Today is the 93rd day of 2012. There are 273 days left in the year.
2005: Pope John Paul II, who had helped topple communism in Europe, and left a deeply conservative stamp on the church that he had led for 26 years, died in his Vatican apartment at the age of 84.
1513: Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de Leon landed in present-day Florida.
1792: Congress passed the Coinage Act, which authorised establishment of the US Mint.
1811: James Monroe became the seventh US Secretary of State.
1860: The first Italian Parliament met at Turin.
1865: Confederate President Jefferson Davis and most of his Cabinet fled the Confederate capital of Richmond, Va., because of advancing Union forces.
1917: President Woodrow Wilson asked Congress to declare war against Germany, saying, "The world must be made safe for democracy." (Congress declared war four days later.)
1932: Aviator Charles A Lindbergh and John F Condon went to a cemetery in The Bronx, NY, where Condon turned over $50,000 to a man in exchange for Lindbergh's kidnapped son. (The child, who was not returned, was found dead the following month.)
1956: The soap operas As the World Turns and The Edge of Night premiered on CBS television.
1974: French President Georges Pompidou died in Paris.
1980: President Jimmy Carter signed into law a windfall profits tax on the oil industry. (The tax was repealed in 1988.)
1982: Several thousand troops from Argentina seized the disputed Falkland Islands, located in the south Atlantic, from Britain. (Britain seized the islands back the following June.)
1986: Four American passengers were killed when a bomb exploded aboard a TWA jetliner en route from Rome to Athens, Greece.
2000: More than 600 people set out on a five-day, 120-mile protest march to Columbia, SC to urge state lawmakers to move the Confederate flag from the Statehouse dome. Japanese Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi suffered a debilitating stroke (he died more than a month later).
2001: President George W Bush demanded that China promptly return a US spy plane and its crew members. (The plane had made an emergency landing in China after colliding with a Chinese fighter.)
2005: Terri Schiavo's body was cremated as disagreements continued between her husband and her parents, who were unable to have their own independent expert observe her autopsy. The Schiavo case was a highly publicised battle between Terri's husband and other family members suroounfdun g who had the right tp terminate life support.
2006: Journalist Jill Carroll arrived in Boston, tearfully embracing her parents and twin sister after 82 days as a hostage in Iraq. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw made a surprise trip to Iraq to urge its leaders to form a unified government. Tornadoes killed 23 people in Tennessee and four others in the South and Midwest.
2009: Leaders of the world's rich and major developing countries met at an emergency G-20 economic summit in London; afterward, President Barack Obama hailed agreements they had reached as a "turning point in our pursuit of global economic recovery," but cautioned, "there are no guarantees". The House and Senate passed companion budget plans, giving President Barack Obama and his allies on Capitol Hill a key victory.
2010: President Barack Obama, visiting a factory in Charlotte, NC, hailed a new government report showing the most jobs created in nearly three years, saying, "We are beginning to turn the corner." Gunmen seeking to pass themselves off as US and Iraqi soldiers raided a Sunni village outside Baghdad, killing at least 24 people in an execution-style attack. Ohio State junior swingman Evan Turner was the runaway choice as The Associated Press college basketball player of the year.
Today's Birthdays 2011
Actress Rita Gam is 83. Actress Sharon Acker is 76. Singer Leon Russell is 69. Jazz musician Larry Coryell is 68. Actress Linda Hunt is 66. Singer Emmylou Harris is 64. Social critic and author Camille Paglia is 64. Actor Ron Palillo is 62. Actress Pamela Reed is 62. Rock musician Dave Robinson (The Cars) is 58. Country singer Buddy Jewell is 50. Actor Christopher Meloni is 50. Singer Keren Woodward (Bananarama) is 50. Country singer Billy Dean is 49. Actor Clark Gregg is 49. Actress Jana Marie Hupp is 47. Rock musician Greg Camp is 44. Rock musician Tony Fredianelli (Third Eye Blind) is 42. Actress Roselyn Sanchez is 38. Country singer Jill King is 36. Actor Adam Rodriguez is 36. Actor Jeremy Garrett is 35. Rock musician Jesse Carmichael (Maroon 5) is 32. Actress Bethany Joy Lenz is 30. Singer Lee Dewyze (TV: "American Idol") is 25. Actor Jesse Plemons is 23. Singer Aaron Kelly (TV: "American Idol") is 18.