This Week in History

HISTORY, 4 Dec 2023

Satoshi Ashikaga – TRANSCEND Media Service

4-10 December 2023

Quote of the Week:

To the rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights one more might, with relevance, be added. It is ‘The Right to Refuse to Kill’.”  – Seán MacBride

Video of the Week:

Auschwitz to Palestine: Love Unites – YouTube


04 December

1943  World War II: In Yugoslavia, resistance leader Marshal Josip Broz Tito proclaims a provisional democratic Yugoslav government in-exile.

1945  By a vote of 65–7, the United States Senate approves United States participation in the United Nations. (The UN had been established on October 24, 1945.)

1950  Korean War: Associated Press photographer Max Desfor photographs hundreds of Korean refugees crossing a downed bridge in the Taedong River1951 Pulitzer Prize winner Flight of Refugees Across Wrecked Bridge in Korea.

1971  Indo-Pakistani War of 1971: The Indian Navy attacks the Pakistan Navy and Karachi.

1981  South Africa grants independence to the Ciskei “homeland” (not recognized by any government outside South Africa).

1982  The People’s Republic of China adopts its current constitution.

1984  Sri Lankan Civil WarSri Lankan Army soldiers kill 107–150 civilians in Mannar.

1992  Somali Civil War: President George H. W. Bush orders 28,000 U.S. troops to Somalia in Northeast Africa.

[1]      History of Somalia:

[2]      Somali Civil War:

[3]      Somali Civil War and the U.S.:

[4]      Somali Civil War and the UN:

2005  Tens of thousands of people in Hong Kong protest for democracy and call on the government to allow universal and equal suffrage.


05 December

1919  Ukrainian War of Independence: The Polonsky conspiracy is suppressed and its participants are executed by the Kontrrazvedka.

[Modern History of  Ukraine]

1935  Mary McLeod Bethune founds the National Council of Negro Women in New York City.

1941  World War II: Great Britain declares war on FinlandHungary and Romania.[

1955  E. D. Nixon and Rosa Parks lead the Montgomery bus boycott.

1971  Battle of Gazipur: Pakistani forces stand defeated as India cedes Gazipur to Bangladesh.

1977  Egypt breaks diplomatic relations with SyriaLibyaAlgeriaIraq and South Yemen. The move is in retaliation for the Declaration of Tripoli against Egypt.

1983  Dissolution of the Military Junta in Argentina.

1991  Leonid Kravchuk is elected the first president of Ukraine.

1995  Sri Lankan Civil WarSri Lanka‘s government announces the conquest of the Tamil stronghold of Jaffna.

2006  Commodore Frank Bainimarama overthrows the government in Fiji.


06 December

1916  World War I: The Central Powers capture Bucharest.

1917  Finland declares independence from the Russian Empire.

1921  The Anglo-Irish Treaty is signed in London by British and Irish representatives.

[Irish Free State declared ]

1922  One year to the day after the signing of the Anglo-Irish Treaty, the Irish Free State comes into existence.

[Irish Free State (Agreement) Act 1922]

1991  Yugoslav Wars: In Croatia, forces of the Serb-dominated Yugoslav People’s Army (JNA) heaviest bombardment of Dubrovnik during a siege of seven months.

1992  The Babri Masjid in Ayodhya, India, is demolished, leading to widespread riots causing the death of over 1,500 people.

2017  Donald Trump‘s administration officially announces the recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

[1]      Status of Jerusalem:

[2]      Why declaring Jerusalem capital of Israel is controversial:

[3]      President Trump’s Proclamation on Jerusalem as the Capital of Israel:


07 December

1917  World War I: The United States declares war on Austria-Hungary.

1932  German-born Swiss physicist Albert Einstein is granted an American visa.

1941  World War IIAttack on Pearl Harbor: The Imperial Japanese Navy carries out a surprise attack on the United States Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

[1]      Pearl Harbor Attack:

[2]      Day of Infamy speech by Franklin D. Roosevelt:

[3]      Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Intention and the Pearl Harbor Attack:

[4]      The McCollum Memo and Hull note:

[5]      Japan had little chance of victory—so why did it attack Pearl Harbour?:

1949  Chinese Civil War: The Government of the Republic of China moves from Nanjing to TaipeiTaiwan.

1962  Prince Rainier III of Monaco revises the principality‘s constitution, devolving some of his power to advisory and legislative councils.

