On Dec. 8, 1941: The United States entered World War II as Congress declared war against Imperial Japan, a day after the attack on Pearl Harbor.
In 1863: President Abraham Lincoln issued his Proclamation of Amnesty and Reconstruction for the South.
In 1886: The American Federation of Labor was founded in Columbus, Ohio.
In 1949: The Chinese Nationalist government moved from the Chinese mainland to Formosa as the Communists pressed their attacks.
In 1972: A United Airlines Boeing 737 crashed while attempting to land at Chicago-Midway Airport, killing 43 of the 61 people on board, as well as two people on the ground; among the dead were Dorothy Hunt, wife of Watergate conspirator E. Howard Hunt, U.S. Rep. George W. Collins, D-Ill., and CBS News correspondent Michele Clark.
In 1980: Rock star and former Beatle John Lennon was shot to death outside his New York City apartment building by an apparently deranged fan.
In 1987: President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev signed a treaty at the White House calling for destruction of intermediate-range nuclear missiles.
In 1991: AIDS patient Kimberly Bergalis, who had contracted the disease from her dentist, died in Fort Pierce, Fla., at age 23.
In 1998: Struggling to stave off impeachment, President Bill Clinton’s defenders forcefully pleaded his case before the House Judiciary Committee. The Supreme Court ruled that police cannot search people and their cars after merely ticketing them for routine traffic violations.
In 2008: In a startling about-face, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed told the Guantanamo war crimes tribunal he would confess to masterminding the Sept. 11 attacks; four other men also abandoned their defenses.
In 2012: Pakistan’s president visited a British hospital where a 15-year-old schoolgirl, Malala Yousafzai, was being treated after being shot in the head by a Taliban gunman in October.
In 2013: Hundreds of thousands of protesters poured into the streets of the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv, toppling the statue of former Soviet leader Vladimir Lenin and blocking key government buildings in an escalating stand-off with the president on the future of the country.
In 2014: The U.S. and NATO ceremonially ended their combat mission in Afghanistan, 13 years after the Sept. 11 terror attacks sparked their invasion of the country to topple the Taliban-led government.
Ten years ago: President Barack Obama rejected claims that he had betrayed Democrats by cutting a deal with Republicans on Bush-era tax cuts and implored his party to back the compromise, arguing it could jump-start the economy. Hackers rushed to the defense of WikiLeaks, launching attacks on MasterCard, Visa, Swedish prosecutors, a Swiss bank and others who had acted against the site and its founder, Julian Assange. A fire that started during an inmate brawl swept through an overcrowded prison in Chile, killing at least 81 people.
Five years ago: China declared its first ever red smog alert as poisonous air quality forced the government to close schools, order motorists off the road and shut down factories in and around Beijing.