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Dec 11, 12:01 AM EST

Today in History

Today in History

Today is Sunday, Dec. 11, the 346th day of 2016. There are 20 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On Dec. 11, 1816, Indiana became the 19th state.

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 1844, the first experimental use of an inhaled anesthetic in dentistry took place as Dr. Horace Wells of Hartford, Connecticut, under the influence of nitrous oxide, had a colleague extract one of his teeth.

In 1928, police in Buenos Aires announced they had thwarted an attempt on the life of President-elect Herbert Hoover.

In 1936, Britain's King Edward VIII abdicated the throne so he could marry American divorcee Wallis Warfield Simpson; his brother, Prince Albert, became King George VI.

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 (UNICEF) was established.

In 1961, a U.S. aircraft carrier carrying Army helicopters arrived in Saigon - the first direct American military support for South Vietnam's battle against Communist guerrillas.

In 1972, Apollo 17's lunar module landed on the moon with astronauts Eugene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt aboard; during three extravehicular activities (EVAs), they became the last two men to date to step onto the lunar surface.

In 1980, President Jimmy Carter signed legislation creating a $1.6 billion environmental "superfund" to pay for cleaning up chemical spills and toxic waste dumps. "Magnum P.I.," starring Tom Selleck, premiered on CBS.

In 1991, a jury in West Palm Beach, Florida, acquitted William Kennedy Smith of sexual battery, rejecting the allegations of Patricia Bowman.

In 1997, more than 150 countries agreed at a global warming conference in Kyoto, Japan, to control the Earth's greenhouse gases.

In 2008, Bernie Madoff (MAY'-dawf) was arrested, accused of running a multibillion-dollar Ponzi scheme. (Madoff is serving a 150-year federal prison sentence.)

Ten years ago: In his farewell address, U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan (KOH'-fee AN'-nan) criticized the Bush administration's leadership on the global stage, warning that America must not sacrifice its democratic ideals while waging war against terrorism. Mexico's new president, Felipe Calderon (fay-LEE'-pay kahl-duh-ROHN'), announced a major offensive against drug gangs, sending more than 6,500 soldiers, marines and federal police to the western state of Michoacan (meech-wah-KAHN') to crack down on a wave of violence that had left hundreds dead. Iran hosted a conference of Holocaust deniers from around the world. After a two-day journey, space shuttle Discovery reached the international space station for a weeklong stay.

Five years ago: Former military strongman Manuel Antonio Noriega was flown from France to Panama to face additional punishment in his home country after spending more than 20 years in U.S. and French prisons for drug trafficking and money laundering. A U.N. climate conference in Johannesburg, South Africa, reached a hard-fought agreement on a far-reaching program meant to set a new course for the global fight against climate change.

One year ago: President Barack Obama signed legislation keeping government agencies open into the following week, giving White House and congressional bargainers more time to complete sweeping deals on taxes and federal spending. Dow Chemical and DuPont announced they were merging to form a company valued at about $130 billion. Willard Scott announced he was hanging it up after 35 years as part of NBC's "Today" show.

Today's Birthdays: Actor Jean-Louis Trintignant is 86. Actress Rita Moreno is 85. Pop singer David Gates (Bread) is 76. Actress Donna Mills is 76. U.S. Ambassador to China, former Sen. Max Baucus, is 75. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is 73. Singer Brenda Lee is 72. Actress Lynda Day George is 72. Music producer Tony Brown is 70. Actress Teri Garr is 69. Movie director Susan Seidelman is 64. Actress Bess Armstrong is 63. Singer Jermaine Jacksun is 62. Rock musician Mike Mesaros (The Smithereens) is 59. Rock musician Nikki Sixx (Motley Crue) is 58. Rock musician Darryl Jones (The Rolling Stones) is 55. Actor Ben Browder is 54. Singer-musician Justin Currie (Del Amitri) is 52. Rock musician David Schools (Hard Working Americans, Gov't Mule, Widespread Panic) is 52. Actor Gary Dourdan (DOOR'-dan) is 50. Actress-comedian Mo'Nique is 49. Actor Max Martini is 47. Rapper-actor Mos Def is 43. Actor Rider Strong is 37. Actress Xosha (ZOH'-shah) Roquemore is 32. Actress Karla Souza is 30. Actress Hailee Steinfeld is 20.

Thought for Today: "A technical objection is the first refuge of a scoundrel." - Heywood Broun, American journalist (1888-1939).

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