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Events, deaths, births, of 11 DEC
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^  On an 11 December:
2004 Elections in Taiwan for 176 seats of the 225-member parliament.. The remaining 49 seats will be allocated to political parties based on their vote share. The opposition alliance Pan Blue alliance, led by the Kuomintang (KMT) party, wins 89 seats (plus 25 allocated seats), the pro-independence Pan Green alliance led by President Chen Shui-bian [18 Feb 1951~] gets 77, and independents 10.
2002 Businessman Mac Bosco Chawinga, 43, goes for a swim in a lake in the Nkhata Bay district of Malawi. A large crocodile grabs him. With both his arms inside the crocodile's jaws and being dragged into deeper waters, Chawinga bites the crocodile's nose, one of the few soft places on its body, and the crocodile releases him. Badly injured, Chawinga manages to swim to shore, where he is found by fishermen, who take him to a hospital.
2002 Old masters auctioned at Christie's in London. MORE AT ART “4” DECEMBER with links to images.
2000 Germany becomes the 25th country to ratify, and Bahrein the 119th to sign the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (which has not been ratified nor even signed by the US)
2000 Mariangela Lisanti, a senior at Staples High School in Westport, Conn., is awarded a $100'000 scholarship as winner of Siemens Westinghouse Science & Technology Competition, for measuring the electrical properties of gold wires in the nanometer (one billionth of a meter) range. The equal team prize is shared by Charles Olbert, Christopher Clearfield and Nikolas Williams, students at the North Carolina School of Science & Math in Durham. They used data from NASA's Chandra X-Ray telescope to analyze a wave of energy moving at high speeds near the remnant of a supernova.
1999. Expiration of the ultimatum the Russian gave to the inhabitants of Grozny, capital of Chechnya: leave or die. However, possibly influenced by international indignation, the Russians are postponing their assault and say they are opening more safe corridors for the civilians to get out.
1999 The results of a telephone poll are released showing that 88% of Cuban Americans in south Florida want shipwreck survivor Elián González, 6, to stay in the US with his Miami relatives, 5% want him returned to his father in Cuba, and 7% are undecided.
1998 Justin Petersen, a computer hacker turned government informant is captured in Los Angeles. Petersen, who claimed to have helped put notorious hacker Kevin Mitnick behind bars, had been on the run for three months after leaving a halfway house. Mitnick allegedly stole millions of dollars of software from cellular-phone and computer-network companies.
1996 Following the example of America Online, Prodigy announces that it will provide unlimited use of its service for a flat fee of $19.95 per month. Prodigy, like other proprietary online services, is struggling to stay afloat in the face of competition from Internet service providers. Ultimately, Prodigy would embrace the competition and transform itself into an Internet access provider.
^ 1994 Yeltsin orders Russian aggression against Chechnya
      In the largest Russian military offensive since the 1979 invasion of Afghanistan, thousands of troops and hundreds of tanks pour into the breakaway Russian republic of Chechnya. Encountering only light resistance, by the evening Russian forces have pushed to the outskirts of the Chechen capital of Grozny, where several thousand Chechen volunteers have vowed a bitter fight against the Russians. With the collapse of the USS.R. in 1991, Chechnya, like many of the other republics encompassed by the former Soviet Union, declared its independence. However, unlike most other former Soviet states, Chechnya, a Connecticut-sized enclave of some one million largely Muslim people, has traditionally been considered a region of the country of Russia. Russian President Boris Yeltsin, who permitted the dissolution of the Soviet Union, would not tolerate an independence movement within Russia proper. After the initial gains of the Russian army, the Chechen rebels demonstrate a fierce resistance in Grozny, and thousands of Russian troops die during twenty-one months of fighting. In 1996, a cease-fire is declared, and in 1997, Boris Yeltsin and his Chechen counterpart Aslan Maskhadov sign a formal peace agreement, promising an end to hundreds of years of intermittent conflict, although no real compromise on the issue of Chechen independence is made.
1985 General Electric acquires RCA Corp and its subsidiary, NBC
1983 First visit to Lutheran church by a pope (John Paul II in Rome)
1981 UN Sec Council chose Javier Perez de Cuellar of Peru as 5th Secretary-General
1978 Massive demonstrations take place in Tehran against the shah.
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
1975 US first class postage rises from $0.10 to $0.13
1972 Challenger, the lunar lander for Apollo 17, touches down on the moon's surface, the last time in the 20th century that men visit the moon.
^ 1969 US paratroopers leave South Vietnam
      Paratroopers from the US Third Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division, depart from Vietnam. The unit was sent to Vietnam in February 1968 as an emergency measure in response to the Communist 1968 Tet Offensive. Landing at Chu Lai, the unit was attached to the 10first Airborne Division (Airmobile) and given the mission of protecting the ancient capital of Hue in the region just south of the Demilitarized Zone. In September 1968, the Third Brigade was moved south to counter enemy forces around Saigon. It was assigned to the Capital Military Assistance Command and ordered to secure the western approaches to the city to prevent ground and rocket attacks against the Saigon-Tan Son Nhut airport complex. When the situation in South Vietnam stabilized, the Third Brigade was withdrawn as part of the second increment of US troop withdrawals called for under President Nixon's Vietnamization program. The brigade returned to Fort Bragg, North Carolina, where it rejoined the 82nd Airborne Division as part of the United States Army strategic reserve.
1968 The US Labor Department announces that the nation's unemployment is at 3.3%, the lowest in 15 years.
1961 Adolf Eichman is found guilty of war crimes, in Israel
^ 1961 First US military advisors sent to Vietnam
      As ordered by US President John F. Kennedy, the ferry carrier, USNS Core, arrives in Saigon with the first US helicopter unit. This contingent includes 33 Vertol H-21C Shawnee helicopters and 425 air and ground crewmen to operate and maintain them. Their assignment was to airlift South Vietnamese Army troops into combat.