1965  Pope Paul VI and Patriarch Athenagoras I simultaneously revoke mutual excommunications that had been in place since 1054.


08 December

1941  World War II: U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt declares December 7 to be “a date which will live in infamy“, after which the U.S. declares war on Japan.

[Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Intention]

[Pearl Harbor and the Back Door Theory]

[Did FDR Plan the Attack on Pearl Harbor?]

[Pearl Harbor: Roosevelt Knew ]

[Day of Deceit]

1941  World War II: Japan’s attack on Pearl Harborapanese forces simultaneously invade Shanghai International SettlementMalayaThailandHong Kongthe Philippines, and the Dutch East Indies. (See December 7 for the concurrent  in the Western Hemisphere.)

1953  U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower delivers his “Atoms for Peace” speech, which leads to an American program to supply equipment and information on nuclear power to schools, hospitals, and research institutions around the world.

[1]      Eisenhower’s “Atoms for Peace” Speech :

[2]      Nuclear Energy:

[3]      Nuclear Energy, Military Use and Earthquakes:

1955  The Flag of Europe is adopted by Council of Europe.

1971  Indo-Pakistani War: The Indian Navy launches an attack on West Pakistan‘s port city of Karachi.

1974  A plebiscite results in the abolition of monarchy in Greece.

1980  John Lennon is murdered by Mark David Chapman in front of The Dakota in New York City.

[John Lennon – World Peace, Songs, Wife & Death]

1985  The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation, the regional intergovernmental organization and geopolitical union in South Asia, is established.

1987  Cold War: The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty is signed by U.S. President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in the White House.

1987  An Israeli army tank transporter kills four Palestinian refugees and injures seven others during a traffic accident at the Erez Crossing on the Israel–Gaza Strip border, which has been cited as one of the events which sparked the First Intifada.

1991  The leaders of Russia, Belarus and Ukraine sign an agreement dissolving the Soviet Union and establishing the Commonwealth of Independent States.

2001  A raid conducted by the Internal Security Department (ISD) of Singapore foils a Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) plot to bomb foreign embassies in Singapore.

2004  The Cusco Declaration is signed in CuscoPeru, establishing the South American Community of Nations.

2019   First confirmed case of COVID-19 in China.


09 December

1824  Patriot forces led by General Antonio José de Sucre defeat a Royalist army in the Battle of Ayacucho, putting an end to the Peruvian War of Independence.

1856  The Iranian city of Bushehr surrenders to occupying British forces.

1868  The first traffic lights are installed, outside the Palace of Westminster in London. Resembling railway signals, they use semaphore arms and are illuminated at night by red and green gas lamps.

1905  In France, a law separating church and state is passed.

1937  Second Sino-Japanese War: Battle of NankingJapanese troops under the command of Lt. Gen. Prince Yasuhiko Asaka (Emperor Hirohito’s uncle) launch an assault on Chinese city of Nanjing (or Nanking). That caused the atrocities in which the Japanese army brutally murdered hundreds of thousands of peopleincluding both soldiers and civiliansin the city. The horrific events are known as the Nanjing Massacre or the Rape of Nanjing. Some Japanese attempt to deny the Nanjing Massacre.

1946  The subsequent Nuremberg trials begin with the Doctors’ Trial, prosecuting physicians and officers alleged to be involved in Nazi human experimentation and mass murder under the guise of euthanasia.

