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Last updated 11/30/2021 at 5:19pm | View PDF

The History Channel

* On Dec. 1, 1990, over 130 feet below the English Channel, workers drill an opening through a wall of rock, connecting the two ends of an underwater tunnel linking Great Britain with the European mainland. The completed “Chunnel” rail shuttle through the tunnel runs 31 miles and takes 20 minutes.

* On Dec. 2, 1777, Philadelphia housewife and nurse Lydia Darragh single-handedly saves the lives of Gen. George Washington and his Continental Army when she overhears the British planning a surprise attack. The British were stunned to find the army waiting for them the next day.

* On Dec. 3, 1984, an explosion at a Union Carbide pesticide plant in Bhopal, India, leads to the worst industrial accident in history. At least 2,000 people died and another 200,000 were injured when toxic gas enveloped the city. Plant workers had failed to act when gauges showed a dangerous build-up of pressure in the tanks.

* On Dec. 4, 1945, the U.S. Senate approves full U.S. participation in the United Nations. A resolution designed to force the president to get congressional consent before approving U.S. troops for any U.N. peacekeeping forces was defeated.

* On Dec. 5, 1872, a British brig spots the Mary Celeste, an American vessel, sailing erratically near the Azores Islands with not a soul onboard. The last entry in the captain’s log was dated 11 days earlier.

* On Dec. 6, 1917, a devastating blast occurs when the Mont Blanc, a French munitions ship, explodes after colliding with another vessel in Halifax harbor in Nova Scotia. The Mont Blanc was packed with 2,300 tons of picric acid, 200 tons of TNT and 35 tons of high-octane gasoline.

* On Dec. 7, 1941, a swarm of 360 Japanese warplanes descends on the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii in a ferocious early morning assault. The surprise attack devastated the U.S. Pacific fleet and drew the United States into World War II.

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