Lanterns: This Day in History - December 24


This Day in History - December 24

December 24

1166 – King John of England is born

1524 – Portuguese navigator, Vasco da Gama dies

1565 – The Compromise of the Nobles, a petition to obtain moderation of the placards against heresy in the Netherlands, closes against inquisition

1638 – The Ottomans under Murad IV recapture Baghdad from Safavid Persia

1745 – American medical pioneer and signer of the Declaration of Independence, Benjamin Rush is born

1809 – Mountain man and scout of the West, Christopher Kit Carson is born

1812 – American lawyer and poet Joel Barlow dies from exposure near Vilna, Poland while on a diplomatic mission to Napoleon for President Madison

1814 – A peace treaty known as the Treaty of Ghent, is signed between the US and Great Britain ending the War of 1812, although it will take two weeks before the news reaches the US

1818 – Franz Joseph Gruber composes “Silent Night”

1826 – The Grog Mutiny or “Eggnog Riots” begin at the US Military Academy in West Point, New York, after cadets consumed too much eggnog with smuggled whiskey

1851 – A fire at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. destroys nearly two-thirds of its 55,000 volumes, including most of Thomas Jefferson’s personal library

1861 – The USS Gem of the Sea destroys the British blockade runner Prince of Wales off the coast at Georgetown, SC

1862 – The USS New Era arrives a day early, bringing artillery for the Federal troops to Columbus, Kentucky

1864 – Admiral David Dixon Porter and his Union fleet begin bombardment of Fort Fisher, North Carolina, although their mission of destroying the fort is unsuccessful

1865 – The Ku Klux Klan is founded in Pulaski, Tennessee by a group of Confederate veterans, and went on to engage in terrorist raids against blacks to reverse the federal government’s progressive Reconstruction Era activities in the South, and against white Republicans in order to influence upcoming elections, resulting in martial law and thousands of arrests for charges ranging from destroying property to murder

1868 – German chess player, Emanuel Lasker is born

1871 – At the opening of the Suez Canal, Giuseppe Verdi’s opera Aida premieres in Cairo, Egypt

1889 – Daniel Stover and William Hance patent a bicycle with back pedal brake

1905 – American industrialist, aviator, film producer and director Howard Hughes is born

1914 – Over 577,000 Allied soldiers are to spend Christmas as prisoners in Germany

1914 – Scottish American environmentalist and author John Muir dies

1917 – The Kaiser of Germany warns Russia that he will use an “iron fist” and “shining sword” if peace is rejected

1918 – Major John Douglas writes home telling his family of challenges still faced by soldiers in his regiment stationed in France, over a month after World War I had officially ended

1922 – Actress Ava Gardner is born

1923 – US Army Major General George S. Patton IV, son of General George Patton of World War II, is born

1923 – President Calvin Coolidge lights up the first national Christmas tree on the White House grounds

1929 – Author Mary Higgins is born

1936 – First radioactive isotope medicine is administered in Berkeley, California

1942 – French admiral and Vichy government collaborator Jean Francois Darlan is assassinated by a pro-Free assassin in Algeria

1943 – General Dwight Eisenhower is appointed the Allied Supreme Commander, while nearly everyone believed the job would go to American Chief of Staff George C. Marshall

1947 – An estimated 20,000 communists led by guerilla General Markos Vafthiades proclaim the Free Greek Government in northern Greece and issue a call to arms to establish the regime

1951 – Libya gains independence from Italy

1952 – The McCarren-Walter Act goes into effect, revising American immigration law to prevent Communist infiltration into the US, although critics claimed the law was xenophobic

1953 – A volcanic eruption at Mount Ruapehu in New Zealand releases a lake and glacier that sat atop, causing a flood that sweeps away a train carrying 285 passengers on their way to see Great Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II, who was making an appearance in New Zealand. 151 died, and many of the bodies went unrecovered

1955 – Mountain climber and guide, first American to reach the summit of the world’s fourth-highest mountain, Lhotse, Scott Fischer is born

1955 – The North American Aerospace Defense Command aka NORAD, tracks Santa Claus for the first time, resulting from a printing error in a Sears catalog, asking children to call Santa but giving the incorrect number for the Colorado Springs’ Continental Air Defense Command Center

1956 – Blacks defy a law in Tallahassee, Florida and occupy front bus seats

1957 – Afghan politician and 12th President of Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai is born

1963 – New York’s Idlewild Airport is renamed JFK in honor of the assassinated President Kennedy

1964 – The US headquarters in Saigon is bombed, killing two officers

1964 – Two Viet Cong agents disguise themselves as South Vietnamese soldiers and leave a car bomb at the Brinks Hotel in Saigon. The resulting blast killed two Americans and injured 65 Americans and Vietnamese

1965 – American minister, William M. Branham dies

1966 – A Soviet research vehicle lands on the moon

1967 – The Greek Junta frees ex-Premier Papandreou

1968 – The crew of Apollo 8 orbits the moon, witnessing the first pictures of the Earth as it rises over the moon

1969 – Center fielder Curt Flood of the St. Louis Cardinals writes a letter to Bowie Kuhn, the commissioner of major league baseball, protesting the Cardinals’ decision to trade him to the Philadelphia Phillies and asking to be made a free agent. When Kuhn denied his request, Flood took his case to the Supreme Court in Flood v. Kuhn. Again he was ruled against, but his challenge paved the way for the modern free agency that exists today

1970 – Friendly fire in Vietnam claims the lives of nine GIs and wounds nine others

1971 – Actor and pop musician Ricky Martin is born

1972 – Hanoi bans all peace talks with the US until US air raids over North Vietnam cease

1972 – Comedian Bob Hope performs his last Christmas show to US soldiers in Saigon

1973 – Author Stephenie Meyer is born

1974 – Radio personality and TV host, Ryan Seacrest is born

1974 – An oil tanker spill pollutes 1,600 square miles of Japan’s Inland Sea

1974 – Cyclone Tracy demolishes Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia, destroying more than 70 percent of the city’s buildings and 80 percent of its homes

1977 – Colombian author, Samael Aun Weor dies

1979 – The Soviet Union invades Afghanistan

1992 – President George Bush pardons former defense secretary Caspar Weinberger and five others who had been involved in the Iran-Contra scandal

1994 – Four Islamic terrorists hijack Air France Flight 8969 in Algiers. They murder three hostages before French commandos killed the terrorists and freed the remaining hostages. A cache of dynamite was discovered aboard the plane and the hostages claimed the terrorists spoke of flying the plane to Paris to blow it up

1997 – Academy Award-winning writer and director Woody Allen, 62, marries 27-year-old Soon-Yi Previn, the adopted daughter of his former girlfriend, Mia Farrow, sparking a scandal

2005 – Chad declares a state of war against Sudan in the wake of the December 18th attack on the town of Adre, where close to 100 people were killed

2008 – Nobel Prize-winning English playwright, screenwriter, director, and actor, Harold Pinter dies

Written by Crystal McCann

Crystal is the Chief Operating Officer of Lanterns Media Network and the owner of Madisons Media. She lives in Texas with her husband and dogs and is the proud mother of two adult children.

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