     They are the first US military personnel to be sent to Vietnam. In the early 1950s, the US, fearing a "domino effect" of Communist revolutions in Southeast Asia, supplied France with arms and economic support during its ill-fated attempt to rid Ho Chi Minh's Communist forces from Vietnam, its formal colonial possession. After the French withdrew and Vietnam was divided in 1954, the US funneled over one billion dollars in aid to the ineffectual autocratic regime of South Vietnamese President Ngo Dinh Diem. In 1961, after Fidel Castro's successful Communist revolution in Cuba, President Kennedy feared that the credibility of US anti-Communist commitments around the world was imperiled. He sent the first US military personnel to South Vietnam in 1961, and by 1963, US aid had tripled and the number of US military advisers in Vietnam had expanded to over sixteen thousand. In late 1963, South Vietnamese military officers led a bloody coup against President Diem, and the government of South Vietnam fell into perilous disarray. In August of 1964, after the alleged attack on US naval ships by the North Vietnamese in the Gulf of Tonkin, President Lyndon B. Johnson ordered limited bombing raids on North Vietnam and Congress authorized the use of US troops. By 1965, North Vietnamese offensives left President Johnson with two choices: escalate US involvement or withdraw. Johnson ordered the former, and troop levels immediately jumped to over 300,000, as US air forces commenced the largest bombing campaign in history. Ten years later, US forces withdrew as Communist forces launched their final triumphant offensive into South Vietnam. It was the longest and most unpopular war in US history, and cost fifty-eight thousand American lives.
1958 Upper Volta (now Bourkina Fasso) gains autonomy from France
1955 Israel raids Syrian positions on the Sea of Galilee.
1945 A Boeing B-29 Superfortress sets a record by crossing the United States in five hours and 27 minutes.
1943 US Secretary of State Cordell Hull demands that Hungary, Rumania and Bulgaria withdraw from the World War II.
1941 Japanese occupy Guam.
^ 1941 The Axis unites against the US
      Two days after Congress passed a declaration of war against Japan, Germany and Italy declare war against the United States. The same day, Congress responds by adopting a resolution recognizing the state of war between the US and Japan's Axis allies. In 1940, delegates from Germany, Italy, and Japan signed the Tripartite Pact, a ten-year military and economic partnership that strengthened the Axis alliance. The pact divided the world into spheres of influence, and promised mutual assistance if any of the three nations were attacked by a power not currently engaged in World War II, namely the United States. On December 7, 1941, Japan launched a surprise attack against Pearl Harbor in Hawaii, an attempt to disable the US naval fleet and depress the morale of an isolationist America. However, virtually overnight, American society rallied behind President Franklin Roosevelt and his plans to transform America into the "great arsenal of democracy. “ Roosevelt proclaimed December 7 to be a "date which will live in infamy," and for the Axis partnership, who find the balance of power in World War II drastically shifted against their favor after Pearl Harbor, it indeed proves to be.
Germany declares war on the United States
      On this day, Adolf Hitler declares war on the United States, bringing America, which had been neutral, into the European conflict. The bombing of Pearl Harbor surprised even Germany. Although Hitler had made an oral agreement with his Axis partner Japan that Germany would join a war against the United States, he was uncertain as to how the war would be engaged. Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor answered that question. On December 8, Japanese Ambassador Oshima went to German Foreign Minister von Ribbentrop to nail the Germans down on a formal declaration of war against America. Von Ribbentrop stalled for time; he knew that Germany was under no obligation to do this under the terms of the Tripartite Pact, which promised help if Japan was attacked, but not if Japan was the aggressor. Von Ribbentrop feared that the addition of another antagonist, the United States, would overwhelm the German war effort.
      But Hitler thought otherwise. He was convinced that the United States would soon beat him to the punch and declare war on Germany. The US Navy was already attacking German U-boats, and Hitler despised Roosevelt for his repeated verbal attacks against his Nazi ideology. He also believed that Japan was much stronger than it was, that once it had defeated the United States, it would turn and help Germany defeat Russia. So at 3:30 p.m. (Berlin time) on December 11, the German charge d'affaires in Washington handed American Secretary of State Cordell Hull a copy of the declaration of war.
      That very same day, Hitler addressed the Reichstag to defend the declaration. The failure of the New Deal, argued Hitler, was the real cause of the war, as President Roosevelt, supported by plutocrats and Jews, attempted to cover up for the collapse of his economic agenda. “First he incites war, then falsifies the causes, then odiously wraps himself in a cloak of Christian hypocrisy and slowly but surely leads mankind to war," declared Hitler-and the Reichstag leaped to their feet in thunderous applause.
^ 1941 Congressional Declaration of War on Germany
December 11, 1941
The President's Message
To the Congress of the United States:
        On the morning of Dec. 11 the Government of Germany, pursuing its course of world conquest, declared war against the United States. The long-known and the long-expected has thus taken place. The forces endeavoring to enslave the entire world now are moving toward this hemisphere. Never before has there been a greater challenge to life, liberty and civilization. Delay invites great danger. Rapid and united effort by all of the peoples of the world who are determined to remain free will insure a world victory of the forces of justice and of righteousness over the forces of savagery and of barbarism. Italy also has declared war against the United States.
          I therefore request the Congress to recognize a state of war between the United States and Germany, and between the United States and Italy.
The War Resolution
          Declaring that a state of war exists between the Government of Germany and the government and the people of the United States and making provision to prosecute the same.
          Whereas the Government of Germany has formally declared 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 Government of Germany 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 government to carry on war against the Government of Germany; 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 No spare tires on new cars in US
      Buick lowered its prices to reflect the absence of spare tires or inner tubes from its new cars. Widespread shortages caused by World War II had led to many quotas and laws designed to conserve America's resources. One of these laws prohibited spare tires on new cars. Rubber, produced overseas, had become almost impossible to get. People didn't mind the spare-tire law too much, though. They were too busy dealing with quotas for gasoline, meat, butter, shoes, and other essentials.
1937 Italy withdraws from League of Nations -- L’Italie se retire de la SDN. C'est la conséquence des sanctions prises par l'organisation internationale contre l'Etat fasciste, suite à l'invasion de l'Ethiopie. Mussolini, par cette décision, fait un pas de plus vers Hitler, dans une alliance qui lui sera fatale.
^ 1936 King Edward VIII of England abdicates for woman he loves, divorcée Wallis Warfield Simpson of the US..
     Edward VIII (1894-1972) was the eldest son of George V, who died on January 20, 1936, a date, of course, which upon Edward became king, automatically. By then, however, Edward was notoriously involved with a married woman, Wallis Warfield, whom he had known since 1931. He wanted to marry her and make her his queen. He sought the approval of his family, the Church of England, and the political establishment. Spurred on by sensational newspaper headlines the authorities dug in and a swirl of controversy developed. On December 10, 1936, Edward submitted his abdication. The next day he addressed a worldwide audience via radio.

