Today in History – Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2015

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Today is Wednesday, Dec. 9, the 343rd day of 2015. There are 22 days left in the year.

Highlights in history on this date:

1625 – England and United Provinces agree to subsidize Denmark’s King Christian IV in his campaign against Germany.

1793 – Noah Webster establishes New York City’s first daily newspaper.

1884 – Ball-bearing roller skates are patented in the United States.

1905 – Separation of church and state in France is decreed.

1940 – British 8th Army opens offensive in North Africa in World War II.

1941 – China declares war on Japan, Germany and Italy.

1946 – Indian Constituent Assembly is boycotted by Muslim League.

1951 – The United States invokes its Trading with the Enemy Act to prevent Chinese people in the United States from sending money to Communist China under extortion threats.

1972 – North Vietnam and Soviet Union conclude agreement for economic and military aid to Hanoi.

1975 – Death toll is put at 160 in two days as war rages between Muslims and Christians in Beirut, Lebanon.

1976 – U.N. General Assembly calls for Middle East peace conference in Geneva with Palestine Liberation Organization taking part.

1982 – South African troops stage a pre-dawn raid on Maseru, the capital of Lesotho, in an effort to kill suspected members of the African National Congress, the black nationalist group banned in South Africa.

1987 – Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev meets with U.S. President Ronald Reagan in Washington one day after the U.S.-Soviet nuclear arms treaty is signed.

1988 – West Germans demand curbs on NATO military flights over their densely populated country.

1990 – Poles elect Solidarity labor union founder Lech Walesa as president in free elections.

1991 – Mikhail Gorbachev calls new Commonwealth of Independent States “illegal and dangerous.”

1994 – After 25 years of violence, the Irish Republican Army sits down with British officials to talk peace.

1995 – In India, 75 million children get polio vaccines in an attempt to eradicate the crippling disease.

1997 – Spain softens its long-standing claim on the British colony of Gibraltar, saying it can accept shared sovereignty.

1998 – British Home Secretary Jack Straw rules that Spain can start proceedings to extradite former Chilean dictator Gen. Augusto Pinochet. Chile withdraws its ambassador from Britain.

2001 – The United States discloses a video in which Osama bin Laden says he was pleasantly surprised by the extent of damage from the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania.

2002 – The Indonesian government and the Free Aceh Movement sign a peace agreement to end the rebel group’s 26-year-old separatist insurgency in Aceh province, which left as many as 30,000 people dead.

2004 – Canada’s Supreme Court rules that gay marriage is constitutional, a landmark opinion allowing the federal government to call on Parliament to legalize same-sex unions nationwide.

2007 – The world’s top two polluters, the United States and China, say they are not ready to commit to mandatory caps on global-warming gases at the U.N. climate conference in Bali.

2009 – Iraq’s Western-backed government — facing intense pressure to address security lapses after suicide bombings killed 127 people in the capital — orders a shake-up in the country’s military leadership.

2011 — European leaders agree to redefine their continent — hoping that by joining their fiscal fortunes they might stop a crippling debt crisis, save the euro currency and prevent worldwide economic chaos. Britain says no, risking isolation.

2012 — Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez heads back to Cuba for a third cancer surgery after naming his vice president as his choice to lead the country if the illness cuts short his presidency.

2014 — Senate investigators conclude U.S. brutalized scores of terror suspects with harsh interrogation tactics in CIA prisons that did nothing to make America safer after the Sept. 11,2001 attaacks.

Today’s Birthdays:

John Milton, English poet (1608-1674); Karl Wilhelm Scheele, Swedish chemist (1742-1786); Claude-Louis Ertholle, French chemist (1748-1822); Kirk Douglas, U.S. actor (1916–); Bob Hawke, former Australian prime minister (1929–); Judi Dench, British actress (1934–): Beau Bridges, U.S. actor (1941–); John Malkovich, U.S. actor (1953–).

Thought For Today:

The well of Providence is deep. It’s the buckets we bring to it that are small — Mary Webb, Scottish religious leader (c. 1881-1927).

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