AP Highlight in History: On Dec. 9, 1990, Solidarity founder Lech Walesa was elected president of Poland.
On this date in:
Poet John Milton was born in London.
The poem "The Charge of the Light Brigade" by Alfred, Lord Tennyson, was published in England.
Christmas seals went on sale for the first time, at the Wilmington, Del., post office. The proceeds went to fight tuberculosis.
Longtime House Speaker Thomas "Tip" O'Neill was born in Cambridge, Mass.
British troops opened their first major offensive in North Africa during World War II.
China declared war on Japan, Germany and Italy.
The anti-Communist John Birch Society was formed in Indianapolis.
President Gerald R. Ford signed a $2.3 billion seasonal loan authorization to prevent New York City from having to default.
Britain's Prince Charles and Princess Diana announced their separation. (They divorced in 1996.)
The Air Force destroyed the first of 500 Minuteman II missile silos marked for elimination under an arms control treaty.
AP Photo/Cliff Schiappa
Rep. Kweisi Mfume, D-Md., was chosen to head the NAACP.
AP Photo/Reginald Pearman
The U.S. Supreme Court ordered a temporary halt in the Florida presidential vote count.
United Airlines filed the biggest bankruptcy in aviation history after losing $4 billion in the previous two years.
Canada's Supreme Court ruled that gay marriage was constitutional.
Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich was arrested on suspicion of scheming to sell Barack Obama's vacant Senate seat for cash or a job for himself in the new administration. (Blagojevich was convicted of lying to the FBI; he awaits re-trial on 23 other charges.)