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Events, deaths, births, of 08 DEC
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^  On a 08 December:
2125 Transit of Venus, the first since 11 December 2117. The next one will be in early June 2239.

2005 Pope Benedict XVI publishes his Message for the celebration of the World Day of Peace on 01 January 2006. — (060106)
Kostunica votes 08 Dec 2002
2004
No Comment Dept.: Machine Gun Fun. The following is quoted verbatim from an AP dispatch from Baghdad, Iraq, by Slobodan Lekic, seen on the Internet on many news sites, starting at about 15:48 UT today:
... insurgents attacked American forces at another location with machine gun fun and rocket-propelled grenades. No U.S. casualties were sustained.

2002 Presidential election in Serbia. Vojislav Kostunica [photo >] gets most votes, as he did did in the 13 October 2000 runoff election, but, again, the election is declared invalid because less than 50% of eligible voters cast a ballot (44% this time). Again Kostunica would unsuccessfully challenge that, alleging fraud by the partisans of his rival, former ally in the overthrow of Milosevic, Serbian Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic.Kostunica, a moderate nationalist with pro-democratic views who advocates cautious reforms, gets 58% of today's votes, in which his opponents are two extremists: Vojislav Seselj (36% of the votes) of the ultranationalist Serbian Radical Party — an ally of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein; and Borislav Pelevic of the Serbian Unity Party (3.4% of the votes), founded by late Serb warlord Zeljko Raznatovic, better known as Arkan. Kostunica’s current position as President of Yugoslavia, now reduced to Serbia and Montenegro, is soon to disappear as the two republics split, while maintaining a loose union still called Yugoslavia. Slow economic and social reforms, scandals and perpetual power struggles between Kostunica and Djindjic have disillusioned Serbs, who are more concerned with their low living standards and high unemployment. A new president of Serbia was supposed to succeed Milan Milutinovic, whose term ends in January. The law being unclear as to what to do after this second failed election, Milutinovic is likely to be replaced temporarily by Serbian parliament speaker Natasa Micic. Milutinovic was indicted by the UN tribunal in The Hague, Netherlands, along with Milosevic for war crimes in Kosovo and likely faces extradition once his mandate expires. Djindjic will try to get the election law changed so as to get one of his buddies elected President by parliament. Djindjic, however, has hinted he wants to change the election law, and install an ally of his own to the post of president by changing the law to allow presidential elections by parliament. To bring down Djindjic’s government in the Serbian parliament, Kostunica would have to make an alliance with Milosevic’s followers.
2001 Last probable sighting of Osama bin Laden by outsiders, villagers of Tangi, Afghanistan, close to the Pakistan border near the Tora Bora region, shortly before the end of two weeks of intensive bombing of caves by the US (which failed to secure all escape routes, for fear of casualties). They say he was on horseback with 20 other Arabs, on his way to Pakistan.
2000 A divided Florida Supreme Court ordered, four to three, an immediate hand count of about 45'000 disputed ballots and put Democrat Al Gore within 154 votes of George W. Bush in the state's lingering presidential contest.
2000 In the series of US 25 cent coins commemorating each state's entry into the union, it is the turn of New York. Its quarter features the Statue of Liberty and the Erie Canal.
1999 NASA announces that it has all but given hope that the Mars Polar Lander is not lost.
1997 The Union Bank of Switzerland and the Swiss Bank Corp. announce plans to merge, creating the world's second largest bank with assets of some $600 billion.
1997 Jenny Shipley is sworn in as the first woman prime minister of New Zealand.
1996 The Serbian Supreme Court ruled against opposition parties who said Slobodan Milosevic had robbed them of an election victory in Belgrade.
^ 1993 The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is signed into law by President Bill Clinton. NAFTA, a trade pact between the United States, Canada, and Mexico, eliminates virtually all tariffs and trade restrictions between the three nations. The passage of NAFTA is one of Clinton's first major victories as the first Democratic president in twelve years; although the movement for free trade in North America was originally a Republican initiative. During its planning stages, NAFTA was heavily criticized by Reform Party presidential candidate Ross Perot, who argued that if NAFTA was passed, Americans would hear a "giant sucking sound" of US companies fleeing the US for Mexico, where employees would work for less pay and without benefits. The pact, which takes effect on 01 January 1994, creates the world's largest free-trade zone.
1991 Russia, Byelorussia and Ukraine declared the USSR dead and form the almost meaningless "Commonwealth of Independent States"
1987 Palestinians in the Israeli-occupied territories start "intifadah" (uprising) against Israel
1987 President Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev sign the INF Treaty which provides for the dismantling of all US and Soviet missiles with ranges of 480 to 5500 km
^ 1987 US and USSR agree to reduce nuclear arsenals
      At a summit meeting in Washington DC, US President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev sign the first treaty to reduce the nuclear arsenals of the two superpowers. The agreement requires the two nations to destroy all 1752 US and 859 Soviet short and medium-range missiles (range 480 to 5500 km) installed in Europe, and to allow on-site verification by inspectors from both countries. The historic agreement is seen as an important step towards agreement on the reduction of long-range US and Soviet missiles, first achieved in 1991, when President George Bush Sr. and Gorbachev agree to destroy more than a quarter of their nuclear warheads.
     The following year, Bush and Russian President Boris Yeltsin agreed to drastically reduce their number of long-range missiles to around 3000 launching systems each by the year 2003. In 2001, after a decade of arms control stalemate, President George W. Bush and Russian President Vladimir Putin made a preliminary agreement to further reduce their nuclear arsenals to about 2000 long-range missiles each.
1986 House Dems select majority leader Jim Wright as 48th speaker
1981 In one of its major rulings regarding the issue of the separation of Church and State, the US Supreme Court upholds the constitutionality of student organizations holding religious services at public colleges and universities.
1981 Mitsubishi Motors, of the huge Mitsubishi conglomerate of Japan, begins selling cars in the US under its own name. Previously, it had done business in the US only in partnerships with American automakers.
1979 The Oneida Nation files suit in an effort to regain control of the over one million hectares taken by New York state.
^ 1969 Nixon boasts that Vietnam War is ending
      At a news conference, President Richard Nixon says that the Vietnam War is coming to a "conclusion as a result of the plan that we have instituted.” Nixon had announced at a conference in Midway in June that the United States would be following a new program he termed "Vietnamization.”
      Under the provisions of this program, South Vietnamese forces would be built up so they could assume more responsibility for the war. As the South Vietnamese forces became more capable, US forces would be withdrawn from combat and returned to the United States. In his speech, Nixon pointed out that he had already ordered the withdrawal of 60'000 US soldiers. Concurrently, he had issued orders to provide the South Vietnamese with more modern equipment and weapons and increased the advisory effort, all as part of the "Vietnamization" program. As Nixon was holding his press conference, troops from the US 25th Infantry Division (less the Second Brigade) began departing from Vietnam.
      Nixon's pronouncements that the war was ending proved premature. In April 1970, he expanded the war by ordering US and South Vietnamese troops to attack communist sanctuaries in Cambodia. The resulting outcry across the United States led to a number of antiwar demonstrations-it was at one of these demonstrations that the National Guard shot four protesters at Kent State.
      Although Nixon did continue to decrease American troop strength in South Vietnam, the fighting continued. In 1972, the North Vietnamese launched a massive invasion of South Vietnam. The South Vietnamese forces reeled under the attack, but eventually prevailed with the help of US airpower. After extensive negotiations and the bombing of North Vietnam in December 1972, the Paris Peace Accords were signed in January 1973. Under the provisions of the Accords, US forces were completely withdrawn. Unfortunately, this did not end the war for the Vietnamese and the fighting continued until April 1975 when Saigon fell to the communists.
1968 South Vietnam's Vice President Nguyen Cao Ky arrives in Paris for peace talks.
1966 The United States and the Soviet Union sign a treaty to prohibit nuclear weapons in outer space.
^ 1966 North Vietnam refuses prisoner exchange
      The International Red Cross announces in Geneva that North Vietnam has rejected a proposal by President Johnson for a resolution of the prisoner of war situation. He had proposed a joint discussion of fair treatment and possible exchange of war captives held by both sides. The International Red Cross submitted the proposal to North Vietnamese officials in July after Johnson first broached the plan on July 20 at a news conference. No solution was reached on the issue until the Paris Peace Accords were signed in January 1973. By the terms of the accords, all US prisoners were to be released by the following March.
