On This Day in History: December 11

December 11 saw the abdication of two kings and a country declaring war on another. Here’s some key events that happened on this day in history.

Edward VIII abdicates

1688: James II of England Abdicates in Favor of William of Orange

James II of England abdicated the throne on this day in history. It wasn’t quite hid decision to abdicate, as there was the view was that he had abandoned his throne after William of Orange invaded with his protestant forces. James’ protestant daughter Mary would become joint ruler with William of Orange today in history.

1936: Abdication of King Edward VIII of Great Britain

Edward VIII was the first monarch of Great Britain to officially abdicate the throne. His Government was against his preferred marriage to divorcee Wallis Simpson, and there were worries over his Nazi sympathizer views. In the end, he decided to step down as king to follow his own life. His younger brother, Albert, became king, using one of his middle names George because his first name sounded too German. While he signed the document abdicating on December 10, it was announced on this day.

1941: Germany Declares War

Germany and Britain and already been at war against each other, but now it was declaring war on another country; the United States. Before now, America had remained neutral in the European conflict and had only gotten involved against Japan due to the bombing of Pearl Harbor four days earlier. Germany had been shocked by the Pearl Harbor bombings, but Adolf Hitler had already agreed to join Japan in an attack on the United States.

1944: Canada Suffers Worst Ever Snowstorm

On this day in history, Toronto, Canada suffered its worth ever snowstorm. Due to the snow, 21 people died, 13 of those due to heart attacks from the digging! Almost 20in of snow had fallen within 24 hours. The snow was not the only problem. High winds had also created chaos, turning the snow into blizzards, trapping people in their homes. A Queen Street streetcar was knocked down, trapping 170 people.

1964: Sam Cooke Killed

Police responded to the Hacienda Motel on December 11. Sam Cooke was dead on the office floor, with Bertha Franklin, the motel manager, saying she had shot him three times. The authorities decided the death was “justifiable homicide,” due to Franklin’s testimony saying that he had threatened her life after he had attempted to rape a woman. Despite the details, 200,000 fans mourned his death. The circumstances have since been questions, and the full truth is unlikely to ever surface.

Born on December 11

Politician George Mason–1725

Medical researcher and physician Robert Koch—1843

Short story writer Grace Paley—1922

Donna Mills, actress in Knots Landing—1940

Politician John Kerry—1943

TV host Ben Shephard–1974

Australian comedian Hamish Blake—1981


Birthdays from HistoryNet.com and FamousBirthdays.com

Featured photo from Deposit Photos

Image of Edward VIII in ceremonial dress in the public domain (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_VIII#/media/File:King_Edward_VIII,_when_Prince_of_Wales_-_Cope_1912.jpg)

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