TODAY IN HISTORY


Today is Saturday, Dec. 11, the 345th day of 2021. There are 20 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Dec. 11, 1972, Apollo 17’s lunar module landed on the moon with astronauts Eugene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt aboard; they became the last two men to date to step onto the lunar surface.

On this date:

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 1980, President Jimmy Carter signed legislation creating a $1.6 billion environmental “superfund” to pay for cleaning up chemical spills and toxic waste dumps.

In 1998, majority Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee pushed through three articles of impeachment against President Bill Clinton, over Democratic objections.

In 2001, in the first criminal indictment stemming from 9/11, federal prosecutors charged Zacarias Moussaoui , a French citizen of Moroccan descent, with conspiring to murder thousands in the suicide hijackings. (Moussaoui pleaded guilty to conspiracy in 2005 and was sentenced to life in prison.)

In 2002, a congressional report found that intelligence agencies that were supposed to protect Americans from the Sept. 11 hijackers failed to do so because they were poorly organized, poorly equipped and slow to pursue clues that might have prevented the attacks.

In 2008, former Nasdaq chairman Bernie Madoff was arrested, accused of running a multibillion-dollar Ponzi scheme that wiped out the life savings of thousands of people and wrecked charities. (Madoff died in April 2021 while serving a 150-year federal prison sentence.)

In 2018, a Virginia jury called for a sentence of life in prison plus 419 years for the man who killed a woman when he rammed his car into counter-protesters at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. (James Alex Fields Jr. received that sentence in July, 2019.)

Today’s Birthdays: Actor Rita Moreno is 90. Pop singer David Gates (Bread) is 81. Actor Donna Mills is 81. Former U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is 78. Singer Brenda Lee is 77. Actor Lynda Day George is 77. Actor Teri Garr is 74. Actor Bess Armstrong is 68. Singer Jermaine Jackson is 67. Actor-comedian Mo’Nique is 54. Rapper-actor Mos Def is 48.