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On December 24th...
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1167 King John of England was born.
1294 Cardinal Benedetto Gaetani was elected Pope; he took the name Boniface VIII.
1524 Vasco da Gama, leader of the first sea voyage around the southern tip of Africa, died.
1715 Swedish troops occupied Norway.
1745 U.S. Supreme Court Justice William Paterson was born.
1777 Kiritimati was discovered by Captain James Cook.
1798 Russia, Great Britain, Austria, the Kingdom of Naples, Portugal, and the Ottoman Empire joined in an alliance against Napoleon Bonaparte.
1809 Christopher "Kit" Carson, fur trapper, scout, soldier, and Indian fighter, was born.
1810 John Neely Bryan, founder of Dallas, Texas, was born.
1812 Author Joel Barlow died.
1814 Representatives of the United States and Great Britain signed the Treaty of Ghent, ending the War of 1812.
1822 Critic Matthew Arnold was born.
1824 Pushmataha, Choctaw chief, died.
1832 The first hospital for blacks in the United States was founded by whites in Savannah, Georgia.
1845 King George I of Greece was born.
1851 The U.S. Library of Congress was devastated by a fire.
1865 The Ku Klux Klan was formed in Pulaski, Tennessee.
1868 Inventor Linus Yale, Jr., died.
1869 Edwin McMasters Stanton, lawyer, Attorney General, and Secretary of War, died.
1873 Businessman/philanthropist Johns Hopkins died.
1876 Businessman Charles Tufts died.
1889 Daniel Stover and William Hance patented a bicycle with a back pedal brake.
1901 Private companies were given permission to use the word "postcard" in the United States.
1905 Billionaire Howard Hughes was born.
1912 Irving Fisher patented an archiving system with index cards.
1914 Naturalist John Muir died.
1922 The London
(England) Coloseum opened.
1924 Albania became a republic.
1929 Author Mary Higgins Clark was born.
1933 A Paris, France, express train derailed, killing 160 persons and injuring another 300.
1935 The National Council of Negro Women was formed.
1936 The first radioactive isotope medicine was administered in Berkeley, California.
1943 U.S. General Dwight D. Eisenhower was appointed Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces.
1946 The French Fourth
Republic was established.
1948 The first completely solar heated house was occupied, in Dover, Massachusetts.
1951 The United Kingdom of Libya gained independence from Italy.
1954 The Council for the
Protection of Children was formed in the Netherlands.
1957 Hamid Karzai,
President of Afghanistan, was born.
1966 The Soviet
spacecraft Luna 13 landed on the Moon.
1970 The animated film Aristocats was released.
1971 Singer Ricky Martin was born.
1973 The District of
Columbia Home Rule Act was passed, allowing residents of
Washington, D.C. to elect their own local government.
1974 American Idol host Ryan Seacrest was born.
1979 The first Ariane rocket was launched by France.
1984 Actor Peter Lawford died.
1991 Russia assumed the United Nations seat formally occupied by the Soviet Union.
1993 Norman Vincent Peale, author of The Power of Positive Thinking, died.
2016 Novelist Richard Adams died.
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This page was last updated on January 17, 2018.