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Rape of Nanking

On Dec. 13, 1937, Japanese armed forces entered Nanking, the capital of China, and General Matsui Iwane ordered that the city of Nanking be destroyed. Much of the city was burned, and Japanese troops launched a campaign of atrocities against civilians in what became known as the “Rape of Nanking.”

Jay born; PA ratifies US Constitution

On Dec. 12, 1745, John Jay was born. He later became the first Chief Justice of the United States. On Dec. 12, 1787, Pennsylvania became the second state to ratify the U.S. Constitution, five days after Delaware became the first.

Alexander Solzhenitsyn born

On Dec. 11, 1918, Aleksandr Isayevich Solzhenitsyn was born in Stavropol Krai, Russia. His books The Gulag Archipelago and One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich helped raise global awareness of the Soviet Union’s forced labor camp system. Solzhenitsyn was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1970. He

Wyoming first to grant women the vote

On Dec. 10, 1869, Wyoming territorial legislators passed a bill to make it the first state or territory to grant women the right to vote. At the time, men outnumbered women by a margin of six-to-one in Wyoming. On Dec. 10, 1778, John Jay was elected president of the Continental

Patriots gained control of Virginia

On Dec. 9, 1775, the Virginia and North Carolina militias defeated 800 slaves and 200 redcoats serving John Murray, earl of Dunmore and governor of Virginia, at Great Bridge outside Norfolk, ending British royal control of Virginia. The Tory survivors retreated first to Norfolk, then to Dunmore’s ship, where the

Congress Declares War Against Japan

On Dec. 8, 1941, the day following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, President Franklin Roosevelt asked for a congressional declaration of war against Japan and Congress passed the declaration that day. (So, that’s how they used to do it.) There was one dissenting vote, that of Jeanette Rankin, the

Delaware First State

On Dec. 7, 1787, the U.S. Constitution is unanimously ratified by all 30 delegates to the Delaware Constitutional Convention, making Delaware the first state of the modern United States.

13th Amendment Ratified

On Dec. 6, 1865, the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified, officially ending the institution of slavery. It reads: “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject

Prohibition Ends

On Dec. 5, 1933, the 21st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified, repealing the 18th Amendment and bringing an end to the era of national prohibition of alcohol in America. Utah became the 36th state to ratify the amendment. Pennsylvania and Ohio had ratified it earlier in the day.

Committee for Assistance to Jews

On 4 Dec. 1942, Zofia Kossak-Szczucka and Wanda Krahelska-Filipowicz set up the underground Council for the Assistance of the Jews in Warsaw, Poland, codenamed Żegota. Providing medical care, relief money and false identity documents for those hiding in German-occupied Poland, the organization helped save some 4,000 Polish Jews. On this

Alan Bock born

On Dec. 3, 1943, Alan Bock was born. Bock was an American libertarian author, and a senior editorial writer and former editorial page editor for the Orange County Register. He wrote regular columns for WorldNetDaily and Antiwar.com and was a contributing editor at Liberty magazine. Bock was the author of

Washington warned Brown hanged

On Dec. 2, 1777, according to legend, Philadelphia housewife and nurse Lydia Darragh saves the lives of General George Washington and his Continental Army when she overhears the British planning a surprise attack on Washington’s army. On this day in 1859, abolitionist John Brown is hanged for his raid on

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