Today is Thursday, Dec. 11, the 345th day of 2014. There are 20 days left in the year.
On Dec. 11, 1936, Britain’s King Edward VIII abdicated the throne so he could marry American divorcee Wallis Warfield Simpson; his brother, Prince Albert, became King George VI.
In 1792, France’s King Louis XVI went before the Convention to face charges of treason. (Louis was convicted, and executed the following month.)
In 1816, Indiana became the 19th state.
In 1928, police in Buenos Aires announced they had thwarted an attempt on the life of President-elect Herbert Hoover.
In 1937, Italy announced it was withdrawing from the League of Nations.
In 1941, Germany and Italy declared war on the United States; the U.S. responded in kind.
In 1946, the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) was established.
In 1964, Che Guevara addressed the United Nations; in his speech, the Argentine revolutionary declared that “the final hour of colonialism has struck.” Singer-songwriter Sam Cooke was shot to death by a motel manager in Los Angeles; he was 33.
In 1972, Apollo 17’s lunar module landed on the moon with astronauts Eugene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt aboard; during three extravehicular activities (EVAs), they became the last two men to date to step onto the lunar surface.
In 1980, President Jimmy Carter signed legislation creating a $1.6 billion environmental “superfund” to pay for cleaning up chemical spills and toxic waste dumps. “Magnum P.I.,” starring Tom Selleck, premiered on CBS.
In 1994, leaders of 34 Western Hemisphere nations signed a free-trade declaration in Miami.
In 1997, more than 150 countries agreed at a global warming conference in Kyoto, Japan, to control the Earth’s greenhouse gases.
In 2008, Bernie Madoff was arrested, accused of running a multibillion-dollar Ponzi scheme. (Madoff is serving a 150-year federal prison sentence.)
Ten years ago: Doctors in Austria said that Ukrainian presidential candidate Viktor Yushchenko had been poisoned with dioxin, which caused the severe disfigurement and partial paralysis of his face. Vitali Klitschko stopped Danny Williams in the eighth round to retain his WBC heavyweight title. Southern California quarterback Matt Leinart (LYN’-nurt) was awarded the 70th Heisman Trophy.
Five years ago: Tiger Woods announced on his website that he was taking an indefinite leave from golf to try to save his five-year-old marriage to Elin Nordegren. (However, the couple ended up divorcing in Aug. 2010.)
One year ago: Time magazine selected Pope Francis as its Person of the Year, saying the Roman Catholic church’s new leader — the first from Latin America — had changed the perception of the 2,000-year-old institution in an extraordinary way in a short time.
Today’s Birthdays: Actor Jean-Louis Trintignant is 84. Actress Rita Moreno is 83. Former California state lawmaker Tom Hayden is 75. Pop singer David Gates (Bread) is 74. Actress Donna Mills is 74. U.S. Ambassador to China, former Sen. Max Baucus, is 73. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is 71. Singer Brenda Lee is 70. Actress Lynda Day George is 70. Music producer Tony Brown is 68. Actress Teri Garr is 67. Movie director Susan Seidelman is 62. Actress Bess Armstrong is 61. Singer Jermaine Jacksun is 60. Rock musician Mike Mesaros (The Smithereens) is 57. Rock musician Nikki Sixx (Motley Crue) is 56. Rock musician Darryl Jones (The Rolling Stones) is 53. Actor Ben Browder is 52. Singer-musician Justin Currie (Del Amitri) is 50. Rock musician David Schools (Hard Working Americans, Gov’t Mule, Widespread Panic) is 50. Actor Gary Dourdan (DOOR’-dan) is 48. Actress-comedian Mo’Nique is 47. Actor Max Martini is 45. Rapper-actor Mos Def is 41. Actor Rider Strong is 35. Actress Xosha (ZOH’-shah) Roquemore (TV: “The Mindy Project”) is 30. Actress Karla Souza (TV: “How to Get Away With Murder”) is 28. Actress Hailee Steinfeld is 18.
Thought for Today: “It takes a long time to understand nothing.” — Edward Dahlberg, American author and critic (1900-1977).