This Week in History

HISTORY, 11 Dec 2023

Satoshi Ashikaga – TRANSCEND Media Service

11-17 December 2023

Serb & Kosovar Albanian Videos of the Week:

In Kosovo, a Serb grandmother and her Albanian ‘brother’ – YouTube

A Kosovar Albanian Cares For 92-Year-Old Ethnic Serb – YouTube


11 December

1937  Second Italo-Ethiopian WarItaly leaves the League of Nations.

1941  World War IIGermany and Italy declare war on the United States, following the Americans’ declaration of war on the Empire of Japan in the wake of the attack on Pearl Harbor. The United States, in turn, declares war on them.

1941  World War II: Poland declares war on the Empire of Japan.

1946  The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) is established.

1948  Arab–Israeli War: The United Nations passes General Assembly Resolution 194, creating a Conciliation Commission to mediate the conflict.

1958  French Upper Volta and French Dahomey gain self-government from France, becoming the Republic of Upper Volta (now Burkina Faso) and the Republic of Dahomey (now Benin), respectively, and joining the French Community.

1964  Che Guevara speaks at the United Nations General Assembly in New York City.

[1]      Che Guevara: Speeches, Writings and Interviews:

[2]     Legacy of Che Guevara:

[3]      Guevara vs. the U.S./CIA:

1994  First Chechen WarRussian President Boris Yeltsin orders Russian troops into Chechnya.

1997  The Kyoto Protocol opens for signature.

[1]      Kyoto Protocol:

[2]      Problems and Criticism of the Kyoto Protocol:

2001  China joins the World Trade Organization (WTO).

2006  The International Conference to Review the Global Vision of the Holocaust is opened in TehranIran, by then-president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad; nations such as Israel and the United States express concern.

2019  The results of the 2019 Bougainvillean independence referendum are announced. The results are overwhelmingly one-sided. Over 98% of voters vote for Bougainville‘s independence.


12 December

1941  The HolocaustAdolf Hitler declares the imminent extermination of the Jews at a meeting in the Reich Chancellery.

1945  The People’s Republic of Korea is outlawed in the South, by order of the United States Army Military Government in Korea.

1946  United Nations Security Council Resolution 13 relating to acceptance of Siam (now Thailand) to the United Nations is adopted.

1956  United Nations Security Council Resolution 121 relating to acceptance of Japan to the United Nations is adopted.

1979  Coup d’état of December Twelfth occurs in South Korea.

2001  Prime Minister of Vietnam Phan Văn Khải announces the decision on upgrading the Phong Nha–Kẻ Bàng nature reserve to a national park, providing information on projects for the conservation and development of the park and revised maps.

2012  North Korea successfully launches its first satelliteKwangmyŏngsŏng-3 Unit 2.

2015  The Paris Agreement relating to United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change is adopted.


13 December

1642  Abel Tasman is the first recorded European to sight New Zealand.

1937  Second Sino-Japanese WarBattle of Nanking (= Nanjing): The city of Nanjing, defended by the National Revolutionary Army under the command of General Tang Shengzhi, falls to the Japanese. This is followed by the Nanking (Nanjing) Massacre, in which Japanese troops rape and slaughter hundreds of thousands of civilians.

[1]      Nanjing Massacre:

[2]      Prince Yasuhiko Asaka and the Nanjing Massacre:

[3]      Japanese War Crimes:

[4]      Emperor Hirohito and the Japanese War Crimes:

[5]      The Nanjing Massacre Vs The Atomic Bombings Of Hiroshima And Nagasaki:

[6]      Denial of Nanjing Massacre:

1938  The Holocaust: The Neuengamme concentration camp opens in the Bergedorf district of Hamburg, Germany.

1943  World War II: The Massacre of Kalavryta by German occupying forces in Greece.

1949  The Knesset votes to move the capital of Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

1974  In the Vietnam War, the North Vietnamese forces launch their 1975 Spring Offensive (to 30 April 1975), which results in the final capitulation of South Vietnam.

1988  PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat gives a speech at a UN General Assembly meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, after United States authorities refused to grant him a visa to visit UN headquarters in New York.

2002  European Union enlargement: The EU announces that CyprusCzechiaEstoniaHungaryLatviaLithuaniaMaltaPolandSlovakia, and Slovenia will become members on May 1, 2004.

2003  Iraq WarOperation Red Dawn: Former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein is captured near his home town of Tikrit.

[1]      Iraq War:

[2]      Iraq and Weapons of Mass Destruction :

The Architects of the Iraq War: Where Are They Now?

[3]      Oil and Revenge:

2007  The Treaty of Lisbon is signed by the EU member states to amend both the Treaty of Rome and the Maastricht Treaty which together form the constitutional basis of the EU. The Treaty of Lisbon is effective from 1 December 2009.


14 December

1751  The Theresian Military Academy is founded in Wiener Neustadt, Austria.

1939  Winter War: The Soviet Union is expelled from the League of Nations for invading Finland.

1955 AlbaniaAustriaBulgariaCambodiaCeylonFinlandHungaryIrelandItalyJordanLaosLibyaNepalPortugalRomania and Spain join the United Nations through United Nations Security Council Resolution 109.

1958  The 3rd Soviet Antarctic Expedition becomes the first to reach the southern pole of inaccessibility.

1960  Convention against Discrimination in Education of UNESCO is adopted.

1971  Bangladesh Liberation War: Over 200 of East Pakistan‘s intellectuals are executed by the Pakistan Army and their local allies. (The date is commemorated in Bangladesh as Martyred Intellectuals Day.)