"At long last I am able to say a few words of my own. I have never wanted to withhold anything, but until now it has not been constitutionally possible for me to speak.

A few hours ago I discharged my last duty as King and Emperor, and now that I have been succeeded by my brother, the Duke of York, my first words must be to declare my allegiance to him. This I do with all my heart.

You all know the reasons which have impelled me to renounce the throne. But I want you to understand that in making up my mind I did not forget the country or the empire, which, as Prince of Wales and lately as King, I have for twenty-five years tried to serve.

But you must believe me when I tell you that I have found it impossible to carry the heavy burden of responsibility and to discharge my duties as King as I would wish to do without the help and support of the woman I love.

And I want you to know that the decision I have made has been mine and mine alone. This was a thing I had to judge entirely for myself. The other person most nearly concerned has tried up to the last to persuade me to take a different course.

I have made this, the most serious decision of my life, only upon the single thought of what would, in the end, be best for all.

This decision has been made less difficult to me by the sure knowledge that my brother, with his long training in the public affairs of this country and with his fine qualities, will be able to take my place forthwith without interruption or injury to the life and progress of the empire. And he has one matchless blessing, enjoyed by so many of you, and not bestowed on me -- a happy home with his wife and children.

During these hard days I have been comforted by her majesty my mother and by my family. The ministers of the crown, and in particular, Mr. Baldwin, the Prime Minister, have always treated me with full consideration. There has never been any constitutional difference between me and them, and between me and Parliament. Bred in the constitutional tradition by my father, I should never have allowed any such issue to arise.

Ever since I was Prince of Wales, and later on when I occupied the throne, I have been treated with the greatest kindness by all classes of the people wherever I have lived or journeyed throughout the empire. For that I am very grateful.

I now quit altogether public affairs and I lay down my burden. It may be some time before I return to my native land, but I shall always follow the fortunes of the British race and empire with profound interest, and if at any time in the future I can be found of service to his majesty in a private station, I shall not fail.

And now, we all have a new King. I wish him and you, his people, happiness and prosperity with all my heart. God bless you all! God save the King!"

