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Five years ago: Six U.S. troops died in an insurgent ambush, making 2007 the deadliest year for American forces in Afghanistan since 2001. During an Ibero-American summit in Santiago, Chile, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez kept interrupting Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero as he defended his predecessor, Jose Maria Aznar, whom Chavez had repeatedly referred to as a "fascist"; Spain's King Juan Carlos finally told Chavez, "Why don't you shut up?" A stagehands strike shut down most Broadway shows, with curtains rising again 19 days later. Author Norman Mailer, 84, died in New York. The mother of rapper Kanye West, Donda West, died at a Los Angeles-area hospital at age 58 a day after undergoing plastic surgery. Miami ended its 70-year stay at the famed Orange Bowl with a lopsided 48-0 loss to Virginia.
One year ago: The National Archives released a transcript of former President Richard Nixon's 1975 grand jury testimony after a judge ordered the government to do so; in it, a feisty and cagey Nixon defended his legacy and Watergate-era actions. Calle 13, the Puerto Rican hip-hop duo, swept the Latin Grammy Awards in Las Vegas.
Today's birthdays: Actor Russell Johnson is 88. Film composer Ennio Morricone (EHN'-yoh mor-ee-KOHN'-eh) is 84. Blues singer Bobby Rush is 78. Actor Albert Hall is 75. Country singer Donna Fargo is 71. Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., is 69. Lyricist Tim Rice is 68. Rock singer-musician Greg Lake (Emerson, Lake and Palmer) is 65. Actress-dancer Ann Reinking is 63. Actor Jack Scalia is 62. Movie director Roland Emmerich is 57. Actor Matt Craven is 56. Actor-comedian Sinbad is 56. Actress Mackenzie Phillips is 53. Author Neil Gaiman (GAY'-mihn) is 52. Actress Vanessa Angel is 49. Actor Hugh Bonneville (TV: "Downton Abbey") is 49. Actor-comedian Tommy Davidson is 49. Actor Michael Jai (jy) White is 48. Country singer Chris Cagle is 44. Actor-comedian Tracy Morgan is 44. Actress Ellen Pompeo (pahm-PAY'-oh) (TV: "Grey's Anatomy") is 43. Rapper-producer Warren G is 42. Actor Walton Goggins is 41. Comedian-actor Chris Lilley is 38. Rock singer-musician Jim Adkins (Jimmy Eat World) is 37. Rapper Eve is 34. Rock musician Chris Joannou (joh-AN'-yoo)(Silverchair) is 33. Actor Bryan Neal is 32. Actress Heather Matarazzo is 30. Country singer Miranda Lambert is 29. Actor Josh Peck is 26. Actress Kiernan Shipka (TV: "Mad Men") is 13. Actress Mackenzie Foy (Film: the "Twilight" films) is 12.
Thought for today: "Let the world know you as you are, not as you think you should be, because sooner or later, if you are posing, you will forget the pose, and then where are you?" -- Fanny Brice, American actress and singer (1891-1951)
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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