December 11

Published in On this Day listing

  • 1971 Two men and two children were killed and nineteen others injured, some seriously, in an IRA no-warning bomb attack on a furniture showroom on the Shankill Road, Belfast.
  • 1920 Following an IRA ambush near Victoria Barracks in Cork, Auxiliaries and Black and Tans went on the rampage, looting and setting fire to large parts of the city centre, including City Hall. Over five acres of property, valued at £20 million, were destroyed.
  • 1936 King Edward VIII abdicated after a reign of just ten months, prompting the biggest constitutional crisis for the British monarchy in the twentieth century.
  • 1920 The IRA ambushed an RIC patrol near Victoria Barracks, Cork. Black and Tans later set fire to parts of the city. The government claimed that the arson was inflicted by citizens of Cork, but later paid £3m compensation.
  • 1918 Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Russian novelist, historian and short-story writer—notably of The Gulag Archipelago (1973)—and winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature (1970), born.
  • 1862 The Battle of Fredericksburg, Virginia, during which the Irish Brigade secured its reputation for gallantry with a suicidal charge against impregnable Confederate defences, began. The four-day engagement ended in victory for General Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia.

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