Edward's younger brother took the throne as George the VI. He gave Edward the title, Duke of Windsor; and the ostracized pair, Edward and Wallis, then moved to Paris. They were married in France on June 3, 1937. During World War II, Edward served as governor of the Bahamas. He died in Paris on May 28, 1972. His wife died there, April 24, 1986.
On 3 June 1937, in France, the duke of Windsor--formerly King Edward VIII of Great Britain and Northern Ireland--marries Wallis Warfield, the American divorcée for whom he abdicated the British throne in December 1936. Edward, born in 1896, was the eldest son of King George V, who became the British sovereign in 1910. He served as a staff officer during World War I and in the 1920s made extensive goodwill trips abroad as Prince of Wales, a title bestowed on male heirs to the British throne. During the Depression, he helped organize work programs for the nation's unemployed and was highly regarded by the public in the years leading up to his father's death. Edward, still unmarried as he approached his 40th birthday, socialized with the fashionable London society of the day and frequently entertained at Fort Belvedere, his country home. By 1934, he had fallen deeply in love with American socialite Wallis Warfield Simpson, who was married to Ernest Simpson, an English-American businessman who lived with Mrs. Simpson near London. Wallis, who was born in Pennsylvania in 1896 and brought up in Maryland, had previously married and divorced a US Navy pilot. The royal family disapproved of Edward's married mistress, but by 1936 the prince was intent on marrying Mrs. Simpson. Before he could discuss this intention with his father, George V died on January 20, 1936, and Edward was proclaimed king. The new king proved popular with his subjects, and his coronation was scheduled for May 1937. His affair with Mrs. Simpson was reported in American and continental European newspapers, but due to a gentlemen's agreement between the British press and the government, the affair was kept out of British newspapers. On October 27, 1936, Mrs. Simpson obtained a preliminary decree of divorce, presumably with the intent of marrying the king, precipitating a major scandal. To the Church of England and most British politicians, an American woman twice divorced was unacceptable as a prospective British queen. Winston Churchill, then a Conservative backbencher, was the only notable politician to support Edward. Despite the seemingly united front against him, Edward could not be dissuaded. He proposed a morganatic marriage, in which Wallis would be granted no rights of rank or property, but Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin rejected this as impractical on December 2. The next day, the scandal broke on the front pages of British newspapers and was discussed openly in Parliament. With no resolution possible, the king renounced the throne on December 10. The next day, Parliament approved the abdication instrument, and Edward VIII's 325-day reign came to an end. That evening, the former king gave a radio broadcast in which he explained: "I have found it impossible to carry on the heavy burden of responsibility and to discharge the duties of King, as I would wish to do, without the help and support of the woman I love. “ On December 12, his younger brother, the duke of York, was proclaimed King George VI. That day, the new king made his older brother the duke of Windsor. By that time, Edward had already left for Austria, where he lived with friends apart from Mrs. Simpson as her divorce proceedings progressed. Her divorce became final in May 1937, and she had her name legally changed back to Wallis Warfield. On June 3, 1937, the duke of Windsor and Wallis Warfield married at the Château de Candé in France's Loire Valley. A Church of England clergyman conducted the service, which was witnessed by only about 16 guests. Wallis was now the duchess of Windsor, but King George, under pressure from his ministers, denied her the title of "royal highness" enjoyed by her husband. For the next two years, the duke and duchess lived primarily in France but visited other European countries, including Germany, where the duke was honored by Nazi officials in October 1937 and met with Adolf Hitler. After the outbreak of World War II, the duke accepted a position as liaison officer with the French. In June 1940, France fell to the Nazis, and Edward and Wallis went to Spain. During this period, the Nazis concocted a scheme to kidnap Edward with the intention of returning him to the British throne as a puppet king. George VI, like his prime minister, Winston Churchill, was adamantly opposed to any peace with Nazi Germany. Unaware of the Nazi kidnapping plot but conscious of Edward's pre-war Nazi sympathies, Churchill hastily offered Edward the governorship of the Bahamas in the West Indies. The duke and duchess set sail from Lisbon on August 1, 1940, narrowly escaping a Nazi SS team sent to seize them. In 1945, the duke resigned his post, and the couple moved back to France. They lived mainly in Paris, and Edward made a few visits to England, such as to attend the funerals of King George VI in 1952 and his mother, Queen Mary, in 1953. It was not until 1967 that the duke and duchess were invited by the royal family to attend an official public ceremony, the unveiling of a plaque dedicated to Queen Mary. Edward died in Paris in 1972 but was buried at Frogmore, on the grounds of Windsor Castle. In 1986, Wallis died and was buried at his side.
1933 Reports say Paraguay has captured 11'000 Bolivians in the war over Chaco.
1932 San Francisco's coldest day (27ºF) and snowfall
1931 British Statute of Westminster gives complete legislative independence to Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Ireland, Newfoundland
^ 1930 NY Branch of Bank of US fails
     As another ominous sign that the US is sliding towards a prolonged and difficult economic slump, as New York's branch of Bank of the United States announced that is bankrupt. Up until its downfall, the Bank held the savings of some 400'000 depositors, including a number of immigrants; its subsequent demise imperiled the finances of roughly one-third of New York and stood as the nation's single worst bank failure.
1928 Buenos Aires police thwart an attempt on US President-elect Herbert Hoover
1927 Nearly 400 world leaders sign a letter to President Calvin Coolidge asking the United States to join the World Court.
1917 German-occupied Lithuania proclaims independence from Russia
1909 Colored moving pictures demonstrated at Madison Square Garden, NYC
1905 49ºC, Rivadavia, Argentina (South American record)
1901 Marconi sends first transatlantic radio signal, Cornwall to Newfoundland
1882 Boston's Bijou Theatre becomes the first US playhouse lit exclusively by electricity. Some 650 lamps are used to light the theater and stage for a performance of a Gilbert and Sullivan's Iolanthe. The light bulb had been invented by Thomas Edison in 1879 and had first been installed in a building in 1881.
^ 1872 Buffalo Bill Cody makes his first stage appearance
      Already appearing as a well-known figure of the Wild West in popular dime novels, Buffalo Bill Cody makes his first stage appearance on this day, in a Chicago-based production of The Scouts of the Prairie. Unlike many of his imitators in Wild West shows and movies, William Frederick Cody actually played an important role in the western settlement that he later romanticized and celebrated. Born in Iowa in 1846, Cody joined the western messenger service of Majors and Russell as a rider while still in his teens. He later rode for the famous Pony Express, during which time he completed the third longest emergency ride in the brief history of that company. During the Civil War, Cody joined forces with a variety of irregular militia groups supporting the North. In 1864, he enlisted in the Union army as a private and served as a cavalry teamster until 1865.
      Cody began to earn his famous nickname in 1867, when he signed on to provide buffalo meat for the workers of the Eastern Division of the Union Pacific Railroad construction project. His reputation for skilled marksmanship and experience as a rapid-delivery messenger attracted the attention of US Army Lieutenant General Philip Sheridan, who gave Cody an unusual four-year position as a scout-a testament to Cody's extraordinary frontier skills.
      Cody's work as a scout in the western Indian wars laid the foundation for his later fame. From 1868 to 1872, he fought in 16 battles with Indians, participating in a celebrated victory over the Cheyenne in 1869. One impressed general praised Cody's "extraordinarily good services as trailer and fighter . . . his marksmanship being very conspicuous. “ Later, Cody again gained national attention by serving as a hunting guide for famous Europeans and Americans eager to experience a bit of the "Wild West" before it disappeared. As luck would have it, one of Cody's customers was Edward Judson, a successful writer who penned popular dime novels under the name Ned Buntline. Impressed by his young guide's calm competence and stories of dramatic fights with Indians, Buntline made Cody the hero of a highly imaginative Wild West novel published in 1869. When a stage version of the novel debuted in Chicago as The Scouts of the Prairie, Buntline convinced Cody to abandon his real-life western adventures to play a highly exaggerated version of himself in the play.
