Today in History – December 10

1520 – Martin Luther burned his copy of the papal bull Exsurge Domine outside Wittenberg’s Elster Gate.

1541 – Thomas Culpeper and Francis Dereham were executed for having affairs with Catherine Howard, Queen of England and wife of Henry VIII.

1684 – Isaac Newton’s derivation of Kepler’s laws from his theory of gravity, contained in the paper De motu corporum in gyrum, was read to the Royal Society by Edmond Halley.

1768 – The first edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica was published.

1817 – Mississippi became the 20th U.S. state.

1861 – American Civil War: The Confederate States of America accepted a rival state government’s pronouncement that declared Kentucky to be the 13th state of the Confederacy.

1864 – American Civil War: Sherman’s March to the Sea: Major General William Tecumseh Sherman’s Union Army troops reached the outer Confederate defenses of Savannah, Georgia.

1898 – Spanish–American War: The Treaty of Paris was signed, which officially ended the conflict.

1901 – The first Nobel Prize ceremony was held in Stockholm on the fifth anniversary of Alfred Nobel’s death.

1906 – U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his role in the mediation of the Russo-Japanese War.  He became the first American to win a Nobel Prize in any field.

1909 – Selma Lagerlöf became the first female writer to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature.

1941 – World War II: The Royal Navy capital ships HMS Prince of Wales and HMS Repulse were sunk by Imperial Japanese Navy torpedo bombers near British Malaya.

1941 – World War II: Battle of the Philippines: Imperial Japanese forces under the command of General Masaharu Homma landed on Luzon.

1942 – World War II: Government of Poland in exile sent Raczyński’s Note (the first official report on the Holocaust) to 26 governments who signed the Declaration by United Nations.

1953 – British Prime Minister Winston Churchill received the Nobel Prize in Literature.

1968 – Japan’s biggest heist, the still-unsolved “300 million yen robbery”, was carried out in Tokyo.

1993 – The last shift left Wearmouth Colliery in Sunderland. The closure of the 156-year-old pit marked the end of the old County Durham coalfield, which had been in operation since the Middle Ages.

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