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The's Daybreak: Dec. 26, 2008

Posted: December 25, 2008 3:16 p.m.
Updated: December 26, 2008 4:55 a.m.

The United States Postal Service premiered this stamp in 2007 to commemorate Kwanzaa, an annual seven-day celebration that begins today.

Hello, Santa Clarita Valley! Welcome to's Daybreak, your point of entry for the day, and a quick journey through the past, present and future. Let the adventure begin:

First Word
"You can be whatever you want to be, but you have to go to college."
-- Linda Valdes, Rio Vista Elementary School (click here for story)

Today in History
Today is Friday, Dec. 26, the 361st day of 2008. There are five days left in the year. The seven-day African-American holiday Kwanzaa begins today.

Dec. 26 is also "Boxing Day" (aka "St. Stephen's Day") in the U.K., Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Check out Bill Kennedy's column on the subject.

Today's Highlight in History: One hundred years ago, on Dec. 26, 1908, Jack Johnson became the first African-American boxer to win the world heavyweight champ as he defeated Canadian Tommy Burns in Sydney, Australia. Johnson's victory sparked a search for a "great white hope" who would reclaim the title.

Ten years ago: President Clinton, in his weekly radio address, urged Congress to lower the blood-alcohol limit for drunken driving nationwide to .08 percent.

Five years ago: An earthquake struck the historic Iranian city of Bam, killing at least 26,000 people.

One year ago: Six people were found dead at a rural property east of Seattle; the property owners' daughter and her boyfriend were arrested. (Michele Anderson and Joseph McEnroe face charges of aggravated first-degree murder in the shootings of three generations of Anderson's family.)

Francesca Lewis, the sole survivor of a plane crash in Panama, was reunited with her family after rescue workers brought the 12-year-old American girl out of a remote mountain area.

Watercooler Talk
OKLAHOMA CITY - (AP) A trail of tobacco spit has led investigators to a suspect in at least five burglaries across eastern Oklahoma, police said.

Randy Lee Shoopman Jr., 33, was charged with 11 counts of second-degree burglary after a sample of his DNA matched that taken from expectorant left behind at the scene of several burglaries in Oklahoma, said officer Brad Robertson, a spokesman for the Tahlequah police department. Shoopman was taken into custody Friday in Merced, Calif., on an unrelated stolen property charge, Robertson said.

Investigators also said Shoopman may be involved in break-ins at businesses across eastern Oklahoma and in Missouri.

Actor Donald Moffat is 78. Actor Caroll Spinney (Big Bird on TV's "Sesame Street") is 75. Rhythm-and-blues singer Abdul "Duke" Fakir (The Four Tops) is 73. Record producer Phil Spector is 68. "America's Most Wanted" host John Walsh is 63. Country musician Bob Carpenter (The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band) is 62. Baseball Hall of Fame catcher Carlton Fisk is 61. All-Star baseball player Chris Chambliss is 60. Humorist David Sedaris is 52. Rock musician James Kottak (The Scorpions) is 46. Country musician Brian Westrum (Sons of the Desert) is 46. Rock musician Lars Ulrich (Metallica) is 45. Actress Nadia Dajani is 43. Rock musician J is 41.

California Lottery
Due to early deadlines to allow our staff to celebrate the holiday, lottery results will return Saturday. Visit for winning numbers. 
Daybreak will dawn again tomorrow morning on Right now, head back to our home page and check out the rest of today's local news, sports, features, weather, traffic info, videos, blogs, community calendar, "Ask the Expert" and more. is your community online, every day.


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