This day in history

Thursday, Dec. 13, is the 348th day of 2012. There are 18 days left in the year.

Today’s birthdays: Former Secretary of State George P. Shultz is 92. Actor-comedian Dick Van Dyke is 87. Actor Christopher Plummer is 83. Singer Ted Nugent is 64. Actress Wendie Malick is 62. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack is 62. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke is 59. Actor Steve Buscemi is 55. Actor-comedian Jamie Foxx is 45. Rock singer Amy Lee (Evanescence) is 31. Country singer Taylor Swift is 23.

In 1769, Dartmouth College in New Hampshire received its charter.


In 1937, the Chinese city of Nanjing fell to Japanese forces; what followed was a massacre of war prisoners, soldiers, and citizens. (China maintains as many as 300,000 people died; Japan says the toll was far less.)

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In 1981, authorities in Poland imposed martial law in a crackdown on the Solidarity labor movement. (Martial law ended in 1983.)

In 2000, Democratic presidential candidate Al Gore conceded to Republican George W. Bush, a day after the US Supreme Court shut down further recounts in Florida.

In 2002, Cardinal Bernard Law resigned as Boston archbishop because of the priest sex abuse scandal.

In 2003, Saddam Hussein was captured by US forces while hiding in a hole under a farmhouse in Adwar, Iraq, near his hometown of Tikrit.