On this day in history:
In 1768, the first modern circus was staged in London.
In 1788, Connecticut became the fifth U.S. state.
In 1861, Mississippi seceded from the Union.
In 1945, in World War II, U.S. troops invaded the Philippine island of Luzon and liberated Manila.
In 1951, the U.N. headquarters opened in New York.
In 1969, the British-French supersonic Concorde jetliner made its first test flight at Bristol, England.
In 1972, the luxury liner Queen Elizabeth was gutted by fire while docked in Hong Kong.
In 1996, rebels in the Russian republic of Chechnya overran the town of Kizlyar and took 2,000 hostages at a hospital and in nearby homes.
In 2004, a Kenyan survey said about 1 million adults were infected with HIV in the country, one-third of previous estimates.
In 2007, Venezuelan stocks fell almost 19 percent -- the biggest drop on record -- and the country's currency lost almost one-third of its value after President Hugo Chavez pledged to nationalize the country's utilities.
In 2008, U.S. President George W. Bush began a trip to the Middle East, including his first visit as president to Israel. After meeting with Palestinian leaders, Bush called for an end to Israeli occupation that began in 1967.
In 2009, Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich was impeached on abuse of power charges, including accusations that he tried to sell U.S. President-elect Barack Obama's U.S. Senate seat. The vote was 114-1.
In 2011, North Korean officials urged South Korea to return to talks aimed at easing military tension between the countries and overcoming distrust and confrontation.
Also in 2011, an IranAir Boeing 727 with 105 people aboard crashed shortly before it was scheduled to land in northwestern Iran. Authorities said there were 50 survivors.
In 2012, military experts said a buildup of Western naval forces in the Persian Gulf and Arabian Sea was a reaction to Iran's threat to close the Strait of Hormuz. U.S., Russian, French and British air and naval forces moved to the Syrian and Iranian coasts.Copyright 2013 by United Press International