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UPI Almanac for Friday, Dec. 8, 2023

On Dec. 8, 1993, U.S. President Bill Clinton signed the North American Free Trade Agreement.

By United Press International
On December 8, 1993, U.S. President Bill Clinton, pictured in 1995, signed the North American Free Trade Agreement into law. File Photo by Ken Cedeno/UPI
1 of 3 | On December 8, 1993, U.S. President Bill Clinton, pictured in 1995, signed the North American Free Trade Agreement into law. File Photo by Ken Cedeno/UPI | License Photo

Today is Friday, Dec. 8, the 342nd day of 2023 with 23 to follow.

The moon is waning. Morning stars are Jupiter, Neptune, Uranus and Venus. Evening stars are Jupiter, Mercury, Neptune, Saturn and Uranus.

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Those born on this date are under the sign of Sagittarius. They include Mary Queen of Scots in 1542; Eli Whitney, inventor of the cotton gin, in 1765; General Motors founder William Durant in 1861; French movie pioneer Georges Melies in 1861; Finnish composer Jean Sibelius in 1865; Mexican muralist Diego Rivera in 1886; entertainer Sammy Davis Jr. in 1925; actor Maximilian Schell in 1930; actor David Carradine in 1936; actor James MacArthur in 1937; Irish flutist James Galway in 1939 (age 84); Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member Jim Morrison in 1943; Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member Gregg Allman in 1947; writer Bill Bryson in 1951 (age 72); actor Kim Basinger in 1953 (age 70); actor Teri Hatcher in 1964 (age 59); political commentator Ann Coulter in 1961 (age 62); actor Wendell Pierce in 1963 (age 60); Irish singer/songwriter Sinéad O'Connor in 1966; rock singer Corey Taylor in 1973 (age 50); actor Dominic Monaghan in 1976 (age 47); actor Ian Somerhalder in 1978 (age 45); singer Ingrid Michaelson in 1979 (age 44); rap artist Nicki Minaj, born Onika Tanya Maraj, in 1982 (age 41); actor AnnaSophia Robb in 1993 (age 30); actor Owen Teague in 1998 (age 25).

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On this date in history:

In 1886, delegates from 25 unions founded the American Federation of Labor, forerunner of the modern AFL-CIO, in Columbus, Ohio.

In 1941, President Roosevelt asked Congress to declare that "a state of war has existed between the United States and the Japanese Empire" as a result of Japan's "unprovoked and dastardly attack."

In 1949, the Chinese Nationalist government, defeated by the Communists, retreated from the mainland to the island of Taiwan.

In 1980, former Beatle John Lennon was shot to death outside his apartment building in New York City. He was 40.

In 1987, U.S. President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev signed the first treaty between the two superpowers to reduce their massive nuclear arsenals.

In 1991, the Soviet Union ceased to exist when the republics of Russia, Belarus and Ukraine signed an agreement creating the Commonwealth of Independent States.

In 1993, U.S. President Bill Clinton signed the North American Free Trade Agreement, stating that free trade would lead to worldwide growth, equality, preservation of the environment and peace. The United States, Mexico and Canada agreed to replace NAFTA with the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement in 2020, an initiative by President Donald Trump.

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In 1997, Jenny Shipley was sworn in as the first woman prime minister of New Zealand.

In 2004, the International Business Machines Corp., IBM, reported it was selling its personal computer business to Chinese rival Lenovo Group for $1.25 billion in cash and stock.

In 2005, a Southwest Airlines jetliner overshot a runway at Chicago's Midway International Airport in a snowstorm, crashing through a fence into a city street. A 6-year-old boy in a car hit by the plane was killed and at least 11 people were hurt.

In 2008, the suspected mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States and four co-defendants told a military judge at Guantanamo Bay that they wanted to confess to all charges of murder and war crimes.

In 2009, in what Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki called "cowardly terrorist attacks, a series of apparently coordinated car bombings in Baghdad killed 127 people, injured more than 450 and destroyed some government buildings.

In 2010, a prison fire south of Santiago, Chile, that apparently broke out after a fight between inmates killed at least 81 people and injured a dozen others.

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In 2020, Britain's National Health Service inoculated its first citizens against COVID-19 as it began its largest vaccine campaign in history.

In 2022, President Joe Biden announced that Russian authorities released WNBA star and Olympian Brittney Griner from prison after about 10 months of detainment. She had been sentenced to nine years in prison for smuggling cannabis oil.


A thought for the day: "A friend is someone who gives you total freedom to be yourself." -- American musician Jim Morrison

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