December 11

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 Gen. 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, Florida, 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: The People’s Republic of China joins the World Trade Organization.

2005: 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 is arrested and charged with securities fraud in what was called a $50-billion Ponzi scheme.

Born on December 11

1803: Hector Berlioz, French composer and conductor (“Symphonie Fantastique,” “La Damnation de Faust”).

1843: Robert Koch, physician and medical researcher.

1882: Fiorella H. La Guardia, mayor of New York City from 1933 to 1945.

1911: Naguib Mahfouz, Nobel Prize-winning Egyptian novelist.

1918: Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Russian writer and winner of the 1970 Nobel Peace Prize, famous for “The Gulag Archipelago.”

1922: Grace Paley, short story writer.

1926: Willie “Big Mama” Thornton, blues singer.

1937: Jim Harrison, novelist and poet (“Legends of the Fall”).

1939: Tom McGuane, novelist and screenwriter (“The Sporting Club,” “Bushwacked Piano”).

1939: Tom Hayden, social and political activist; author, politician.

1940: Donna Mills, actress (“Knots Landing” TV series, “Play Misty for Me” movie).

1943: John Kerry, politician; unsuccessful Democratic nominee for president of the United States (2004); secretary of state (2013–17).

1944: Brenda Lee, singer; her 37 U.S. chart hits in the 1960s is surpassed only by Elvis Presley, The Beatles, Ray Charles and Connie Francis (“I’m Sorry,” “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree”).

1944: Teri Garr, actress, dancer (“Tootsie,” “Mr. Mom”).

1950: Christina Onassis, businesswoman; inherited and operated the Onassis shipping business.

1981: Hamish Blake, Australian comedian, actor, author; won Gold Logie Award for “Most Popular Personality on Television”; half of award-winning comedy duo Hamish and Andy (Andy Lee).

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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