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This Day in History - December 7

Thursday, December 07, 2017

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Today is the 341st day of 2017. There are 24 days left in the year.

TODAY'S HIGHLIGHT

1965: Pope Paul VI and ecumenical patriarch Athenagoras I of Istanbul abolish the mutual excommunication of 1054 that split Christianity into Catholic and Orthodox.

OTHER EVENTS

43 BC: Roman statesman and scholar Marcus Tullius Cicero was slain at the order of the Second Triumvirate.

1787: Delaware becomes the first state to ratify the US Constitution.

1815: France's Marshal Ney is shot after a treason trial for aiding Napoleon Bonaparte at Waterloo.

1842: The New York Philharmonic gives its first concert.

1858: French and Spanish announce blockade of Cochin, China.

1895: Ethiopians defeat Italians at Ambia Alagi, Abyssinia.

1901: England and Italy agree on settling Sudan frontier.

1909; Chemist Leo H Baekeland received a US patent for Bakelite, the first synthetic plastic.

1917: The US declares war on Austro-Hungary.

1921: Austria and United States resume diplomatic relations.

1922: Northern Ireland votes for non-alignment in Irish Free State.

1940: The British attack larger Italian forces in Libya by surprise, capturing 40,000 prisoners in three days.

1941: During a series of raids in the Pacific, Imperial Japan's navy launches a pre-emptive attack on the US Navy base at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii, killing 2,400 people, about half of them on the battleship USS Arizona. (The United States declared war against Japan the next day.)

1944: The United States formally announces all six Japanese aircraft carriers involved in the attack on Pearl Harbor were sunk.

1946: Fire breaks out at the Winecoff Hotel in Atlanta; the blaze killed 119 people, including hotel founder W Frank Winecoff.

1949: Nationalist government of Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek, fleeing the Communist takeover of mainland China, establishes its seat of government in Taiwan.

1953: David Ben-Gurion resigns as premier of Israel.

1962: Forty-two Soviet IL-28 jets, believed to be the entire bomber fleet sent to Cuba, is observed on the decks of Russian ships leaving the island's ports.

1967: The Beatles opens the Apple Boutique in London; the venture proves disastrous, and the shop closes the following July.

1971: Unmanned Soviet space capsule sends back radio and television signals from Mars.

1972: Imelda Marcos, wife of Philippines' President Ferdinand Marcos, is slashed during a public ceremony in Manila by a man who is killed at the scene of the incident. America's last moon mission to date is launched as Apollo 17 blasts off from Cape Canaveral.

1974: Archbishop Makarios returns to Cyprus after five months in exile, and says he will pardon those who plotted his overthrow.

1975: Indonesia invades East Timor and annexes the region as its 27th province.

1982: Convicted murderer Charlie Brooks becomes the first US prisoner executed by injection, at a prison in Huntsville, Texas.

1988: Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev, at the United Nations, announces unilateral reduction of his country's troops, tanks, combat aircraft and artillery; massive earthquake in Soviet Armenia claims at least 25,000 lives.

1989: Republic of Lithuania abolishes constitutional guarantee of communist supremacy and legalizes multiparty system.

1990: GATT talks among 107 nations are suspended after failure to end impasse between United States and European Community over reductions in farm subsidies.

1992: The Indian Government announces a ban on fundamentalist groups after more than 200 Muslims and Hindus are killed and a Muslim shrine in Ayodhya is demolished.

1993: Ivory Coast President Felix Houphouet-Boigny, Africa's longest-serving ruler, dies; a gunman opens fire on a Long Island Rail Road commuter train in New York, killing six people and wounding 17.

1994: PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat pledges to protect Israelis from militant Islamic terrorists and insists that all Palestinians on the West Bank and in Gaza respect his authority as “the law”.

1996: After nearly 18 days aloft, the Columbia space shuttle and its astronauts return to Earth, ending the longest space shuttle flight ever.

2001: A consortium of philanthropic foundations announces an initiative to provide treatment for an estimated 2.5-million pregnant women infected with HIV in sub-Saharan Africa.

2002: Iraq turns over to United Nations weapons inspectors a document detailing its weapons of mass destruction programmes and industries with military applications, as required by a November UN Security Council resolution.

2006: The Liberian Government issues guns to a unit of its police force, making them the first officers to carry arms since the end of the West African country's 14-year civil war.

2007: Swarms of desert locusts invade Kenya's arid northeast for the first time since 1962. The ravenous pests, which can devastate crops, contributed to a major food crisis in West Africa three years prior.

2008: Pakistani troops raid a militant camp and arrest Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, a suspected mastermind of the attacks in the Indian city of Mumbai on November 26-29 that killed more than 171 people.

2009: Tens of thousands of students, many shouting “Death to the Dictator!” and burning pictures of Iran's supreme leader, take to the streets on more than a dozen campuses in the biggest anti-government protests in months.

2010: President Barack Obama abandons attempts to persuade Israel to slow West Bank settlement activity, dealing a major blow to the resumption of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks and one of the president's top foreign policy initiatives.

2011: Preliminary results issued by Congo's electoral commission make it all but certain that President Joseph Kabila will be declared the winner of the recent presidential election, setting the stage for civil unrest as the opposition continued to insist they will reject the results.

2012: President Barack Obama asks Congress for US$60.4 billion in federal aid for New York, New Jersey and other states hit by Superstorm Sandy (lawmakers ended up passing a US$50.5 billion emergency relief measure in addition to a US$9.7 billion bill to replenish the National Flood Insurance Program).

2016: US President-elect Donald Trump selects retired Marine General John Kelly to head the Department of Homeland Security, Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to lead the Environmental Protection Agency, the former chief executive of World Wrestling Entertainment, Linda McMahon, to run the Small Business Administration and Iowa Governor Terry Branstad to be the new US ambassador to China. Time magazine names Donald Trump its Person of the Year. A Pakistan International Airlines commuter plane crashes in the north of the country, killing all 47 people on board. A magnitude 6.5 earthquake strikes Indonesia's Aceh (ah-cheh) Province, killing more than 100 people. NBC broadcasts a live, three-hour production of the musical Hairspray .

TODAY'S BIRTHDAYS

Mary Queen of Scots (1542-1587); Pietro Mascagni, Italian composer (1863-1945); Seigo Takamori, Japanese Restoration hero (1827-1877); Willa Cather, US novelist (1873-1947); Mario Soares, first elected president of Portugal in 60 years (1924-2017); Noam Chomsky, American linguist and political activist (1928- ); Ellen Burstyn, US actress (1932- )

— AP

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