      Once he had a taste of the performing life, Cody never looked back. Though he continued to spend time scouting or guiding hunt trips in the West, Cody remained on the Chicago stage for the next 11 years. Buffalo Bill Cody was the hero of more than 1700 variant issues of dime novels, and his star shone even more brightly when his world-famous Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show debuted in 1883. The show was still touring when Buffalo Bill Cody died in 1917.
1863 Union gunboats Restless, Bloomer and Caroline enter St. Andrew's Bay, Florida, and begin bombardment of both Confederate quarters and saltworks.
1862 Union General Ambrose Burnside occupies Fredricksburg, Virginia, and prepares to attack the Confederates under Robert E. Lee.
1861 A raging fire sweeps the business district of Charleston, South Carolina, deepening the economic depression of the Confederate city.
1816 Citizens of Geneva thwart Savoyard invaders
1816 Indiana becomes 19th state of US
1813 Napoléon 1er envoie le comte de Laforest, ambassadeur de France à Madrid, auprès du roi d'Espagne Ferdinand VII, qui est interné au château de Valençay depuis 1808. Ferdinand, que son peuple surnomme "Le Désiré", accepte de signer le traité de Valencay par lequel la France lui restitue son royaume. Le cardinal de Bourbon, recevant à Madrid ce traité qu'il a fallu moins d'un mois pour mettre au point, attendra toutefois que le roi soit libéré et de retour pour en accepter les termes.
King Louis XVI is put on trial by the French Revolutionary government, accused of treason
1792 Louis Capet devant la Convention
      Louis Capet, anciennement Louis XVI, comparaît devant la Convention. L'assemblée révolutionnaire s'est constituée en tribunal. Elle siège dans la salle du Manège, aux Tuileries. Le roi Louis XVI a été déposé après la journée révolutionnaire du 10 août 1792. Celle-ci a marqué un tournant dans la Révolution, jusque là modérée et libérale, et préfiguré la terrible dictature de la gauche jacobine et montagnarde. Trois jours plus tard, le roi déchu a été emprisonné au Temple avec sa famille.
      Il est accusé de haute trahison pour avoir joué double jeu face aux assemblées nées de la Révolution et avoir tenté de s'enfuir à l'étranger en juin 1791. Sa mise en accusation se fonde aussi sur la découverte opportune d'une "armoire de fer" (un coffre-fort) dans les appartements royaux des Tuileries, le 20 novembre 1792. L'armoire dévoile la correspondance secrète entre le roi et le défunt Mirabeau. Elle confirme que le roi complotait avec le duc de Brunswick contre le gouvernement de la Législative. Le 03 decembre, devant la Convention, Maximilien de Robespierre donne le ton du futur procès dans l'un de ses plus célèbres discours.
Robespierre contre Capet
      Au nom des députés montagnards, résolus à poursuivre la Révolution, Robespierre fait valoir la nécessité de condamner le roi pour légitimer la Révolution: "Il n'y a point ici de procès à faire... Vous n'avez point une sentence à rendre pour ou contre un homme, mais une mesure de salut public à prendre... Proposer de faire le procès de Louis XVI, de quelque manière que ce puisse être, c'est rétrograder vers le despotisme royal et constitutionnel; c'est une idée contre-révolutionnaire, car c'est mettre la Révolution elle-même en litige. Si Louis est innocent, tous les défenseurs de la liberté deviennent des calomniateurs, les rebelles étaient les amis de la vérité et les défenseurs de l'innocence opprimée... Pour moi, j'abhorre la peine de mort prodiguée par vos lois; et je n'ai pour Louis ni amour, ni haine; je ne hais que ses forfaits... Je prononce à regret cette fatale vérité... mais Louis doit mourir parce qu'il faut que la patrie vive... Je demande que la Convention nationale le déclare dès ce moment traître à la nation française, criminel envers l'humanité (!)... “ Mais à l'opposé de Robespierre, les députés girondins (ou brissotins) craignent des désordres et de nouvelles dissensions si le roi est exécuté. Ils voudraient en finir avec la Révolution maintenant que la démocratie est installée et l'ennemi repoussé.
Le verdict
      Quand s'ouvre son procès, Louis XVI ne se fait plus guère d'illusions malgré le dévouement de ses défenseurs, Malesherbes, Desèze et Tronchet. Le procès va durer jusqu'aux votes du 15 au 19 janvier 1793. Le 15 janvier, 707 députés sur 718 présents jugent le roi coupable de conspiration. A 423 voix contre 281, ils rejettent ensuite l'idée des députés modérés de la Gironde de faire ratifier le jugement par le peuple. Enfin, par un vote nominal qui dure 36 heures, ils se prononcent à la majorité pour la peine de mort. La majorité requise étant de 361 voix, 387 députés demandent la peine de mort... mais 26 avec une possibilité de sursis. Il s'en faut d'une voix que Louis XVI échappe à la guillotine.
      Parmi les Montagnards qui votent la mort, figure Philippe-Egalité, ci-devant duc d'Orléans et cousin du prévenu. C'est à son cousin que Louis XVI doit donc de ne pas bénéficier du sursis...
Philippe d'Orléans sera lui-même guillotiné avec les Montagnards mais son fils règnera plus tard sous le nom de Louis-Philippe 1er.
      Louis XVI (39 ans) est exécuté le 21 janvier 1793 sur la place de la Révolution (aujourd'hui, place de la Concorde). Il meurt, dit-on, en homme digne et courageux, effaçant quelque peu le souvenir des faiblesses, des bontés, des erreurs et des faux-semblant qui ont jalonné son règne et entraîné l'Ancien Régime à sa perte. Du rappel des Parlements à la déclaration de guerre à l'Autriche, en passant par le renvoi de Turgot et le sabotage de la tentative de monarchie constitutionnelle sous la Législative, nombreux sont les actes du feu roi qui attestent de l'inconvénient qu'il peut y avoir à porter un soliveau sur le trône.
1719 first recorded display of Aurora Borealis in US (New England)
1688 King James II of Englind abdicates because of William of Orange landing in England.
^ 1640 Puritans petition English Parliament to abolish bishops
     A petition with 15'000 signatures of the citizens of London is presented to the Parliament. Known as the "Root and Branch Petition", it sought to sweep away the whole church hierarchy in its "roots and branches" (The imagery comes from Malachi 4:1) . That Parliament has become known as the Long Parliament. It was called by King Charles I out of his desperate need for money and lasted for twenty years. Once called, the Parliament began to take measures to destroy the absolutism of the King in both civil and religion affairs. The House of Commons accepted the "Roots and Branch Petition" and soon passed the Roots and Branch Bill. A majority of the members believed the office of bishop and the policies of Archbishop Laud should be destroyed, but they were not sure what form of church government to put in their place. As one member, Oliver Cromwell said, "I can tell you, sirs, what I would not have, though I cannot what I would. “ There were several options available once the old hierarchy of rule by king-appointed bishops was abolished. Some wanted a state church with a commission chosen by Parliament replacing the bishops; some wanted a form of Scottish Presbyterianism. Others wanted an independent church, with each individual congregation given control over its own affairs. In the end, most of the House of Commons tended to favor Presbyterianism while the Army favored the Independents. The House of Lords, however, opposed the Root and Branch Bill entirely. Many of its members were bishops, and they resented any pressure from the people to reorganize their House. The Bill was rejected by the House of Lords, and the episcopal organization of the Church of England remained.
1620: 103 Mayflower pilgrims land at Plymouth Rock (12/21 NS)
1520 Luther says that no man can be saved unless he renounces the rule of the pope (and submits to Luther's dictates instead, it goes without saying).
1518 Swiss Reformer Ulrich Zwingli becomes "people's priest" at the Old Minster Church in Zurich, a position he held for the remaining 13 years of his life. After nearly dying from the plague, he began his reforming program almost immediately, persuading the city council to judge religious issues by Scripture alone. -- Le chapitre de Zürich élit le prédicateur Ulrich Zwingli à la cure de la cathédrale. C'est le début d'une réforme religieuse originale, concurrente de celle de Luther.
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< 10 Dec 12 Dec >
^  Deaths which occurred on an 11 December:

