1941 : Following the unprovoked Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor yesterday the United States entered World War II as Congress declared war against Japan
The United Nations intervention in Somalia OPERATION RESTORE HOPE a UN sanctioned US military operation begins. The operation was planned to avert the growing humanitarian disaster of severe famine and general chaos.
In Washington a leading suffragette, Mrs. France, an outstanding woman of the Coeur d'Alene area, spoke on women getting the vote to an appreciative audience of females. The enormous crowd listened and heartily approved of her political success in Idaho.
Many Italians in Rome were rendered homeless and had to run for the hills as a result of severe flooding. The Tiber River is at a record high.
1934 : The Hungarian Children's' Club had 50 members and joined with the global Junior Red Cross movement. Their slogan is "I serve". In the club children are taught cleanliness and play games and sports to develop their social skills. The Canadian group communicates with the Red Cross in Budapest.
In Chungking, Quo Tai-Chi, China's foreign minister confirmed that China was now at war with Germany, Japan, and Italy. The minister declared that the Chinese would back the allies, the U.S., and Great Britain one hundred percent.
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Celebrating Birthdays Today
Born: 8th December John Arthur Carradine, 1936 Hollywood, California
Known For : Best known for his portrayal of a Shaolin monk, Kwai Chang Caine in the American West looking for his half-brother, Danny Caine. He has also appeared in many movies during his career including Kill Bill: Vol. I and Vol. II, Bound for Glory and Boxcar Bertha.
Born: 8th December 1964 Palo Alto, California, USA
Known For : Plays Susan Mayer in Desperate Housewives now in it's 4th year whic has won many awards. Prior to her role in Desperate Housewives she played Lois Lane in The TV Series New Adventures of Superman and Paris Carver in Tomorrow Never Dies.
Dec. 8th, 1952 : On the boundary between France and Germany is a small region called the Saar which has created many years of conflict between the two countries because the region is rich in coal and steel. The Nazis seized control of it during the war, but a French plebiscite indicated that the people of the Saar preferred to be French. The Edwardsville Intelligencer commented, "It is no exaggeration to say, however, that failure to resolve this dilemma could put in jeopardy the whole project for European unity – political, economic, and military."
1965 : A new Race Relations Act comes into force forbidding discrimination on the "grounds of colour, race, or ethnic or national origins" in public places and covers both British residents and overseas visitors.
Two hundred and eighty-two individuals perished in the Aegean Sea during a raging storm on this day. Only 20 survived. The ship called "The Heraklin" weighing some 8,900 tons went down to its doom halfway between the Island of Crete and Greece.
Portugal's government under Prime Minister Mario fell after a vote of non-confidence. The country had been experiencing severe economic problems and the International Monetary Fund would not loan Portugal any more money unless extreme measures were taken.
Former Beatle John Lennon was shot dead by an unknown gunman who opened fire outside the musician's New York apartment. The gunman is later identified as Mark David Chapman
Norman David Mayer an American anti-nuclear weapons activist is shot and killed by the United States Park Police after threatening to use 1,000 pounds of TNT loaded in his van to blow up the Washington Monument. When he drives off to carry out his threat the police are forced to shoot him, Afterwards police realize he did not have the TNT to carry out his threat.
The House of Lords votes in favour of allowing cameras to broadcast live discussions from its chamber.
The First Intifada (1987 - 1993) a mass uprising against Israeli military occupation, begins in Jabalia refugee camp and spread to Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem. The Intifada included civil disobedience, general strikes, boycotts on Israeli products, graffiti, barricades, throwing Molotov cocktails grenades and stones at the occupying Israeli soldiers and vehicles.
The first ever treaty is signed between the Soviet Union and the United States to reduce the number of ground based nuclear arsenals reversing 30 years of nuclear weapons build up during the cold war years.
Frank Vitkovic enters Melbourne's Queen Street Post Office and opens fire on customers and staff with a sawn-off shotgun killing 8 before taking his own life.
There was a mysterious pulling out of Soviet MiG-23 war jets from Ranh Bay in Vietnam. The cause of the exit was not clear, but a couple of possibilities were put forth. One reason was the Soviet Union's economic problems. However, another reason was that President Gorbacjev had wanted the U.S. to abandon six military bases in the Philippines in return for the Soviet's leaving their second most important military site in Ranh Bay.
