Today in History: December 11

Today in History: December 11

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December 10 December 12

1688

James II abdicates the throne because of William of Orange landing in England.

1816

Indiana is admitted to the Union as the 19th state.

1861

A raging fire sweeps the business district of Charleston, South Carolina, adding to an already depressed economic state.

1862

Union General Ambrose Burnside occupies Fredericksburg and prepares to attack the Confederates under Robert E. Lee.

1863

Union gunboats Restless, Bloomer and Caroline enter St. Andrew's Bay, Fla., and begin bombardment of both Confederate quarters and saltworks.

1882

A production of Gilbert and Sullivan's Iolanthe at Boston's Bijou Theatre becomes the first performance in a theatre lit by incandescent electric lights.

1927

Nearly 400 world leaders sign a letter to President Calvin Coolidge asking the United States to join the World Court.

1930

As the economic crisis grows, the Bank of the United States closes its doors.

1933

Reports say Paraguay has captured 11,000 Bolivians in the war over Chaco.

1936

Britain's King Edward VIII abdicates the throne to marry American Wallis Warfield Simpson.

1941

The United States declares war on Italy and Germany.

1943

U.S. Secretary of State Cordell Hull demands that Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria withdraw from the war.

1945

A Boeing B-29 Superfortress shatters all records by crossing the United States in five hours and 27 minutes.

1951

Joe DiMaggio announces his retirement from baseball.

1955

Israel raids Syrian positions on the Sea of Galilee.

1964

Frank Sinatra, Jr., is returned home to his parents after being kidnapped for the ransom amount of $240,000.

1967

The Concorde, a joint British-French venture and the world's first supersonic airliner, is unveiled in Toulouse, France.

1972

Challenger, the lunar lander for Apollo 17, touches down on the moon's surface, the last time that men visit the moon.

1978

Massive demonstrations take place in Tehran against the shah.

1981

Military forces in El Salvador kill over 800 civilians in what is known as the El Mozote massacre during the Salvadoran Civil War.

1997

The Kyoto Protocol international treaty intended to reduce emissions of greenhouse gasses, opens for signature.

2001

People's Republic of China joins the World Trade Organization.

2005

Cronulla riots begin in Cronulla, a suburb of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.

2006

President of Mexico Felipe Calderon launches a military-led offensive against drug cartel violence in the state of Michoacan.

2008

Bernard "Bernie" Madoff arrested and charged with securities fraud in what was called a $50-billion Ponzi scheme.