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December 1, 2012

Today in History

Today is Sunday, Dec. 2, the 337th day of 2012. There are 29 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On Dec. 2, 1942, an artificially created, self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction was demonstrated for the first time at the University of Chicago.

On this date:

In 1804, Napoleon crowned himself Emperor of the French.

In 1812, the Electoral College chose President James Madison to serve a second term of office.

In 1823, President James Monroe outlined his doctrine opposing European expansion in the Western Hemisphere.

In 1859, militant abolitionist John Brown was hanged for his raid on Harpers Ferry the previous October. Artist Georges-Pierre Seurat was born in Paris.

In 1927, Ford Motor Co. unveiled its Model A automobile that replaced its Model T.

In 1939, New York Municipal Airport-LaGuardia Field (later LaGuardia Airport) went into operation as an airliner from Chicago landed at one minute past midnight.

In 1954, the Senate voted to condemn Sen. Joseph R. McCarthy, R-Wis., for conduct that "tends to bring the Senate into disrepute."

In 1961, Cuban leader Fidel Castro declared himself a Marxist-Leninist who would eventually lead Cuba to Communism.

In 1970, the newly created Environmental Protection Agency opened its doors. (Its first director was William D. Ruckelshaus.)

In 1982, in the first operation of its kind, doctors at the University of Utah Medical Center implanted a permanent artificial heart in the chest of retired dentist Dr. Barney Clark, who lived 112 days with the device.

In 1991, American hostage Joseph Cicippio, held captive in Lebanon for more than five years, was released.

In 2001, in one of the largest corporate bankruptcies in U.S. history, Enron filed for Chapter 11 protection.

Ten years ago: A statement attributed to al-Qaida claimed responsibility for the car-bombing of an Israeli-owned hotel in Kenya and the attempted shoot-down of an Israeli airliner, both on Nov. 28. The Supreme Court agreed to decide whether minorities could be given a boost to get into universities. (A divided Court later allowed the nation's colleges and universities to select students based in part on race, but emphasized that race could not be the overriding factor.) Italian interior designer and architect Achille Castiglioni died in Milan at age 84.

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