Today is Friday, Dec. 11, the 345th day of 2009. There are 20 days left in the year. The Jewish Festival of Lights, Hanukkah, begins at sunset.
On Dec. 11, 1936, Britain’s King Edward VIII abdicated to marry American divorcee Wallis Warfield Simpson.
ON THIS DATE
In 1792, France’s King Louis XVI went before the Convention to face charges of treason. (Louis was convicted, and executed the following month.)
In 1816, Indiana became the 19th state.
In 1882, Boston’s renamed Bijou Theatre, the first American playhouse to be lighted exclusively by electricity, debuted with a performance of Gilbert and Sullivan’s “Iolanthe.”
In 1928, police in Buenos Aires announced they had thwarted an attempt on the life of President-elect Herbert Hoover.
In 1937, Italy announced it was withdrawing from the League of Nations.
In 1941, Germany and Italy declared war on the United States; the U.S. responded in kind.
In 1946, the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund, or UNICEF, was established.
In 1981, the U.N. Security Council chose Javier Perez de Cuellar of Peru to be the fifth secretary-general of the world body.
In 1983, Pope John Paul II visited a Lutheran church in Rome, the first visit by a Roman Catholic pontiff to a Protestant church in his own diocese.
In 1997, more than 150 countries agreed at a global warming conference in Kyoto, Japan, to control the Earth’s greenhouse gases.