On This Day: Nanking Massacre begins

On Dec. 13, 1937, the Nanking Massacre began, during which Japanese troops killed between 40,000 and 300,000 Chinese civilians and soldiers.
By UPI Staff  |  Dec. 13, 2017 at 3:00 AM
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Dec. 13 (UPI) -- On this date in history:

In 1642, Dutch navigator Abel Tasman discovered New Zealand.

In 1816, the United States' first savings bank, the Provident Institution for Savings, opened in Boston.

In 1862, Union troops suffered a major defeat in the Civil War battle of Fredericksburg. An estimated 12,000 northern soldiers were killed or wounded, about three times the toll suffered by Confederate forces.

In 1937, the Nanking Massacre began, during which Japanese troops killed between 40,000 and 300,000 Chinese civilians and soldiers. The episode lasted six weeks as part of the Second Sino-Japanese War.

In 1981, martial law was imposed in Poland.

In 1982, the Sentry armored car company in New York discovered the overnight theft of $8 million from its headquarters. It was the biggest cash theft in U.S. history at the time.

In 1992, Ricky Ray, 15, one of three hemophiliac brothers barred from attending a Florida school because they had the AIDS virus, died.

In 1998, in a non-binding referendum giving Puerto Ricans the opportunity to express a political preference, most voters indicated they wished to remain a U.S. commonwealth.

In 2000, the U.S. Supreme Court halted the Florida presidential vote recount. Winning Florida meant that Republican George W. Bush had enough electoral votes to defeat Democrat Al Gore.

File Photo by Bill Clark/UPI

In 2000, seven inmates -- later dubbed the "Texas Seven" -- escaped from prison, sparking a six-week manhunt. The men robbed a sporting-goods store on Christmas Eve, killing a police officer.

In 2002, Cardinal Bernard Law, under fire for allegedly protecting priests accused of abusing minors, resigned as Roman Catholic archbishop of Boston. (Pope John Paul II put Law in charge of a basilica in Rome in 2004.)

In 2003, a bearded and apparently disoriented Saddam Hussein, the deposed Iraqi president, was captured by U.S. troops in a small underground hideout southeast of his hometown of Tikrit, ending an eight-month manhunt.

In 2007, a landmark report implicated 89 U.S. Major League Baseball players, some of them prominent figures of the era, in the use of steroids and other illegal performance-enhancing drugs.

In 2009, Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi sustained a broken nose and two broken teeth when struck by a heavy statuette wielded by a man with a history of mental illness during a political rally in Milan.

In 2012, U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice withdrew her name from consideration to replace Hillary Clinton as U.S. secretary of state. President Barack Obama called Republican attacks on Rice "unfair and misleading."

File Photo by Mark Garten/UPI

In 2013, bomb explosions, arson attacks and other violence wracked Bangladesh, causing several fatalities, following the hanging of opposition leader Abdul Qader Mollah for war crimes committed four decades earlier.

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