^ 1965 Interdiction of Ho Chi Minh Trail attempted
      In some of the heaviest raids of the war, 150 US Air Force and Navy planes launch Operation Tiger Hound to interdict the Ho Chi Minh Trail in the lower portion of the Laotian panhandle, from Route 9 west of the Demilitarized Zone, south to the Cambodian border. The purpose of this operation, which lasted until 1968, was to reduce North Vietnamese infiltration down the trail into South Vietnam. After 1968, the Tiger Hound missions became part of a new operation called Commando Hunt.
^ 1965 Fin du Concile Vatican II.
      Le pape Jean XXIII l’ouvrit le 11 Octobre 1962. Le concile achève ses travaux avec Paul VI, qui succèda à Jean XXIII, mort le 3 juin 1963. Le concile se déroula en présence de nombreux observateurs orthodoxes et protestants. Il se prononça nettement en faveur de l’"aggiornamento", terme préféré par les pères de l’Eglise à celui de "modernisation ".
     Aucune entreprise comparable n'avait été menée depuis le concile de Trente, quatre cents ans plus tôt. Au XIXème siècle, l’Eglise s'était assoupie sous l'effet du conservatisme dominant en politique et dans les relations sociales. Elle avait commencé à se réveiller sous le pontificat vigoureux de Léon XIII, qui publia l'encyclique sociale Rerum Novarum (1891) et inspira le ralliement des catholiques français à la République.
      Après une longue pause marquée par les deux guerres mondiales, la tragédie nazie et le pontificat ambivalent de Pie XII, Vatican II voulu enfin adapter l'Eglise au monde moderne, intégrer une réflexion religieuse dans les mouvements d'idées et réconcilier toutes les chrétientés. Jean XXIII, dès l'ouverture du concile, dénonça l'enseignement du mépris et témoigna de son ouverture aux autres religions et en particulier aux juifs. Avec le concile, il entendit adapter la communication de l'Eglise au monde moderne afin que soit mieux perçu le message de l'Evangile. C'est ainsi que les langues usuelles se substitueront peu à peu au latin dans les offices religieux... Le 11 avril 1963, en pleine guerre froide entre les Etats-Unis et l'URSS, la publication de l'encyclique Pacem in terris confirma l'attention portée par l'Eglise aux problèmes sociaux et à la paix.
1963 3 fuel tanks explode when jetliner is struck by lightning crashing near Elkton, Maryland. Only case of lightning caused crash.
1952 Hundreds of persons in London, choked by the Great Killer Fog which settled on 05 December and fed by intensified millions of home coal fires, as the temperature drops, has only gotten worse.
^ 1949 Chinese Nationalist government moves from mainland to Taiwan
      As they steadily lose ground to the communist forces of Mao Zedong, Chinese Nationalist leaders depart for the island of Taiwan (then known as Formosa), where they establish their new capital. Nationalist leader Chiang Kai-shek left for the island the following day. This action marked the beginning of the "two Chinas" scenario that left mainland China under communist control and vexed US diplomacy for the next 30 years. It also signaled the effective end of the long struggle between Chinese Nationalist forces and those of the communist leader Mao Zedong, though scattered Chinese Nationalists continued sporadic combat with the communist armies.
      At the time, many observers hoped that the end of the fighting and the Chinese Nationalist decision to establish a separate government on Taiwan might make it easier for foreign governments to recognize the new communist People's Republic of China. For the United States, however, the action merely posed a troubling diplomatic problem. Many in America, including members of the so-called "China Lobby" (individuals and groups from both public and private life who tenaciously supported the Chinese Nationalist cause), called upon the administration of President Harry S. Truman to continue its support of Chiang's government by withholding recognition of the communist government on the mainland. In fact, the Truman administration's recognition of the Nationalist government on Taiwan infuriated Mao, ending any possibility for diplomatic relations between the United States and the People's Republic of China. In the years after 1949, the United States continued its support of Taiwan, and Mao's government continued to rail against the Nationalist regime off its coast. By the 1970s, however, US policymakers, desirous of opening economic relations with China and hoping to use China as a balance against Soviet power, moved toward a closer relationship with Communist China. In 1979, the United States officially recognized the People's Republic of China.
1949 Tchang Kai-chek se réfugie à Formose
      Le 8 décembre 1949, le généralissime chinois Tchang Kaï-chek se réfugie sur l'île de Formose. Cette île est connue aujourd'hui sous le nom de Taïwan. La fuite de Tchang Kaï-chek consacre la victoire de son rival, le leader communiste Mao Tsé-toung. Elle met fin aux troubles qui ont suivi la fondation de la République chinoise en 1911. Le premier président, Sun Yat-sen, était mort en 1925. Tchang Kaï-chek avait alors pris la tête de son parti, le Kuomintang. Il tente de réformer le pays et veut le libérer des tutelles étrangères ainsi que des "Seigneurs de la guerre". Mais à peine a-t-il instauré la paix civile qu'il doit faire face à une terrible invasion japonaise. Après la libération du pays, en 1944, le Kuomintang, usé et gangréné par la corruption, affronte une nouvelle guerre civile, cette fois face au parti communiste de Mao Tsé-toung. Battu, Tchang Kaï-chek n'a d'autre recours que de se réfugier à Formose sous la protection de la flotte américaine. Il emmène avec lui son armée, deux millions de fidèles... ainsi que tous les trésors artistiques de la Chine ancienne. Ils font aujourd'hui la fierté du musée national de Taïpeh, la capitale de l'île. Le Kuomintang instaurera à Formose la fiction d'une République qui représenterait toute la Chine. Il conduira l'île vers la prospérité et la démocratie. Mais le vieux parti chinois finira par perdre le pouvoir au profit des indépendantistes taiwanais.
1948 The United Nations approves the recognition of South Korea.
^ 1948 Prudential signs contract for UNIVAC
      Prudential Insurance Company contracted with Eckert Mauchly Computer Company (EMCC) to buy a UNIVAC, the world's first commercial electronic computer, for $150'000. When EMCC was purchased by Remington Rand two years later, Prudential still had not received its machine. Remington realized that the machine would cost far more than $150'000 to build and talked Prudential into canceling the contract. Under Remington's ownership, UNIVAC became almost synonymous with "computer," especially after it was televised on Election Day in 1952 predicting an unexpected landslide for Eisenhower.
1945 In Japan, the Toyota Motor Company receives permission from the occupation government to start production of buses and trucks.
1943 Le général De Gaulle, qui préside à Alger le Comité français de libération nationale, prévient de son intention de reconquérir l'Indochine après la défaite de Hitler et de son allié japonais. Dépités, les résistants vietnamiens se préparent à de nouvelles luttes.
1944 The United States conducts the longest, most effective air raid on the Pacific island of Iwo Jima.
1941 Japanese General Tomoyuki Yamashita begins his attack against the British army at Singapore.
^ 1941 US Congressional Declaration of War on Japan
     As America's Pacific fleet lay in ruins at Pearl Harbor, President Franklin Roosevelt requests, and receives, a declaration of war against Japan. Leaning heavily on the arm of his son James, a Marine captain, FDR walked haltingly into the House of Representatives at noon to request a declaration of war from the House and address the nation via radio.” Yesterday," the president proclaimed, "December 7, 1941-a date which will live in infamy-the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan. No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the American people in their righteous might will win through to absolute victory.”
      Roosevelt's 10-minute speech, ending with "So help us God", was greeted in the House by thunderous applause and stamping of feet. Within one hour, the president had his declaration of war, with only one dissenting vote, from a pacifist in the House. FDR signed the declaration at 4:10 p.m., wearing a black armband to symbolize mourning for those lost at Pearl Harbor.
      On both coasts, civilian defense groups were mobilized. In New York, Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia ordered the rounding up of Japanese nationals, who were transported to Ellis Island and held in custody indefinitely. In California, antiaircraft batteries were set up on Long Beach and the Hollywood Hills. Reports on supposed spy activity on the part of Japanese Americans began pouring into Washington, even as Japanese Americans paid for space in newspapers to declare unreservedly their loyalty to the United States. The groundwork was being laid for the tragic internment of Japanese Americans, thought a necessary caution at the time but regretted years later as a hysterical and bigoted response.
