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This day in history

Saturday, Dec. 8, is the 343d day of 2012. There are 23 days left in the year. The
Jewish Festival of Lights, Hanukkah, begins at sunset.

Today’s birthdays: Actor-director Maximilian Schell is 82. Flutist James Galway is 73. Rock musician Gregg Allman is 65. Reggae singer Toots Hibbert (Toots and the Maytals) is 64. Actress Kim Basinger is 59. Actress Teri Hatcher is 48. Singer Sinead O’Connor is 46.

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In 1776, during the Revolutionary War, General George Washington’s army crossed the Delaware River from New Jersey into Pennsylvania.

In 1854, Pope Pius IX proclaimed the Catholic dogma of the Immaculate Conception.

In 1941, the United States entered World War II as Congress declared war against Japan.

In 1961, a fire at Hartford Hospital in Connecticut resulted in 16 deaths.

In 1980, rock star John Lennon was shot to death in New York City by a deranged fan.

In 1987, President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev signed a treaty calling for destruction of intermediate-range nuclear missiles.

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