This day in history

Saturday, Dec. 22, is the 357th day of 2012. There are nine days left in the year.

Today’s birthdays: Former House Speaker Jim Wright is 90. Actor Hector Elizondo is 76. Baseball Hall of Famer Steve Carlton is 68. ABC News anchor Diane Sawyer is 67. Rock singer-musician Rick Nielsen (Cheap Trick) is 66. Former baseball All-Star Steve Garvey is 64. Golfer Jan Stephenson is 61. Actor Ralph Fiennes is 50. Singer-songwriter Lori McKenna is 44. Rhythm-and-blues singer Jordin Sparks is 23.

In 1910, a fire lasting more than 26 hours broke out at the Chicago Union Stock Yards; 21 firefighters were killed.


In 2001, Richard C. Reid, a passenger on an American Airlines flight from Paris to Miami, tried to ignite explosives in his shoes, but was subdued by flight attendants and passengers. (Reid is serving a life sentence in federal prison.)

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In 2002, Joe Strummer, lead singer of the British punk band the Clash, died in Broomfield, England, at age 50.

In 2011, a wave of 16 bombings ripped across Baghdad, killing at least 69 people, days after the last American forces left the country .