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This Day in History - December 25

December 25

6 – Christ is born, although the exact date is an ongoing argument for scholars

376 – Ambrose, the Bishop of Milan, forces emperor Theodosius to perform public penance for his massacre of 7,000 civilians, both innocent and guilty of the crime of killing a high-ranking officer, by kneeling outside the basilica and asking those that entered to attend to mass, to pray for him

800 – The Pope crowns Charlemagne emperor in Rome

1066 – William I is crowned King of England

1621 – The governor of New Plymouth prevents newcomers from playing cards

1642 – English mathematician and scientist Sir Isaac Newton is born

1651 – The General Court of Boston implements a five shilling fine for anyone caught “observing any such day as Christmas.”

1776 – Patriot General George Washington and 5,400 troops cross the Delaware River with the hopes of surprising a Hessian force celebrating Christmas at their winter quarters in Trenton, New Jersey

1841 – Founder of the Red Cross, Clara Barton, is born

1861 – Stonewall Jackson and his wife spend their last Christmas together

1862 – John Hunt Morgan and his raiders fight with Union forces near Bear Wallow, Kentucky

1862 – Lieutenant Elisha Hunt Rhodes, one of the most famous diarists of the Civil War, writes in his diary, “I should like to be home this Christmas night.”

1862 – President and Mrs. Lincoln visit the sick at hospitals in the Washington, D.C. area

1869 – A 16-year-old John Wesley Hardin kills James Bradley over a card game

1870 – Polish-born founder of the Spartacus League which will later become the German Communist Party, Rosa Luxemburg, is born

1880 – Layne Hall, the man who was the oldest licensed driver in the US before his death in 1990, is born

1907 – Jazz singer and bandleader Cab Calloway is born

1912 – Italian troops arrive in Albania to protect their interests during a revolt

1914 – German and British troops declare an unofficial truce to Celebrate Christmas during World War I

1918 – A revolt occurs in Berlin

1918 – Nobel Peace Prize-winning Egyptian president Anwar Sadat, is born

1919 – Founder of the Montreal Heart Institute, Paul David, is born

1924 – Screenwriter and producer Rod Sterling is born

1925 – General Manager of the National Hockey League of Canada and the USA, Sam Pollock, is born

1925 – US troops in Nicaragua disarm insurgents in support of the Diaz regime

1927 – The Mexican Congress reverses the 1917 ban enacted to preserve the domestic economy, by opening land to foreign investors

1936 – Youngest granddaughter of King George V and Queen Mary, Princess Alexandra, the Honorable Lady Ogilvy, is born

1939 – Grammy-winning jazz musician, arranger, and producer Bob James, is born

1939 – Finnish troops enter Soviet territory

1941 – The British in Hong Kong surrender to the Japanese

1941 – Free French troops occupy the French islands of St. Pierre and Miquelon off of the Canadian coast

1941 – On Bing Crosby’s weekly NBC radio program, The Kraft Music Hall, composer Irving Berlin’s “White Christmas” premieres.

1944 – Prime Minister Winston Churchill goes to Athens to seek an end to the Greek civil war

1945 – Singer, songwriter, musician Noel Redding is born

1945 – Pro football quarterback Ken Stabler is born

1946 – Singer, songwriter, producer, actor and guitarist Jimmy Buffett is born

1946 – Chiang Kai-shek offers a new Chinese constitution in Nanking, which allows universal suffrage

1948 – Country singer Barbara Mandrell is born

1948 – Third wife of King Hussein of Jordan, Alia Baha Ad-Din Touqan, Queen consort of Jordan is born

1949 – Academy Award-winning actress Sissy Spacek is born

1950 – White House Deputy Chief of Staff in the George W. Bush administration, Karl Rove, is born

1950 – Scottish nationalists steal the Stone of Scone from the British coronation throne in Westminster Abbey

1954 – Scottish singer, songwriter, and activist Annie Lennox is born

1954 – Country singer, songwriter, and musician Steve Wariner is born

1962 – After returning to the US, the Bay of Pigs captives vow to return to Cuba to overthrow Fidel Castro

1962 – To Kill a Mockingbird opens in theaters, based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Harper Lee

1965 – Entertainer Chris Noel gives her first performance for the USO at two hospitals in California

1966 – Assistant managing editor of the New York Times, Harrison Salisbury, reports from Hanoi on the damage to civilian areas in North Vietnam by the US bombing campaign

1973 – US astronauts at the Skylab space station take a seven-hour walk in space and photograph the comet Kohoutek

1976 – Over 100 Muslims are killed when their boat sinks on its way back from a pilgrimage to Mecca

1979 – Egypt begins the major restoration of the Sphinx

1991 – Mikhail Gorbachev resigns as the Soviet Union’s first and last executive president

1996 – Six-year-old beauty pageant participant JonBenet Ramsey is beaten and strangled to death in Boulder, Colorado, and possibly sexually assaulted as well.  Her parents, John and Patsy Ramsey will call authorities the following morning to report their daughter is missing, and her body will be found in the basement underneath a blanket, with her hands tied with cord and tape over her mouth.  Her parents, while never charged with her murder, fell under suspicion immediately as a ransom note was found demanding $118,000, the exact amount of John Ramsey’s bonus from his employer, on paper found in the Ramsey home, and was unusually wordy.  Unfortunately, the police failed to preserve evidence in the home

2000 – A fire during a Christmas party at an unlicensed disco kills over 300 people in Luoyang, China

2002 – University of New Mexico junior place-kicker Katie Hnida becomes the first woman to play in a Division I football game by attempting an extra point in a game against UCLA in the Las Vegas Bowl.  Her kick was blocked

2006 – Singer James Brown dies


Written by Crystal McCann

Crystal is the owner of Madison's Media, Madison's CPC and the Chief Administrative Officer for Lanterns. She lives in Texas with her husband and dogs and has two adult children. Writers seeking additional exposure: Ask how you can contribute!


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