Home Today's History Lesson TODAY’S HISTORY LESSON: DEC 11



1792 – France’s King Louis XVI went before the Convention, which had replaced the National Assembly, to face charges of treason. He was convicted and condemned and was sent to the guillotine the following January.

0359 – The first known Prefect of the City of Constantinople, Honoratus, took office

1282 – Llywelyn (Llewelyn ap Gruffydd) was killed in Cilmeri, central Wales.

1395 – John “Eleanor” Rykener, a male cross-dressing prostitute, is brought to court in London for “committing that detestable unmentionable and ignominious vice” in late medieval England’s only recorded case on same-sex intercourse (verdict unknown)

1419 – Heretic Nicolaas Serrurier exiled from Florence

1602 – A surprise attack by forces under the command of the Duke of Savoy and his brother-in-law, Philip III of Spain, is repelled by the citizens of Geneva. (This actually takes place after midnight, in the early morning of December 12, but commemorations/celebrations on Fte de l’Escalade are usually held on December 11 or the closest weekend.)

1688 – King James II captured in Kent, after trying to flee to France upon the arrival of William of Orange

1719 – The first recorded sighting of the aurora borealis took place in New England.

1769 – Edward Beran of London patented venetian blinds.


1792 – France’s King Louis XVI went before the Convention, which had replaced the National Assembly, to face charges of treason. He was convicted and condemned and was sent to the guillotine the following January.


1816 – Indiana was admitted to the Union as the 19th American state.

1844 – Dr. Horace Wells became the first person to have a tooth extracted after receiving an anesthetic for the dental procedure. Nitrous Oxide, or laughing gas, was the anesthetic.

1872 – Pinckney Benton Stewart Pinchback became America’s first black governor when he took office as acting governor of Louisiana.

1878 – Anglo-Zulu War: British high commissioner Henry Bartle Frere presents an ultimatum to the Zulu Kingdom to submit to British rule or face war

1902 – The US signs a treaty with Cuba allowing for a 20 percent reduction of tariff rates on imported Cuban products

1906 – US President Theodore Roosevelt attacks abuses in the Congo

1917 – 13 black soldiers hanged for alleged participation in Houston riot

1919 – Boll weevil monument dedicated in Enterprise, Ala

1927 – Guangzhou Uprising: Communist militia and worker red guards launch an uprising in the Chinese city of Guangzhou, taking over most of the city and announcing the formation of a Guangzhou Soviet.

1928 – Buenos Aires police thwart assassination attempt on President-elect Herbert Hoover – prevent anarchists from bombing his train

1930 – The Bank of the United States in New York failed.

1931 – British Statute of Westminster gives complete legislative independence to Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Ireland, Newfndlnd

1936 – Britain’s King Edward VIII abdicated in order to marry American Wallis Warfield Simpson. He became the Duke of Windsor.

1937 – The Fascist Council in Rome, withdrew Italy from the League of Nations.

1941 – The U.S. responded to Italy and Germany’s declaration of war, by declaring war on the two countries.

1946 – The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) was established by the U.N. General Assembly. The fund provides relief to children in countries devastated by war.

1954 – USS Forrestal christened in Newport News, Va

1960 – Black Sunday – Riot in Algiers; pro-independence demonstrations turn violent, 114 die

1961 – The first direct American military support for South Vietnam occurred when a U.S. aircraft carrier carrying Army helicopters arrived in Saigon.

1964 – Che Guevara speaks at the United Nations General Assembly in New York City. An unknown terrorist fired a mortar shell at the building during the speech.

1967 – The prototype of the Concorde was shown for the first time in Toulouse, France.

1968 – The Labor Department announced that the nation’s unemployment rate had dwindled to 3.3%, the lowest mark in 15 years

1971 – The Libertarian Party of the United States is formed

1972 – Apollo 17 becomes the sixth mission to land on the Moon.

1973 – West German Chancellor Willy Brandt and Czech Prime Minister Lubomir Strougal formally nullified the 1938 Munich pact when they signed a treaty sanctioning Hitler’s seizure of Czechoslovakia’s Sudetenland.

1978 – 6 masked men bound 10 employees at Lufthansa cargo area at New York Kennedy Airport and made off with $5.8 M in cash and jewelry

1980 – U.S. President Jimmy Carter signed into law legislation creating $1.6 billion environmental “superfund” that would be used to pay for cleaning up chemical spills and toxic waste dumps.

1981 – Muhammad Ali fought his last fight. He lost his 61st fight to Trevor Berbick.

1985 – The U.S. House of Representatives joined the U.S. Senate by giving final congressional approval to the Gramm-Rudman deficit-reduction law.

1986 – The government of South Africa expanded its media restrictions by imposing prior censorship and banning coverage of a wide range of peaceful anti-apartheid protests.

1988 – 62 people were killed in a Mexico City marketplace when tons of illegal fireworks exploded.

1990 – Ivana Trump was divorced from Donald Trump after 12 years of marriage.

1991 – Salman Rushdie, under an Islamic death sentence for blasphemy, made his first public appearance since 1989 in New York, at a dinner marking the 200th anniversary of the First Amendment (which guarantees freedom of speech in the U.S.).

1994 – Thousands of Russian troops, armored columns and jets entered Chechnya. The move by Moscow was an effort to restore control the breakaway republic.

1997 – Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams became the first political ally of the IRA to meet a British leader in 76 years. He conferred with Prime Minister Tony Blair in London.

1998 – The Mars Climate Orbiter blasted off on a nine-month journey to the Red Planet. However, the probe disappeared in September of 1999, apparently destroyed because scientists had failed to convert English measures to metric values.

2001 – U.S. Attorney General Ashcroft announced the first federal indictment directly related to the terrorist attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001. Zacarias Moussaoui was charged with six conspiracy charges. Moussaoui was in custody at the time of the attacks.

2005 – Cronulla riots: thousands of white Australians demonstrate against ethnic violence, resulting in a riot against anyone thought to be Lebanese (and many who were not) in Cronulla Sydney. These are followed by ethnic attacks on Cronulla.

2007 – Two car bombs go off at the Constitutional Court building in Algiers and the United Nations office. An estimated 45 people are killed in the bombings.

2008 – Bernie Madoff, the founder and chairman of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC, was arrested and subsequently convicted of fraud. The Ponzi scheme he was involved in was the biggest such fraud in the history of the United States.

2012 – 125 people are killed and 200 are injured by bombings in Aqrab, Syria

2013 – Standard & Poors announced that Facebook would join its S&P 500 index “after the close of trading on December 20.”

2014 – CIA Director John Brennan defends interrogation methods used after 9/11 but admits some methods were “abhorrent”

2016 – Gambian leader Yahya Jammeh says he will contest his election defeat in court, after his 1st election loss in 22 years

2017 – Attempted suicide terrorist bomb attack in New York wounds 3, bomb fails to fully detonate

2018 – The Arctic is experiencing “unprecedented warmth” caused by human-caused climate change, according to US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Report

2019 – India passes controversial Citizenship Amendment Bill clearing way for citizenship for immigrants from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan but not if they are Muslim

2020 – US Supreme Court rejects lawsuit by Texas to overturn Jo Biden’s election in four battleground states, endorsed by 17 Republican attorney generals

2022 – NASA’s Orion spacecraft returns to earth after completing Artemis I test flight around the moon in 25.5 days – record distance traveled by a spacecraft designed to carry humans

REFERENCE: history.net, onthisday.com, thepeopleshistory.com, timeanddate.com, scopesys.com, on-this-day.com



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