Today's Highlight in History:
On December 12th， 1979， in response to the Iran hostage crisis， the Carter administration ordered the removal of most Iranian diplomats in the United States.
On this date:
In 1787， Pennsylvania became the second state to ratify the US Constitution.
In 1870， Joseph H. Rainey of South Carolina became the first black lawmaker sworn into the US 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 1917， Father Edward Flanagan founded Boys Town outside Omaha， Nebraska.
In 1925， the first motel -- the "Motel Inn" -- opened in San Luis Obispo， California.
In 1937， Japanese aircraft sank the US gunboat "Panay" on China's Yangtze River. (Japan apologized， and paid $2.2 million in reparations.)
In 1947， the United Mine Workers union withdrew from the American Federation of Labor.
In 1963， Kenya gained its independence from Britain.
In 1975， Sara Jane Moore pleaded guilty to a charge of trying to kill President Ford in San Francisco the previous September.
In 1985， 248 American soldiers and eight crew members were killed when an Arrow Air charter crashed after takeoff from Gander， Newfoundland.
Ten years ago: Amid international criticism， Britain forcibly removed 51 Vietnamese from Hong Kong and returned them to their homeland. In New York， hotel queen Leona Helmsley was sentenced to four years in prison for tax evasion. (Helmsley served 18 months behind bars， plus a month at a halfway house and two months of house arrest.)
Five years ago: The Brazilian Supreme Court acquitted former President Fernando Collor de Mello of the corruption charges that had forced him to resign in 1992. IBM stopped shipments of personal computers with Intel's flawed Pentium chip， saying the processor's problems were worse than earlier believed.
One year ago: The House Judiciary Committee approved a fourth and final article of impeachment， this one accusing President Clinton of abuse of power. President Clinton began a three-day visit to the Middle East aimed at rescuing the Wye River peace accords. Florida Governor Lawton Chiles died in Tallahassee at age 68. Former U-S Representative Morris K. Udall died in Washington D-C at age 76.
"There are two cardinal sins from which all the others spring: impatience and laziness."
-- Franz Kafka， Czech author (1883-1924).