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This day in history

Monday, Dec. 31, is the 366th and final day of 2012.

Today’s Birthdays: Actor Sir Anthony Hopkins is 75. Rock musician Andy Summers is 70. Actor Sir Ben Kingsley is 69. Producer-director Taylor Hackford is 68. Fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg is 66. Actor Tim Matheson is 65. Rock musician Tom Hamilton (Aerosmith) is 61. Actress Bebe Neuwirth is 54. Actor Val Kilmer is 53. Singer Paul Westerberg is 53. Pop singer Joe McIntyre is 40. Rapper PSY is 35. Olympic gold medal gymnast Gabby Douglas is 17.

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In 1862, President Abraham Lincoln signed an enabling act paving the way for Virginia’s western counties to become the state of West Virginia, which took place in June 1863.

In 1946, President Harry S. Truman officially proclaimed the end of hostilities in World War II.

In 1972, Major League baseball player Roberto Clemente, 38, was killed when a plane he’d chartered and was traveling on to bring relief supplies to earthquake-devastated Nicaragua crashed shortly after takeoff from Puerto Rico.

In 1985, singer Rick Nelson, 45, and six other people were killed when fire broke out aboard a DC-3 that was taking the group to a New Year’s Eve performance in Dallas.

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