     The day after the devastating Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, a US declaration of war against Japan is passed by Congress, and the United States formally enters World War II. In launching the offensive against Pearl Harbor, Japanese military command hoped that, in addition to disabling the US naval fleet, the surprise attack would depress American morale and push the isolationist US deeper into a strictly defensive role in World War II. However, Pearl Harbor had the opposite effect. Overnight, American society rallied behind President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who over the last two years had been progressively pushing for an active military alliance with Great Britain against Germany and Japan. On the morning of December 8, President Roosevelt spoke before a joint session of Congress, proclaiming December 7 a "date which will live in infamy.” With only one dissent, Congress granted Roosevelt's request to recognize the state of war that existed between the United States and Japan. Representative Jeannette Rankin, a Republican of Montana, cast the sole dissenting vote. An espoused pacifist, she had also cast a dissenting vote against the US entrance into World War I. The same day, Great Britain declared war against Japan.
JOINT RESOLUTION Declaring that a state of war exists between the Imperial Government of Japan and the Government and the people of the United States and making provisions to prosecute the same.
      Whereas the Imperial Government of Japan has committed unprovoked acts of war against the Government and the people of the United States of America: Therefore be it Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the state of war between the United States and the Imperial Government of Japan which has thus been thrust upon the United States is hereby formally declared; and the President is hereby authorized and directed to employ the entire naval and military forces of the United States and the resources of the Government to carry on war against the Imperial Government of Japan; and, to bring the conflict to a successful termination, all of the resources of the country are hereby pledged by the Congress of the United States.
^ 1941 Franklin D. Roosevelt's “Infamy” Speech
          Yesterday, December 7, 1941 -- a date which will live in infamy -- the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.
          The United States was at peace with that nation and, at the solicitation of Japan, was still in conversation with its Government and its Emperor looking toward the maintenance of peace in the Pacific. Indeed, one hour after Japanese air squadrons had commenced bombing in Oahu, the Japanese Ambassador to the United States and his colleague delivered to the Secretary of State a formal reply to a recent American message. While this reply stated that it seemed useless to continue the existing diplomatic negotiations, it contained no threat or hint of war or armed attack.
          It will be recorded that the distance of Hawaii from Japan makes it obvious that the attack was deliberately planned many days or even weeks ago. During the intervening time the Japanese Government has deliberately sought to deceive the United States by false statements and expressions of hope for continued peace.
          The attack yesterday on the Hawaiian Islands has caused severe damage to American naval and military forces. Very many American lives have been lost. In addition American ships have been reported torpedoed on the high seas between San Francisco and Honolulu.
          Yesterday the Japanese Government also launched an attack against Malaya. Last night Japanese forces attacked Hong Kong. Last night Japanese forces attacked Guam. Last night Japanese forces attacked the Philippine Islands. Last night the Japanese attacked Wake Island. This morning the Japanese attacked Midway Island.
          Japan has, therefore, undertaken a surprise offensive extending throughout the Pacific area. The facts of yesterday speak for themselves. The people of the United States have already formed their opinions and well understand the implications to the very life and safety of our nation.
          As Commander-in-Chief of the Army and Navy, I have directed that all measures be taken for our defense.
          Always will we remember the character of the onslaught against us. No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the American people in their righteous might will win through to absolute victory.
          I believe I interpret the will of the Congress and of the people when I assert that we will not only defend ourselves to the uttermost but will make very certain that this form of treachery shall never endanger us again.
          Hostilities exist. There is no blinking at the fact that our people, our territory and our interests are in grave danger.
          With confidence in our armed forces -- with the unbounded determination of our people -- we will gain the inevitable triumph -- so help us God.
          I ask that the Congress declare that since the unprovoked and dastardly attack by Japan on Sunday, December seventh, a state of war has existed between the United States and the Japanese Empire.”
1941 The one vote against war in the US Congress
      Montanan Jeanette Rankin, 60, the first woman elected to Congress and a dedicated lifelong pacifist, casts the sole Congressional vote against the US declaration of war on Japan. She was the only member of Congress to vote against US involvement in both World Wars, having been among those who voted against American entry into World War I nearly a quarter of a century earlier.
      Rankin was a committed pacifist, and she cared little about the damage her beliefs caused her political career. Although some male representatives joined her in voting against World War I in 1917, many citizens saw her vote as evidence that a woman could not handle the difficult burdens of national leadership. Perhaps as a result, Montanans voted her out of office two years later. Ironically, Rankin won re-election to the House in 1940, just in time to face another vote on war.
      While her commitment to pacifism was politically harmful during World War I, Rankin knew that in the case of World War II, it would be downright suicidal. The surprise Japanese attack on the US military base at Pearl Harbor was devastating, and zeal for revenge was at a fever pitch. The vast majority of Americans supported President Roosevelt's call for a declaration of war.
      Rankin, however, believed that Roosevelt deliberately provoked the Japanese to attack because he wanted to bring the US into the European war against Germany (a theory that has never quite died out); she was determined not to cooperate with the president's plan. After a 40-minute debate on the floor of the House, a roll call vote began. When her turn came, Rankin stood and said, "As a woman, I can't go to war and I refuse to send anyone else.”
      When news of Rankin's vote reached the crowd gathered outside the capitol, some patriots threatened to attack the Montana congresswoman, and police escorted her out of the building. Rankin was vilified in the press, accused of disloyalty, and called "Japanette Rankin," among other impolite names. She stood her ground, however, and never apologized for her vote.
      When her term neared completion two years later, Rankin was certain she would not win re-election and chose not to run again. She continued to be an active advocate for pacifism, and led a campaign against the Vietnam War in 1968 when she was 87 years old.
^ 1933 Bernadette Soubirous est canonisée
     Née en 1844, fille aînée d’un meunier ruiné et devenu journalier, souvent sans travail, Bernadette Soubirous eut, dès l’âge de quatorze ans, dans une grotte sur les bords du gave de Pau, près de Lourdes, plusieurs apparitions (la première, le 11 février 1858) d’une jeune fille entourée d’un halo de lumière qui finit par lui dire, le 25 mars : "Je suis l’Immaculée Conception.”
      Marie-Bernarde, qu’on appelait Bernadette, comprenait mal l’application à la Vierge de cette expression qui avait fait l’objet, quatre ans auparavant, de la définition d’un dogme par le pape Pie IX. À la suite de cette période des apparitions (il y en eut dix-huit, qui s’accompagnèrent de rassemblements de plus en plus nombreux et émurent les autorités civiles et ecclésiastiques), Bernadette se regarda comme chargée de transmettre le message de la Vierge, répétant inlassablement le récit des visions, tandis que l’organisation du pèlerinage était prise en main par le clergé. Elle apprit à lire, puis demeura à l’hospice de Lourdes.
      Désirant devenir religieuse, elle fut, après beaucoup de difficultés, notamment de santé, acceptée par les Sœurs de la charité et de l’instruction chrétienne de Nevers, qui l’avaient instruite. Elle quitta Lourdes le 4 juillet 1866 pour le couvent Saint-Gildard de Nevers, dont les supérieures, et la maîtresse des novices en particulier, firent tout pour l’empêcher de tirer vanité de ses apparitions. Bernadette prononça ses vœux le 30 octobre 1867. Pour mieux la protéger contre les visites indiscrètes, on la garda à la maison mère où elle remplit les fonctions d’infirmière puis de sacristine. De plus en plus malade, elle mourut à l’âge de trente-cinq ans. Bernadette fut béatifiée le 14 juin 1925. Elle est fêtée le 16 Avril.
1932 Japan tells the League of Nations that it has no control over her designs in China.
1931 Coaxial cable patented
1929 Ship-to-shore mobile telephone commercial service is initiated as the president of AT&T in New York City called the SS Leviathan at sea. Later that day, an advertising executive calls a passenger aboard the ship, in the first-ever private ship-to-shore call. Calls cost between $7 and $11 per minute.
1920 President Woodrow Wilson declines to send a representative to the League of Nations in Geneva.
1902Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. is named Associate Justice on the US Supreme Court.
1896 Start of Sherlock Holmes Adventure of Missing 3 Quarter
1886 The American Federation of Labor (AFL) is founded at a convention of union leaders in Columbus, Ohio, with Samuel Gompers elected the first president.
20th Roman Catholic ecumenical council, Vatican I, opens in Rome
1869 Le Concile Vatican I s'ouvre.

