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On this day

8th of December
21st century
2010Dec 08
 
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Business

SpaceX successfully launches to orbit and recovers a spacecraft

SpaceX is an American aerospace manufacturer and space transport services company headquartered in Hawthorne, California. The success of the mission, which lasted 3 hours and 19 minutes, allowed SpaceX to advance its vehicle testing plan.

2009Dec 08
 
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Disasters

Bombings in Baghdad kills 127 people

The bombings in Baghdad, Iraq, resulted in the deaths of at least 127 people and injuries to at least 448 more. The attacks have been condemned internationally as acts of terrorism. The Islamic State of Iraq has claimed responsibility for the attacks.

1990s
1997Dec 08
 
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Entertainment, Music

The 8th Billboard Music Awards are held

The Billboard Music Awards show honors the hottest names in music industry. The 8th show, in 1997 aired on FOX TV, with LeAnn Rimes winning the top artist and Elton John winning multiple awards. It has been hosted by actor David Spade at MGM Grand Garden Arena, in LA, Nevada.

1996Dec 08
 
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Art

"Ragtime" has its world premiere in Toronto

Ragtime is a musical with a book by Terrence McNally, lyrics by Lynn Ahrens, and music by Stephen Flaherty. Based on the 1975 novel by E. L. Doctorow, Ragtime tells the story of three groups in the United States in the early 20th century: African Americans, upper-class suburbanites, and Eastern European immigrants.

1994Dec 08
 
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Sports, Personalities

Professional footballer Raheem Sterling is born

Raheem Shaquille Sterling is an English professional footballer who plays as a winger and attacking midfielder for Premier League club Manchester City and the English national team. Born in Jamaica, Sterling moved to London at the age of five and began his career at Queens Park Rangers before signing for Liverpool in 2010.

1994Dec 08
 
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Science

Element 111

Roentgenium is a chemical element with symbol Rg and atomic number 111. It is an extremely radioactive synthetic element that can be created in a laboratory but is not found in nature. The most stable known isotope, roentgenium-282, has a half-life of 2.1 minutes, although the unconfirmed roentgenium-286 may have a longer half-life of about 10.7 minutes. Roentgenium was first created in 1994 by the GSI Helmholtz Centre for Heavy Ion Research near Darmstadt, Germany. It is named after the physicist Wilhelm Röntgen, who discovered X-rays.

1993Dec 08
 
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Science

GPS

The Global Positioning System (GPS), originally Navstar GPS, is a satellite-based radio navigation system owned by the US government and operated by the US Air Force. It is a global navigation satellite system that provides geolocation and time information to a GPS receiver anywhere on or near the Earth where there is an unobstructed line of sight to four or more GPS satellites. Obstacles such as mountains and buildings block the relatively weak GPS signals.

1993Dec 08
 
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Entertainment, Music

The 4th Billboard Music Awards are held

The 4th Billboard Music Awards show aired on FOX TV in 1993. It was dominated by Whitney Houston. She won 11 awards, including Top Artist, Top Billboard 200 Album for her The Bodyguard Soundtrack and Top Hot 100 song for her I Will Always Love You. It has been hosted by Phil Collins in Universal Amphitheater, LA.

Cold-war era
1990Dec 08
 
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Entertainment, Music

Sevie B is at #1 on the US singles chart with "Because I Love You"

"Because I Love You (The Postman Song)" is a song written by Warren Allen Brooks and performed by Stevie B. It peaked at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1990 and remained there for four consecutive weeks. It also spent two weeks at number one on the Adult Contemporary.

1984Dec 08
 
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Entertainment, Music

Frankie Goes To Hollywood are at #1 on the UK singles chart

Originally recorded by English band Frankie Goes to Hollywood, The Power of Love was released by the group as their third single. Taken from the album Welcome to the Pleasuredome, it followed its two predecessors to the top of the UK single charts, scoring the band an early December number-one.

1982Dec 08
 
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Entertainment, Movies

"Sophie's Choice" is released

Sophie's Choice is an American drama film which was directed by Alan J. Pakula and aired in 1982. It is an adaptation of William Styron's novel of the same name. The movie starred Meryl Streep in the main role for which she received the Academy Award for Best Actress. The film itself was nominated in 4 categories.

1982Dec 08
 
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Entertainment, Personalities, Music

Trinidadian-American rapper Nicki Minaj is born

Onika Tanya Maraj is a Trinidadian-American rapper, singer, songwriter, and actress. Born in Saint James, Trinidad and Tobago and raised in Queens, New York, Minaj gained public recognition after releasing three mixtapes between 2007 to 2009 and subsequently signed to Young Money Entertainment in 2009.

1982Dec 08
 
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Art, Personalities

Gabriel García Márquez receives the Nobel Prize for Literature

He is considered one of the most significant author of the 20th century and the best in the Spanish language. García Márquez is best known for his novels One Hundred Years of Solitude, The Autumn of the Patriarch and Love in the Time of Cholera and for popularizing a literary style known as magic realism, which uses magical elements in realistic situations. Magic realism helped him to be awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature.

1980Dec 08
 
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Entertainment, Personalities

John Lennon is murdered

Lennon was shot dead by Mark David Chapman in the archway of the Dakota, his residence in New York City. Lennon had just returned from Record Plant Studio with his wife, Yoko Ono. After sustaining four major gunshot wounds, Lennon was pronounced dead on arrival at Roosevelt Hospital.

1979Dec 08
 
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Art

The longest running show in Broadway history to that point

Grease is 1971 musical by Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey. Named after the 1950s United States working-class youth subculture known as greasers, the musical is set in 1959 at fictional Rydell High School and follows ten working-class teenagers as they navigate the complexities of peer pressure, politics, personal core values, and love.

