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Infoplease - This Day in History 

Dec 18, 1865: Slavery was abolished with the ratification of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution.

Dec 18, 1956: Japan was admitted to the United Nations.

Dec 18, 1737: Violin maker Antonio Stradivari died in Cremona, Italy.

More events from This Day in History: Dec 18

Dec 17, 1903: Orville and Wilbur Wright made the first flight in a heavier-than-air plane at Kitty Hawk, N.C.

Dec 17, 1777: France recognized American independence.

Dec 17, 1944: The U.S. Army announced the end of its policy of holding Japanese-Americans in internment camps, allowing "evacuees" to return home.

More events from This Day in History: Dec 17

Dec 16, 1653: Oliver Cromwell became lord protector of England, Scotland, and Ireland.

Dec 16, 1773: The Boston Tea Party took place.

Dec 16, 1920: One of the deadliest earthquakes in history hit the Gansu province in China. The 8.6 quake killed 200,000 people.

More events from This Day in History: Dec 16

Dec 15, 1939: The movie Gone With the Wind premiered in Atlanta, Georgia.

Dec 15, 1944: Band leader Glenn Miller disappeared in a plane crash over the English Channel.

Dec 15, 1961: Adolf Eichmann was sentenced to death by an Israeli court for organizing the deportation of Jews to concentration camps.

More events from This Day in History: Dec 15

Dec 14, 1819: Alabama became the 22nd state in the United States.

Dec 14, 1967: DNA synthesized for the first time.

Dec 14, 1799: George Washington died at age 67.

More events from This Day in History: Dec 14

Dec 13, 1918: President Wilson arrived in France, becoming the first U.S. president to visit Europe while in office.

Dec 13, 1978: The U.S. Mint began stamping the Susan B. Anthony dollar, the first U.S. coin honoring a woman.

Dec 13, 1981: The Polish government imposed martial law in an attempt to crush the Solidarity movement.

More events from This Day in History: Dec 13

Dec 12, 1913: The Mona Lisa was recovered in Florence after having been stolen two years earlier (August 1911) from the Louvre.

Dec 12, 1963: Kenya gained its independence from Britain.

Dec 12, 1787: Pennsylvania became the second state to ratify the U.S. Constitution.

More events from This Day in History: Dec 12

Dec 11, 1844: Nitrous oxide was used for the first time in dentistry.

Dec 11, 1936: King Edward VIII abdicated the throne of Britain for the woman he loved, Mrs. Wallis Simpson.


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