      Sous le Pontificat de Pie IX, c'est trois siècles après le Concile de Trente (un siècle avant celui de Vatican II). C’est dire l’importance de ces conciles, car ils engagent l’Eglise pour de longues périodes.      En 4 sessions, les pères de l’Eglise, définirent la doctrine Catholique de la Foi, confirmèrent la primauté du Pape et établirent son infaillibilité en matière de dogme (triomphe de l’ultramontanisme).
      Le XXème concile œcuménique de l’Église romaine, réuni du 8 décembre 1869 au 20 octobre 1870, fut convoqué par Pie IX dans le double dessein de condamner plus solennellement les " erreurs modernes issues du rationalisme " et d’adapter le droit ecclésiastique à la société du XIXème siècle.
      Il fut interrompu par l’annexion de Rome au nouveau royaume d’Italie, après avoir consacré la majeure partie de son temps et de ses énergies à la définition des prérogatives pontificales, en particulier l’infaillibilité du pape, laquelle donna lieu à une polémique très vive, suivie de près par l’opinion publique et par plusieurs gouvernements qui appréhendaient des décisions éventuelles du concile sur le mariage civil, l’enseignement ou les libertés constitutionnelles et craignaient qu’on ne veuille réaffirmer solennellement certaines prétentions médiévales de l’Église sur le pouvoir civil.
      Tous ceux qui dans l’Église redoutaient le triomphe au concile du parti ultramontain s’ingénièrent à activer ces méfiances gouvernementales dans l’espoir de provoquer des avertissements et mises en garde par la voie diplomatique.
      Le concile, qui siégeait dans le bras droit du transept de la basilique Saint-Pierre, s’ouvrit le 8 décembre 1869 en présence de sept cents évêques environ. On comptait parmi eux soixante prélats de rite oriental, originaires pour la plupart du Proche-Orient, et près de deux cents Pères venus de pays extra-européens (cent vingt et un d’Amérique, quarante et un d’Asie, dix-huit d’Océanie, mais neuf seulement des missions d’Afrique, qui n’en étaient encore qu’à leur début).
      Toutefois, comme beaucoup de prélats venus de ces régions lointaines étaient originaires d’Europe, la prépondérance européenne était en fait massive. En outre, l’élément latin était fortement majoritaire : car s’il y avait une centaine d’anglophones (d’ailleurs irlandais pour la plupart) et environ soixante-quinze Allemands et Autrichiens, les Français représentaient 17% de l’assemblée (grâce aux nombreux évêques missionnaires) et les Italiens, plus de 35%. Bon nombre des consulteurs ou experts et les cinq présidents de l’assemblée étaient d’ailleurs des Italiens, seul le poste de secrétaire général ayant été confié par le pape à un étranger, l’Autrichien Fessler.
1864 Pope Pius IX issues the Syllabus Errorum, condemning Liberalism, Socialism and Rationalism.
^ 1863 Lincoln issues Proclamation of Amnesty and Reconstruction.
     President Abraham Lincoln announces his plan for the Reconstruction of the South and offers amnesty to Confederate deserters
      President Lincoln offers his conciliatory plan for reunification of the nation with his Proclamation of Amnesty and Reconstruction. By this point in the war, it was clear that Lincoln needed to make some preliminary plans for postwar reconstruction. The Union armies had captured large sections of the South, and some states were ready to have their governments rebuilt. The proclamation addressed three main areas of concern. First, it allowed for a full pardon for and restoration of property to all engaged in the rebellion with the exception of the highest Confederate officials and military leaders. Second, it allowed for a new state government to be formed when 10% of the eligible voters had taken an oath of allegiance to the United States. Third, the southern states admitted in this fashion were encouraged to enact plans to deal with the freed slaves so long as their freedom was not compromised.
      In short, the terms of the plan were easy for most southerners to accept. Though the emancipation of slaves was an impossible pill for some Confederates to swallow, Lincoln's plan was quite charitable, considering the costliness of the war. With the Proclamation of Amnesty and Reconstruction, Lincoln was seizing the initiative for reconstruction from Congress. Some Radical Republicans thought the plan was far too easy on the South, but others accepted it because of Lincoln's prestige and leadership. Following the assassination of Lincoln in April 1865, the disagreements over the postwar reconstruction policy led to a heated battle between the next president, Andrew Johnson, and Congress.
1863 Union General William Averell's cavalry destroys railroads in the southwestern part of West Virginia.
1861 CSS Sumter seizes Northern whaler Eben Dodge in mid-Atlantic. The American Civil War is now affecting the Northern whaling industry.
1860 Angered by Abraham Lincoln's election to the residency, Howell Cobb resigns as Secretary of the Treasury. The politician from Georgia then becomes a leader in the Confederacy movement and later serves as a major general in the rebel army.
1854 Pope Pius IX defined the dogma of the Immaculate Conception in his apostolic letter, Ineffabilis Deus. It asserted that by a singular privilege and grace granted by God, Mary was freed from original sin "in the first instant of conception.”
1776 George Washington's retreating army in the American Revolution crossed the Delaware River from New Jersey to Pennsylvania. [Emanuel Gottlieb Leutze's 1851 painting of [Washington Crossing the Delaware, in the other direction to attack the Hessians at Trenton on 25 December 1776].
1630 John Williams embarks secretly on a ship bound for American, hoping to escape the persecution that has plagued him in England. Persecuted also in the New World, he flees into Indian territory, purchases land, and founds Providence, later to become the capital of the state Rhode Island.
^ 1554 Ambroise Paré devient docteur en chirurgie
      Sur les instances du roi Henri II, la Faculté de Paris se résigne à coiffer Ambroise Paré du bonnet de docteur en chirurgie. Cet autodidacte né d'un coffretier et d'une fille publique est originaire de Bourg-Hersent, près de Laval. A 45 ans, il ne connaît ni le latin ni le grec. Il n'a jamais lu Galien. Il pratique simplement le métier de chirurgien-barbier dans une échoppe de Paris. Mais Ambroise Paré a déjà acquis une grande expérience de la chirurgie pendant les guerres d'Italie et sur divers champs de bataille. Il est à l'origine de nombreuses innovations décisives. Ainsi, au lieu de cautériser les plaies en les brûlant, au risque de tuer le blessé, il imagine de les ligaturer ou de les panser avec un mélange à base de jaune d'oeuf, d'huile et de térébenthine. Quand une amputation s'avère nécessaire, il sait la pratiquer proprement. Dans ses traités (écrits en français), Ambroise Paré s'affranchit de l'obéissance aux Anciens et recommande l'apprentissage de la chirurgie par la pratique. Il témoigne d'une pieuse humilité ("Je le pansai, Dieu le guérit", dit-il de ses patients). Au service du roi, Ambroise Paré ne peut cependant guérir Henri II de la blessure reçue à l'oeil au cours d'un tournoi. Pas davantage il ne peut sauver son fils François II, mort de maladie à 16 ans. En précurseur d'Henri Dunant (le fondateur de la Croix-Rouge) et des "french doctors", Ambroise Paré ne se fait pas faute de soigner les blessés de tous les camps, Français et Allemands, catholiques et protestants. Le père de la chirurgie moderne s'éteint en 1590 après une longue vie au service de l'humanité, en digne représentant de la Renaissance. Il demeure l'une des plus belles figures de l'Histoire de France.
^ 0435 First day of the 9th baktun.

