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This day in history

Today is Tuesday, Dec. 4, the 339th day of 2012. There are 27 days left in the year.

Today’s birthdays: Game-show host Wink Martindale is 79. Actress Gemma Jones is 70. Actor Jeff Bridges is 63. Jazz singer Cassandra Wilson is 57. Actress Marisa Tomei is 48. Actress Chelsea Noble is 48. Actor-comedian Fred Armisen is 46. Rapper Jay-Z is 43. Actress-model Tyra Banks is 39.

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In 1783, General George Washington bade farewell to his Continental Army officers at Fraunces Tavern in New York.

In 1816, James Monroe of Virginia was elected the fifth president of the United States.

In 1918, President Wilson left Washington on a trip to France to attend the Versailles Peace Conference.

In 1942, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt ordered the dismantling of the Works Progress Administration, which had been created to provide jobs during the Depression.

In 1965, the United States launched Gemini 7.

In 1978, San Francisco got its first female mayor: City Supervisor Dianne Feinstein.

In 1991, journalist Terry Anderson, the longest held of the Western hostages in Lebanon, was released after nearly seven years in captivity.

In 1992, President George H.W. Bush ordered US troops to lead a mercy mission to Somalia, threatening military action against warlords and gangs who were blocking food for starving millions.

In 2011, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s party hung onto its majority in Russia’s parliamentary election, but faced accusations from opponents of rigging the vote.

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