On This Day in History December 25

December 25 – Events:

  • 1 – First Christmas, according to calendar maker Dionysus Exigus.
  • 274 – Roman Emperor Aurelian dedicates a temple to Sol Invictus on the supposed day of the winter solstice and day of rebirth of the Sun.
  • 336 – First recorded celebration of Christmas occurs on December 25 in Rome.
  • 597 – England adopts the Julian calendar.
  • 800 – Coronation of Charlemagne as Holy Roman Emperor, in Rome.
  • 1000 – The foundation of the Kingdom of Hungary: Hungary is established as a Christian kingdom by Stephen I of Hungary.
  • 1066 – Coronation of William the Conqueror as king of England, at Westminster Abbey, London.
  • 1100 – Baldwin of Boulogne is crowned as the first King of Jerusalem in the Church of the Nativity.
  • 1130 – Roger II of Sicily is crowned as the first King of Sicily.
  • 1223 – St. Francis of Assisi assembles the first Nativity scene.
  • 1261 – John IV Lascaris of the restored Eastern Roman Empire is deposed and blinded by orders of his co-ruler Michael VIII Palaeologus.
  • 1599 – The city of Natal, Brazil is founded.
  • 1643 – Christmas Island founded and named by Captain William Mynors of the East India Ship Company vessel, the Royal Mary.
  • 1758 – Haley’s comet first sighted by Johann Georg Palitzsch during return.
  • 1776 – George Washington and his army cross the Delaware River to attack the Kingdom of Great Britain’s Hessian mercenaries in Trenton, New Jersey.
  • 1818 – The first performance of “Silent Night” takes place in the Church of St. Nikolaus in Oberndorf, Austria.
  • 1837 – Battle of Lake Okeechobee: United States forces defeat Seminole Native Americans.
  • 1848 – New Haven Railroad opens.
  • 1868 – U.S. President Andrew Johnson grants unconditional pardon to all Civil War Confederate soldiers.
  • 1914 – World War I: Known as the Christmas truce, German and British troops on the Western Front temporarily cease fire.
  • 1926 – Emperor Taisho of Japan dies. His son, Prince Hirohito succeeds him as Emperor Showa.
  • 1932 – A magnitude 7.6 earthquake in Gansu, China kills ~70,000 people.
  • 1939 – Montgomery Ward introduces Rudolph the 9th reindeer.
  • 1941 – Admiral Chester W Nimitz arrives at Pearl Harbor to assume command of the U.S. Pacific Fleet.
  • 1941 – World War II: Battle of Hong Kong ends, beginning the Japanese Occupation of Hong Kong.
  • 1947 – The Constitution of the Republic of China goes into effect.
  • 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.
  • 1950 – Cleveland Browns beat LA Rams 30-28 in NFL championship game.
  • 1963 – Turkish Cypriot Bayrak Radio begins transmitting in Cyprus after Turkish Cypriots were forcibly excluded from Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation.
  • 1965 – The Yemeni Nasserite Unionist People’s Organisation is founded in Taiz.
  • 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. 
  • 1968 – 42 Dalits are burned alive in Kilavenmani village, Tamil Nadu, India, a retaliation for a campaign for higher wages by Dalit labourers.
  • 1973 – The ARPANET crashes when a programming bug causes all ARPANET traffic to be routed through the server at Harvard University, causing the server to freeze. 
  • 1974 – Cyclone Tracy devastates Darwin, Northern Territory Australia.
  • 1974 – Marshall Fields drives a vehicle through the gates of the White House, resulting in a four-hour standoff. 
  • 1977 – Prime Minister of Israel Menachem Begin meets in Egypt with President of Egypt Anwar Sadat. 
  • 1979 – The Soviet Union airlifts forces into Afghanistan to begin its costly occupation.
  • 1989 – Nicolae Ceausescu, former communist dictator of Romania, and his wife Elena are condemned to death and executed under a wide range of charges.
  • 1990 – The first successful trial run of the system which would become the World Wide Web.
  • 1991 – Mikhail Gorbachev resigns as president of the Soviet Union (the union itself is dissolved the next day). Ukraine’s referendum is finalized and Ukraine officially leaves the Soviet Union.
  • 2000 – Four-story Dongdu Commercial Plaza building fire, at Luoyang, Henan, China, 309 killed.
  • 2003 – The ill-fated Beagle 2 probe which was released from the Mars Express Spacecraft on December 19, disappears shortly before its scheduled landing.
  • 2004 – Cassini orbiter releases Huygens probe which successfully landed on Saturn’s moon Titan on January 14, 2005.