09 baktun /   0  katun    /    0  tun    /   0  winal   /     0    k'in  //     08   -    ahaw     //    13   -    keh    /   g6
09baktun 0katun 0tun 0winal 0k'in   08 ahaw   13 keh   G6
     Stela 63, the earliest dated stela at Copan, commemorates the beginning of the Ninth Baktun as the arrival of K'inich Yax K'uk Mo', Lord of the West, who establishes himself as king and founder of the Copan dynasty of 16 kings which would last throughout the baktun (the 10th baktun would begin on 9 March 830).
     The 16th king of the dynasty, Yax Pasah, dies in 820. Excavations at his funerary temple show it is ransacked and burned. The burning of Yax Pasah's temple marks the official demise of Yax K'uk Mo's dynasty. In Maya writing the glyph for the end of a bloodline is a burning temple. The last carved monument at Copan is Altar L. Dated 822, it shows Yax Pasah passing power to a king who never rules, on an altar that is never completed. Within a hundred-year period, many of the great Maya cities fall by invasion. Others, like Copan, collapse from within. The regal ritual centers are empty and the stones of their mighty temples lie scattered around a ghost town. The people of Copan and many Maya centers abandon the cities and retreat into the jungle.
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^  Deaths which occurred on a 08 December:
2005 Joshua Woods, 6, of Leroy, Indiana, after the Boeing 737-700 of Southwest flight 1248 from Baltimore/Washington International Airport, lands amid in a snowstorm at 19:15 (01:15 UT on 09 Dec) at Chicago's Midway Airport, and, with collapsed nose gear, skids off the runway into a car, ending up on Central Avenue near 55th Street [ photo above], pinning down another car, in which the boy was. 8 other persons in the cars and 2 of those on the plane (98 passengers and 5 crew members) are injured. — (051209)
Ivory-billed woodpecker
2004 Guitarist "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott, 38; Jeff Thompson, 40; Erin Halk, 29; Nathan Bray, 23; and Nathan Gale, 25, who shoots the first four and then is shot by a policeman, in the evening at the Alrosa Villa nightclub, at 5055 Sinclair Road in Columbus, Ohio. Four persons are wounded. As the rock band Damagecontrol was beginning its first song at 22:15 (03:15 UT 09 Dec), Gale, followed by Thompson, a bodyguard for the band, and Halk, a club employee who loaded band equipment, walked up to the stage; Gale climbed onto the stage, started yelling and shot Abbott five times in the head, then shot Thompson who was pulling him off the musician, next shot Halk, then fired into the crowd, killing fan Bray and wounding 4. Gale was about to shoot a man he held in a headlock when policeman James D. Niggemeyer arrived and shot Gale.

