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 "Did You Know..."


Notable Historic Events

for the Month of December




December 11th

 King Edward VIII

King Edward VIII

1936...Edward VIII becomes the first English Monarch to abdicate the throne. He served less than one year as king before resigning for "the woman I love."

1941...Adolf Hitler declares war on the United States.  He makes another bad  decision... thinking Japan is stronger than it was.

2008...Financier Bernard Madoff is arrested for his decades long $65 billion dollar Ponzi scheme. Public outrage only increases when the it was learned that financial fraud investigator, Harry Markopolos, repeatedly warned the Securities and Exchange Commission that he might be running an investment scam.


December 12th

Father Edward Flanagan

Father Flanagan

1917...Father Edward Flanagan, a 31-year old Priest, opens doors for troubled and neglected boys, establishing Boys Town in Omaha, Nebraska.

1941...The US Navy seizes the world's largest luxury liner Normandie while it is docked in NYC.  The ship is seized in order to prevent it from falling into the hands of the Germans in Occupied France.

2000...General Motors announces that it will drop the 103-year-old Oldsmobile. It is the oldest auto brand in the US.


December 13th

Sir Francis Drake

Sir Francis Drake

1577...English seaman Francis Drake sets out from Plymouth, England on a mission to raid the Spanish on the Pacific Coast of America.  Three years later he returns as the first British explorer to sail around the world.

1622...Dutch navigator Abel Tasman becomes the first European explorer to locate the island group that will be known New Zealand.

1983...The Detroit Pistons beat the Denver Nuggets 186-184 in triple overtime in the highest scoring game in the NBA (National Basketball Association).


December 14

John Travalta

John Travolta

1911...Norwegian Roald Amundsen becomes the first explorer to reach the South Pole.  He beat his British Rival, Robert Scott, by a full month.

1939...The League of Nations, formed after WWI, expels the Soviet Union. This is their response to the Russian invasion of Finland the previous October.

1977...Saturday Night Fever premiers. John Travolta gives a mesmerizing performance and is launched into stardom.  The powerful Disco and dancing make the film an instant success.


December 15th

Glen Miller

Glen Miller

1791...Virginia ratified the Ten Amendments, (Bill of Rights) as part of the  US Constitution.  The is the last state needed and the Bill or Rights becomes law.

1944...Legendary Band Leader Glen Miller goes missing as he travels over the English Channel to France.  He was on his way to conduct a celebratory  performance for the Allied Troops who participated in the liberation of Paris. 

2001...The Leaning Tower of Pisa is again open to the public.  It has taken $27 million dollars and 11 years to fortify it.  The famous leaning angle is preserved.


December 16th

Larry King

Larry King

1773...A group of Boston Patriots, disguised as Indians, board three British ships and dump 342 chests of tea into the harbor to protest the Tea Act. The colonists view the Tea Act as more taxation.

1811...The greatest series of earthquakes in the US begins near New Madrid, Missouri.  The earthquakes change the course of the Mississippi River and create Real Foot Lake in Tennessee.

1960...In the only accident of its kind over a major US city, two airliners collide over New York killing 128 on the planes and 6 on the ground.

2010...After 25 years Larry King says goodbye. Larry King Live goes off the air.


December 17th

"The Flyer" at Kitty hawk

1903...Orville and Wilbur Wright make their historic first flight with a plane they named The Flyer at Kitty hawk, North Carolina.  Their plane is self-propelled and heavier than air.  It stays up in the air for 12 seconds and goes 120 feet.

1941...Rear Admiral Husband E. Kimmel is relieved of his command of the US Pacific Fleet after Pearl Harbor.  Many felt he should have done more to  prepare for the possibility of an attack by the Japanese.

2000...Wide receiver Terrell Owens, of the San Francisco 49ers, sets a new NFL record of twenty catches in a single game.


December 18th

      Replica of The Mayflower

Replica of The Mayflower

1620...The Mayflower docks at modern day Plymouth, MA.  The Puritans have come from the old world, seeking religious liberty.

1878...The Molly Maguire secret society comes to an end when John Kehoe is executed.  This nefarious society justified their vigilante justice as protection for  exploited Irish-America workers.  Some consider the group a  forerunner of labor unions in America.

1941...Japanese soldiers land in Hong Kong with orders to take no prisoners. The Japanese invaders rope together captured soldiers and bayonet them to death in order to save on ammunition.


December 19th

General Washington at Valley Forge

1777...The Continental Army, under General George Washington, enter into Winter Camp at Valley Forge. The winter is severe, and conditions challenging.  Many of the 11,000 soldiers camped at Valley Forge would not make it through the winter.  However the Patriots hold together and emerge from Valley Forge stronger than ever.

1997...The epic drama Titanic, by director James Cameron, opens in theaters, and goes on to become the highest grossing movie in history.

1998...The House of Representatives approves two articles of impeachment against President Bill Clinton.  One is or lying under oath and the other for obstruction of justice.  Clinton becomes the second US President to be impeached.


December 20th

Elvis Presley in the Military

Elvis Presley

1803...The French hand New Orleans and South Louisiana over to the United States. after the US purchases the territory from France.

1957...While spending his Christmas holidays at his newly purchased mansion, rock 'n roll star Elvis Presley receives his draft notice.  He won over many of the older generation when he was willing to serve his country.

1963...Two years after the Berlin Wall is erected East Germany issues passes to 4,000 people in West Berlin. With this pass they are allowed to cross over  into East Berlin, and return...but only for one day.





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