Today is Thursday, Dec. 4, the 338th day of 2014. There are 27 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On Dec. 4, 1984, a five-day hijack drama began as four armed men seized a Kuwaiti airliner en route to Pakistan and forced it to land in Tehran, where the hijackers killed American passenger Charles Hegna. (A second American, William Stanford, also was killed during the siege before Iranian security seized control of the plane.)
On this date:
In 1214, Alexander II became King of Scots at age 16 upon the death of his father, William the Lion.
In 1619, a group of settlers from Bristol, England, arrived at Berkeley Hundred in present-day Charles City County, Virginia, where they held a service thanking God for their safe arrival.
In 1783, Gen. 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 Woodrow Wilson left Washington on a trip to France to attend the Versailles Peace Conference.
In 1945, the Senate approved U.S. participation in the United Nations by a vote of 65-7.
In 1954, the first Burger King stand was opened in Miami by James McLamore and David Edgerton.
In 1965, the United States launched Gemini 7 with Air Force Lt. Col. Frank Borman and Navy Cmdr. James A. Lovell aboard.
In 1978, San Francisco got its first female mayor as City Supervisor Dianne Feinstein was named to replace the assassinated George Moscone.
In 1980, the bodies of four American churchwomen slain in El Salvador two days earlier were unearthed. (Five Salvadoran national guardsmen were later convicted of murdering nuns Ita Ford, Maura Clarke and Dorothy Kazel, and lay worker Jean Donovan.)
In 1991, Associated Press correspondent Terry Anderson, the longest held of the Western hostages in Lebanon, was released after nearly seven years in captivity.
In 1996, the Mars Pathfinder lifted off from Cape Canaveral and began speeding toward the red planet on a 310 million-mile odyssey. (It arrived on Mars in July 1997.)
Ten years ago: President George W. Bush received the president of Pakistan, Gen. Pervez Musharraf, in the Oval Office; afterward, Bush pronounced himself “very pleased” with Pakistan’s efforts to flush out terrorists.
Five years ago: President Barack Obama began putting the finishing touches on a fresh job creation proposal, telling a community college crowd in Allentown, Pennsylvania, “I still consider one job lost one job too many.” Gunmen and a suicide bomber attacked a mosque in a military installation in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, killing 35. Paula Hawkins, a Republican who in 1980 became the first woman elected to a full U.S. Senate term without a family political connection, died in Orlando, Florida, at age 82.
One year ago: A senior commander in the militant group Hezbollah, Hassan al-Laqis, was shot dead outside his home in Lebanon, the latest in a series of attacks against the Iranian-backed organization, which accused Israel of the attack. Oscar De La Hoya was selected for induction into the International Boxing Hall of Fame; two of his contemporaries in the modern era — Puerto Rican star Felix “Tito” Trinidad and Joe Calzaghe of Wales — were also selected.
Today’s Birthdays: Actor-comedian Ronnie Corbett (TV: “The Two Ronnies”) is 84. Game show host Wink Martindale is 81. Pop singer Freddy Cannon is 78. Actor-producer Max Baer Jr. is 77. Actress Gemma Jones is 72. Rock musician Bob Mosley (Moby Grape) is 72. Singer-musician Chris Hillman is 70. Musician Terry Woods (The Pogues) is 67. Rock singer Southside Johnny Lyon is 66. Actor Jeff Bridges is 65. Rock musician Gary Rossington (Lynyrd Skynyrd; the Rossington Collins Band) is 63. Actress Patricia Wettig is 63. Actor Tony Todd is 60. Jazz singer Cassandra Wilson is 59. Country musician Brian Prout (Diamond Rio) is 59. Rock musician Bob Griffin (The BoDeans) is 55. Rock singer Vinnie Dombroski (Sponge) is 52. Actress Marisa Tomei is 50. Actress Chelsea Noble is 50. Actor-comedian Fred Armisen is 48. Rapper Jay-Z is 45. Actor Kevin Sussman is 44. Actress-model Tyra Banks is 41. Country singer Lila McCann is 33. Actress Lindsay Felton is 30. Actor Orlando Brown is 27.
Thought for Today: “A person reveals his character by nothing so clearly as the joke he resents.” — Georg Christoph Lichtenberg, German scientist (1742-1799).

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