On Dec. 12, 1915, singer-actor Frank Sinatra was born Francis Albert Sinatra in Hoboken, New Jersey.

Ten years ago

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger refused to block the imminent execution of Stanley Tookie Williams, rejecting the notion that the founder of the murderous Crips gang had atoned for his crimes and found redemption on death row. (Williams was put to death early the next day.) During an impromptu question-and-answer session before the World Affairs Council of Philadelphia, President George W. Bush estimated 30,000 Iraqis had died in the war.

Five years ago

An explosives-packed minibus blew up at the entrance of a joint NATO-Afghan base in southern Afghanistan, killing six American troops and two Afghan soldiers as they prepared to head out on patrol. The inflatable roof of the Minneapolis Metrodome collapsed following a snowstorm that had dumped 17 inches on the city. (The NFL was forced to shift an already rescheduled game between the Minnesota Vikings and New York Giants to Detroit’s Ford Field.)

One year ago

President Barack Obama urged the Senate to ratify a $1.1 trillion spending bill opposed by some Democrats, judging it an imperfect measure that stemmed from “the divided government that the American people voted for.” (The Senate passed the measure the next day.) Illustrator Norman Bridwell, 86, creator of Clifford the Red Dog, died in Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts.

— By The Associated Press