Today in History
December 7
43 BCCicero, considered one of the greatest sons of Rome, is assassinated on the orders of Marcus Antonius.
983Otto III takes the throne after his father's death in Italy. A power struggle between magnates ensues.
1787Delaware becomes the first state to ratify the Constitution of the United States.
1808James Madison is elected president in succession of Thomas Jefferson.
1861USS Santiago de Cuba, under Commander Daniel B. Ridgely, halts the British schooner Eugenia Smith and captures J.W. Zacharie, a New Orleans merchant and Confederate purchasing agent.
1862Confederate forces surprise an equal number of Union troops at the Battle of Prairie Grove, Arkansas.
1863Outlaw George Ives, an alleged member of an outlaw gang known as the "Innocents," robs and then kills Nick Thiebalt in the Ruby Valley of what would become Montana.
1917The United States declares war on Austria-Hungary with only one dissenting vote in Congress.
1918Spartacists call for a German revolution.
1931A report indicates that Nazis would ensure "Nordic dominance" by sterilizing certain races.
1941Japanese planes raid Pearl Harbor in a surprise attack.
1942The U.S. Navy launches USS New Jersey, the largest battleship ever built.
1946The president of the United Mine Workers, John L. Lewis, orders all striking miners back to work.
1949The A.F.L. and the C.I.O. organize a non-Communist international trade union.
1970Poland and West Germany sign a pact renouncing the use of force to settle disputes, recognizing the Oder-Neisse River as Poland's western frontier, and acknowledging the transfer to Poland of 40,000 square miles of former German territory.
1972The crew of Apollo 17, the last manned mission to the moon, lifts off at Cape Canaveral, Florida.
1981The Reagan Administration predicts a record deficit in 1982 of $109 billion.
1988An earthquake in Armenia kills an estimated 100,000 people.

Born on December 7
1810Theodor Schwann, German physiologist.
1873 Willa Cather, Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist (O Pioneers!, My Antonia).
1888Joyce Cary, Irish-born novelist (The Horse's Mouth).
1888Ernst Toch, composer and pianist.
1895Sir Milton Margay, the first prime minister of Sierra Leone.
1896Stuart Davis, painter.
1928Noam Chomsky, writer, linguist and political activist.
1956Larry Bird, basketball player for the Boston Celtics.

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