History: December 11

December 11

1282 Death: Michael VIII Palaeologus, Byzantine emperor. He became emperor in 1259 and succeeded in restoring the empire to the Greeks after 57 years of Latin occupation when he took Constantinople. He is succeeded by his son Andronicus II. (Bradley)

1769 Venetian blinds are patented by Londoner Edward Bevan.

1792 French Revolution: Deposed French King Louis XVI stands before the national Convention to face charges of treason. He is convicted and sent to the guillotine the following month.

1816 Indiana becomes the 19th United State.

1845 In India, the Sikhs cross Sutlej and surprise the British, heralding the start of the Anglo-Sikh War.

1863 Birth: Annie Cannon, astronomer.

1872 Reconstruction: Pinckney Pinchback becomes America's first black governor when he takes office as acting governor of Louisiana.

1882 Birth: Fiorello La Guardia, politician.

1890 German Fieldmarshal Count Helmuth von Moltke on this day declares: "Eternal peace is a dream--and not even a beautiful one. War is part of God's world order. Within it unfold the noblest virtues of men, courage and renunciation, loyalty to duty and readiness for sacrifice--at the hazard of one's life. Without war the world would sink into a swamp of materialism."

1894 The world's first motor show opens in Paris with nine exhibitors.

1899 Boer war: The British under Methuen attempt to advance and are defeated with the loss of more than 1,000 men by 9,000 Boers under Cronje at the battle of Magersfontein.

1901 The first transatlantic radio signal is sent by Italian Guglielmo Marconi from Poldhu in Cornwall and is received by Percy Wright Paget in St Johns, Newfoundland.

1904 Birth: Marjorie Buell, cartoonist.

1914 WW1: Serbians troops recapture Belgrade.

1914 WW1: Dec 11-24 Lance Corporal Adolf Hitler serves in the December battle in Flanders as a Dispatch Runner with Regimental HQ, 16 Bavarian Infantry Regiment. (Maser)

1918 Birth: (Isayevich) Alexander Solzhenitsyn, dissident Russian writer.

1919 The town of Enterprise, Alabama dedicates the first known monument to an insect. The town turns out to honor the boll weevil; the evil weevil that destroys cotton plants. However, by forcing folks to diversify their crops, the farmers had wound up tripling their income. Thus, the tribute to those bugs. (Bradley)

1930 The Bank of the United States in New York fails and closes all of its 60 branches, stranding at least 400,000 depositors.

1936 In Geneva, Italy resigns from the League of Nations.

1936 King Edward VIII now the Duke of Windsor quickly leaves the country and begins an extended stay at Baron Rothschild's castles in Austria. (Cowles)

1937 Italy withdraws from the League of Nations.

1938 The Nazi Party wins in elections held in Memel. The Jewish situation becomes even more precarious.

1938 Twenty-thousand Libyan Jews are deprived of their Italian citizenship.

1940 Birth: Tom Hayden, journalist, activist, politician.

1940 WW2: Press Reaction to Hitler's Dec 11 Speech: "He spoke in moderate tones…Hitler's remarks seem to have been designed chiefly for home consumption…There was no indication in his remarks today how long he expected the war to last. At the same time there was no indication that he expected it to be concluded in the immediate future…"--New York Times

1940 WW2: Press Reaction to Hitler's Dec 11 Speech: "Instead of once more threatening Britain with annihilation by Nazi bombs, Hitler was at pains to emphasize the dire consequences to her 'should she attempt to again set foot on the continent'…the first time that he has publicly contemplated such a contingency…Few people in this country will quarrel with the statement that more is at stake in this struggle than victory of one country over another…It can only be because Hitler reads British policy in the light of his own designs that he predicts that the loss of the war by Germany will mean 'the end of the German people."--London Times

1941 WW2: At 2.30pm - four days after Pearl Harbor - Italy and Germany declare war on the United States; the US Congress in turn declares war on both. Poland declares war on Japan. Cuba, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Dominican Republic and Guatemala all declare war on Germany and Italy.

