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December 30 Today’s: Famous Birthdays – Music history 1460 – At the Battle of Wake_eld, in England’s Wars of the Roses, the Duke of York was defeated and killed by the Lancastrians.

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

1879 – Gilbert and Sullivan’s “The Pirates of Penzance” was _rst performed, at Paignton, Devon, England.

1880 – The Transvaal was declared a republic. Paul Kruger became its _rst president.

1887 – A petition to Queen Victoria with over one million names of women appealing for public houses to be closed on Sundays was handed to the home secretary.

1903 – About 600 people died when _re broke out at the Iroquois Theater in Chicago, IL. 1919 – Lincoln’s Inn, in London, admitted the _rst female bar student.

1922 – The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) was formed.

1924 – Edwin Hubble announced the existence of other galactic systems.

1927 – The _rst subway in the Orient was dedicated in Tokyo, Japan.

1935 – Italian bombers destroyed a Sweedish Red Cross unit in Ethiopia.

1936 – The United Auto Workers union staged its _rst sit-down strike, at the Fisher Body Plant in Flint, MI.

1940 – California’s _rst freeway was of_cially opened. It was the Arroyo Seco Parkway connecting Los Angeles and Pasadena.

1942 – “Mr. and Mrs. North” debuted on NBC radio.

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

1947 – King Michael of Romania abdicated in favor of a Communist Republic. He claimed he was forced from his throne.

1948 – “Kiss Me Kate” opened at the New Century Theatre in New York City. Cole Porter composed the music for the classic play that ran for 1,077 performances.

1953 – The _rst color TV sets went on sale for about $1,175.

1954 – Pearl Bailey opened on Broadway in the play, “House of Flowers.”

1954 – James Arness made his dramatic TV debut in “The Chase”. The “Gunsmoke” series didn’t begin for Arness until the fall of 1955.

1961 – Jack Nicklaus lost his _rst attempt at pro golf to Gary Player in an exhibition match in Miami, FL.

1972 – The United States halted its heavy bombing of North Vietnam.

1976 – The Smothers Brothers, Tom and Dick, played their last show at the Aladdin Hotel in Las Vegas and retired as a team from show business. Both con they reunited several years later.

1978 – Ohio State University _red Woody Hayes as its football coach, one day after Hayes punched Clemson University player Charlie Bauman during the Gator Bowl. Bauman had intercepted an Ohio pass.

1980 – “The Wonderful World of Disney” was cancelled by NBC after more than 25 years on the TV. It was the longest-running series in prime-time television history.

Disney movies, music and books 1993 – Israel and the Vatican established diplomatic relations.

1996 – A passenger train was bombed by Bodo separatists in India’s eastern state of Assam. At least 26 people were killed and dozens were seriously injured.

1996 – About 250,000 striking workers shut down vital services across Israel in protests against budget cuts proposed by Prime Minister Netanyahu.

1997 – More than 400 people were massacred in four villages in the single worst incident during Algeria’s insurgency.

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