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Five years ago: President George W. Bush, speaking at his Texas ranch, declined to promise more U.S. troop withdrawals from Iraq before leaving, underscoring the need for a strong military presence during Iraqi provincial elections. The USS New York, an amphibious assault ship built with scrap steel from the ruins of the World Trade Center, was christened at Avondale, La. Raul Reyes, the No. 2 commander of the Colombian rebel group FARC, was slain during a cross-border raid into Ecuador by Colombian security forces. New York's famed Plaza Hotel reopened after a three-year, $400 million renovation.
One year ago: Senate Democrats narrowly blocked, 51-48, an effort by Republicans to overturn President Barack Obama's order that most employers or their insurers cover the cost of contraceptives. Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley signed a measure legalizing same-sex marriage, effective Jan. 2013. Online publisher and conservative blogger Andrew Breitbart died in Los Angeles at age 43.
Today's birthdays: Actor Robert Clary is 87. Singer Harry Belafonte is 86. Actor Robert Conrad is 78. Rock singer Mike D'Abo (Manfred Mann) is 69. Former Sen. John Breaux, D-La., is 69. Rock singer Roger Daltrey is 69. Actor Dirk Benedict is 68. Actor Alan Thicke is 66. Actor-director Ron Howard is 59. Actress Catherine Bach is 59. Country singer Janis Gill (aka Janis Oliver Cummins) (Sweethearts of the Rodeo) is 59. Actor Tim Daly is 57. Singer-musician Jon Carroll is 56. Rock musician Bill Leen is 51. Actor Maurice Bernard is 50. Actor Russell Wong is 50. Actor John David Cullum is 47. Actor George Eads is 46. Actor Javier Bardem (HAH'-vee-ayr bahr-DEHM') is 44. Actor Jack Davenport is 40. Rock musician Ryan Peake (Nickelback) is 40. Actor Mark-Paul Gosselaar is 39. Actor Jensen Ackles is 35. TV host Donovan Patton is 35. Rock musician Sean Woolstenhulme (WOOL'-sten-hyoolm) is 32. Rhythm-and-blues singer Sammie is 26. Pop singer Justin Bieber is 19.
Thought for today: "Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind." -- Rudyard Kipling, English author (1865-1936)
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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