December 25 – Birthdays:

Recognized day as the birth of Jesus Christ.

 

  • 1250 – John IV Laskaris, Byzantine Emperor (d. circa 1305)
  • 1461 – Christina of Saxony, queen of Denmark and Norway (d. 1521)
  • 1583 – Orlando Gibbons, English composer (d. 1625)
  • 1587 – Margarita of Austria, queen of Philip III of Spain (d. 1611)
  • 1628 – Noël Coypel, French painter (d. 1707)
  • 1642 (O.S.) – Sir Isaac Newton, English physicist and mathematician (d. 1727)
  • 1652 – Archibald Pitcairne, Scottish physician (d. 1713)
  • 1665 – Lady Grizel Baillie, Scottish songwriter (d. 1746)
  • 1667 – Ehrengard von der Schulenburg, English royal mistress (d. 1743)
  • 1674 – Thomas Halyburton, Scottish theologian (d. 1712)
  • 1700 – Leopold II of Anhalt-Dessau, Prussian general (d. 1758)
  • 1711 – Jean Joseph de Mondonville, French composer (d. 1772)
  • 1716 – Johann Jakob Reiske, German scholar and physician (d. 1774)
  • 1730 – Philip Mazzei, Italian physician and friend of Thomas Jefferson (d. 1816)
  • 1742 – Charlotte von Stein, German friend of Goethe (d. 1827)
  • 1757 – Benjamin Pierce, U.S. politician (d 1839)
  • 1763 – Claude Chappe, French telecommunications pioneer (d. 1805)
  • 1771 – Dorothy Wordsworth, English diarist and sister of William Wordsworth (d. 1855)
  • 1810 – Alexandros Rhizos Rhankaves, Greek poet and statesman (d. 1892)
  • 1821 – Clara Barton, founder of the American Red Cross (d. 1912)
  • 1856 – Hans von Bartels, German painter (d. 1913)
  • 1856 – Pud Galvin, American professional baseball pitcher (d. 1902)
  • 1861 – Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya, Indian founder of Banaras Hindu University (d. 1946)
  • 1863 – Charles Pathé, French pioneer of film and record industries (d. 1957)
  • 1865 – Evangeline Booth, the 4th General of The Salvation Army (d. 1950)
  • 1870 – Helena Rubinstein, Polish-born American cosmetics industrialist (d. 1965)
  • 1874 – Lina Cavalieri, Italian soprano (d. 1944)
  • 1875 – Theodor Cardinal Innitzer, Austrian archbishop (d. 1955)
  • 1876 – Muhammad Ali Jinnah, founder of Pakistan (d. 1948)
  • 1876 – Adolf Otto Reinhold Windaus, Nobel laureate (d. 1959)
  • 1878 – Louis Chevrolet, Swiss-born race car driver (d. 1941)
  • 1884 – Evelyn Nesbit, American actress (d. 1967)
  • 1886 – Kid Ory, American musician (d. 1973)
  • 1887 – Conrad Hilton, American hotelier (d. 1979)
  • 1889 – Lila Bell Wallace, American magazine publisher (Reader’s Digest) (d. 1984)
  • 1890 – Robert Ripley, collector of odd facts (d. 1949)
  • 1891 – Clarrie Grimmett, Australian cricketer (d.1980)
  • 1899 – Humphrey Bogart, American actor (d. 1957)
  • 1901 – Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester (d. 2004)
  • 1902 – Barton MacLane, American actor (d. 1969)
  • 1904 – Gerhard Herzberg, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1999)
  • 1906 – Lew Grade, Ukrainian-born film producer (d. 1998)
  • 1906 – Ernst Ruska, Nobel laureate (d. 1988)
