Today in History, 12/1

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2017 - Robert Xie is found guilty by a NSW jury of the murder of five of his wife's relatives

Highlights in history on this date:

1519 - Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I dies.

1799 - Matthew Flinders and George Bass return to Sydney in sloop Norfolk after circumnavigating Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania).

1872 - Tin discovered at Tenterfield, NSW.

1879 - British-Zulu War begins in Africa.

1896 - Start of 13-day heat wave in Bourke, NSW, with daily average temperature of 47C; a total of 47 people die.

1897 - Death of Sir Isaac Pitman, British educator and inventor of the shorthand system.

1915 - The US House of Representatives rejects a proposal to give women the vote.

1945 - German forces retreat in disorder in Battle of the Bulge in Belgium during World War II.

1950 - A Swedish tanker strikes the British submarine Truculent during its trials in the River Thames. Only 15 of 70 men on the submarine survive.

1958 - Soviet Union proposes zone free of nuclear weapons from Arctic Circle to Mediterranean.

1967 - China's Army pledges support to Mao Zedong during disorder triggered by Chinese Cultural Revolution.

1970 - A Boeing 747 arrives at London's Heathrow airport after its first proving flight from New York.

1974 - North African nations of Libya and Tunisia announce agreement to merge as a new republic. The union never goes into effect.

1976 - Death of British crime writer Dame Agatha Christie.

1986 - Brisbane's Gateway Bridge opens, with 5000 cars passing every hour.

1990 - Romania's interim president, Ion Iliescu, announces that the Communist Party is outlawed.

1991 - US Congress grants President George Bush authority to use force to drive Iraq from Kuwait.

1993 - A 7.8 magnitude earthquake strikes northern Japan, killing 196 people.

1998 - Nineteen European nations sign an agreement to prohibit cloning of humans beings.

1998 - Germany agrees to establish a fund of 200 million marks to compensate about 18,000 Jewish Nazi victims in eastern Europe.

2000 - Britain lifts its ban on homosexuals serving in the military, accepting a landmark European court ruling.

2003 - Death of General Leopoldo Galtieri, former Argentinian military dictator who led his country into the disastrous 1982 Falkland Islands war against Britain.

2007 - Former Liberal minister Sir James Killen dies, aged 81.

2009 - Building workers in northern Poland find a World War II-era mass grave containing what are believed to be the bodies of 1800 German men, women and children who disappeared during the Soviet Army's march to Berlin.

2010 - An earthquake devastates Haiti, killing 230,000 people, injuring 300,000 and leaving more than one million homeless.

2011 - Torrential summer rains in Rio de Janeiro state's mountains kill at least 140 people in 24 hours.

2014 - Pope Francis names his first batch of cardinals, choosing 19 men from Asia, Africa, Latin America and elsewhere.

2017 - Robert Xie is found guilty by a NSW jury of the murder of five of his wife's relatives, including two children.

2018 - Tennis great Billie Jean King joins calls for Margaret Court's name to be stripped from the arena at Melbourne Park due to the Australian champion's vocal campaign against homosexuality.

2019 - Four people die and 40 others are injured after a suspected gas leak triggers an explosion at a bakery in Paris.

Today's Birthdays:

Hermann Goering, German Nazi leader (1893-1946); Joe Frazier, US boxer (1944-2011); Kirstie Alley, US actress (1951-); Howard Stern, US radio/TV personality (1954-); Melanie Chisholm (Mel C), English pop singer (1974-); Andrew Chan, Australian drug smuggler of the Bali Nine (1984-2015); Georgia May Jagger, English model (1992-); Zayn Malik, English pop singer (1993-).

Thought for Today:

Being young is a fault which improves daily - Swedish proverb.