1978Dec 08
 
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Entertainment, Movies

"The Deer Hunter" premieres in LA

The Deer Hunter is a 1978 American epic war drama film co-written and directed by Michael Cimino about a trio of Russian American steelworkers whose lives were changed forever after they fought in the Vietnam War. The three soldiers are played by Robert De Niro, Christopher Walken, and John Savage.

1978Dec 08
 
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Entertainment, Personalities, Movies

American actor Ian Somerhalder is born

Somerhalder was born and raised in Covington, Louisiana. He is the second of three children, with an older brother, Robert, and younger sister, Robyn. He attended Mandeville High School, a public school in Mandeville, Louisiana. He embarked on a modeling career from age 10 to 13, and by the age of 17, he decided to go into acting.

1972Dec 08
 
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Disasters

United Airlines crashes at Chicago's Midway Airport

United Airlines Flight 553 was a Boeing 737-222 that crashed during an aborted landing and go around while approaching Chicago Midway International Airport in 1972. The plane crashed into a residential neighborhood, destroying five houses; 43 of the 61 aboard the aircraft and two on the ground were killed.

1961Dec 08
 
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Sports, Personalities

Wilt Chamberlain scores the 2nd highest total in the NBA

Wilton Norman Chamberlain was an American basketball player who played the center position and is considered one of the most prominent and dominant players in NBA history. In 1961, in a triple overtime game versus the Los Angeles Lakers, he set a new NBA record by scoring 78 points, breaking the record of 71 previously set by Elgin Baylor.

1948Dec 08
 
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Science, Personalities

Intelligence expert is born

American psychologist Robert Sternberg's main area of scientific interest is cognitive psychology. Sternberg is most famous for his theory of intelligence, but he published several other theories, considering topics as creativity, wisdom, thinking styles, love, and hate. He wrote more than 1500 scientific articles.

1947Dec 08
 
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Science, Personalities

Ribozyme discoverer is born

American biochemist and molecular biologist Thomas Cech is most famous for his discovery of ribozymes (with Sidney Altman). A ribozyme is an RNA molecule which can catalyze chemical reactions. According to the later developed RNA world hypothesis, first living organisms on Earth were similar to today's ribozymes.

World War II
1943Dec 08
 
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Entertainment, Personalities, Music

Jim Morrison, the lead singer of the Doors is born

James Douglas Morrison, best remembered as the lead singer of an American rock band, The Doors, was born in Melbourne, Florida, US. The albums he recorded with the band all sold well. During his life, he was also known as The Lizard King or Mr. Mojo Risin, which was an anagram of his name.

1942Dec 08
 
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Art, Personalities

Architect of Detroit Albert Kahn dies at 73

Albert Kahn was the famous American industrial architect sometimes called architect of Detroit. He was born in a Jewish family in the Kingdom of Prussia and immigrated with his family to Detroit. Kahn's firm designed numerous army naval bases and buildings in Detroit for the United States government.

1941Dec 08
 
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Politics

The United States declares war on Japan, entering World War II

The United States Congress declared war on the Empire of Japan in response to that country's surprise attack on Pearl Harbor the prior day. It was formulated an hour after the Infamy Speech of US President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Following the U.S. declaration, Japan's allies declared war on the United States.

1940Dec 08
 
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Sports

Chicago Bears beat the Washington Redskins 73-0

The 1940 National Football League Championship Game was the eighth title game of the NFL, played at Griffith Stadium in Washington, D.C. The Bears scored eleven touchdowns and won 73–0, the most one-sided victory in NFL history. The game was broadcast on radio by Mutual Broadcasting System, the first NFL title game broadcast nationwide.

Interwar period
1936Dec 08
 
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Entertainment, Personalities, Movies

American actor David Carradine is born

David Carradine was an American actor, musician, painter, and martial artist. He is noted for his leading role as a peace-loving Shaolin monk, Kwai Chang Caine, in the television series Kung Fu. He was also known for playing Frankenstein in Death Race 2000 and Bill in both Kill Bill films.

19th century
1886Dec 08
 
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Art, Personalities

Mexican painter Diego Rivera is born

Diego Rivera was a prominent Mexican painter who focused on art that reflected the lives of the working class in Mexico. During the trip to Italy, he was amazed by Renaissance frescos there. Later in Mexico, he began to paint murals, paintings on the walls of buildings. This activity of his was sponsored by a government.

1849Dec 08
 
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Art

Giuseppe Verdi's opera "Luisa Miller" premieres in Naples

Luisa Miller is an opera in three acts based on the play Kabale und Liebe the German dramatist Friedrich von Schiller. The premiere was well received. But Verdi vowed to never produce another opera in Naples due to the city authorities after the performance and he kept his promise.

1813Dec 08
 
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Art

Beethoven's 7th Symphony premieres in Vienna

The Symphony No. 7 in A major, Op. 92, is a symphony in four movements composed by Ludwig van Beethoven between 1811 and 1812 while improving his health in the Bohemian spa town of Teplice. The work is dedicated to Count Moritz von Fries. At its premiere, Beethoven was noted as remarking that it was one of his best works.

16th century
1542Dec 08
 
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Politics, Personalities

Mary, Queen of Scots is born

Mary, Queen of Scots also known as Mary Stuart or Mary I, reigned over Scotland from 1542 to 1567. At one time, she claimed the crowns of four nations – Scotland, France, England, and Ireland. Mary was found guilty of plotting to assassinate Elizabeth and was beheaded at the age of 44.

 

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died 1980

John Lennon

born 1943

Jim Morrison