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.

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.