2004 Jane Frances Galloway, 49, Kerri Lynn Agey, 48, and Dorothy Marie Forks, 53, in a commuter pool van of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory which goes off the Angeles Crest Highway in the Angeles National Forest mountains at 06:30 (14:30 UT) and rolls 60 meters down the embankment. The other 7 persons in the van are injured.
2002 James Kilgo, 61, of cancer. Author of Deep Enough for Ivorybills (1988), Inheritance of Horses (1994, essays, relationships between men of different generations in the same family). — [ivory-billed woodpecker, possibly extinct since 1971 >]
2001 Five civilians, one policeman, and two of a group which fires machine guns and threw grenades at an Indian army convoy of trucks in Baramulla, Jammu-Kashmir state. Soldiers fire back indiscriminately. The gun battle continues for one hour. Another 20 civilians and seven soldiers are wounded.
2000 Eliyahu Ben-Ami and Rina Didovski, Israelis killed by Palestinians in the vicinity of the Kiryat Arba settlement near Hebron.
1991 Kimberly Bergalis, 23, of AIDS contracted from her dentist, in Fort Pierce, Florida.
1988 US pilot and 5 inhabitants of suburb of Remscheid, West Germany, as Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt II crashes on a training flight. It starts a fire, which destroys two dozen homes.
1987 Hatem Abu Sisseh, 16, killed by Israeli soldiers as he participates in a protest. This killing ignites the first Intifadah for self-rule. In the 7 years to follow 1306 Palestinians would be slain by Israelis, 192 Israelis killed by Palestinians.
1983 Danny Katz, 14, Israeli. On 25 February 2002, Samir Janama, Fathi Janama, Ali Janim, Ahmed Kuzli, and Ataf Sabihi would be convicted of the murder, in Tel Aviv, in a retrial ordered in 1999 by the president of the Supreme Court, Justice Aharon Barak. The defendants claimed that they are innocent and that the confessions on which their convictions were based were coerced by torture by the police. According to the original indictment against the five, they met a few days before the murder and decided to kidnap and kill a Jewish child. Katz left his home in Haifa's Denya neighborhood to visit a friend who lived nearby. Samir Janama, who was driving by, stopped his truck, and forced Katz to get in. He then drove to a nearby building site where the defendants gagged and beat him until he was unconscious, using chains. They then undressed him, and strangled him, before sexually abusing him. The boy's body was then wrapped in a blanket, placed in the vehicle's trunk and then dumped in bushes near Haifa University. Three of the defendants returned the next day to hide the body to a cave near their home town of Sakhnin where it was discovered three days later. Kuzli and Sabihi are already serving time for the 1982 murder of Israeli soldier Dafna Carmon.
1982 Norman Mayer, killed by police 10 hours after he started to hold the Washington Monument hostage, demanding an end to nuclear weapons. He had no explosives.
1980 John Lennon, 40, rock star, former Beatle, shot outside his Manhattan apartment building by wacko Mark Chapman, who would plead guilty on 08 June 1981 and be sentenced to 20-years-to-life in prison..
Golda Meier1978 Golda Meir, 80, [< photo] in Jerusalem, Israeli Prime Minister (February 1969 – 04 June 1974), in Jerusalem She was born Golda Mabovitch on 03 May 1898 in Kiev, immigrated to the US in 1906, married Morris Myerson in 1917 and, with him, immigrated to Palestine in 1921. They separated in 1928 (he died in 1951). She became a Zionist leader, one of the few not arrested by the British in 1946. On 14 May 1948, she was one of 25 signers of Israel's independence declaration. Before and after that, she made money-raising visits to the US. She was Minister to the USSR (1948-1949), member of the Knesset (1949-1974), Minister of Labor (1949-1956), Foreign Minister (1956-1965), at first under Prime Minister Ben-Gurion who got her to change her name), Secretary General of the Labor Party.
1973 Evans, mathematician.
1967: 365 Viet Cong, in the biggest battle yet in the Mekong Delta, .
1966 Coble, mathematician.
1961 Severi, mathematician.
1955 Hermann Weyl, mathematician who said: “God exists since mathematics is consistent, and the devil exists since its consistency cannot be proved.”
1952 Some 900 persons in London, choked by the Great Killer Fog which settled on 05 December and fed by intensified millions of home coal fires, as the temperature dropped, has only worsened..
1949 Mary Gordon, novelist (Final Payments), on Long Island, New York.
1943 Two Japanese cruisers sunk, 72 planes shot down by US carrier-based planes, in the Marshall Islands.
^ 1940 Londoners victim of massive German air raids
      During the Battle of Britain, the Luftwaffe--the German air force--launches a massive attack on London as night falls on the British capital. For nearly twenty-four hours, the Luftwaffe rains tons of bombs over the city, causing the first serious damage to the House of Commons and Tower of London since the air battle began five months before. Despite the intensity of the assault, the German aerial offensive against Britain had, in effect, already been defeated. In July of 1940, Nazi leader Adolf Hitler ordered Hermann Goering's Luftwaffe to wipe out the British Royal Air Force (RAF), in preparation for the invasion of Britain, code-named Operation Sea Lion. However, over the next three months, the outnumbered RAF flyers successfully resisted the German air invasion, relying on superior aircraft, radar technology, and exceptional bravery. For every British plane shot down, two Luftwaffe warplanes had been destroyed. In October, Hitler delayed Operation Sea Lion indefinitely, but ordered a massive bombing campaign against London to crush British morale. Despite significant loss of life and tremendous material damage to the city, British resolve remained unbroken. During nightly Luftwaffe attacks in October, Londoners maintained a remarkable indifference, and King George VI and Queen Elizabeth remained in the besieged city to share the mortal danger with their subjects.
^ 1939 Day 9 of Winter War: USSR aggression against Finland. [Talvisodan 9. päivä]
More deaths due to Stalin's desire to grab Finnish territory.
Russians enter the village of Salla in northern Finland.
  • Southern Isthmus: the advance guard of the Finnish 4th Division, which has been fighting in the southern Isthmus, pulls back during the night behind the main defensive position.The Russians regroup to break through the Finnish lines.
  • Northern Finland: the Finns are caught completely off guard by the Red Army's offensive through the wilderness between Lake Ladoga and the Arctic Ocean with as many divisions as it deployed on the Karelian Isthmus.Finnish troops successfully repulse an attempted Russian breakthrough launched at 7.20 at Haukiperä in Suomussalmi.The Finns then take the initiative.
  • Eastern Isthmus: the Soviet artillery at Taipale launches a week-long barrage in an attempt to destroy the Finnish positions.
  • Ladoga Karelia: Soviet troops overcome the Finns at Tolvajärvi and almost capture Tolvajärvi village and the vital crossroads.During the night, Lieutenant-Colonel Pajari turns the tables with a decisive flanking attack on an encamped Russian battalion.
  • The Soviet force attacking Finland is placed under the direct command of the General Staff of the Red Army.
  • Commander of the Army, 2nd Class K.A. Meretskov is placed in command of the Soviet 7th Army on the Isthmus.
  • Northern Finland: the Russians enter the parish village at Salla.
  • Sweden: the Finnish Consulate in Gothenburg announces that 493 Swedish families have so far offered to take in Finnish refugees.
  • Finland is reintroducing the Cross of Liberty previously used during the War of Independence in 1918.
  • 1939 Jean Grave, French anarchist, author of La société mourante et l'anarchie (1892), for which he was sentenced to two years in prison, and Mouvement libertaire sous la IIIe république.
    1919 Julian Alden Weir, painter, etcher and lithographer; born on 30 August 1852, one of earliest US impressionists. MORE ON WEIR AT ART “4” AUGUST with links to images.
    1914 German cruisers Scharnhorst, Gneisenau, Nurnberg, and Liepzig, sunk by a British force in the Battle of the Falkland Islands.
    1910 Jean-Baptiste Robie, Belgian artist born on 21 November 1821.
    1894 Pafnuty Chebyshev, mathematician.
    1881 Some 640 to 850 people in fire and stampede at Vienna's Ring Theater, started when a lamplighter brushes the scenery on the stage.
    ^ 1864 George Boole, mathematician ("Boolean algebra")
          At sixteen, the self-taught Boole began teaching to support his family. In his free time, he studied mathematics extensively, and at age twenty-four, he began submitting mathematical papers to prominent journals. His work in the symbolic representation of logic proved critical to the developments of digital computer circuits, computer programming, telephone switching, and other modern technologies. Despite his lack of formal education, Boole was appointed professor of mathematics at Queen's College in County Cork, Ireland, and later became a fellow of the Royal Society.
    1863 Some 2500 in fire at Church of La Campana, Santiago, Chile
    1859 Thomas De Quincey, 74, at Lasswade, near Edinburgh, author of Confessions of an English Opium-Eater. / http://wsrv.clas.virginia.edu/~bpn2f/opium.htm / http://nepenthes.lycaeum.org/Ludlow/People/deq.html http://www.druglibrary.org/schaffer/History/dequinc1.htm / http://www.who2.com/thomasdequincey.html
    ^ 1830 Benjamin Constant, 63 ans, écrivain et homme politique français.
         d'origine suisse, longtemps lié à Mme de Staël et considéré comme l'un des pères du roman psychologique moderne. Né à Lausanne le 25 octobre 1767 dans une famille de souche française, Benjamin Constant de Rebecque poursuivit ses études en Allemagne et en Écosse, avant d'être introduit par son précepteur dans les milieux littéraires parisiens. Lors d'un voyage en Suisse (1794), il fit la connaissance de Mme de Staël, avec qui il entretint une liaison orageuse pendant quatorze ans. Projeté sur la scène politique par sa maîtresse, il se montra hostile à Bonaparte et dut quitter la France; c'est en exil qu'il écrivit Adolphe (1806).
          Peu avant la fin du régime impérial, Benjamin Constant reprit sa carrière politique en publiant notamment un pamphlet antibonapartiste: De l'esprit de conquête et de l'usurpation (1814). Représentant des idées libérales et progressistes — quoique parfois très contradictoire dans ses prises de position —, il fut l'un des chefs de l'opposition les plus populaires de la Restauration.
          Ce n'est pas à ses écrits politiques ni à ses traités de philosophie religieuse que Benjamin Constant doit sa renommée, mais à ses romans et ses mémoires. Par la peinture d'un certain mal du siècle, l'auteur s'apparente au mouvement romantique tout en adoptant un style très sobre. Adolphe, roman composé en 1806 et publié à Londres en 1816, est une transposition du "perpétuel orage" que furent ses relations avec Mme de Staël. Ce récit à la première personne restitue la fluctuation des sentiments qui unissent Adolphe à sa maîtresse Elléonore. Avec une lucidité neuve pour l'époque, l'auteur y analyse le besoin d'amour et l'incapacité à aimer de son héros.
          Dans une même veine, Cécile (composé en 1810), s'inspire des relations de l'auteur avec son épouse, laquelle fut chargée d'annoncer à Mme de Staël la fin de leur liaison. Ces deux romans eurent peu de succès en leur temps et ce n'est qu'à la fin du XIXème siècle, grâce à la mode du roman psychologique, qu'ils rencontrèrent le public.
          Outre sa correspondance (Lettres à Mme Récamier, 1882; Lettres à sa famille, 1888, etc.) on publia après sa mort son Journal intime (1887) ainsi que ses mémoires (Le Cahier rouge, 1907) où apparaît la complexité de sa nature.
    1824 Anne-Louis Girodet de Roucy-Trioson, French painter born on 29 January 1767. MORE ON GIRODET AT ART “4” DECEMBER with links to images.
    1818 Friedrich-Heinrich Füger, Austrian painter born on 05 November 1751. MORE ON FÜGER AT ART “4” DECEMBER with links to images.
    ^ 1793 Marie-Jeanne Gomard de Vaubernier, comtesse du Barry, guillotinée.
          Elle avait été la favorite de Louis XV.. Elle fut arrêtée le 22 septembre et condamnée à mort en novembre. Ce jour, elle est amenée jusqu'à l'échafaud, place de la Révolution. Elle est terrorisée. Elle hurle “Je ne veux pas ! Je ne veux pas!” Le bourreau se voit contraint de la porter en haut des marches de l'échafaud. A ce bourreau qui veut lui épargner d'attendre une mort inéluctable et l'exécuter la première, elle répond: "Encore un moment , monsieur le bourreau, encore un moment, je vous en prie.” Elle hurle encore lorsque tombe le couperet.
    1767 Ann Mann, who lived an old maid, but died an old Mann. (her epitath)
    1681 Gerard Ter Borch II, Dutch painter born in 1617. MORE ON TER BORCH AT ART “4” DECEMBER with links to images.
    1596 Luis de Carvajal, and his mother and sisters, Mexican Jews, burned at the stake.
    1292 John Pecham, Archbishop of Canterbury and science popularizer.
     
