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Today in History - December 30
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    Today is Sunday, Dec. 30, the 364th day of 2007. There is one day left in the year.
    Today’s Highlight in History:
    On Dec. 30, 1907, the Mills Commission issued its final report which concluded that Abner Doubleday was the inventor of the sport of baseball — a claim which Doubleday himself had never made. (Few, if any, sports historians take this finding seriously.)
    On this date:
    In 1813, the British burned Buffalo, N.Y., during the War of 1812.
    In 1853, the United States bought some 45,000 square miles of land from Mexico in a deal known as the Gadsden Purchase.
    In 1903, about 600 people died when fire broke out at the recently opened Iroquois Theater in Chicago.
    In 1922, Vladimir I. Lenin proclaimed the establishment of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.
    In 1936, the United Auto Workers union staged its first ‘‘sit-down’’ strike, at the Fisher Body Plant No. 1 in Flint, Mich.
    In 1940, California’s first freeway, the Arroyo Seco Parkway connecting Los Angeles and Pasadena, was officially opened.
    In 1947, King Michael I of Romania agreed to abdicate, insisting he was being forced off the throne by Communists.
    In 1948, the Cole Porter musical ‘‘Kiss Me, Kate’’ opened on Broadway.
    In 1972, the United States halted its heavy bombing of North Vietnam.
    In 1994, a gunman walked into a pair of suburban Boston abortion clinics and opened fire, killing two employees and wounding five other people (John C. Salvi III was later convicted of murder; he committed suicide in prison).
    Ten years ago: A deadly massacre in Algeria’s insurgency began in four mountain villages as armed men killed 412 men, women and children in an attack that lasted from dusk until dawn the following morning.
    Five years ago: A suspected extremist killed three U.S. missionaries at a Baptist hospital in Yemen. (The gunman, Abed Abdul Razak Kamel, was executed in February 2006.) China catapulted a fourth unmanned craft into orbit.
    One year ago: Iraqis awoke to news that Saddam Hussein had been hanged; victims of his three decades of autocratic rule took to the streets to celebrate. The casket bearing the body of former President Ford arrived in Washington, D.C. More than 8,500 James Brown fans filled an arena in Augusta, Ga., for a final, joyful farewell to the godfather of soul. Gerald ‘‘Wash’’ Washington, the mayor-elect of Westlake, La., was found shot to death in a parking lot; authorities ruled his death a suicide, a conclusion disputed by his family.
    Today’s Birthdays: Singer-musician Bo Diddley is 79. Actor Joseph Bologna is 73. Actor Russ Tamblyn is 73. Baseball Hall-of-Famer Sandy Koufax is 72. Actor Jack Riley is 72. Folk singer Paul Stookey is 70. TV director James Burrows is 67. Actor Fred Ward is 65. Singer-musician Michael Nesmith is 65. Singer Davy Jones is 62. Singer Patti Smith is 61. Rock singer-musician Jeff Lynne is 60. ‘‘Today Show’’ co-host Meredith Vieira is 54. Actress Sheryl Lee Ralph is 52. Actress Patricia Kalember is 51. Country singer Suzy Bogguss is 51. ‘‘Today Show’’ newscaster Matt Lauer is 50. Actress-comedian Tracey Ullman is 48. Rock musician Rob Hotchkiss is 47. Radio-TV commentator Sean Hannity is 46. Runner Ben Johnson is 46. Singer Jay Kay (Jamiroquai) is 38. Actress Meredith Monroe is 38. Actor Daniel Sunjata is 36. Actress Maureen Flannigan is 35. Actor Jason Behr is 34. Golfer Tiger Woods is 32. Singer Tyrese is 29. Actress Eliza Dushku is 27. Actress Kristin Kreuk is 25.
    Thought for Today: ‘‘The meek shall inherit the earth — if that’s all right with you.’’ — Anonymous.

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