2006 Kelly James, 48; Brian Hall, 37; and Jerry "Nikko" Cooke, 36; after they separated some 100 meters below the 3429-meter-altitude peak of Mount Hood, which they had reached on 08 December 2006, but, starting down, got stranded in a wind and snow storm. James, with a broken arm, took cover in a snow cave they dug, and made his last cell phone call on 10 December; the other two started down to get help but slipped on an icy 60º slope and fell some 1300 meters over a cliff. —(061219),
2006 Mahmud al-Habil, driver, and Osama Balousheh, 9, Ahmed Balousheh, 6, and Salam Balousheh, 3, sons of Baha Balousheh, in the car arriving at their school on Palestine Street in the Rimal district of Gaza City, which is riddled with more than 70 bullets. At least two other children are wounded. Colonel Baha Balousheh is a senior intelligence official prominent as an interrogator during the crackdown on Hamas by the Fatah government in the 1990s. —(061211)
2004 A police colonel and another police officer, in a group of senior Iraqi police officers traveling near al-Sharqat, Iraq, by attackers who block their way, shoot at them, and take their cars. Three of the group are wounded.
2004 A police brigadier and a colonel assigned to the Iraqi puppet interior ministry, shot in the south of Baghdad.
2003 Three persons in explosion at a foreign currency exchange booth on Yehuda Halevy Street in Tel Aviv, Israel. 16 persons are injured, included (lightly) crime boss Ze'ev Rosenstein, the target.
2003 Five Palestinians in pre-dawn Israeli attack on the Rafah refugee camp, Gaza Strip. 15 Palestinians, including 3 children, are injured.
2002 All 5 US soldiers aboard a US Black Hawk helicopter which crashes at 20:30 into a mountain near Santa Cruz de Yojoa, Honduras, on its way back to its base at Palmerola, after participating from 19:30 to 20:14 in a night landing exercise at San Pedro Sula. Palmerola is a $30 million base built in 1983. It has 400 US soldiers, who rotate every three months.
Osprey aircraft2002 Osama Badra, 27, shot by Israeli troops as he fled across rooftops in the Balata refugee camp near Nablus, West Bank. He was a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, had recently became active in the Islamic Jihad, and was suspected of planning a suicide bombing..
2002 At least 22 persons by muddy landslide in hotsprings resort Pacet, Java.
2001 José Fajardo, 82, a Cuban flutist who was one of the most influential bandleaders in Latin music, in Jersey City NJ.
2000 Four US Marines aboard a tilt-rotor MV-22 Osprey aircraft which, late in the day, crashes in a wooded area north of the Marine Corps New River Air Station in southeastern North Carolina. It is the second fatal training crash in 2000 of the revolutionary MV-22, which uses rotating wingtip engines to take off and land like a helicopter. 19 Marines died in an 8 April 2000 Osprey crash. Later investigations would reveal that Marine officers had falsified records to cover up failure to adequately test and maintain the Ospreys. [photo: an MV-22 Osprey landing on the USS Saipan during exercises in January 1999]
2000 Anwar Ahmad Himran, a senior activist in the Islamic Jihad, killed by Israeli soldiers operating near Nablus. Himran was freed from a Palestinian Authority prison at the beginning of the Al Aqsa Intifada and may have been involved in recent terror attacks that killed four Israelis.
1985 Hugh Scrutton is killed in his computer store in Sacramento, California, by a mail package that explodes in his hands.
      It would be discovered that the sender was the "Unabomber"--so nicknamed because his attacks were directed at universities and airlines--eventually responsible for the later deaths of 2 more people and the injuries of 23 others.
      The Unabomber detonated his first bomb on May 26, 1978, at Northwestern University. Over the next 15 years, his sporadic attacks kept his identity a mystery to FBI investigators, but in the mid-1990s, he appeared to want more publicity. He increased the frequency of his attacks and sent a letter to The New York Times claiming responsibility on behalf of "FC," which was later revealed to be the "Freedom Club. “
      In late 1994, the Unabomber became very active; Thomas Mosser was killed in his home in New Jersey in December 1994 by a mail bomb, and four months later, another bomb killed Gilbert Murray, a lobbyist for the timber industry. During this time, the Unabomber also began to send notes to the press declaring the "principles" behind his terrorist attacks. When the Unabomber threatened to blow up an airplane flying out of Los Angeles International Airport in 1995, the FBI made his capture a top priority. A sketch of the suspect, who appeared menacing in a hood and sunglasses, was circulated in newspapers and on television.
      The Unabomber claimed that he would stop the bomb spree if the national press published his manifesto. Eventually, The New York Times and The Washington Post agreed to publish it. It which contained mostly rants against technology and environmental destruction. When he read it, David Kaczynski realized that it bore a distinct similarity to writings by his brother, Ted, a former university professor who had dropped out of society and was living in a remote shack in Montana. David Kaczynski contacted the FBI with his suspicions on the condition--later broken--that the FBI would not seek the death penalty against his brother. After two months of surveillance, the FBI finally arrested Ted Kaczynski in 1996. Inside his cabin were bombs and writings that tied him to the crimes.
      In January 1998, while awaiting trial, Kaczynski tried to commit suicide in his cell. Still, he resisted his lawyer's attempts to plead insanity and instead pleaded guilty. Although prosecutors originally sought the death penalty, Kaczynski eventually accepted a life sentence with no right to appeal.
1942 Séraphine Louis “de Senlis”, French shepherdess, housemaid, and painter born on 02 September 1864. — more with link to an image.
1941 Émile Picard, mathematician.
^ 1939 Day 12 of Winter War: USSR aggression against Finland. [Talvisodan 12. päivä]
More deaths due to Stalin's desire to grab Finnish territory.
  • Northern Finland: Finnish troops launch a counteroffensive at Suomussalmi at 10:00 to recapture the parish village.
  • Ladoga Karelia: Soviet troops launch a series of determined offensives at Kollaa.The frontal assault is accompanied by attempted flanking actions.
  • In the Tolvajärvi battle area, Colonel Talvela issues the order for the decisive attack.
  • Northern Finland: in the Salla sector, a Russian regiment shatters the Finnish defense at Märkäjärvi.The Finns retreat about 10 km west to Salmijärvi.
  • Swedish border: the author Frans Emil Sillanpää arrives in Haaparanta en route to receive his Nobel Prize for Literature.
  • 1917 13 Black soldiers hanged for alleged participation in Houston riot
    1910 Jules Tannery, mathematician.
    1906 Mannheim, mathematician.
    1888 French Panama Canal company fails
    1784 Lexell, mathematician.
    1738 Johann-Rudolf Byss, Swiss painter, active in Prague and Franconia, born on 11 May 1660. — more
    1737 Nicolas Vleughels, French painter, administrator and teacher of Flemish origin, born on 06 December 1668. — more
    1513 Bernardino Betti (or Betto) di Biagi Pinturicchio Sordicchio, Italian painter of decorative frescoes, born in 1454. MORE ON PINTURICCHIO AT ART “4” DECEMBER with links to images.
    1187 Pope Gregory VIII. During his pontificate the Muslims recaptured the Holy land. He absolved the Henry II of England of the murder of Archbishop Thomas a Becket after Henry's public penance.
    0384 Saint Damasus I, Pope
     