    ^  Births which occurred on a 08 December:
    1922 Lucian Freud Berlin German artist. MORE ON FREUD AT ART “4” DECEMBER with links to images.
    1919 Julia Robinson, mathematician.
    1913 Delmore Schwartz US, poet/short story writer/critic (Shenandoah)
    1908 John Volpe (Gov-Mass)/US Secretary of Treasury (1969-73)
    1906 Richard Llewellyn Wales, novelist (How Green Was My Valley)
    1902 Wilfredo Lam, Cuban artist who died in 1982. — more with links to images.
    ^ 1894 James (Grover) Thurber Columbus OH, writer, cartoonist, and editor
          When Thurber was about 7, he lost an eye in an accident while playing with his brothers. His disability made him shy and awkward, and he was something of a misfit until he discovered a love for writing while at Ohio State University. Thurber encrypted and decoded messages for the Army from 1918 to 1920 in Paris, and later worked there as a freelance writer. He married Althea Adams, whom he later divorced, in 1922. In 1926, the couple moved to New York, and he became associated with a new magazine, The New Yorker, where he shared an office with E.B. White, master stylist and author of Charlotte's Web. White had a strong influence on Thurber's writing, which consisted largely of funny essays and short stories, accompanied by his own humorous drawings. Other of his works include My World and Welcome to It, The Last Flower, Is Sex Necessary?, Men Women and Dogs
          Thurber published many popular story and drawing collections, including The Owl in the Attic (1931), The Seal in the Bedroom (1932), and My Life and Hard Times (1933). His short story The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, published in The New Yorker in 1939, became one of his best-known works. Thurber's later works lacked the delicate touch of earlier creations, as he struggled with health problems and drank heavily. He wrote several charming works for children, including The 13 Clocks (1950) and The Wonderful O (1957), before his death in 1961.
    1890 Bohuslav Martinu Policka Czechoslovakia, composer (Hry o Marti)
    1889 William Hervey Allen Jr., in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania,.poet, biographer, and novelist who had a great impact on popular literature with his historical novel Anthony Adverse, a rambling work set in Europe, Africa, & the Americas during the Napoleonic era. Allen died on 28 December 1949.
    ^ 1886 American Federation of Labor (AFL) formed by 26 craft unions; Samuel Gompers elected AFL president
          Fed up with the stifling grip of the Knights of Labor, a group of craft unions met in Columbus, Ohio, on this day in 1886 to mull over forming their own labor organization. Under the leadership of Samuel Gompers and Adolph Strasser, the disgruntled unionists decided to band together as the American Federation of Labor (AFL). The newly christened group vowed to uphold the core principles of craft unions, meaning, in part, that the one hundred national and international member organizations would remain largely independent entities. The AFL acted as a "loose" thread between the groups, largely serving as a safeguard for union members and adjoining "industrial territories.” While this policy sparked some turf wars, the AFL pushed on, growing at a healthy clip during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
    1886 Diego M. Rivera Mexican muralist who died on 25 November 1957. MORE ON RIVERA AT ART “4” NOVEMBER with links to images.
    1883 Lugwig Berwald, mathematician.
    1882 Manuel Maria Ponce Fresnillo Mexico, composer (Estrellita)
    1881 Padraic Colum Irish poet / novelist (Collected Poems). COLUM ONLINE: The Boy Who Knew What the Birds Said, The Golden Fleece and the Heroes Who Lived Before Achilles
    1881 Albert Gleizes, French artist who died on 24 June 1953. MORE ON GLEIZES AT ART “4” DECEMBER with links to images.
    Jean Sibelius, Tavastehus Finland, composer (Valse Triste, Finlandia)
    1865 Jean Julius Sibelius. compositeur finlandais.
          Ce fils de chirurgien finlandais se passionne très vite pour la musique et devient élève à l'Académie de Musique d'Helsinki. Très vite, il se révèle être le plus grand compositeur de l'histoire de son pays. Le gouvernement filandais, soucieux de le voir poursuivre son oeuvre à l'abri du besoin matériel, lui verse une importante pension (Il n'a que 25 ans). Sibelius est un nationaliste ardent dont la musique est profondément influencée par les longs hivers sombres et les étés courts mais lumineux de son pays. Sa notorité déborde rapidement de son pays. Certains critiques osent le comparer à Beethoven. Il est décédé le 20 septembre 1957. Parmi ses oeuvres, on relève: Kullervo (1892). Tulen Synty (1902), Maan virsi (1920), Valse Triste, Valse Romantique, et Finlandia son chef d'oeuvre.
    1865 Jacques Hadamard, mathematician.
    ^ 1864 Quanta Cura, encyclique du pape Pie IX, publiée
         Le pape condamne le naturalisme sous ses diverses formes, en particulier le rationalisme moderne et la conception libérale des rapports entre la religion et la société civile. Elle est complétée par une liste de quatre-vingts propositions erronées, intitulée Syllabus, c’est-à-dire Recueil "comprenant les principales erreurs de notre temps", dont la doctrine socialiste et le libéralisme.
    1861 Aristide Joseph Bonaventure Maillol, French Art Nouveau / Nabi sculptor who died on 24 September 1944. — LINKS
    1858 Vincenzo Migliaro, Italian artist who died in 1938.
    1851 Claude Emile Schuffenecker, French artist who died in August 1934.
    1850 Luigi Nono, Italian artist who died on 17 October 1918.
    1861 William Crapo Durant, who would found General Motors. He died on 18 March 1947.
    1861 Georges Méliès, à Paris. Magicien, il va découvrir le cinéma inventé par les frères Lumière et fera de cette attraction de foire un Septième Art.
    1832 Björnstjerne Björnson Norway, novelist (Nobel--1903).BJORNSON ONLINE: A Happy Boy.
    1828 Joseph Dietzgen, near Cologne, Germany, tanner who died in Chicago in 1888. Important socialist theorist whose writings exerted considerable influence on the workers' movement. Wrote The Nature of Human Brain-Work (1869). He wrote: "While the anarchists may have mad and brainless individuals in their ranks, the socialists have an abundance of cowards. For this reason I care as much for one as the other.”
    1826 Silvestro Lega, Italian painter who died on 21 September (21 Nov?) 1895 MORE ON LEGA AT ART “4” DECEMBER with links to images.
    1815 Adolf Friedrich Erdmann von Menzel, German Realist painter who died on 09 February 1905. — more with links to images.
    ^ 1807 Le royaume de Westphalie pour Jérôme Bonaparte.
         Napoléon en fin stratège, créé de toutes pièces le royaume de Westphalie qui lui est nécessaire pour atteindre l'Autriche. Il en donne, comme part hasard, la couronne à son plus jeune frère, Jérôme. Le 15 novembre, l'empereur lui a écrit :
          "Mon frère, vous trouverez ci-joint la Constitution de votre royaume. Cette Constitution renferme les conditions auxquelles je renonce à tous mes droits de conquête et à mes droits acquis sur votre pays. Vous devez les suivre fidèlement. N'écoutez point ceux qui vous disent que vos peuples, accoutumés à la servitude, recevront avec ingratitude vos bienfaits.”
          Les bienfaits du roi seront d'interminables fêtes...
    1794 John Berney Crome, British artist who died on 15 September 1842. — links to images.
    1765 Eli Whitney, inventor: cotton gin and uniformity method of musket manufacturing: beginning of mass production.
    1708 Francis I Holy Roman emperor (1745-1765)
    1632 Albert Girard, mathematician.
    1632 Lansberge, mathematician.
    1626 Christina queen of Sweden (1644-54)who abdicated after becoming Catholic
    1614 (baptism) Gonzales Coques, Flemish painter specialized in portraits, who died on 18 April 1684. MORE ON COQUES AT ART “4” DECEMBER with links to images.
    1587 Marten Ryckaert, Flemish artist who died on 11 October 1631. — link to images.
    ^ 1542 Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots (1542-1567) and queen consort of France (1559-1560).
          Her unwise marital and political actions provoked rebellion among the Scottish nobles, forcing her to flee to England, where she was beheaded on 08 February 1587 as a Roman Catholic threat to the English throne. [< detail of a 1559 Clouet drawing]
         In Linlithgow Palace in Scotland, a daughter is born to James V [10 Apr 1512 – 14 Dec 1542], the dying king of Scotland. Named Mary, she was the only surviving child of her father and ascended to the Scottish throne when the king died just six days after her birth. Mary's French-born mother, Mary of Guise, sent her to be raised in the French court of king Henri II [31 Mar 1519 – 10 Jul 1559], and in April 1558 she married his son, the French dauphin, who became King François II [19 Jan 1544 – 05 Dec 1560] of France at his father's death. After the' death of François II, Mary returned to Scotland to assume her designated role as the country's monarch. Mary's great-uncle was Henry VIII, the Tudor king of England, and in 1565 she married her English cousin Lord Darnley, another Tudor, which reinforced her claim to the English throne. This greatly angered the current English monarch, Queen Elizabeth I.
          On the night of 09 February 1567, Darnley was mysteriously killed in an explosion at Kirk o' Field, and Mary's lover, James Hepburn, 4th earl of Bothwell, 31, was the key suspect. Although Bothwell was acquitted of the charge, his marriage to Mary in the same year enraged the nobility, and Mary was forced to abdicate in favor of her 1-year-old son by Darnley, James. Mary and Bothwell were parted forever at Carberry Hill (where her troops refused to fight the rebels) on 15 June 1567, Bothwell to exile and solitary confinement where he died insane on 04 April 1578, Mary to imprisonment on the tiny island of Loch Leven.
          In 1568, she escaped from captivity and raised a substantial army but was defeated by her Scottish foes and fled to England. Queen Elizabeth I initially welcomed Mary but was soon forced to put her cousin under house arrest after Mary became the focus of various English Catholic and Spanish plots to overthrow her. In 1586, a major Catholic plot to murder Elizabeth was uncovered, and Mary was brought to trial, convicted for complicity, and sentenced to death.
          On 08 February 1587, Mary Queen of Scots was beheaded for treason at Fotheringhay Castle in England. Her son, King James VI of Scotland (who had not seen his mother since infancy), calmly accepted his mother's execution, and upon the death of Queen Elizabeth I [07 Sep 1573 – 24 Mar 1603], he became James I, king of England, Scotland, and Ireland.
    1508 Gemma Frisius, mathematician
    ^ --65 -BC (DCLXXXV A.V.C.) Quintus Horatius Flaccus (Horace), Rome, lyric poet, satirist
          His Satires are 10 poems written in hexameter verse and published in 35 BC. The Satires drew on Greek roots, stating Horace's rejection of public life firmly and aiming at wisdom through serenity. He discusses ethical questions: the race for wealth and position, the folly of extremes, the desirability of mutual forbearance, and the evils of ambition.
         In his 17 Epodes mockery is almost fierce, the metre being that traditionally used for personal attacks and ridicule, though Horace attacks social abuses, not individuals. Horace published his Epodes and a second book of eight Satires in 30-29 BC
         Horace published three books of Odes, 88 short poems, in 23 BC. Horace, in the Odes, represented himself as heir to earlier Greek lyric poets but displayed a sensitive, economical mastery of words all his own, about love, wine, nature, of friends, of moderation.
         He also wrote epistles (Book I was published 20-19 BC)--literary "letters" that were more mature and profound versions of the Satires-- abandoning "frivolous" lyric poetry for a more moralistic kind of verse. In three further epistles (much longer than any in the first book), relating to poetic activities, Horace abandoned all satirical elements for a sensible, gently ironical stance, praising moderation. Two epistles make up a second book, and the third, the Epistle to the Pisos, was also known, at least subsequently, as the Ars poetica. These last three epistles embody literary criticism in a loose, conversational frame. The Epistle to Florus (Book II, Epistle 2) explains why Horace abandoned lyric poetry for "philosophy.” The best poems, Horace says, edify as well as delight; the secret of good writing is wisdom (implying goodness); the poet needs teaching and training to give of his best. The "Epistle to Florus" may have been written in 19 BC, the Ars poetica (consisting of nearly 30 maxims for young poets' guidance) in c. 19-18 BC, and Book I's last epistle, dedicated to Augustus,in 17-15 BC. In the last epistle contemporary poetry is asserted against Rome's earlier literary background.
         In 17 BC Horace composed in a lyric metre the Carmen saeculare for ancient ceremonies called the Secular Games, which Augustus had revived to provide a religious sanction for his moral reforms of the previous year. Horace next completed a fourth book of 15 Odes, mainly of a more serious and political character than their predecessors. The latest of these poems belongs to 13 BC. Horace died on 27 November 8 BC.
    --- Horace, dans sa jeunesse servira comme officier dans l'armée de Brutus.. Il deviendra pourtant plus tard favori de l'Empereur Auguste.. Son ami. Virgile le présente à Mécène., grand protecteur des artistes, dont il devient le protégé. Les Odes d'Horace. restent à jamais immortelles, mais ce poète délicat et plein d'esprit a également composés des Satires et Épitres, dont l'une constitue ce qu'on appellera plus tard L'Art Poétique.
    HORACE ONLINE:       
    in the original Latin:
  • Carmina
  • De Arte Poetica
  • Satyrarum libri
  • in English translations:
  • The Works of Horace
  • The Art of Poetry: To the Pisos
  • Odes

