Today is Friday, Dec. 9, the 343rd day of 2011. There are 22 days left in the year.
On Dec. 9, 1911, an explosion inside the Cross Mountain coal mine near Briceville, Tenn., killed 84 workers. (Five were rescued.)
On this date:
In 1608, English poet John Milton was born in London.
In 1854, Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s famous poem, “The Charge of the Light Brigade,” was published in England.
In 1911, Academy Award-winning actor Broderick Crawford (“All the King’s Men”) was born in Philadelphia.
In 1940, British troops opened their first major offensive in North Africa during World War II.
In 1941, China declared war on Japan, Germany and Italy.
In 1958, the anti-communist John Birch Society was formed in Indianapolis.
In 1965, Nikolai V. Podgorny replaced Anastas I. Mikoyan as president of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet.
In 1971, Nobel Peace laureate Ralph Bunche died in New York.
In 1984, the 5-day-old hijacking of a Kuwaiti jetliner that claimed the lives of two Americans ended as Iranian security men seized control of the plane, which was parked at Tehran airport.
In 1990, Solidarity founder Lech Walesa won Poland’s presidential runoff by a landslide.
Ten years ago: The United States disclosed the existence of a videotape in which Osama bin Laden said he was pleasantly surprised by the extent of damage from the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. The World Health Organization confirmed the outbreak of the deadly disease ebola in Gabon.