  • 1907 – Cab Calloway, American bandleader (d. 1994)
  • 1907 – Glenn McCarthy, American oil tycoon and businessman (d. 1988)
  • 1907 – Mike Mazurki, Ukrainian-born actor (d. 1990)
  • 1908 – Quentin Crisp, English author (d. 1999)
  • 1908 – Jo-Jo Moore, baseball player (d. 2001)
  • 1908 – Zora Arkus-Duntov, Belgian-American automotive engineer (d. 1996)
  • 1911 – Louise Bourgeois, sculptor
  • 1912 – Tony Martin, American singer and actor
  • 1912 – Natalino Otto, Italian singer (d. 1969)
  • 1913 – Henri Nannen, German journalist (d. 1966)
  • 1914 – James Muir Cameron Fletcher, New Zealand industrialist (d. 2007)
  • 1915 – Pete Rugolo, Italian-born composer
  • 1918 – Anwar Sadat, President of Egypt, Nobel laureate (d. 1981)
  • 1918 – Ahmed Ben Bella, politician, first President of Algeria
  • 1919 – Naushad Ali, Indian music director (d. 2006)
  • 1919 – Paul David, French Canadian cardiologist, founder of the Montreal Heart Institute (d. 1999)
  • 1919 – Noele Gordon, English actress (d. 1985)
  • 1921 – Zaib-un-Nissa Hamidullah, Pakistani journalist (d. 2000)
  • 1924 – Rod Serling, American television writer (d. 1975)
  • 1924 – Atal Bihari Vajpayee, former Prime Minister of India
  • 1925 – Carlos Castaneda, Peruvian-born author (d. 1998)
  • 1926 – Enrique Jorrín, Cuban composer and musician (d. 1987)
  • 1927 – Nellie Fox, baseball player (d. 1975)
  • 1928 – Dick Miller, American actor
  • 1929 – Stuart Hall, British radio and television presenter
  • 1929 – Chris Kenner, American singer and songwriter (d. 1976)
  • 1930 – Emmanuel Agassi, father of Andre Agassi
  • 1930 – Salah Jaheen, Egyptian poet and cartoonist (d.1986)
  • 1932 – Mabel King, American actress (d. 1999)
  • 1935 – Al Jackson, baseball player
  • 1936 – HRH Princess Alexandra of Kent
  • 1936 – Ismail Merchant, Indian-born film producer (d. 2005)
  • 1937 – O’Kelly Isley, Jr., American singer (The Isley Brothers) (d. 1986)
  • 1938 – Noel Picard, Quebec ice hockey player
  • 1940 – Pete Brown, English poet and lyricist
  • 1943 – Hanna Schygulla, German actress
  • 1943 – Wilson Fittipaldi Júnior, Brazilian racing driver
  • 1944 – Jairzinho, Brazilian footballer
  • 1944 – Kenny Everett, British entertainer (d. 1995)
  • 1944 – Henry Vestine, American musician (d. 1997)
  • 1945 – Noel Redding, English musician (d. 2003)
  • 1945 – Rick Berman, Star Trek producer
  • 1945 – Gary Sandy, American actor
  • 1945 – Mike Pringle, Scottish politician
  • 1946 – Jimmy Buffett, American singer and songwriter
  • 1946 – Larry Csonka, American football player
  • 1946 – Gene Lamont, American baseball player and manager
  • 1948 – Barbara Mandrell, American singer and actress
  • 1948 – Alia al Hussein, of Jordan (d. 1977)
  • 1948 – Joel Natalino Santana, Brazilian soccer coach
  • 1949 – Nawaz Sharif, Prime Minister of Pakistan
  • 1949 – Simone Bittencourt de Oliveira, Singer and icon of the Brazilian music
