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This Day in History - December 8

December 8

65 BC – Roman poet and satirist who authored the three books known as Odes, Quintus “Horace” Horatius Flaccus, is born

1542 – Mary, Queen of Scotland, is born

1626 – Christina, Queen of Sweden, is born

1660 – The first Shakespearian actress to appear on an English stage makes her debut as Desdemona

1765 – Inventor of the cotton gin, Eli Whitney, is born

1775 – Colonel Benedict Arnold and General Richard Montgomery lead an American force in the siege of Quebec

1854 – Pope Pius IX proclaims the dogma of Immaculate Conception

1861 – CSS Sumter captures the whaler Eben Dodge in the Atlantic

1863 – Union General William Averell’s cavalry destroys railroads in parts of West Virginia

1863 – President Abraham Lincoln offers a conciliatory plan for the reunification of the US postwar known as the Proclamation of Amnesty and Reconstruction

1864 – English mathematician and philosopher, George Boole dies

1881 – At least 620 are killed (although it has been estimated as high as 850) and hundreds more injured during a fire at the Ring Theater in Vienna, Austria

1886 – The American Federation of Labor is founded in Ohio

1894 – American writer, cartoonist, and editor James Thurber is born

1903 – English biologist, anthropologist, and sociologist, Herbert Spencer dies

1906 – Author Richard Llewellyn is born

1913 – Poet and writer, Delmore Schwartz is born

1914 – The British sink German cruisers Scharnhorst, Gneisenau, Nurnberg and Leipzig in the Battle of the Falkland Islands during World War I

1916 – Film director, Richard Fleischer is born

1920 – President Woodrow Wilson declines to send a representative to the League of Nations in Geneva

1922 – Singer/songwriter, Jean Ritchie is born

1925 – Singer, dancer, and actor, Sammy Davis, Jr. is born

1930 – Academy Award-winning actor, writer, director, and producer, Maximilian Schell is born

1932 – Japan tells the League of Nations that it has no control over her designs in China

1933 – Golden Globe and Emmy-winning comedian and actor, Flip Wilson is born

1939 – Flute player, Sir James Galway is born

1940 – The Chicago Bears beat the Washington Redskins in the NFL Championship by 73-0, the largest margin of defeat in NFL history

1941 – Drummer Bobby Elliott is born

1941 – The first woman elected to Congress, Jeanette Rankin, casts the sole vote against the US declaration of war on Japan

1941 – President Franklin Roosevelt requests and receives a declaration of war against Japan and delivers “Day of Infamy” speech to Congress

1941 – Japanese General Tomoyuki Yamashita attacks the British army at Singapore

1942 – The architect and engineer known as “the man who built Detroit,” Albert Kahn, dies

1943 – US carrier-based planes sink two cruisers and down 72 planes in the Marshall Islands

1943 – Singer, songwriter, and poet, Jim Morrison is born

1943 – Paleontologist Larry Martin is born

1944 – The US conducts the most effective yet longest air raid on the Pacific Island of Iwo Jima

1947 – Singer, songwriter, and musician Gregg Allman is born

1948 – The UN approves the recognition of South Korea

1949 – Chinese Nationalists move their capital to Taiwan, beginning the “two Chinas” that left mainland China under communist control

1953 – Academy Award-winning actress, singer, and producer, Kim Basinger is born

1953 – American author and activist, Norman Finkelstein is born

1961 – Lawyer and author, Ann Coulter is born

1964 – Golden Globe-winning actress, Teri Hatcher is born

1965 – The US Air Force and Navy launch Operation Tiger Hound on the Ho Chi Minh Trail

1965 – Pope Paul VI signs the Second Vatican Council

1966 – Irish singer, songwriter, and political activist, Sinead O’Connor is born

1966 – The International Red Cross announces that North Vietnam has rejected a proposal from President Johnson regarding the prisoner of war situation

1967 – 365 Viet Cong are killed in the largest battle yet in the Mekong Delta

1968 – South Vietnam’s Vice President Nguyen Cao Ky arrives in Paris for peace talks

1969 – President Richard Nixon announces that the Vietnam War is coming to a conclusion

1978 – Former Israeli prime minister, Golda Meir dies

1980 – John Lennon is shot and killed in Manhattan, right outside his apartment building

1982 – In Washington, D.C., police shoot and kill a man threatening to blow up the Washington Monument

1982 – Sophie’s Choice, starring Meryl Streep as a Holocaust survivor, opens in theaters

1982 – Trinidadian-American rapper and actress, Nicki Minaj is born

1987 – The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty is signed and US President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev agree to reduce their nuclear arsenals

1987 – During a traffic accident at the Erez Crossing on the border between Israel and the Gaza Strip, an Israeli army tank transporter kills four Palestinian refugees and injures seven others, leading to the First Intifada

1991 – The leaders of Belarus, Russia, and Ukraine sign an agreement that dissolves the Soviet Union and establishes the Commonwealth of Independent States

1991 – Romania returns to democracy after 42 years of communist rule with the enforcement of the Romanian Constitution

1993 – The North American Free Trade Agreement is signed into law by President Bill Clinton

2004 – Guitarist and songwriter Dimebag Darrell dies

2004 – The Cuzco Declaration signed in Cuzco, Peru, establishing the South American Community of Nations

2010 – The Japanese spacecraft IKAROS passes the planet Venus

2010 – SpaceX becomes the first privately held company to successfully launch, orbit and recover a spacecraft


Written by Crystal McCann

Crystal is the Chief Operating Officer of Lanterns Media Network and the owner of Madisons Media. She lives in Texas with her husband and dogs and is the proud mother of two adult children.


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