Dec. 30 (UPI) -- On this date in history:
In 1853, the United States bought 45,000 square miles of land along the Gila River from Mexico for $10 million. The area is now southern Arizona and New Mexico.
In 1903, flames swept the Iroquois Theater in Chicago, killing 602 people. The fire led to safety regulations for theaters around the world.
In 1916, Grigori Rasputin, a self-fashioned Russian holy man, was killed by Russian nobles eager to end his influence over the royal family.
In 1922, at the first Soviet Congress, Russia, Ukraine and two other Soviet republics signed a treaty creating the Soviet Union.
In 1958, revolutionaries under the command of Ernesto "Che" Guevara battled with government troops loyal to Cuban President Fulgencio Batista for control of the city of Santa Clara. Within 12 hours of the rebel victory, Batista had fled the country, with control of the country passing to Fidel Castro.
In 1972, U.S. President Richard Nixon ordered a halt in the bombing of North Vietnam and announced that peace talks with the Hanoi government would resume in Paris in January.
In 1979, Broadway composer Richard Rodgers died in New York City at age 77. He first collaborated with lyricist Lorenz Hart and later with Oscar Hammerstein II for a string of memorable musicals, including Oklahoma, South Pacific and Sound of Music.
In 1986, Exxon Corp. became the first major international oil company to withdraw from South Africa because of that country's racial policies.
In 1992, Ling-Ling, a giant female panda who delighted visitors to Washington's National Zoo for more than two decades, died of heart failure.
In 1994, John Salvi III, an anti-abortion activist, went on a shooting spree at two abortion clinics in Brookline, Mass. He killed two workers and injured five others. Police captured him the next day.
In 2012, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was hospitalized because of a blood clot, the State Department said. The clot, or thrombus, was discovered during a routine MRI while Clinton recuperated from a recent concussion.
In 2013, four NFL coaches were fired on the league's so-called Black Monday: Mike Shanahan of the Washington Redskins, Leslie Fraiser of the Minnesota Vikings, Tampa Bay's Greg Chiano and Jim Schwartz of the Detroit Lions. Cleveland's Rob Chudzinski had been let go the day before.
In 2016, Indians deposited their last 500- and 1,000-rupee notes into the bank. The government withdrew the currency values in order to crack down on black market and counterfeit currency.