1981  Arab–Israeli conflict: Israel’s Knesset ratifies the Golan Heights Law, extending Israeli law to the Golan Heights.

1992  War in AbkhaziaSiege of Tkvarcheli: A helicopter carrying evacuees from Tkvarcheli is shot down, resulting in at least 52 deaths, including 25 children. The incident catalyses more concerted Russian military intervention on behalf of Abkhazia.

1995  Yugoslav Wars: The Dayton Agreement is signed in Paris by the leaders of the Federal Republic of YugoslaviaCroatia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

1998  Yugoslav Wars: The Yugoslav Army ambushes a group of Kosovo Liberation Army fighters attempting to smuggle weapons from Albania into Kosovo, killing 36.

2003  Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf narrowly escapes an assassination attempt.

2013  A reported coup attempt in South Sudan leads to continued fighting and hundreds of casualties.


15 December

1939   Gone with the Wind (highest inflation adjusted grossing film) receives its premiere at Loew’s Grand Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia, United States.

1941  The Holocaust in UkraineGerman troops murder over 15,000 Jews at Drobytsky Yar, a ravine southeast of the city of Kharkiv.

1961  Adolf Eichmann is sentenced to death after being found guilty by an Israeli court of 15 criminal charges, including charges of crimes against humanity, crimes against the Jewish people, and membership of an outlawed organization.

1973  The American Psychiatric Association votes 13–0 to remove homosexuality from its official list of psychiatric disorders, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.

1978  U.S. President Jimmy Carter announces that the United States will recognize the People’s Republic of China and sever diplomatic relations with the Republic of China (Taiwan).

1989  Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights relating the abolition of capital punishment is adopted.

1993  The Troubles: The Downing Street Declaration is issued by British Prime Minister John Major and Irish Taoiseach Albert Reynolds.

2000  The third reactor at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant is shut down.

2005  Introduction of the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor into USAF active service.

2013  The South Sudanese Civil War begins when opposition leaders Dr. Riek MacharPagan Amum and Rebecca Nyandeng vote to boycott the meeting of the National Liberation Council at Nyakuron.


16 December

1942  The HolocaustSchutzstaffel chief Heinrich Himmler orders that Roma candidates for extermination be deported to Auschwitz.

1968  Second Vatican Council: Official revocation of the Edict of Expulsion of Jews from Spain.

1971  Bangladesh Liberation War and Indo-Pakistani War of 1971: The ceasefire of the Pakistan Army brings an end to both conflicts. This is commemorated annually as Victory Day in Bangladesh, and as Vijay Diwas in India.

1971  The United Kingdom recognizes Bahrain‘s independence, which is commemorated annually as Bahrain’s National Day.

1986  Jeltoqsan: Riots erupt in Alma-AtaKazakh SSR, in response to Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev‘s dismissal of ethnic Kazakh Dinmukhamed Kunaev, the First Secretary of the Communist Party of Kazakhstan, and his replacement with Gennady Kolbin, an ethnic Russian from the Russian SFSR

1989  Romanian Revolution: Protests break out in TimișoaraRomania, in response to an attempt by the government to evict dissident Hungarian pastor László Tőkés.

2011  Zhanaozen massacre: Violent protests by oil workers take place in ZhanaozenKazakhstan, leading to 16 people dead and 100 injured by the security forces.


17 December

1903  The Wright brothers make the first controlled powered, heavier-than-air flight in the Wright Flyer at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.

1938  Otto Hahn discovers the nuclear fission of the heavy element uranium, the scientific and technological basis of nuclear energy.

1948  The Finnish Security Police is established to remove communist leadership from its predecessor, the State Police.

1950  The F-86 Sabre‘s first mission over Korea.

1951  The American Civil Rights Congress delivers “We Charge Genocide” to the United Nations.

1957  The United States successfully launches the first Atlas intercontinental ballistic missile at Cape Canaveral, Florida.

1960  Troops loyal to Emperor Haile Selassie in Ethiopia crush the coup that began December 13, returning power to their leader upon his return from Brazil. Haile Selassie absolves his son of any guilt.

1969  Project Blue Book: The United States Air Force closes its study of UFOs.

1973  Thirty passengers are killed in an attack by Palestinian terrorists on Rome’s Leonardo da Vinci–Fiumicino Airport.

1983  Provisional IRA members detonate a car bomb at Harrods Department Store in London. Three police officers and three civilians are killed.

1989  Romanian Revolution: Protests continue in Timișoara, Romania, with rioters breaking into the Romanian Communist Party‘s District Committee building and attempting to set it on fire.

2002  Second Congo War: The Congolese parties of the Inter Congolese Dialogue sign a peace accord which makes provision for transitional governance and legislative and presidential elections within two years.

2003  Sex work rights activists establish December 17 (or “D17”) as International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers to memorialize victims of a serial killer who targeted prostitutes, and highlight State violence against sex workers by police and others.

2005  Anti-World Trade Organization protesters riot in Wan Chai, Hong Kong.

2010  Mohamed Bouazizi sets himself on fire. This act became the catalyst for the Tunisian Revolution and the wider Arab Spring.

2014  The United States and Cuba re-establish diplomatic relations after severing them in 1961.


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 11 Dec 2023.

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