Historic World Events / December (page 2)

December

List historic world events in December

Gorbachev resigns as president of the USSR

Gorbachev resigns as president of the USSR

Mikhail Gorbachev announces that he is resigning as president of the Soviet Union. In truth, there was not much of a Soviet Union from which to resign—just four days earlier, 11 of the former Soviet republics had established the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), effectively dismembering the USSR. The Soviet …

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Tsunami devastates Indian Ocean coast

Tsunami devastates Indian Ocean coast

A powerful earthquake off the coast of Sumatra, Indonesia, on this day in 2004 sets off a tsunami that wreaks death and devastation across the Indian Ocean coastline. The quake was the second strongest ever recorded and the estimated 230,000 dead made this disaster one of the 10 worst of …

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British begin evacuation of Gallipoli

British begin evacuation of Gallipoli

On December 15, Allied forces begin a full retreat from the shores of the Gallipoli peninsula in Turkey, ending a disastrous invasion of the Ottoman Empire. The Gallipoli campaign resulted in 250,000 Allied casualties and a greatly discredited Allied military command. Roughly an equal number of Turks were killed or …

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Curious George co-creator Margret Rey dies

Curious George co-creator Margret Rey dies

On this day in 1996, Margret Rey, who with her husband Hans created the popular “Curious George” children’s books about a mischievous monkey, dies at age 90 in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The Reys, both German Jews, escaped wartime Europe in 1940 and fled to America. The following year, the first “Curious …

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Red Cross is awarded Nobel Peace Prize

Red Cross is awarded Nobel Peace Prize

After three years of war, during which there had been no Nobel Peace Prize awarded, the Norwegian Nobel Committee awards the 1917 prize to the International Committee of the Red Cross. From the outbreak of World War I, the Nobel Committee had decided not to award its annual peace prize, …

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Mayflower docks at Plymouth Harbor

Mayflower docks at Plymouth Harbor

On December 18, 1620, the British ship Mayflower docked at modern-day Plymouth, Massachusetts, and its passengers prepared to begin their new settlement, Plymouth Colony. The famous Mayflower story began in 1606, when a group of reform-minded Puritans in Nottinghamshire, England, founded their own church, separate from the state-sanctioned Church of …

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Bush and Gorbachev suggest Cold War is coming to an end

Bush and Gorbachev suggest Cold War is coming to an end

Meeting off the coast of Malta, President George Bush and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev issue statements strongly suggesting that the long-standing animosities at the core of the Cold War might be coming to an end. Commentators in both the United States and Russia went farther and declared that the Cold …

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Sunny von Bulow is found comatose

Sunny von Bulow is found comatose

Wealthy socialite Martha “Sunny” Crawford von Bulow is found in a coma—the result of what appeared to be an insulin overdose—on the marble bathroom floor of her Newport, Rhode Island, mansion. Following a long investigation, Sunny’s husband, Claus von Bulow, was charged with two counts of attempted murder and was …

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