Today in History
December 8
1660The first Shakespearian actress to appear on an English stage (she is believed to be a Ms. Norris) makes her debut as Desdemona.
1861CSS Sumter captures the whaler Eben Dodge in the Atlantic. The American Civil War is now affecting the Northern whaling industry.
1863Union General William Averell's cavalry destroys railroads in the southwestern part of West Virginia.
1914The German cruisers Scharnhorst, Gneisenau, Nurnberg, and Liepzig are sunk by a British force in the Battle of the Falkland Islands.
1920President Woodrow Wilson declines to send a representative to the League of Nations in Geneva.
1932Japan tells the League of Nations that it has no control over her designs in China.
1941Japanese General Tomoyuki Yamashita begins his attack against the British army at Singapore.
1943U.S. carrier-based planes sink two cruisers and down 72 planes in the Marshall Islands.
1944The United States conducts the longest, most effective air raid on the Pacific island of Iwo Jima.
1948The United Nations approves the recognition of South Korea.
1967In the biggest battle yet in the Mekong Delta, 365 Viet Cong are killed.
1968South Vietnam's Vice President Nguyen Cao Ky arrives in Paris for peace talks.
1980John Lennon is shot to death outside his Manhattan apartment building.
1982The Washington, D.C., police shoot and kill a man threatening to blow up the Washington Monument.

Born on December 8
65 BCQuintus "Horance" Horatius Flaccus, Roman poet and satirist best known for his three books Odes.
1542Mary, Queen of Scotland (1542-67).
1626Christina, Queen of Sweden (1644-54).
1765Eli Whitney, inventor of the cotton gin.
1894James Thurber, American writer, cartoonist and editor (The Secret Life of Walter Mitty).
1906Richard Llewellyn, author (How Green Was My Valley).
1913Delmore Schwartz, poet and writer.

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