Wednesday, December 11 2013, the 345th day and 49th week of 2013. There are only 20 days and 3 weeks left in the year. Highlights of today in history.
1777 America: British delay Washington’s march to Valley Forge
General George Washington, Commander in Chief of the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War (1775-83)began the marching of 12,000 soldiers of his Continental Army from Whitemarsh to Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, for the winter.
As Washington’s men began crossing the Schuylkill River, they were surprised by a regiment of several thousand British troops led by General Charles Cornwallis. Cornwallis came across the continental forces by chance as he followed General William Howe’s orders to forage for supplies in the hills outside Philadelphia.
Upon spotting General Cornwallis and the British troops, General Washington ordered his soldiers to retreat across the Schuylkill River, where they destroyed the bridge to prevent the British from pursuing them. After engaging the British for a short time from the opposite side of the river, Washington and the Continental Army retreated back to Whitemarsh, delaying their march to Valley Forge for several days.
1936 Britain: Edward VIII abdicates
After ruling for less than one year, Edward VIII becomes the first English monarch to voluntarily abdicate the throne. He chose to abdicate after the British government, public, and the Church of England condemned his decision to marry the American divorc?e Wallis Warfield Simpson. On the evening of December 11, he gave a radio address in which he explained, “I have found it impossible to carry on the heavy burden of responsibility and to discharge the duties of king, as I would wish to do, without the help and support of the woman I love.” On December 12, his younger brother, the duke of York, was proclaimed King George VI
1941 Frankfurt: World War II Germany declares war on the United States
1.?? , Adolf Hitler, the Austrian-born German politician and the leader of the Nazi Party. He was also the chancellor of Germany from 1933 to 1945 and dictator of Nazi Germany from 1934 to 1945, declared war on the United state thus bringing America, which had been neutral, into the European conflict.
The bombing of Pearl Harbor surprised even Germany. Although Hitler had made an oral agreement with his Axis partner Japan that Germany would join a war against the United States, he was uncertain as to how the war would be engaged.
Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbour answered that question. On December 8, Japanese Ambassador Oshima went to German Foreign Minister von Ribbentrop to nail the Germans down on a formal declaration of war against America. Von Ribbentrop stalled for time; he knew that Germany was under no obligation to do this under the terms of the Tripartite Pact, which promised help if Japan was attacked, but not if Japan was the aggressor. Von Ribbentrop feared that the addition of another antagonist, the United States, would overwhelm the German war effort.
But Hitler thought otherwise. He was convinced that the United States would soon beat him to the punch and declare war on Germany. The U.S. Navy was already attacking German U-boats, and Hitler despised Roosevelt for his repeated verbal attacks against his Nazi ideology. He also believed that Japan was much stronger than it was that once it had defeated the United States, it would turn and help Germany defeat Russia. So at 3:30 p.m. (Berlin time) on December 11, the German charge d’affaires in Washington handed to American Secretary of State, Cordell Hull a copy of the declaration of war.
1946 New York: ?UNICEF founded
After World War II, (1941 ? 1945), European children were ?faced with ?famine and diseases.As a result of this,the General Assembly of the United Nations voted to establish the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), an organisation to help provide relief and support to children living in countries devastated by the war.
After the food and medical crisis of the late 1940s passed, UNICEF continued its role as a relief organization for the children of troubled nations and during the 1970sgrew into a vocal advocate of children’s rights.
1960 New York: UN opposed Lumumba Freedom
Mr. Dag Hammarskjold, the United Nations Secretary- General told the Un Security Council that he saw no reason at all to discuss the freeing of Mr. Patrice Lumumba who was at that time being detained at Thysville. He said that would go beyond the framework of his intervention.?
The Security Council was debating the rival resolutions from Western and Soviet Union on the Congo situations.? The Russian resolution demands the immediate release of Mr. Lumumba while the Western one demanded that Red Cross officials be allowed to visit him and other prisoners held in Congo.
Mr. Hammarskj?ld said: ?To our knowledge, Mr. Lumumba was arrested under a warrant which was properly signed by the Chief of State who is also the head of delegation to the United Nations?.???
1979 Zimbabwe : Great Britain grants independence to Zimbabwe Rhodesia)
On Nov. 11, 1965, the conservative white-minority government of Rhodesia declared its independence from Britain. The country resisted the demands of black Africans, and Prime Minister Ian Smith withstood British pressure, economic sanctions, and guerrilla attacks in his effort to uphold white supremacy. On March 1, 1970, Rhodesia formally proclaimed itself a republic. Heightened guerrilla war and a withdrawal of South African military aid in 1976 marked the beginning of the collapse of Smith’s 11 years of resistance.
Black nationalist movements were led by Bishop Abel Muzorewa of the African National Congress and Ndabaningi Sithole, who were moderates, and guerrilla leaders Robert Mugabe of the Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU) and Joshua Nkomo of the Zimbabwe African People’s Union (ZAPU), who advocated revolution.
On March 3, 1978, Smith, Muzorewa, Sithole, and Chief Jeremiah Chirau signed an agreement to transfer power to the black majority by Dec. 31, 1978. They formed an executive council, with chairmanship rotating but with Smith retaining the title of prime minister.
Blacks were named to each cabinet ministry, serving as co ministers with the whites already holding these posts. African nations and rebel leaders immediately denounced the action, but Western governments were more reserved, although none granted recognition to the new regime. On December 11, 1979 Great Britain formally grants independence to Zimbabwe (Rhodesia)
1981 Bahamas: WBC Heavyweight Boxing Champion contentest Trevor beat Muhammad Ali
The Jamaican boxer Trevor Berbick beat former heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali in a unanimous 10-round decision, before a crowd of 10,000 at the Queen Elizabeth Sports Centre in Nassau, the Bahamas.
At the age of 39, Ali (born Cassius Clay) was attempting his second comeback from retirement. Crowned as the World Boxing Council (WBC) heavyweight champ in 1964 after beating Sonny Liston, he had successfully defended the title eight times before he was convicted of draft evasion in 1967, stripped of his boxing license and title and sentenced to five years in prison. Though the conviction was later overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court, Ali was inactive for two years and announced his retirement in 1970.
He returned to the ring after only a short time, however, and regained his heavyweight title in 1974 after a win against George Foreman in Zaire. After losing and regaining the crown again in 1978, Ali announced his retirement for the second time. He re-emerged in October 1980 to fight a championship bout against Larry Holmes, who knocked him out in the 11th round in a one-sided battle. Ali refused to accept the result, however, and pushed to set up the fight with Berbick in the Bahamas in order to prove himself.
1990 Nigeria: Ikazoboh bails handball out of continental mess
Handball association of Nigeria (HAN), in need of money to send a team to the Sixth African Junior Handball Championship in Cairo Egypt finally secured the life line from the Federal Ministry of Sports. The ministry backing came when the HAN Chairman, Colonel Godfrey Nebo said the association still needs about N75, 000.00 to hit the N250, 000.00 needed to take them to Cairo.
The association first received N150, 000.00 from the donor of the trophy for the continental championship, Chief M.K.O. Abiola and another N25, 000.00 from the Katsina State Government., who hosted the Under 12 national championship. Sport Minister, Tony Ikhazoboh then provided the balance needed for the trip.

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