Today In History Spotlights Dec. 11, 1941, Germany and Italy Declare War on the US

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Today’s History Spotlight


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Nazi Germany and the Kingdom of Italy declare war on the United States. Accusing the US of breaking their neutrality agreement, Adolf Hitler ordered all diplomatic relations with the US ceased.

Later that day, the US simultaneously declared war on Germany and Italy. Concurrent to this, Poland declared war on the Japanese Empire, though their declaration was rejected by Japan.

What Happened On This Day – December 11

  • 2008 Bernard Madoff arrested. Popularly known as Bernie Madoff, the founder and chairman of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC, was arrested and subsequently convicted of fraud. The Ponzi scheme he was involved in was the biggest such fraud in the history of the United States.
  • 1997 Kyoto Protocol adopted. The Protocol is a part of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, an international treaty that calls for the restriction of greenhouse gasses by the signatories. The United States signed the treaty but did not ratify it.
  • 1946 UNICEF established. The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund, a U.N. affiliate organization that works for the welfare of children around the world, was founded on this day.
  • 1941 U.S. declares war on Germany and Italy. The U.S. responded to Italy and Germany’s declaration of war, by declaring war on the two countries.
  • 1936 King Edward VIII abdicates from the British throne. King Edward VIII abdicated from the British throne to marry American Wallis Warfield Simpson.

Births On This Day – December 11

  • 1973 Mos Def – American rapper, actor
  • 1969 Viswanathan Anand – Indian chess player
  • 1967 Mo’Nique – American comedian, actress
  • 1943 John Kerry – American politician, 68th United States Secretary of State
  • 1725 George Mason – American politician

Deaths On This Day – December 11

  • 2012 Ravi Shankar – Indian/American sitar player, composer
  • 2008 Bettie Page – American model, actress
  • 1997 Eddie Chapman – English spy
  • 1959 Jim Bottomley – American baseball player, sportscaster
  • 1918 Ivan Cankar – Slovenian poet, playwright

The sections “What Happened On This Day,” “Births On This Day,” and “Deaths On This Day” originally appeared at TimeandDate.com and is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

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