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On December 23rd...
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1620 French Huguenots declared war on King Louis XIII.
1672 Giovanni Cassini discovered Rhea, one of the moons of Saturn.
1688 King James II of England fled to France from William of Orange.
1732 Inventor Richard Arkwright was born.
1776 The Continental Congress negotiated a war loan of $181,500 from France.
1777 Tsar Alexander I of Russia was born.
1779 Benedict Arnold was court-martialed for improper conduct.
1788 Maryland voted to cede a 10-square-mile area for the District of Columbia.
1795 British General Sir Henry Clinton died.
1805 Joseph Smith, founder of the Mormon Church, was born.
1823 "Visit from St. Nicholas," by C. Moore, was published in the Troy (NY) Sentinel.
1834 Joseph Hansom received a patent for his cab.
1856 Businessman James Buchanan Duke was born.
1861 The principalities of Moldavia and Walachia were united into a single nation called Romania.
1872 Painter George Catlin died.
1888 Painter Vincent Van Gogh cut off his left ear.
1893 The opera "Hansel und Gretel" was produced.
1907 The first all-steel passengar railroad coach was completed in Altoona, Pennsylvania.
1912 The first "Keystone
Kops" film, Hoffmeyer's Legacy, was
1913 The Federal Reserve System was created by an act of Congress.
1918 German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt was born.
1919 The first
hospital ship was launched.
1920 The Government of Ireland Act, partitioning Ireland, was passed.
1922 BBC Radio began daily broadcasts.
1925 Actor Harry Guardino was born.
1928 NBC set up a permanent coast-to-coast radio network.
1933 Emperor Akihito of Japan was born.
1939 Airplane builder Anthony Fokker died.
1941 American forces on Wake Island surrendered to the Japanese.
1943 Voice actor Harry Shearer was born.
1944 U.S. Army General
Wesley Clark was born.
1946 The Belgian Council of State was
1947 The transistor was invented by Bardeen, Brattain and Shockley in Bell Labs.
1948 Hideki Tojo, Prime Minister of Japan during World War II, died.
1951 The Los
Angeles Rams beat the Cleveland Browns 24-17 in the NFL
championship game, the first ever NFL game to be
1954 The first human kidney transplant was performed by Dr. Joseph E. Murray at Peter Bent Brigham Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts.
1957 U.S. Secretary of State John Foster Dulles and President Dwight Eisenhower addressed the nation on television and radio.
1961 One coach of a 2-car train broke loose as the train came to a bridge and fell into the Fiumarella River near Catanzara, Italy, killing 70 persons.
1963 The Greek liner Lakonia caught fire in the Atlantic, killing 135 persons.
1964 A cyclone and
tidal wave swept Dhanushkodi Islet in the Gulf of Mannar
and northeastern Ceylon, killing more than 2,000 persons.
1968 82 members of the U.S.
intelligence ship Pueblo were released by North
1972 Fitness guru Charles Atlas died.
1975 The U.S. Congress passed the Metric Conversion Act.
1982 Actor Jack Webb died.
1986 The experimental airplane Voyager completed the first ever nonstop round-the-world flight without refueling.
1987 Lynette Fromme, serving a life sentence for the attempted assassination of President Gerald R Ford, escaped from Alderson Prison.
1990 Slovenians voted to secede from Yugoslavia.
1996 Four women were ordained as Anglican priests in Jamaica.
1997 Terry Nichols was found guilty of manslaughter in the bombing of the federal building in Oklahoma City.
2000 Actor Billy Barty died.
2003 At least 234 persons died in an explosion at the PetroChina Chuandongbei natural gas field at Guoqiao, Kai, Chongqing, China.
2005 Azerbaijan Airlines Flight 217
from Baku, Azerbaijan, to Aktau, Kazakhstan, crashed
shortly after taking off, killing 23 persons.
2012 Syrian warlanes killed 200 civilians in Helfaya, Syria.
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This page was last updated on December 22, 2017.