10 years ago

From the Journal Tribune: “Mothers to be can now enjoy the comforts of home during delivery thanks to Southern Maine Medical Center’s new Birthing Suite. The suite opened to the public Thursday night to much fanfare with refreshments, tours of the rooms and a ribbon cutting.”

50 years ago

From the Biddeford-Saco Journal: “Some 1,100 employees are back to work or will be Monday at the firms affected by the blaze in Building 6 of the old Saco-Lowell Shops, Smith Street, Biddeford, last night. Smoke damage hit several companies and as soon as wiring is replaced to the hearing systems most production will resume, officials said.”

100 years ago

From the Biddeford Daily Journal: “Unity lodge, Knights of Pythias, of Saco, which has one of the best drilled degree staffs in the state of Maine in the order, has been invited to send its degree team to the western Maine Pythian jubilee, which is to be held in Portland city hall, the evening of February 22 next, to work the rank of page.” — Angelo J. Verzoni and Krysteana Scribner

Today in History

Today is Friday, Dec. 11, the 345th day of 2015. There are 20 days left in the year.

On this date: In 1792, France’s King Louis XVI went before the Convention to face charges of treason. (Louis was convicted, and executed the following month.) In 1816, Indiana became the 19th state. In 1928, police in Buenos Aires announced they had thwarted an attempt on the life of President-elect Herbert Hoover. In 1936, Britain’s King Edward VIII abdicated the throne so he could marry American divorcee Wallis Warfield Simpson; his brother, Prince Albert, became King George VI. In 1941, Germany and Italy declared war on the United States; the U.S. responded in kind. In 1946, the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund, or UNICEF, was established. In 1964, Che Guevara addressed the United Nations; in his speech, the Argentine revolutionary declared that “the final hour of colonialism has struck.” Singer-songwriter Sam Cooke was shot to death by a motel manager in Los Angeles; he was 33. In 1972, Apollo 17’s lunar module landed on the moon with astronauts Eugene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt aboard; during three extravehicular activities, they became the last two men to date to step onto the lunar surface.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Dec. 11, 1844, the first experimental use of an inhaled anesthetic in dentistry took place as Dr. Horace Wells of Hartford, Connecticut, under the influence of nitrous oxide, had a colleague extract one of his teeth.

Ten years ago Thousands of drunken white youths, angered by reports that youths of Lebanese descent had assaulted two lifeguards, attacked police and people they believed were Arab immigrants at a beach in Sydney, Australia; young men of Arab descent retaliated in several Sydney suburbs, fighting with police and smashing cars.

Five years ago The eldest son of disgraced financier Bernard Madoff, 46-year-old Mark Madoff, hanged himself in his Manhattan apartment on the second anniversary of his father’s arrest. A U.N. conference in Cancun, Mexico, adopted a modest climate deal.

One year ago CIA Director John Brennan, responding to a U.S. Senate torture report, acknowledged that “abhorrent tactics” were used on terror detainees but said it was “unknown and unknowable” whether the harsh treatment yielded crucial intelligence that could have been gained in any other way. — By The Associated Press