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On December 23rd...

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1620 French Huguenots declared war on King Louis XIII.

Giovanni Cassini1672 Giovanni Cassini discovered Rhea, one of the moons of Saturn.

1688 King James II of England fled to France from William of Orange.

Richard Arkwright1732 Inventor Richard Arkwright was born.

1776 The Continental Congress negotiated a war loan of $181,500 from France.

Tsar Alexander1777 Tsar Alexander I of Russia was born.

1779 Benedict Arnold was court-martialed for improper conduct.

George Washington1783 George Washington resigned as Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army.
Thomas MacDonough1783 Thomas MacDonough, U.S. naval hero of the War of 1812, was born.

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.

1867 Sarah Breedlove, the first black female millionaire in the United States, was born.

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 released.
1912 The Aswan Dam began operation.

Federal Reserve System1913 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.
1919 Alice H. Parker patented the gas heating furnace.

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.

Anthony Fokker1939 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.
Charles Dana Gibson1944 Illustrator Charles Dana Gibson died.

1946 The Belgian Council of State was formed.
Actress Susan Lucci was born.

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 broadcast coast-to-coast.
1951 The film The African Queen was released.

1954 The first human kidney transplant was performed by Dr. Joseph E. Murray at Peter Bent Brigham Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts.

Dulles and Eisenhower Address the Nation1957 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.
Eddie Vedder, lead singer of Pearl Jam, was born.

1968 82 members of the U.S. intelligence ship Pueblo were released by North Korea.
1968 Frank Borman, Jim Lovell, and William Anders became the first men to orbit the Moon.

Charles Atlas1972 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.
Victor Borge2000 Comedic pianist Victor Borge 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.
2005 Chad declared a state of war against Sudan.

2012 Syrian warlanes killed 200 civilians in Helfaya, Syria.

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The Robinson Library >> On This Day

This page was last updated on December 24, 2018.