December 11

Published in On this Day listing

  • 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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