Today in History: December 8

Today in History: December 8

Pick a day:

December 7 December 9

1660

The first Shakespearian actress to appear on an English stage (she is believed to be a Ms. Norris) makes her debut as Desdemona.

1861

CSS Sumter captures the whaler Eben Dodge in the Atlantic. The American Civil War is now affecting the Northern whaling industry.

1863

Union General William Averell's cavalry destroys railroads in the southwestern part of West Virginia.

1914

The German cruisers Scharnhorst, Gneisenau, Nurnberg, and Liepzig are sunk by a British force in the Battle of the Falkland Islands.

1920

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

1932

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

1941

Japanese General Tomoyuki Yamashita begins his attack against the British army at Singapore.

1943

U.S. carrier-based planes sink two cruisers and down 72 planes in the Marshall Islands.

1944

The United States conducts the longest, most effective air raid on the Pacific island of Iwo Jima.

1948

The United Nations approves the recognition of South Korea.

1967

In the biggest battle yet in the Mekong Delta, 365 Viet Cong are killed.

1968

South Vietnam's Vice President Nguyen Cao Ky arrives in Paris for peace talks.

1980

John Lennon is shot to death outside his Manhattan apartment building.

1982

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

1987

The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty signed.

1987

An Israeli army tank transporter kills 4 Palestinian refugees and injures 7 others during a traffic accident at the Erez Crossing on the border between Israel and the Gaza Strip, leading to the First Intifada.

1991

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

2004

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

2010

The Japanese solar-sail spacecraft IKAROS passes the planet Venus.

2010

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