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Thursday, December 11, 2008


Today is Thursday, Dec. 11, the 346th day of 2008.
There are 20 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

  • On Dec. 11, 1936, Britain's King Edward VIII abdicated to marry American divorcee Wallis Warfield Simpson.

On this date:

  • In 1792, France's King Louis XVI went before the Convention to face charges of treason. (Louis was convicted, and executed the following month.)
  • In 1816, Indiana became the 19th state.
  • In 1882, Boston's renamed Bijou Theatre, the first American playhouse to be lighted exclusively by electricity, gave its first performance, of Gilbert and Sullivan's "Iolanthe, Or The Peer and the Peri."
  • In 1928, police in Buenos Aires, Argentina, announced they had thwarted an attempt on the life of President-elect Herbert Hoover.
  • In 1937, Italy announced it was withdrawing from the League of Nations.
  • In 1941, Germany and Italy declared war on the United States; the U.S. responded in kind.
  • In 1946, the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) was established.
  • In 1981, the U.N. Security Council chose Javier Perez de Cuellar of Peru to be the fifth secretary-general of the world body.
  • In 1983, Pope John Paul II visited a Lutheran church in Rome, the first visit by a Roman Catholic pontiff to a Protestant church in his own diocese.
  • In 1997, more than 150 countries agreed at a global warming conference in Kyoto, Japan, to control the Earth's greenhouse gases.

Ten years ago:
  • Majority Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee pushed through three articles of impeachment against President Bill Clinton over Democratic objections.
  • The Mars Climate Orbiter blasted off on a nine-month journey to the red planet. (However, the probe disappeared in September 1999, apparently destroyed because scientists had failed to convert English measures to metric values).

Five years ago:
  • U.S. health officials reported an early flu outbreak had hit all 50 states and was widespread in 24.
  • A German court freed a Moroccan accused of supporting the Sept. 11 al-Qaida cell in Hamburg, saying there was new evidence he did not know about the plot.
  • A new second home for the National Air and Space Museum opened in Chantilly, Va., some 28 miles west of the original's home in Washington, D.C.

One year ago:
  • Two car bombs in Algeria, including one targeting the U.N. refugee agency's offices, killed 37 people, 17 of them U.N. employees; Al-Qaida's self-styled North African branch claimed responsibility.
  • The Senate Intelligence Committee took closed-door testimony from CIA Director Michael Hayden on how videotapes of terror suspect interrogations were made, then destroyed.

Today's Birthdays:
  • Actor Jean-Louis Trintignant is 78.
  • Actress Rita Moreno is 77.
  • Former California state lawmaker Tom Hayden is 69.
  • Pop singer David Gates (Bread) is 68.
  • Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., is 67.
  • Actress Donna Mills is 66.
  • Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., is 65.
  • Singer Brenda Lee is 64.
  • Actress Lynda Day George is 64.
  • Music producer Tony Brown is 62.
  • Actress Teri Garr is 60.
  • Movie director Susan Seidelman is 56.
  • Actress Bess Armstrong is 55.
  • Singer Jermaine Jackson is 54.
  • Rock musician Mike Mesaros (The Smithereens) is 51.
  • Rock musician Nikki Sixx (Motley Crue) is 50.
  • Rock musician Darryl Jones (The Rolling Stones) is 47.
  • Singer-musician Justin Currie (Del Amitri) is 44.
  • Rock musician David Schools (Gov't Mule, Widespread Panic) is 44.
  • Actor Gary Dourdan is 42.
  • Actress-comedian Mo'Nique ("The Parkers") is 40.
  • Rapper-actor Mos Def is 35.
  • Actor Rider Strong is 29.

Thought for Today:
"A technical objection is the first refuge of a scoundrel. "
Heywood Broun, American journalist (1888-1939).

"Let's all be careful out there!"


"Let's all be careful out there!"