December 25th Merry Christmas in History

December 25 is the 359th day of the year (360th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are six days remaining until the end of the year.


In  274,  A temple for Sol Invictus is dedicated in Rome by Emperor Aurelian.

In 333,  Roman Emperor Constantine the Great elevates his youngest son Constans to the rank of Caesar.

In 336,  First documentary sign of Christmas celebration in ancient Rome

In 350,  Vetranio meets Constantius II at Naissus (Serbia) and is forced to abdicate his title (Caesar). Constantius allows him to live as a private citizen on a state pension.

In 496,  Clovis I, king of the Franks, is baptized into the Catholic faith at Reims, by Saint Remigius.

In 597,  Augustine of Canterbury and his fellow-labourers baptises in Kent more than 10,000 Anglo-Saxons.

In 800,  Coronation of Charlemagne as Holy Roman Emperor, in Rome.

In 1000, The foundation of the Kingdom of Hungary: Hungary is established as a Christian kingdom by Stephen I of Hungary.

In 1025,  Coronation of Mieszko II Lambert as King pf Poland

In 1066,  William the Conqueror, Duke of Normandy is crowned king of England, at Westminster Abbey, London.

In 1076,  Coronation of Bolesław II the Generous as king of Poland.

In 1100,  Baldwin of Boulogne is crowned the first King of Jerusalem in the Church of the Nativity.

In 1130,  Count Roger II of Sicily is crowned the first King of Sicily.

In 1261,  John IV Laskaris of the restored Eastern Roman Empire is deposed and blinded by orders of his co-ruler Michael VIII Palaiologos.

In 1492,  The carrack Santa María, commanded by Christopher Columbus, runs onto a reef off Haiti due to an improper watch.

In 1553,  Battle of Tucapel: Mapuche rebels under Lautaro defeat the Spanish conquistadors and executes the governor of Chile, Pedro de Valdivia.

In 1559,  Pope Pius IV is elected.

In 1643,  Christmas Island found and named by Captain William Mynors of the East India Company vessel, the Royal Mary.

In 1758,  Halley’s Comet is sighted by Johann Georg Palitzsch, confirming Edmund Halley‘s prediction of its passage. This was the first passage of a comet predicted ahead of time.

In 1776,  George Washington and the Continental Army cross the Delaware River at night to attack Hessian forces serving Great Britain at Trenton, New Jersey, the next day.

In 1809,  Dr. Ephraim McDowell performs the first ovariotomy, removing a 22 pound tumor.

In 1814,  Rev. Samuel Marsden holds the first Christian service on land in New Zealand at Rangihoua Bay.

In 1815,  The Handel and Haydn Society, oldest continuously performing arts organization in the United States, gives its first performance.

In 1826,  The Eggnog Riot at the United States Military Academy concludes after beginning the previous evening.

In 1837,  Second Seminole War: American general Zachary Taylor leads 1100 troops against the Seminoles at the Battle of Lake Okeechobee.

In 1868,  U.S. President Andrew Johnson grants unconditional pardon to all Civil War Confederate soldiers.

In 1868, Linus Yale, Jr. (4 April 1821 – 25 December 1868) died. He was an American mechanical engineer and manufacturer, best known for his inventions of locks, especially the cylinder lock. His basic lock design is still widely distributed in today’s society, and constitute a majority of personal locks and safes. Linus Yale, Jr. was born in Salisbury, NY. Yale’s father, Linus Yale, Sr. opened a lock shop in the 1840s in Newport, NY, specializing in bank locks. Yale soon joined his father in his business and introduced some revolutionary locks that utilized permutations and cylinders. He later founded a company with Henry Robinson Towne called the Yale Lock Manufacturing Company in the South End section of Stamford, CT. Throughout his career in lock manufacturing, Yale acquired numerous patents for his inventions and received widespread acclaim from clients regarding his products.

Quaidportrait.jpgMuhammad Ali Jinnah (Born 25 December 1876  – 11 September 1948) is honoured as the founder of Pakistan, where his birthday is observed as a national holiday. He served as leader of the All-India Muslim League from 1913 until Pakistan’s independence from Great Britain in 1947, and then as the first Governor-General of Pakistan until his death. Jinnah rose to prominence in the Indian National Congress in the first two decades of the 20th century. In these early years of his political career, he advocated HinduMuslim unity, helping to shape the 1916 Lucknow Pact between the Congress and the All-India Muslim League. By 1940, he had come to believe that Muslims of the Indian subcontinent should have their own state. As the first leader of Pakistan, he worked to establish the nation’s government and policies, and to aid the millions of Muslim migrants who had emigrated from the new nation of India to Pakistan after independence, personally supervising the establishment of refugee camps. Several universities and public buildings in Pakistan bear Jinnah’s name.

In 1926,  Emperor Taishō of Japan dies. His son, Prince Hirohito, succeeds him as Emperor Shōwa.

In 1927,  The Vietnamese Nationalist Party is founded.

In 1932,  A magnitude 7.6 earthquake in Gansu, China kills 275 people.

In 1941,  Admiral Chester W. Nimitz arrives at Pearl Harbor to assume command of the U.S. Pacific Fleet

In 1941, World War II: Battle of Hong Kong ends, beginning the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong.