  • 1949 – Sissy Spacek, American actress
  • 1949 – Joe Louis Walker, American musician
  • 1950 – Manny Trillo, baseball player
  • 1950 – Yehuda Poliker, Israeli singer-songwriter
  • 1950 – Karl Rove, former American presidential advisor
  • 1952 – CCH Pounder, Guyana-born actress
  • 1952 – Desireless, French singer
  • 1954 – Annie Lennox, Scottish singer, from Aberdeen
  • 1954 – Steve Wariner, American country music singer
  • 1957 – Chris Kamara, English footballer and commentator
  • 1957 – Shane MacGowan, Irish musician
  • 1958 – Hanford Dixon, American football player
  • 1958 – Rickey Henderson, baseball player
  • 1958 – Alannah Myles, Canadian singer
  • 1959 – Michael P. Anderson, astronaut (d. 2003)
  • 1960 – Ron Bottitta, British actor
  • 1961 – Ingrid Betancourt, Colombian senator
  • 1962 – Dean Cameron, American actor
  • 1962 – Darren Wharton, British Keyboardist (Thin Lizzy and Dare)
  • 1964 – Gary McAllister, Scottish footballer
  • 1964 – Tim Royes – Music Video Director and Editor
  • 1964 – Bob Stanley, English musician (Saint Etienne), filmmaker and journalist
  • 1967 – Jason Thirsk, American bass player (d. 1996)
  • 1968 – Helena Christensen, Danish model
  • 1968 – Jim Dowd, American ice hockey player
  • 1971 – Dido, English singer
  • 1971 – Justin Trudeau, Canadian media personality
  • 1971 – Noel Hogan, Irish musician
  • 1972 – Josh Freese, American drummer
  • 1972 – Mac Powell, American musician, singer/songwriter (lead singer of Third Day)
  • 1973 – Robbie Elliott, English footballer
  • 1973 – Chris Harris, American professional wrestler
  • 1973 – Alexandre Trudeau, Canadian journalist
  • 1974 – Nagma, Indian actress
  • 1975 – Marcus Trescothick, English cricketer
  • 1975 – Hideki Okajima, Japanese baseball player
  • 1975 – Rob Mariano, American reality show contestant
  • 1976 – Tuomas Holopainen, Finnish keyboardist and songwriter
  • 1976 – Armin van Buuren, Dutch DJ & Producer
  • 1977 – Jim Greco, American skateboarder
  • 1977 – Uhm Ji-won, South Korean actress
  • 1977 – Israel Vasquez, Current WBC Super bantamweight champion
  • 1978 – Joel Porter, Australian footballer
  • 1978 – Simon Jones, English cricketer
  • 1980 – Marcus Trufant, American football player (Seattle Seahawks)
  • 1980 – Reika Hashimoto, Japanese actress
  • 1980 – Locó, Angolan footballer
  • 1980 – Laura Sadler, British actress (d. 2003)
  • 1981 – Katie Wright, American actress
  • 1981 – Willy Taveras, baseball player
  • 1982 – Shawn Andrews, American football player
  • 1982 – Rob Edwards, Welsh footballer
  • 1982 – Shystie, British rapper-songwriter
  • 1984 – Jessica and Lisa Origliasso, Australian pop singers
  • 1984 – Alastair Cook, English cricketer
  • 1984 – Georgia Moffett, British actress
  • 1985 – Leon Pisani, Welsh singer
  • 1985 – Perdita Weeks, British actress
  • 1986 – Doug Loft, English footballer
  • 1988 – Eric Gordon, American Basketball Player

