bankruptcy filing, arranging $1.5 billion in financing and slashing 4,000 jobs, or 20 percent of its work force.

One year ago: Economic officials from the world’s richest countries resumed their pressure on China to adopt a more flexible exchange rate as they concluded a meeting in London. Insurgents killed 19 Iraqi soldiers in a coordinated ambush northeast of Baghdad. Retired Navy vice admiral Frederick L. “Dick” Ashworth, the weaponeer aboard the B-29 that dropped the atomic bomb on Nagasaki, Japan, died in Phoenix at age 93.

Today’s Birthdays: Country singer Ferlin Husky is 81. Singer Andy Williams is 79. Movie director Jean-Luc Godard is 76. Singer Jaye P. Morgan is 75. Actress Mary Alice is 65. Rock singer Ozzy Osbourne is 58. Actress Heather Menzies is 57. Country musician Paul Gregg (Restless Heart) is 52. Actor Steven Culp (“Desperate Housewives”) is 51. Actress Daryl Hannah is 46. Actress Julianne Moore is 46. Actor Brendan Fraser is 38. Singer Montell Jordan is

38. Actor Royale Watkins is 37. Actor Bruno Campos is 33. Actress Holly Marie Combs is 33. Actress Lauren Roman is 31. Actress Anna Chlumsky is 26. Actor Brian Bonsall is 25. Actor Michael Angarano is 19.

Thought for Today: “The well of Providence is deep. It’s the buckets we bring to it that are small.” — Mary Webb, Scottish religious leader (c.1881-1927).