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On this date: December

 1 December 1943

Joseph Stalin, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill meet in Tehran and express their determination to win the war in Europe.

2 December 1968

The Canadian submarine Rainbow (S75) is commissioned. Purchased from the U.S., it was originally known as USS Argonaut and launched in 1944.


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3 December 1970

British Trade Commissioner James Cross, held hostage for 60 days, is freed in exchange for free passage to Cuba for five Front de Libération du Québec captors.

4 December 1866

Constitutional talks begin in London, England—a step towards the British North America Act and Canada’s Confederation.

6 December 2008

Joint Task Force Afghanistan Air Wing is established in Kandahar.

7 December 1941

Canada declares war on Finland, Hungary and Romania, the same day as Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor.

 11 December 1936

Edward VIII abdicates the British throne to marry American socialite Wallis Simpson, making his reign one of the shortest in British history.

12 December 1901

The first transatlantic wireless signal is received in St. John’s, Nfld.

13 December 2003

Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein is captured. He is found guilty of crimes against humanity and executed in 2006.

14 December 1967

Wing Cmdr. R.A. White sets a Canadian altitude record of 100,110 feet, flying a CF-104 Starfighter.

17 December 1944

HMCS Montreal rescues survivors of U-1209 after the sub runs aground on Wolf Rock in the English Channel.

18 December 1916

The costly Battle of Verdun comes to an end after hundreds of thousands of casualties on both sides.

20 December 2007

Elizabeth II surpasses Queen Victoria as the longest-lived British monarch. She goes on to have the longest reign, too.

21 December   1943

Canadians engage in vicious house-to-house fighting in Ortona, Italy.

22 December 1969

A post office truck in Montreal is blown up, one of more than 200 bombings set off by the Front de Libération du Québec between 1963 and 1970.

29 December 1944

RCAF Flt. Lt. Dick Audet shoots down five German planes in
two minutes.

31 December 1999

Russian President Boris Yeltsin resigns. He is replaced by Vladimir Putin.

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