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11th December

1769 Venetian blinds were patented by Edward Beran of London.

1843 * Robert Koch, German physicist who discovered the cause of tuberculosis.

1844 Nitrous oxide "laughing gas) was used for the first time by a dentist.

1894 The first motor show was held in the Champs-Elysees, Paris, France.

1913 * Carlo Ponti, Italian film producer who married actress Sophia Loren.

1914 The Royal Flying Corps adopted the red, white and blue roundel to identify its aircraft.

1919 * Cliff Michelmore, TV and radio broadcaster.

1936 Edward VIII abdicated and was succeeded by his brother George, who became George V.

1941 Hitler and Mussolini announced they were at war with America.

1942 * Anna Carteret, English actress who starred in the TV series Juliet Bravo.

1944 * Brenda Lee, US singer who sang the song 'I'm Sorry' (1960).

1946 The United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) was established.

1975 An Icelandic gunboat opens fire on unarmed British fishery support vessels in the North Atlantic Sea "Cod war".

1979 Rhodesia reverted to British rule transferring full authority to Lord Soames until elections are held.

1991 Spanish golfer Seve Ballsteros was awarded the European Golfer of the Year Award.

1994 Russian President Boris Yeltsin ordered tanks and troops into the rebel region of Chechnya.

2005 A series of massive explosions led to an enormous fire at Buncefield oil depot near Hemel Hempstead sending flames and thick black smoke drifting up to 40 miles away.

xxxx * = Date of birth

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