1941 WW2: Hitler's Declaration Of War on the US to the Reichstag: "...But why is there now another President of the USA who regards it as his only task to intensify anti-German feeling to the pitch of war? National-Socialism came to power in Germany in the same year as Roosevelt was elected President. I understand only too well that a World-Wide distance separates Roosevelt's ideas and my ideas. Roosevelt comes from a rich family and belongs to the class whose path is smoothed in the Democracies. I am only the child of a small, poor family and had to fight my way by work and industry. When the Great War came, Roosevelt occupied a position where he got to know only its pleasant consequences, enjoyed by those who do business while others bleed. I was only one of those who carry out orders, as an ordinary soldier, and naturally returned from the war just as poor as I was in Autumn 1914. I shared the fate of millions, and Franklin Roosevelt only the fate of the so-called Upper Ten Thousand..."

1941 WW2: A small US Marine detachment holds off the first Japanese landing attempt on Wake Island.

1943 Birth: John F. Kerry, US Senator.

1946 John D. Rockefeller Jr., up a six-block area of land in New York City for use as world headquarters of the UN. The offer is accepted the following day.

1946 The United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) is created by the UN General Assembly to provide relief to children in countries devastated by war.

1961 The Nam: US President John F. Kennedy orders the first large group of military advisers into South Vietnam.

1967 The prototype of the Anglo-French supersonic aircraft Concorde is shown for the first time at Toulouse, France.

1972 The last words spoken from the moon are from Eugene Cernan, Commander of the Apollo 17 Mission: "As we leave the Moon at Taurus-Littrow, we leave as we came, and, God willing, we shall return, with peace and hope for all mankind."

1973 West German Chancellor Willy Brandt and Czech Prime Minister Lubomir Strougal formally sign a treaty nullifying the 1938 Munich pact which sanctioned Hitler's seizure of Czechoslovakia's Sudetenland.

1979 Iran Hostage Affair: Television networks CBS and ABC, as well as Congress and the Carter Administration, publicly condemn NBC-TV for yielding to Iranian conditions in its interview of one of the US hostages the previous day. NBC is accused of being used by the hostages' Iranian captors.

1983 After widespread riots, Bangladesh's Chief Martial Law Administrator, Mohammad Ershad, declares himself president.

1988 62 people die in a Mexico City marketplace when tons of illegal fireworks explode.

1990 Albania's ruling Communist Party authorizes the establishment of opposition political parties.

1991 Salman Rushdie, under an Islamic death sentence for blasphemy, makes his first public appearance since 1989 in New York.

1992 In what is hoped will be an end to civil war in Somalia, warlords Ali Mahdi Mohamed and Mohamed Farah Aideed sign a peace plan.

1993 After 45 years of talks, a UN panel approves the creation of a new Commissioner for Human Rights to respond quickly to major rights crises around the world.

1994 Russia sends tanks and troops pouring into Chechnya to try to end the rebel territory's three-year unilateral drive for independence.

1996 Shipping magnate Tung Chee-hwa sweeps effortlessly to a historic victory in the poll which selects Hong Kong's leader-in-waiting to take over when the British colony reverts to Chinese rule.

2001 US officials confirm that about 100 US special forces are operating in Somalia, carrying out reconnaissance, looking for al-Qaeda members, and liaising with opposition groups.

2001 US aircraft resume bombing of the last stronghold of Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda forces after a "surrender or die" deadline passes without any sign of compliance.

2001 Afghan tribal troops capture many of the caves and tunnels in the mountainous Tora Bora cave sanctuary.

2001 Zacarias Moussaoui, the so-called 20th hijacker, becomes the first person charged in connection with the planning of the September 11 attacks. Investigators believe Moussaoui, who was arrested in Minnesota in August, may have been the fifth member of the team of hijackers on Flight 93.

2001 US President Bush speaks at a White House ceremony commemorating the 3-month anniversary of the September attacks, and later speaks at The Citadel military college in South Carolina, where he warns "rogue nations" that "They have been warned. They are being watched and they will be held to account."

2001 The 3-month anniversary of the September 11 attacks is remembered across America at 8:46 A.M. EDT, with services at Ground Zero, the White House, the Pentagon, and near the crash site of Flight 93. (Dec 11, 2001 memorial images.)












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