Today's History Trivia for December 11
1941 World War II Italy and Germany declare war against the U.S. with Hitler declaring, "After victory has been achieved, Germany, Italy, and Japan will continue in closest co-operation with a view to establishing a new and just order." In return, the U.S. declared war against them. Also today, Poland declared war on Japan.
1988 Illegal fireworks explode causing a fire and killing 62 people in a Mexico City market.
1985 General Electric Corp. agrees to buy RCA for $6.28 billion.
1936 King Edward VIII of England renounces his throne so that he could marry American divorcee Mrs. Wallis Warfield Simpson. His brother, the Duke of York became King.
1934 Alcoholics Anonymous Bill Wilson begins his sobriety. He would go on to form Alcoholics Anonymous the following year. He had his first drink in 1917 claiming, "I had found the elixir of life." However, his drinking quickly go out of hand; he failed to graduate from law school because he was too drunk to pick up his diploma.
1917 Thirteen black soldiers are hanged for participation in a Houston, Texas race riot, in which 17 people were killed.
1895 First European automobile association is formed, the Automobile Club de France.
1816 Indiana becomes the 19th state.
Today's Birthdays for December 11
1954 Jermaine Jackson American singer, one of the Jackson Five.
1953 Bess Armstrong American actress. TV: Married People (Elizabeth Meyers).
1950 Christina Onassis d. 1988 Greek shipping executive, daughter of Aristotle Onassis.
1947 Teri Garr American actress. Film: Young Frankenstein (1974), Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977), Tootsie (1982), and Mr. Mom (1983).
1944 Linda Day George American actress. TV: Mission: Impossible (Lisa Casey).
1944 Brenda Lee (Brenda Mae Tarpley), American singer. Music: I'm Sorry (1960, #1), Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree (1960), and I Want To Be Wanted (1960, #1).
1940 Donna Mills (Donna Jean Miller), American actress. TV: Knots Landing (Abby Ewing).
1935 Ron Carey d. 2007 American actor. TV: Barney Miller (Officer Carl Levitt).
1931 Rita Moreno (Rosita Alverio), Puerto Rican actress. Film: West Side Story (1961, Oscar). She is the first actress to have won an Oscar (1961), Tony (1975), and an Emmy (1976-77, 77-78). She has also won a Golden Globe (1962) and a Grammy (1972).
1926 Dick Tufeld d. 2012 American actor. TV: Lost in Space (and also the 1998 film, voice of the robot "Danger, Will Robinson!") and voice of Mr. Bubble in the commercials.
1923 Betsy Blair d. 2009 (Betsy Boger), American actress. TV: thirtysomething (Ellyn's mother). She was married to Gene Kelly (1941-57 divorced). She was blacklisted due to an investigation by the House Un-American Activities Committee.
1919 Joe Masteroff American Tony-winning playwright. Writings: Cabaret (1966, Tony).
1918 Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn d. 2008 Russian Nobel-winning novelist. Known for helping expose the Russian Gulag forced labor camp system. Writings: The Gulag Archipelago (1973).
1892 John Augustus Larson d. 1965 Canadian-born American criminologist. He developed the modern lie detector (1921) and was the first to use a polygraph in criminal investigations.
1889 Walter Marvin Knott d. 1981 American entrepreneur. He turned a roadside stand selling boysenberries and pies into the amusement park Knott's Berry Farm.
1863 Thomas Coleman du Pont d. 1930 American industrialist, president (1902-15) of E.I. du Pont Company, and U.S. Senator (1921-28).
1843 Robert Koch d. 1910 German Nobel Prize-winning physician. He was the first to prove that a bacterium could cause disease (1877, anthrax). He also discovered the bacterium that causes tuberculosis (1882) and the bacterium that causes cholera (1883).
1792 Joseph Mohr d. 1848 Austrian clergyman. He wrote the words to Silent Night, Holy Night (1818). Source: An Almanac of the Christian Church
1781 Sir David Brewster d. 1868 Scottish scientist and inventor. He patented a kaleidoscope (1817), popularizing its use and instituted the use of flat Fresnel lenses in lighthouses, and discovered many important aspects of polarized light.
1475 Leo X d. 1521 Italian religious leader, 217th Pope (1513-21). His granting of indulgences to the faithful who contributed to the Church led to the Reformation. He excommunicated Luther in 1521.
Deaths for December 11
1964 Sam Cooke b. 1931 American soul singer. Music: You Send Me (1957 #1) and Chain Gang (1960 #2), inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (1986). He was shot and killed by the motel manager in a Los Angeles motel.
1964 Percy Kilbride b. 1888 American actor. Film: Pa of the Ma and Pa Kettle films (1947-55).
1897 Gardiner Greene Hubbard b. 1822 American lawyer, co-founder and president of the Clarke Institute for Deaf Mutes (1867-76) and founder and president of the National Geographic Society (1888-97). The Hubbard Memorial Hall in Washington D.C. and the Hubbard Glacier in Alaska are named for him.
1880 Oliver Fisher Winchester b. 1810 American gun maker. He developed the Winchester rifle (1866).
1757 Colley Cibber b. 1671 English actor, dramatist. He wrote the first opera performed in America: Flora; or Hob in the Well (1735).
384 Saint Damasus I b. circa 304 Spanish-born religious leader, 37th Pope (366-384). He encouraged production of the Vulgate Bible, which became the official Latin version of the Bible.