Today is Saturday, Dec. 8, the 342nd day of 2018. There are 23 days left in the year.
Birthdays: Flutist James Galway is 79. Reggae singer Toots Hibbert (Toots and the Maytals) is 70. Country singer Marty Raybon is 59. World Bank President Jim Yong Kim is 59. Actor Matthew Laborteaux is 52. Rock musician Ryan Newell (Sister Hazel) is 46. Actor Dominic Monaghan is 42. Actor Ian Somerhalder is 40. Actress AnnaSophia Robb is 25.
In 1813, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7 in A Major, Op. 92, was first performed in Vienna, with Beethoven himself conducting.
In 1854, Pope Pius IX proclaimed the Catholic dogma of the Immaculate Conception, which holds that Mary, the mother of Jesus, was free of original sin from the moment of her own conception.
In 1863, President Abraham Lincoln issued his Proclamation of Amnesty and Reconstruction for the South.
In 1941, the United States entered World War II as Congress declared war against Imperial Japan, a day after the attack on Pearl Harbor.
In 1980, rock star John Lennon was shot to death outside his New York City apartment building by an apparently deranged fan.
In 1987, President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev signed a treaty at the White House calling for destruction of intermediate-range nuclear missiles.
In 1992, Americans got to see live television coverage of US troops landing on the beaches of Somalia as Operation Restore Hope began.
In 1998, struggling to stave off impeachment, President Bill Clinton’s defenders forcefully pleaded his case before the House Judiciary Committee. The Supreme Court ruled that police cannot search people and their cars after merely ticketing them for routine traffic violations.
In 2008, in a startling about-face, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed told the Guantanamo war crimes tribunal he would confess to masterminding the Sept. 11 attacks; four other men also abandoned their defenses.
In 2013, hundreds of thousands of protesters poured into the streets of the Ukrainian capital of Kiev, toppling the statue of former Soviet leader Vladimir Lenin and blocking key government buildings in an escalating stand-off with the president on the future of the country.