December 23, 1939 marks the beginning of a war that would engulf the world. On this day, both Great Britain and France declare war on Nazi Germany. Eventually, the United States would join in the struggle, and the Second World War would be in full blaze. In addition to the beginning of World War II, December 23, 1970 is the day when the north tower of the World Trade Center, what was then the largest building in the world, was finally completed. In addition, it was on this day, in 1888, when the genius Vincent Van Gogh chopped his ear off. In 2003 United States government reported the first case of mad cow disease This would be a hysteria that sweeps the country for some time. To learn what else occurred on December 23rd, watch the This Day in History Video.