    < 10 Dec 12 Dec >
    ^  Births which occurred on an 11 December:

    1967 Concorde supersonic transport (SST) plane prototype "Concorde" first shown, in Toulouse, France.1967. It is the world's first SST and the only one of the 20th century.
    1967 The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine is founded.
    1954 USS Forrestal christened in Newport News, Va.
    ^ 1946 UNICEF is founded
          In the aftermath of World War II, the General Assembly of the United Nations votes to establish the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF), an organization that will help provide relief and support to children living in countries devastated by the war. After the food and medical crisis of the late 1940s passes, UNICEF continues its role as a relief organization for the children of troubled nations. In 1965 it was awarded the Nobel peace prize.
          During the 1970s UNICEF grows into a vocal advocate of children's rights. During the 1980s, UNICEF assists the U.N. Commission on Human Rights in the drafting of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. After its introduction to the U.N. General Assembly in 1989, the Convention on the Rights of the Child becomes the most widely ratified human rights treaty in history, and UNICEF plays a key role in ensuring its enforcement. Of the 184 member states of the United Nations, only two countries have failed to ratify the treaty--Somalia and the United States. Somalia does not currently have an internationally recognized government, so ratification is impossible, and the United States, which was one of the original signatories of the convention, has failed to ratify the treaty because of concerns about its potential impact on national sovereignty and the parent-child relationship.
         UNICEF shared the 1965 Nobel Peace Prize.
    1939 Tom Hayden 60's activist, Mr Jane Fonda, California state Assemblyman
    1939 Tom McGuane, novelist and screenwriter (The Sporting Club, Bushwacked Piano).
    1937 Jim Harrison, novelist and poet (Legends of the Fall).
    1925 Paul Greengard, who would share the 2000 Nobel Medicine Prize with Arvid Carlsson [25 Jan 1923~] and Eric Kandel [07 Nov 1929~], “for discoveries concerning signal transduction in the nervous system”.
    1922 Grace Paley, short story writer (1970 Arts and Letters Award)
    ^ 1918 Aleksandr Isaevich Solzhenitsyn [–03 Aug 2008]. Russia, novelist, dramatist, and historian, at Kislovodsk, in the Caucasus Mountains in Russia.
         His father, Isaakiy Solzhenitsyn, an artillery officer on the German front in World War I, died in a hunting accident before Aleksandr was born. He was raised by his mother, Taisiya (née Shcherbak), a typist. He began writing as a child but studied mathematics in college because there was no suitable literature program in the town where he lived, and he and his mother were too poor to move to Moscow. However, he did take correspondence courses in literature.
          During World War II, Solzhenitsyn was assigned to an artillery unit because of his mathematics background. He was put in command of the company until 1945, when he was arrested for writing a letter that criticized Stalin. He spent eight years in prison and labor camps, after which he was exiled to Kazakhstan for three years. He taught mathematics and physics and continued writing secretly for many years, not even letting his closest friends know about his writing. He was convinced his work would never be published. However, in 1961 he finally let go of his secret, and published One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, a short novel which became an instant success, followed by a collection of short stories in 1963.
          But the government then withdrew its permission to publish his work and seized his manuscripts. Solzhenitsyn began to circulate his work secretly and published several novels abroad, including The First Circle (1968), Cancer Ward (1968), and August 1914 (1971). Solzhenitsyn shared the Nobel Prize in literature in 1970 ("for the ethical force with which he has pursued the indispensable traditions of Russian literature") but declined to go to Sweden to accept the award for fear he would be denied re-entry to Russia. The publication of parts of The Gulag Archipelago in Paris in 1973 led to Solzhenitsyn's arrest and exile in 1974. He moved to Vermont, where he continued to write and publish. In 1990, Solzhenitsyn's citizenship was restored, and he moved back to Russia in 1994.
         After Solzhenitsyn's return, he published eight two-part short stories, a series of contemplative "miniatures" or prose poems, a literary memoir on his years in the West (The Grain Between the Millstones), political writings such as Rebuilding Russia (1990) and Russia in Collapse (1998), and a two-volume work on the history of Russian-Jewish relations (Two Hundred Years Together. 2001, 2002).
         Solzhenitsyn's three sons became US citizens. The middle one, Ignat (born in Kislovodsk it 1972), is a pianist and conductor.
    — (080804)
    1911 Naguib Mahfouz, Egyptian novelist who shared the 1988 Nobel Literature Prize.
    1904 Felix Nussbaum, German artist who died in 1944.
    1890 Pierre de Belay, French artist who died in 1947.
    1884 Szász, mathematician.
    1882 Fiorello La Guardia ('Little Flower': Republican politician: NYC mayor [1933-45]; LaGuardia Airport in NY bears his name)
    1882 Max Born, German mathematician, physicist who shared the 1954 Nobel Physics Prize.
    1876 Ricardo Canals y Llambi, Spanish artist who died in 1931.
    1863 Annie Jump Cannon US, stellar spectroscopist/author.
    1856 Frank Pieters, British artist who died in 1932.
    1852 Alfred Zoff, Austrian artist who died on 12 August 1927.
    1845 Roger Joseph Jourdain, French painter who died on 19 August 1918.
    1843 Robert Koch German physician and medical researcher, who discovered TB bacilli, and shared the 1905 Nobel Medicine Prize.
    1841 Antonio Matteo Montemezzo, German artist who died on 11 September 1898.
    1840 Kemal Bey Turkey, poet/author (Fatherland-1872)
    1840 Thomae, mathematician.
    1810 Alfred de Musset, in Paris, writer (Un Caprice, Bettine) MUSSET EN-LIGNE: Premières poésies 1829-1835, Lettres de Dupuy et Cotonet
    1803 Hector Louis Berlioz, Côte Saint André (Isère), and conductor (Symphonie Fantastique, La Damnation de Faust, Manque).
    1792 Joseph Mohr, the Austrian Roman Catholic vicar who, on Christmas Eve of 1818, authored the lyrics of the enduring Christmas hymn, "Stille Nacht". Oberndorf Church organist Franz Gruber composed the melody.
    Stille Nacht