In 1941,  Admiral Émile Muselier seizes the archipelago of Saint Pierre and Miquelon, which become the first part of France to be liberated by the Free French Forces.

In 1946,  The first in Europe artificial, self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction is initiated within Soviet nuclear reactor F-1.

In 1947,  The Constitution of the Republic of China goes into effect.

In 1950,  The Stone of Scone, traditional coronation stone of British monarchs, is taken from Westminster Abbey by Scottish nationalist students. It later turns up in Scotland on April 11, 1951.

In 1963,  Turkish Cypriot Bayrak Radio begins transmitting in Cyprus after Turkish Cypriots are forcibly excluded from Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation.

In 1965,  The Yemeni Nasserist Unionist People’s Organisation is founded in Ta’izz

In 1968,  Apollo program: Apollo 8 performs the very first successful Trans-Earth injection (TEI) maneuver, sending the crew and spacecraft on a trajectory back to Earth from Lunar orbit.

In 1968,  42 Dalits are burned alive in Kilavenmani village, Tamil Nadu, India, a retaliation for a campaign for higher wages by Dalit laborers.

In 1974,  Cyclone Tracy devastates Darwin, Northern Territory Australia.

In 1974,  Marshall Fields drives a vehicle through the gates of the White House, resulting in a four-hour standoff.

In 1977,  Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin meets in Egypt with its president Anwar Sadat.

Kid Auto Races at Venice screenshot

Kid Auto Races at Venice screenshot

In 1977, Sir Charles SpencerCharlieChaplin, KBE (16 April 1889 – 25 December 1977) died. He was a British comic actor, filmmaker, and composer who rose to fame in the silent era. Chaplin became a worldwide icon through his screen persona “the Tramp” and is considered one of the most important figures of the film industry.  His career spanned more than 75 years, from childhood in the Victorian era until a year before his death at age 88, and encompassed both adulation and controversy.

In 1989,  Nicolae Ceaușescu, former communist President of Romania and his wife, First-Deputy Prime-Minister Elena are condemned to death and executed after a summary trial.

In 1991, Mikhail Gorbachev resigns as General Secretary of the Soviet Union (the union itself is dissolved the next day). Ukraine‘s referendum is finalized and Ukraine officially leaves the Soviet Union.

Dean Martin - publicity.JPGIn 1995,  Dean Martin, (born Dino Paul Crocetti; June 7, 1917 – December 25, 1995) was an American singer, film actor, television star and comedian. One of the most popular and enduring American entertainers of the mid-20th century, Martin was nicknamed the “King of Cool”for his seemingly-effortless charisma and self-assuredness. He was a member of the “Rat Pack” and a star in concert stage/nightclubs, recordings, motion pictures, and television. He was the host of the television variety program The Dean Martin Show (1965–1974), and subsequently The Dean Martin Celebrity Roast (1974–1985). Martin’s relaxed, warbling crooning voice earned him dozens of hit singles including his signature songs “Memories Are Made of This“, “That’s Amore“, “Everybody Loves Somebody“, “You’re Nobody till Somebody Loves You“, “Sway“, “Volare” and “Ain’t That a Kick in the Head?“.

In 2000,  Russian President Vladimir Putin signs a bill into law that officially establishes a new National Anthem of Russia, with music adopted from the anthem of the Soviet Union that was composed by Alexander Vasilyevich Alexandrov.

In 2003,  The ill-fated Beagle 2 probe, released from the Mars Express Spacecraft on December 19, disappears shortly before its scheduled landing.

In 2004,  Cassini orbiter releases Huygens probe which successfully landed on Saturn‘s moon Titan on January 14, 2005.

In 2009,  Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab unsuccessfully attempts a terrorist attack against the US while on board a flight to Detroit Metro Airport Northwest Airlines Flight 253

In 2012,  An Antonov An-72 plane crashes close to the city of Shymkent, killing 27 people.

In 2015, The JAXA probe Akatsuki successfully enters orbit around Venus five years after the first attempt.

George Clayton Johnson and Gladys Cooper on the set of “Nothing in the Dark”

In 2015,  George Clayton Johnson, American author and screenwriter (b. 1929) dies of bladder and prostate cancer at a Veterans Administration Medical Center hospital in North Hills, California. Johnson was survived by his son Paul, his daughter Judy, and his wife Lola of 63 years. He was an American science fiction writer, best known for co-writing with William F. Nolan the novel Logan’s Run, the basis for the MGM 1976 film. He was also known for his television scripts for The Twilight Zone (including “Nothing in the Dark“, “Kick the Can“, “A Game of Pool“, and “A Penny for Your Thoughts“), and the first telecast episode of Star Trek, entitled “The Man Trap“. He also wrote the story on which the 1960 and 2001 films Ocean’s Eleven were based. Johnson was born in a barn in Cheyenne, Wyoming, was forced to repeat the sixth grade, and dropped out of school entirely in the eighth. He briefly served as a telegraph operator and draftsman in the United States Army, then enrolled at the Alabama Polytechnic Institute (now Auburn University) under the G.I. Bill, but quit to return to his travels around the U.S., working as a draftsman, before becoming a writer.

In 2016,  A Russian Defence Ministry Tupolev Tu-154 carrying members of the Alexandrov Ensemble crashes into the Black Sea shortly after takeoff, killing all 92 people onboard.

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