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The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) ( United States, Canada, and Mexico ) is signed into law by US President Bill Clinton. In terms of gross domestic product (GDP) it is the largest trading bloc and trade agreement in the world
As gang violence in schools in inner cities continues to be a problem a head teacher ( Philip Lawrence ) is stabbed to death in an inner city London School while protecting a pupil who was being assaulted
The American rock band Grateful Dead announce they are breaking up after 30 years of making music. The news came four months after the death of lead guitarist Jerry Garcia
In cricket, the West Indies challenged New Zealand and the teams tied. The Gleaner reported, "On Monday, the West Indies declared at 450 for five after number three batsman Shivnarine Chanderpaul hit an unbeaten 216 from 397 balls."
The Florida Supreme Court ordered an immediate hand count of about 45,000 disputed presidential ballots.
Republican Candidate George W Bush won the most electoral votes
Democratic candidate Al Gore, received more popular votes
In the American system of presidential elections, the electoral vote system determines the winner and George W Bush went onto becoming the President of the United States.
Florida was still performing recounts on December 12 when the United States Supreme Court decision ended the Florida recounts and allowed Florida to certify its vote giving the result to Bush.
A two month state of emergency was declared by the Iraq government as rebels stepped up their attacks and the American military fought back. U.S. forces stormed the city of Fallujah and pummelled it with an AC-130 gun ship shooting 40 mm cannon fire.
U.S. chat show host Oprah Winfrey has appeared at a campaign rally in Iowa for the Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama. Over eighteen thousand people have attended the event in the state capital, Des Moines. The Clinton campaign has come up with a counter-programming move to drag press attention away from the Obama/Oprah rallies in Iowa by finally bringing Chelsea Clinton onto the stump..
The leaders of the Caribbean states have called Barack Obama to lift the decades-old American trade embargo against Cuba. The call comes during the one-day summit between Cuba and the Caribbean regional trade bloc, Caricom. The serving president of Caricom, Antigua's Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer, asks for the U.S. embargo to be "relegated to history."
The Obama administration has announced that it would pay Native Americans $3.4 billion to settle a class-action lawsuit that claims the federal government cheated them for more than a century of royalties for oil, mineral and other leases. This settlement will be ending a thirteen-year legal battle that has led to 3,600 filings, millions of pages of discovery documents and eleven separate appellate decisions. It is the largest settlement Native Americans have ever received from the federal government, and eclipses the sum of all previous settlements. The dispute stems from a 19th century decision to grant parcels of land to individual Indians and place the properties in trust accounts.
Finding al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, and rolling back the resurgent Taliban are necessary steps toward winning the war in Afghanistan, General McChrystal has told a Senate Committee. Bin Laden has remained at large for eight years since the September 11th, 2001 attacks on New York and Washington. General McChrystal, who is the commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, said that the world's most wanted terrorist is 'an iconic figure' whose survival 'emboldens al-Qaeda as a franchising organization across the world.' 'It would not defeat al-Qaeda to have him captured or killed, but I don't think we can finally defeat al-Qaeda until he is finally captured or killed.' He continued by saying that if bin Laden is hiding across the border, 'It is outside of my mandate.'
8th December, 2011 : In November 2011, The Washington Post revealed that the Dover Air Base had been disposing of military remains in a Virginia landfill but did not know how many remains were involved. The newspaper discovered that data from the US Air Force revealed that between 2004 and 2008 274 military personnel's remains had been taken to a landfill after cremation. The newspaper also stated that another 1,762 remains had been disposed of in the same manner but could not be identified because they were too damaged. The US Defense Secretary, Leon Panetta ordered a special review after news of this was released.
A market fire caused by an electrical fault in the town of Siem Reap in Cambodia killed eight people including four children. .
Britain's Got Talent singer Susan Boyle announced that she had been diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome. While Boyle says this diagnosis will not change her life she believes that it gives her a greater understanding of herself, having been previously diagnosed with brain damage at birth.
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