    1. Stille Nacht! Heil'ge Nacht!
    Alles schläft; einsam wacht
    Nur das traute hoch heilige Paar.
    Holder Knab' im lockigten Haar,
    |: Schlafe in himmlischer Ruh! :|

    2. Stille Nacht! Heil'ge Nacht!
    Gottes Sohn, o wie lacht
    Lieb' aus deinem göttlichen Mund,
    Da uns schlägt die rettende Stund'.
    |: Jesus in deiner Geburt! :|

    3. Stille Nacht! Heil'ge Nacht!
    Die der Welt Heil gebracht,
    Aus des Himmels goldenen Höhn,
    Uns der Gnaden Fülle läßt sehn,
    |: Jesum in Menschengestalt! :|

    4. Stille Nacht! Heil'ge Nacht!
    Wo sich heut alle Macht
    Väterlicher Liebe ergoß,
    Und als Bruder huldvoll umschloß
    |: Jesus die Völker der Welt! :|

    5. Stille Nacht! Heil'ge Nacht!
    Lange schon uns bedacht,
    Als der Herr vom Grimme befreit
    In der Väter urgrauer Zeit
    |: Aller Welt Schonung verhieß! :|

    6. Stille Nacht! Heil'ge Nacht!
    Hirten erst kundgemacht
    Durch der Engel Alleluja,
    Tönt es laut bei Ferne und Nah:
    |: "Jesus der Retter ist da!" :|

    Silent Night.

    Silent Night! Holy Night!
    All is calm, all is bright
    Round yon godly tender pair.
    Holy infant with curly hair,
    Sleep in heavenly peace, :|

    Silent Night! Holy Night!
    Son of God, love's pure light
    Radiant beams from thy holy face, 
    With the dawn of redeeming grace,
    Jesus, Lord at thy birth :|

    Silent Night! Holy Night!
    Brought the world gracious light,
    Down from heaven's golden height
    Comes to us the glorious sight:
    Jesus, as one of mankind, :|

    Silent Night! Holy Night!
    By his love, by his might
    God our Father us has graced,
    As a brother gently embraced
    Jesus, all nations on earth, :|

    Silent Night! Holy Night!
    Long ago, minding our plight
    God the world from misery freed,
    In the dark age of our fathers decreed:
    All the world  redeemed, :|

    Silent Night! Holy Night!
    Shepherds first saw the sight
    Of angels singing alleluia
    Calling clearly near and far:
    Christ, the savior is born, :|

    Sainte Nuit

    Nuit de paix, Sainte nuit
    Dans le ciel L'astre luit
    Dans les champs tout repose en paix
    Mais soudain dans l'air pur et frais
    Le brillant chœur des anges
    Aux bergers apparaît

    Nuit de foi, Sainte nuit
    Les bergers sont instruits
    Confiants dans la voix des cieux
    Ils s'en vont adorer leur Dieu
    Et Jésus, en échange
    Leur sourit radieux

    Nuit d'amour, Sainte nuit
    Dans l'étable, aucun bruit
    Sur la paille, est couché l'enfant
    Que la Vierge endort en chantant
    Il repose en ses langes
    Son Jésus ravissant

    Nuit d'espoir, Sainte nuit
    L'espérance a reluit
    Le Sauveur de la terre est né
    C'est à nous que Dieu l'a donné
    Célébrons ses louanges
    Gloire au Verbe incarné

    1781 Sir David Brewster Scotland, physicist/inventor (kaleidoscope)
    1668 Domenico Maria Viani, Italian painter who died on 01 October 1711. — more
    1599 Pieter-Jacobs Codde, Dutch artist who died on 12 October 1678. MORE ON CODDE AT ART “4” DECEMBER with links to images.
     
    Holidays Geneva, Switzerland : Scaling Day/Escalade (1602, 1816) / Indiana : Admission Day (1816) / Upper Volta : Republic Day (1958)

    Religious Observances RC : St Damascus I, pope (366-384) (opt) / Luth : Lars Skrefsrud, missionary to India / Daniel est l'un des quatre grands prophètes de l'Ancien Testament. Un Livre lui est consacré. Esclave pendant la captivité des Hébreux à Babylone, il s'attire la jalousie des conseillers du roi Darius. Ils le font jeter dans la fosse aux lions. Miraculeusement épargné, Daniel est extrait de la fosse sur ordre du roi.

    DICTIONNAIRE TICRANIEN: racontable: 1. rongeur qui examine les rapports financiers. 2. rongeur susceptible d'être recensé.
    click click

    Thoughts for the day : “When in doubt, make it sound convincing.”
    “When convinced, make it sound doubtful.”
    “When in doubt, make a convincing sound.”
    “When in doubt, scream and shout.”
    “When in doubt, don't.”
    “When in doubt, delegate.”
    “When in doubt, pout.”
    “When in doubt, consult.”
    “When in doubt about whom to consult, sleep.”
    “When in doubt, toss a coin.”
    “Don't cast doubt, cast dice.”
    “When in doubt, get out.”
    “When in doubt, you don't have clout.”
    “When in doubt, make a sound decision.”
    “When in doubt, procrastinate.”
    “When in doubt, cut the Gordian knot with the sword of Damocles.”
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    updated Monday 04-Aug-2008 12:27 UT
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