1946  The Constituent Assembly of India meets to write the Constitution of India.

1948  The Genocide Convention is adopted.

1953  Red ScareGeneral Electric announces that all communist employees will be discharged from the company.

1965  Kecksburg UFO incident: A fireball is seen from Michigan to Pennsylvania; with witnesses reporting something crashing in the woods near Pittsburgh.

1968  Douglas Engelbart gave what became known as “The Mother of All Demos“, publicly debuting the computer mousehypertext, and the bit-mapped graphical user interface using the oN-Line System (NLS).

1969  U.S. Secretary of State William P. Rogers proposes his plan for a ceasefire in the War of Attrition; Egypt and Jordan accept it over the objections of the PLO, which leads to civil war in Jordan in September 1970.

1973  British and Irish authorities sign the Sunningdale Agreement to establish a power-sharing Northern Ireland Executive and a cross-border Council of Ireland.

1979  The eradication of the smallpox virus is certified, making smallpox the first of only two diseases that have been driven to extinction (with rinderpest in 2011 being the other).

1987  Israeli–Palestinian conflict: The First Intifada begins in the Gaza Strip and West Bank.

1992  American troops land in Somalia for Operation Restore Hope.


10 December

1520  Martin Luther burns his copy of the papal bull Exsurge Domine outside Wittenberg‘s Elster Gate

1684  Isaac Newton‘s derivation of Kepler’s laws from his theory of gravity, contained in the paper De motu corporum in gyrum, is read to the Royal Society by Edmond Halley.

1877  Russo-Turkish War: The Russian Army captures Plevna after a 5-month siege. The garrison of 25,000 surviving Turks surrenders. The Russian victory is decisive for the outcome of the war and the Liberation of Bulgaria.

1898  Spanish–American War: The Treaty of Paris is signed, officially ending the conflict. Spain cedes administration of Cuba to the United States, and the United States agrees to pay Spain $20 million for the Philippines.

1932  Thailand becomes a constitutional monarchy.

1942  World War II: Government of Poland in exile send Raczyński’s Note (the first official report on the Holocaust) to 26 governments who signed the Declaration by United Nations.

1948  The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) is adopted by the United NationsJohn Peters Humphrey, OC OQ, Canadian legal scholar, jurist, is a principal drafter of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

[1]      Universal Declaration of Human Rights:

[2]      Criticisms on UDHR:

[3]      Cultural Relativism and Universal Human Rights:

[4]      Right to Refuse to Kill/Conscientious objector :

1963  Zanzibar gains independence from the United Kingdom as a constitutional monarchy, under Sultan Jamshid bin Abdullah.

1978  Arab–Israeli conflictPrime Minister of Israel Menachem Begin and President of Egypt Anwar Sadat are jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize

1979  Kaohsiung Incident: Taiwanese pro-democracy demonstrations are suppressed by the KMT dictatorship, and organizers are arrested.

1984  United Nations General Assembly recognizes the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT).

1989  Mongolian Revolution: At the country’s first open pro-democracy public demonstration, Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj announces the establishment of the Mongolian Democratic Union.

1994  Rwandan genocideMaurice Baril, military advisor to the U.N. Secretary-General and head of the Military Division of the Department of Peacekeeping Operations, recommends that UNAMIR stand down.

1995  The Israeli army withdraws from Nablus pursuant to the terms of Oslo Accord.

1996  The new Constitution of South Africa is promulgated by Nelson Mandela.


Satoshi Ashikaga is a member of the TRANSCEND Network for Peace Development Environment. Having worked as researcher, development program/project officer, legal protection/humanitarian assistance officer, human rights monitor-negotiator, managing-editor, and more, he prefers a peaceful and prudent life.  His previous work experiences, including those in war zones and war-torn zones, constantly remind him of the invaluableness of peace.

Disclaimer: The author and TMS take no responsibility for–and do not necessarily subscribe to–contents of websites hyperlinked as sources.



This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 4 Dec 2023.

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