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Today in History: Bush becomes president-elect

By The Associated Press

Today is Thursday, Dec. 12, the 346th day of 2019. There are 19 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight

in History:

On Dec. 12, 2000, George W. Bush became president-elect as a divided U.S. Supreme Court reversed a state court decision for recounts in Florida’s contested election.

On this date:

In 1787, Pennsylvania became the second state to ratify the U.S. Constitution.

In 1870, Joseph H. Rainey of South Carolina became the first black lawmaker sworn into the U.S. House of Representatives.

In 1913, authorities in Florence, Italy, announced that the “Mona Lisa,” stolen from the Louvre Museum in Paris in 1911, had been recovered.

In 1915, singer-actor Frank Sinatra was born Francis Albert Sinatra in Hoboken, New Jersey.

In 1917, during World War I, a train carrying some 1,000 French troops from the Italian front derailed while descending a steep hill in Modane; at least half of the soldiers were killed in France’s greatest rail disaster. Father Edward Flanagan founded Boys Town outside Omaha, Nebraska.

In 1946, a United Nations committee voted to accept a six-block tract of Manhattan real estate offered as a gift by John D. Rockefeller, Jr. to be the site of the U.N.’s headquarters.

In 1963, Kenya became independent of Britain.

In 1977, the dance movie “Saturday Night Fever,” starring John Travolta, premiered in New York.

In 1985, 248 American soldiers and eight crew members were killed when an Arrow Air charter crashed after takeoff from Gander, Newfoundland.

In 1989, in New York, hotel queen Leona Helmsley, 69, was sentenced to four years in prison and fined $7.1 million for tax evasion. Helmsley served 18 months behind bars, plus a month at a halfway house and two months of house arrest.

In 1995, by three votes, the Senate killed a constitutional amendment giving Congress authority to outlaw flag burning and other forms of desecration against Old Glory.