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This Day in History: December 11


1789 – The University of North Carolina is chartered by the North Carolina General Assembly.

1815 – The U.S. Senate creates a select committee on finance and a uniform national currency, predecessor of the United States Senate Committee on Finance.

1816 – Indiana becomes the 19th U.S. state.

1934 – Bill Wilson, co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous, takes his last drink and enters treatment for the last time.

1941 – World War II: Germany and Italy declare war on the United States, following the Americans' declaration of war on the Empire of Japan in the wake of the attack on Pearl Harbor. The United States, in turn, declares war on them.

1941 – World War II: Poland declares war on the Empire of Japan.

1941 – World War II: The Imperial Japanese Navy suffers its first loss of surface vessels during the Battle of Wake Island.

1946 – The United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) is established.

1972 – Apollo 17 becomes the sixth and last Apollo mission to land on the Moon.

1980 – The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (Superfund) is enacted by the U.S. Congress.

2008 – Bernard Madoff is arrested and charged with securities fraud in a $50 billion Ponzi scheme.


1725 – George Mason, American lawyer and politician (d. 1792)

1830 – Kamehameha V of Hawaii (d. 1872)

1889 – Walter Knott, American farmer and businessman, founded Knott's Berry Farm (d. 1981)

1918 – Clinton Adams, American painter and historian (d. 2002)

1931 – Rita Moreno, Puerto Rican-American actress, singer, and dancer

1949 – Christina Onassis, American-born Greek/Argentine businesswoman, socialite, and heiress (d. 1988)

1954 – Jermaine Jackson, American singer-songwriter, bass player, and producer (Jackson 5)


1872 – Kamehameha V of Hawaii (b. 1830)

1880 – Oliver Winchester, American businessman, founded the Winchester Repeating Arms Company (b. 1810)

1906 – Charles Townsend, American fencer, engineer, and academic (b. 1872)

1964 – Sam Cooke, American singer-songwriter (b. 1931)

1993 – Pop Chalee, Native American painter (b. 1906)

2012 – Ravi Shankar, Indian-American sitar player and composer (b. 1920)