Today is Saturday, Dec. 30, the 364th day of 2017. There is one day left in the year.
Today's Highlight in History:
On Dec. 30, 1922, Vladimir Lenin proclaimed the establishment of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, which lasted nearly seven decades before dissolving in December 1991.
On this date:
In 1853, the United States and Mexico signed a treaty under which the U.S. agreed to buy some 45,000 square miles of land from Mexico for $10 million in a deal known as the Gadsden Purchase.
In 1905, the Franz Lehar operetta "The Merry Widow" premiered in Vienna.
In 1916, Grigory Rasputin, the so-called "Mad Monk" who wielded considerable influence with Czar Nicholas II, was killed by a group of Russian noblemen in St. Petersburg.
In 1936, the United Auto Workers union staged its first "sit-down" strike at the General Motors Fisher Body Plant No. 1 in Flint, Michigan. (The strike lasted until Feb. 11, 1937.)
In 1942, a near-riot of bobby-soxers greeted the opening of Frank Sinatra's singing engagement at the Paramount Theater in New York's Times Square.
In 1947, King Michael I of Romania agreed to abdicate, but charged he was being forced off the throne by Communists.
In 1954, Olympic gold medal runner Malvin G. Whitfield became the first black recipient of the James E. Sullivan Award for amateur athletes.
In 1965, Ferdinand Marcos was inaugurated for his first term as president of the Philippines.
In 1979, Broadway composer Richard Rodgers died in New York at age 77.
In 1989, a Northwest Airlines DC-10, which had been the target of a telephoned threat, flew safely from Paris to Detroit with 22 passengers amid extra-tight security.
In 1997, a deadly massacre in Algeria's insurgency began in four mountain villages as armed men killed women and children in an attack that lasted from dusk until dawn the following morning; up to 412 deaths were reported.
In 1999, former Beatle George Harrison fought off a knife-wielding intruder who'd broken into his mansion west of London and stabbed him in the chest. (The attacker was later acquitted of attempted murder by reason of insanity.)
Ten years ago:
Kenya's President Mwai Kibaki (mwy kih-BAH'-kee) was declared winner of an election marred by widespread allegations of rigging; violence flared in Nairobi slums and coastal resort towns, killing scores in the following days. Three days after Benazir Bhutto was assassinated, her 19-year-old son, Bilawal Zardari, was named symbolic leader of her Pakistan Peoples Party, while her husband took effective control.
Five years ago:
Recalling the shooting rampage that killed 20 first graders in Connecticut as the worst day of his presidency, President Barack Obama pledged on NBC's "Meet the Press" to put his "full weight" behind legislation aimed at preventing gun violence. A tour bus crashed on an icy Oregon highway, killing nine passengers and injuring almost 40 on Interstate 84 east of Pendleton.
One year ago:
Two luxury retreats in New York and Maryland where Russian diplomats had gone for decades to play tennis, sail and swim were shut down by the Obama administration in retaliation for Moscow's cyber-meddling in the presidential election. China announced it would shut down its ivory trade at the end of 2017 in a move designed to curb the mass slaughter of African elephants. Ronda Rousey was stopped 48 seconds into her comeback fight, losing to bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes at UFC 207 in Las Vegas.
Actor Russ Tamblyn is 83. Baseball Hall of Famer Sandy Koufax is 82. Folk singer Noel Paul Stookey is 80. TV director James Burrows is 77. Actor Fred Ward is 75. Singer-musician Michael Nesmith is 75. Actress Concetta Tomei (toh-MAY') is 72. Singer Patti Smith is 71. Rock singer-musician Jeff Lynne is 70. TV personality Meredith Vieira is 64. Actress Sheryl Lee Ralph is 62. Actress Patricia Kalember is 61. Country singer Suzy Bogguss is 61. Former "Today" show co-host Matt Lauer is 60. Actress-comedian Tracey Ullman is 58. Rock musician Rob Hotchkiss is 57. Radio-TV commentator Sean Hannity is 56. Sprinter Ben Johnson is 56. CIA Director Mike Pompeo is 54. Actor George Newbern is 54. Movie director Bennett Miller is 51. Singer Jay Kay (Jamiroquai) is 48. Rock musician Byron McMackin (Pennywise) is 48. Actress Meredith Monroe is 48. Actor Daniel Sunjata is 46. Actress Maureen Flannigan is 45. Actor Jason Behr is 44. Golfer Tiger Woods is 42. TV personality-boxer Laila Ali is 40. Actress Lucy Punch is 40. Singer-actor Tyrese Gibson is 39. Actress Eliza Dushku is 37. Rock musician Tim Lopez (Plain White T's) is 37. Actress Kristin Kreuk is 35. Folk-rock singer-musician Wesley Schultz (The Lumineers) is 35. NBA player LeBron James is 33. Rhythm-and-blues singer Andra Day is 33. Pop-rock singer Ellie Goulding (GOL'-ding) is 31. Actress Caity Lotz is 31. Pop-rock musician Jamie Follese (FAHL'-es-ay) (Hot Chelle (shel) Rae) is 26.
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).