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This day in history

Tuesday, Dec. 11, is the 346th day of 2012. There are 20 days left in the year.

Today’s birthdays: Actress Rita Moreno is 81. Former California state lawmaker Tom Hayden is 73. Pop singer David Gates (Bread) is 72. Senator John Kerry (D-Mass.) is 69. Singer Brenda Lee is 68. Actress Teri Garr is 65. Movie director Susan Seidelman is 60. Singer Jermaine Jackson is 58. Rock musician Nikki Sixx (Motley Crue) is 54. Rapper-actor Mos Def is 39.

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In 1816, Indiana became the 19th state.

In 1936, Britain’s King Edward VIII abdicated the throne so he could marry American divorcee Wallis Warfield Simpson.

In 1941, Germany and Italy declared war on the United States; the US responded in kind.

In 1946, the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) was established.

In 1961, a US aircraft carrier carrying Army helicopters arrived in Saigon — the first direct American military support for South Vietnam’s battle against communist guerrillas.

In 1972, Apollo 17’s lunar module landed on the moon with astronauts Eugene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt aboard; they became the last two men to date to step onto the lunar surface.

In 1981, Muhammad Ali, 39, fought his final fight, losing to Trevor Berbick in the Bahamas.

In 1997, more than 150 countries agreed at a global warming conference in Kyoto, Japan, to control the Earth’s greenhouse gases.

In 2008, Bernie Madoff was arrested, accused of running a multibillion-dollar Ponzi scheme.

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