Pierre Laval, former prime minister of France shakes hands with Adolf Hitler, the dictator of Germany. On Dec. 18, 1942, Hitler met with Benito Mussolini, the dictator of Italy, and Laval. Wikipedia

Looking backward

The north

10 years ago

Dec. 18, 2011: Jefferson County Republicans decided at a caucus Monday evening to again elect Carolyn D. Fitzpatrick, R-Watertown, as the chairwoman of the Board of Legislators and Michael J. Docteur, R-Cape Vincent, as vice-chairman, county party Chairman Donald G.M. Coon III said. The 13 Republican board members, with two Democratic counterparts, will officially vote on Jan. 3.

25 years ago

Dec. 18, 1996: It won’t be under the city’s Christmas tree on Public Square, but firefighters will get a special present Monday when their long-awaited $237,967 pumper arrives. Purchase of the pumper was approved by the City Council in March and since then the vehicle and its accessories have been in various stages of manufacture in Albany and Louisiana. The new pumper will replace a LaFrance pumper built in the 1970s.

50 years ago

Dec. 18, 1971: Officials at the Jefferson County Jail have denied for the second time this week that a food strike by prisoners is in progress, this time in response to reports that an inmate has claimed the strike would continue until conditions in the jail are “sufficiently rectified.” The first report of a strike was reported to the Times Tuesday, but was subsequently denied by Sheriff Robert B. Chaufty, who said the so-called refusal to eat pertained solely to a macaroni-and-cheese meal served last week.

75 years ago

Dec. 18, 1946: Attention has been called by Pulaski officials to the village ordinance which prohibits coasting or sliding on any village streets or sidewalk. Children are warned that the usual punishment for infractions is the confiscation of the sliding equipment, and that other punishment can be meted out. They are also warned against hitching or holding bumpers of vehicles.

100 years ago

Dec. 18, 1921: Meeting Friday evening at the Warren J. Green store, 15 radio enthusiasts of Watertown formed the Jefferson County radio club. The club desires to include in its membership persons throughout Jefferson county who are interested in radio telephony and who own sets. At the next meeting it is hoped to give a demonstration of the various types of radio receiving apparatus.

125 years ago

Dec. 18, 1896: At the Carthage Presbyterian Sunday school there will be no Christmas tree for the children this year, as the money usually used for that purpose will be sent to the Armenians.

150 years ago

Dec. 18, 1871: The City Attorney, in his annual report, says he has commenced and defended forty seven civil suits within the year. Whatever may be said of the activity of trade and business generally, it may be certainly affirmed that litigation has been very active. If it belonged to the class of productive industry, a very healthy state of things might be predicated upon it.

The world

1865: Slavery is abolished in the United States. The 13th Amendment is formally adopted into the U.S. Constitution, ensuring that “neither slavery nor involuntary servitude ... shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.”

1916: The Battle of Verdun ends with the French and Germans each having suffered more than 330,000 killed and wounded in 10 months. It was the longest engagement of World War I.

1925: Soviet leaders Lev Kamenev and Grigori Zinoviev break with Joseph Stalin.

1940: Adolf Hitler issues his secret plans for the invasion of the Soviet Union — Operation Barbarossa.

1941: Japan invades Hong Kong.

1942: Adolf Hitler meets with Benito Mussolini and Pierre Laval.

1944: Japanese forces are repelled from northern Burma by British troops.

1951: North Koreans give the United Nations a list of 3,100 POWs.

1956: Japan is admitted to the United Nations.

1970: An atomic leak in Nevada forces hundreds of citizens to flee the test site.

1972: President Richard M. Nixon declares that the bombing of North Vietnam will continue until an accord can be reached (Operation Linebacker II).

2002: California Gov. Gray Davis announces the state faces a record budget deficit; the looming $35 billion shortfall is almost double the amount reported a month earlier during the state’s gubernatorial campaign.

2005: Civil war begins in Chad with a rebel assault on Adre; the rebels are believed to be backed by Chad’s neighbor, Sudan.

2008: United Arab Emirates holds it first-ever elections.

2010: In an opening act of Arab Spring, anti-government protests erupt in Tunisia.

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