December 25 – Deaths:

  • 795 – Pope Adrian I
  • 1156 – Peter the Venerable, Benedictine abbot of Cluny (b. c. 1092)
  • 1635 – Samuel de Champlain, French explorer and founder of Quebec City (b. 1567)
  • 1676 – Matthew Hale, Lord Chief Justice of England (b. 1609)
  • 1676 – William Cavendish, 1st Duke of Newcastle, English soldier (b. 1592)
  • 1683 – Kara Mustafa, Ottoman general (b. 1634)
  • 1758 – James Hervey, English clergyman (b. 1714)
  • 1765 – Václav Prokop Diviš, Czech theologian and natural scientist (b. 1698)
  • 1784 – Yosa Buson, Japanese painter (b. 1716)
  • 1824 – Barbara Juliana, Baroness von Krüdener, Russian writer (b. 1764)
  • 1868 – Linus Yale, Jr., American mechanical engineer and inventor (b. 1821)
  • 1880 – Fridolin Anderwert, Swiss Federal Councillor (b. 1828)
  • 1916 – St. Albert Chmielowski, Polish Catholic saint (b. 1845)
  • 1921 – Vladimir Korolenko, Russian writer (b. 1853)
  • 1925 – Karl Abraham, German psychoanalyst (b. 1877)
  • 1926 – Emperor Taisho of Japan (b. 1879)
  • 1933 – Francesc Macià, Catalonian statesman (b. 1859)
  • 1935 – Paul Bourget, French novelist and critic (b. 1852)
  • 1938 – Karel Capek, Czech author (b. 1890)
  • 1940 – Agnes Ayres, American actress (b. 1898)
  • 1944 – George Steer, British Journalist (b. 1909)
  • 1946 – W. C. Fields, American comedian (b. 1880)
  • 1947 – Gaspar G. Bacon, was Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts (b. 1886)
  • 1950 – Neil Francis Hawkins, British fascist (b. 1903)
  • 1953 – Patsy Donovan, Irish-born American baseball player (b. 1865)
  • 1954 – Johnny Ace, American singer (b. 1929)
  • 1961 – Otto Loewi, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (b. 1873)
  • 1961 – Owen Brewster, U.S. Senator from Maine (b. 1888)
  • 1963 – Tristan Tzara, Romanian-born writer (b. 1896)
  • 1973 – Ismet Inönü, Turkish statesman (b. 1884)
  • 1973 – Gabriel Voisin, French aviation pioneer (b. 1880)
  • 1975 – Gaston Gallimard, French publisher (b. 1881)
  • 1977 – Charlie Chaplin, English actor (b. 1889)
  • 1979 – Joan Blondell, American actress (b. 1906)
  • 1979 – Jordi Bonet, Quebec muralist and sculptor (b. 1932)
  • 1983 – Joan Miró, Catalan painter (b. 1893)
  • 1988 – Ooka Shohei, Japanese novelist (b. 1909)
  • 1988 – Edward Pelham-Clinton, 10th Duke of Newcastle-under-Lyne (b. 1920)
  • 1989 – Nicolae Ceausescu, Romanian dictator (executed) (b. 1918)
  • 1989 – Elena Ceausescu, Romanian politician (executed) (b. 1916)
  • 1989 – Billy Martin, American baseball manager (b. 1928)
  • 1992 – Monica Dickens, British writer (b. 1915)
  • 1993 – Pierre Victor Auger, French physicist (b. 1899)
  • 1994 – Zail Singh, President of India (b. 1916)
  • 1995 – Dean Martin, American singer (b. 1917)
  • 1995 – Emmanuel Levinas, French Philosopher (b. 1906)
  • 1997 – Denver Pyle, American actor (b. 1920)
  • 1998 – Bryan MacLean, American singer, musician and songwriter (Love) (b. 1946)
  • 1998 – John Pulman, English snooker player (b. 1926)
  • 1999 – Peter Jeffrey, English actor (b. 1929)
  • 2000 – Neil Hawke, Australian cricketer and footballer (b. 1939
  • 2000 – Willard Van Orman Quine, American philosopher (b. 1908)
  • 2002 – William T. Orr, American television producer (b. 1917)
  • 2003 – Nicholas Mavroules, American politician (b. 1929)
  • 2004 – Gennady Strekalov, Russian cosmonaut (b. 1940)
  • 2005 – Derek Bailey, English guitar virtuoso (b. 1930)
  • 2005 – Birgit Nilsson, Swedish singer (b. 1918)
  • 2005 – Robert Barbers, Philippine senator (b. 1944)
  • 2006 – James Brown, American singer (b. 1933)
  • 2007 – Desmond Barrick, English Cricketer (b. 1927)
  • 2007 – Mighty King Kong, Kenyan reggae musician. (b. 1973)

December 25 – Holidays:

  • Christmas Day
  • Constitution Day – Republic of China now based in Taiwan
  • The feast day of Anastasia of Sirmium
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