Today is the 181st day of 2012. There are 185 days left in the year.
2005: Hundreds of UN peacekeepers raid a Haiti slum filled with gangs loyal to ousted President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, killing six gunmen and wounding five others.
1520: Montezuma II, ninth and last emperor of the Aztecs, dies in Tenochtitlan of wounds he received, according to Spanish accounts, from his alienated subjects when he tried to speak to them three days earlier.
1529: Religious civil war in Switzerland ends with Peace of Kappel, where the Catholic cantons give freedom of religion to the Protestants.
1847: Convention of Gramido ends civil war in Portugal.
1848: Austria’s Archduke John is elected Regent of the Reich, replacing German Confederation.
1880: Australia’s most infamous bushranger, Ned Kelly, is wounded and captured at Glenrowan, Victoria.
1880: France takes control of South Pacific island of Tahiti.
1888: Professor Frederick Treves performs the first appendectomy in England.
1896: Expedition under Major Marchand leaves France to advance on Fashoda and claim Sudan.
1913: Bulgarian forces attack Serbian and Greek troops in Macedonia, sparking Second Balkan War. Bulgarians are defeated in August.
1939: First commercial plane flight from United States to Europe is completed as Dixie Clipper lands at Lisbon, Portugal.
1946: British arrest more than 2,700 Jews in Palestine in attempt to stamp out terrorism.
1949: South Africa begins implementing apartheid, its racial segregation rules.
1963: Dispute between Soviet Union and China worsens as Soviets demand recall of three officials at Chinese embassy in Moscow.
1966: Hanoi, North Vietnam’s capital, and Haiphong, its principal port, are bombed by United States for first time in Vietnam War.
1967: Israel defies international protests and unites divided city of Jerusalem for first time in two decades, following victory in Six-Day War.
1974: Soviet ballet star Mikhail Baryshnikov, touring with the Bolshoi Ballet, defects in Toronto, Canada.
1990: Lithuanian parliament agrees to a 100-day moratorium on declaration of independence in exchange for an end to the economic blockade ordered by Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev.
1991: Yugoslav federal army threatens to take “decisive military action” against Slovenia unless the republic stops fighting government troops.
1992: Mohammed Boudfiaf, head of the Algerian ruling council, is assassinated.
1993: Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif imposes emergency rule in Punjab province, where more than half of the country’s 120 million people live.
1995: A posh five-storey department store in Seoul, South Korea, collapses, killing at least 114 people and injuring 910.
1999: A pre-dawn fire sweeps through a three-storey summer camp in Hwasung, South Korea killing 23 kindergarten and grade school children.
2000: An overloaded ship carrying almost 500 people, many fleeing sectarian violence in the Maluku islands, goes missing in remote eastern Indonesia. There are 10 known survivors.
2001: UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan is unanimously re-elected to a second term by 189-member General Assembly. He pledges to redouble efforts to strengthen human rights and start carrying out a global plan to lift millions out of abject poverty.
2002: A North Korean navy vessel sinks a South Korean naval patrol boat in an exchange of fire in the Yellow Sea. Four South Korean sailors are killed in the battle and 19 were injured.
2004: The US military announces the formation of a five-member military tribunal to preside over the first trials of terror suspects held at its naval base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
2006: Female voters in Kuwait, who won the right to vote and run for office last year, cast ballots in parliamentary elections for the first time.
2007: Britain thwarts an attack in London’s busy theatre district when police defuse a lethal mix of gasolene, propane and nails discovered in an abandoned Mercedes. A second explosives-rigged car is also found nearby.
2008: Zimbabwe’s long-time ruler Robert Mugabe is sworn in as president for a sixth term.
2009: Iraqi forces assume formal control of Baghdad and other cities after American troops hand over security in urban areas in a defining step toward ending the US combat role in the country.
Giacomo Leopardi, Italian author/philosopher (1798-1837); Pietro Angelo
Secchi, Italian Jesuit/astrophysicist (1818-1878); George Washington Goethals,
US builder of Panama Canal (1858-1928); Antoine de Saint-Exupery, French
aviator and writer (1900-1944); Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands (1911-
2004); Robert Evans, producer/former actor (1930-); Gary Busey, actor (1944-).