  •  
    Holidays Guam : Lady of Camarin Day / Japan : Enlightenment of the Buddha / Spain, Panama, Canal Zone : Mother's Day / Spain : School Reunion Day / Uruguay : Beaches Day/Family Day

    Religious Observances Buddhist-Japan : Enlightenment of the Buddha / RC : Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary / La fête de l'Immaculée Conception rappelle que la mère du Christ fût épargnée dès sa conception par le péché originel, à la différence des autres descendants d'Adam et Eve. La fête de la Vierge est très populaire à Lyon depuis le 8 décembre 1852. Ce jour-là avait été choisi pour bénir le nouveau clocher de la chapelle de Fournière, surmonté de la statue de la Vierge. Une illumination était prévue en soirée mais elle fut annulée en raison de pluies violentes. A la faveur d'une éclaircie, les Lyonnais prirent d'eux-mêmes l'initiative d'illuminer leurs fenêtres avec des bougies. Cette tradition se perpétue de nos jours et s'accompagne de joyeuses virées dans les rues. Ne pas confondre cette tradition avec le voeu des échevins (ou magistrats) en 1643. Lyon étant menacée par la peste, ils consacrèrent leur cité à la Vierge et s'engagèrent à accomplir un pélerinage sur la colline de Fourvière le jour de sa Nativité (8 septembre).

    DICTIONNAIRE TICRANIEN: soulageant: chaussures de policier.
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    Thoughts for the day:
    “The only alternative to war is peace, and the only road to peace is negotiations” —
    Golda Meier
    “He who laughs last probably doesn`t understand the joke.”

    “He who laughs last, laughs a lasting laugh.”

    “He who laughs last, gets laughed at.”

    “He who laughs last, is laughing at those who laughed first.”

    “He who laughs last, perhaps is just hard of hearing.”

    “He who laughs, lasts.”

    “He whose laughs last, can get annoying.”

    “It is better to have loafed and lost than never to have loafed at all.” --
    Thurber
    “Lightness has to come from a very deep place if it's true lightness.” —
    star Alicia Silverstone commenting on the film Clueless.
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    http://www.intergate.com/~canu/history/h4dec/h4dec08.html
    http://42day.site.voila.fr/history/h4dec/h4dec08.html
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