On this day - December 8

2011-12-08 07:23

Today is Thursday, December 8, the 342nd day of 2011. There are 23 days left in the year.

Highlights in history on this date:

1776 - George Washington's retreating army crosses the Delaware River from New Jersey to Pennsylvania during the American Revolution.

1794 - Girondists who survived the guillotine in French Revolution are admitted to the French National Convention.

1863 - US President Abraham Lincoln announces his plan for the Reconstruction of the South.

1914 - British destroy German naval squadron off Falkland Islands.

1925 - Adolf Hitler's book Mein Kampf is published.

1941 - The United States and Britain declare war on Japan; Japan invades Thailand.

1949 - UN General Assembly asks world powers to recognise political independence of China, as the Nationalist government moves from the mainland to Formosa and the Communists continue to press their attacks.

1953 - United States proposes in UN General Assembly to have international control of atomic energy.

1956 - Call for general strike in Hungary leads to martial law and mass arrests.

1962 - Brunei rebellion collapses after British intervention.

1964 - UN Security Council holds urgent session at request of 21 nations that criticised United States and Belgian operations to rescue hostages in the Congo.

1966 - Greek ferry sinks near Island of Melos, killing 234.

1970 - UN Security Council votes to condemn Portugal for military moves in Guinea.

1974 - Greece votes decisively to become a republic and eliminate monarchy, dating to 1832.

1980 - Rock musician John Lennon is shot to death outside his New York City apartment building by a deranged fan.

1987 - The first Palestinian "Intifada", or uprising against the Israeli occupation, begins in the Israeli-occupied territories.

1989 - Israeli army confines more than one million Arabs to their homes and deploys extra troops as Palestinians mark second anniversary of uprising in Israeli-occupied territories.

1991 - Russia, Belorussia and Ukraine declare the Soviet national government dead, forging a new alliance to be known as the Commonwealth of Independent States.

1992 - An avalanche of mud buries a gold mining camp in the remote foothills of the Andes in Bolivia, killing at least 50 miners; Americans watch live television coverage of US troops landing on the beaches of Somalia as Operation Restore Hope begins.

1993 - Algerian gunmen kill a British technician working for Algeria's petroleum company, in what is believed to be the 11th laying of a foreigner in a Muslim insurgency.

1995 - The World Health Organisation announces that a new case of the Ebola virus has been confirmed in the Ivory Coast. Ebola killed 250 in Zaire earlier in 1995.

1996 - The Serbian Supreme Court rules against opposition parties who say Slobodan Milosevic robbed them of an election victory in Belgrade, Yugoslavia.

2002 - The al-Qaeda terrorist network claims responsibility for the November bombing of an Israeli-owned hotel in Mombasa, Kenya that killed 16 people, and the failed attempt to shoot down an Israeli passenger plane as it took off from Mombasa.

2003 - In an avalanche of verdicts against terrorists who once taunted Greek authorities, a special tribunal convicts the mastermind, chief gunman and 13 other members of the European militant group November 17 for killings and attacks spanning a generation.

2004 - Congress replaces a US intelligence network geared to the Cold War fight against communism with a new structure requiring military and civilian spy agencies to join forces against the newest US enemy -networks of terrorists intent on waging a holy war against America.

2005 - UK prosecutors drop all charges against three men who were accused of spying on behalf of the Irish Republican Army, a 2002 scandal that destroyed power-sharing, the central accomplishment of Northern Ireland's peace accord.

2006 - Kurdish leader Massoud Barzani, a longtime Washington ally, angrily rejects the Iraq Study Group's recommendations, warning that any delay in deciding the fate of an oil-rich region claimed by the Kurds would have "grave consequences".

2007 - Gunmen kill three people in an attack on a party office of Pakistan's opposition leader Benazir Bhutto.

2008 - A high-ranking Colombian rebel Carlos Marin Guarin has been charged with kidnapping Americans in 1999 and 2003, an indictment released in US District Court in Washington says.

Today's Birthdays:
Horace, Roman poet (65 BC - 8 BC); Christina, queen of Sweden and patroness of European art (1626-1689); Eli Whitney, US inventor of cotton gin (1765-1825); Jean Sibelius, Finnish composer (1865-1957); James Galway, Irish flutist and conductor (1939--); Kim Basinger, US actress (1953--).

Thought For Today:
The unknown is what it is. And to be frightened of it is what sends everybody scurrying around chasing dreams, illusions, wars, peace, love, hate, all that. Unknown is what it is. Accept that it's unknown and it's plain sailing - John Lennon (1940-1980).