Today is the 146th day of 2012. There are 220 days left in the year.
1997: Rebels topple the government of Sierra Leone in a violent coup; Polish voters adopt a constitution that removes the last traces of communism.
1911: Revolution in Mexico overthrows President Porfirio Diaz.
1923: Independence of Transjordan — now Jordan — under Amir Abdullah is proclaimed.
1963: Leaders of six African nations, meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, form Organisation of African Unity.
1969: Parliamentary government in Sudan is overthrown in bloodless coup and Maj Gen Jafaar Numeiry heads new military regime.
1985: Emir of Kuwait escapes death when terrorists detonate a bomb in his motorcade. Extremist Jihad Islamic organization claims responsibility.
1986: An estimated seven million Americans participate in "Hands Across America", forming a line across the country to raise money for the nation's hungry and homeless.
1988: Israeli army imposes curfews confining 200,000 Arabs as PLO-mandated general strike shuts down commerce and transportation in occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip.
1991: In a two-day airlift, Israel brings 15,000 Ethiopian Jews from the besieged city of Addis Ababa to Israel.
1992: Jay Leno makes his debut as permanent host of NBC's Tonight Show succeeding Johnny Carson.
1998: Indonesia's new president, BJ Habibie, announces that elections will be held and begins releasing some political prisoners.
2000: The Chinese army begins removing British names from military buildings in Hong Kong.
2001: Human rights organisation Amnesty International marks 40 years of activism. The organisation which won the Nobel Prize in 1977 has dealt with the cases of 47,000 prisoners of conscience.
2005: Suspected Basque rebels detonate a powerful car bomb during rush-hour in Madrid, injuring 52 people in the sixth attack since Spain's prime minister offered the group negotiations if it renounces violence.
2006: Sudan says it will permit the UN to lay the groundwork for possible deployment of a peacekeeping force in Darfur, but cautioned that the world body's role would be smaller than some Security Council members want.
2007: North Korea fires a salvo of test missiles into its coastal waters, flexing naval muscles as South Korea launches its most advanced destroyer ever, armed with a high-tech US air defence system.
2008: Michel Suleiman is sworn in as Lebanon's president after parliament elected him in long-delayed vote following an 18-month political stalemate that brought the country to the brink of another civil war.
2010: Relations on the divided Korean peninsula plunge to their lowest point in a decade when the North declares it is cutting all ties to Seoul as punishment for blaming the communists for the sinking of a South Korean warship.
Ralph Waldo Emerson, US writer (1803-1882); Josip Broz Tito, Yugoslavia's president (1892-1980); Beverly Sills, US opera singer (1929-2007); Ian McKellen, English actor (1939-); John Newcombe, Australian tennis star (1944-); David Graham, Australian golfer (1946-); Mike Myers, Canadian actor/comedian (1963-); Lauryn Hill, US singer (1975-); Frank Oz, British director/voice of Yoda and Miss Piggy (1944-).