Historical Events on December 25

  • 1 1st Christmas, according to calendar-maker Dionysus Exiguus

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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.

Roman Emperor Aurelian
Roman Emperor
  • 337 Earliest possible date that Christmas was celebrated on Dec 25th
  • 352 1st definite date Christmas was celebrated on Dec 25th
  • 390 Roman emperor Theodosius admits debt on mass murder in Thessalonica
  • 498 French King Clovis baptises himself
  • 597 England adopts Julian calendar
  • 604 Battle at Etampes (Stampae): Burgundy beat Neustriers

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800 Pope Leo III crowns Charles the Great (Charlemagne), Roman emperor

Holy Roman Emperor Charlemagne
Holy Roman Emperor
  • 875 Charles the Bald crowned emperor of Rome
  • 967 John XIII crowned Otto II the Red German compassionate emperor
  • 969 Johannes I Tzimisces crowned emperor of Byzantium
  • 979 Rotardus appointed as bishop of the kingdom
  • 999 Heribertus becomes bishop of Cologne
  • 1000 Monarch Istvan crowned king of Hungary
  • 1046 Pope Clemens VI crowns Henry III as Holy Roman Emperor
  • 1048 Parliament of Worms: Emperor Henry III names his cousin count Bruno van Egisheim/Dagsburg as Pope Leo IX
  • 1066 Duke William of Normandy ('William the Conqueror) crowned king of England
  • 1100 Boudouin I of Boulogne crowned king of Jerusalem
  • 1101 Henry I of Limburg becomes Duke of Lower Lorraine
  • 1121 Norbertus van Xanten finds order of the Norbertijnen
  • 1130 Anti-pope Anacletus II crowns Roger II the Norman king of Sicily

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1223 St Francis of Assisi assembles 1st Nativity scene (Greccio, Italy)

Catholic Friar and Preacher, Saint Francis of Assisi
Catholic Friar and Preacher, Saint
Francis of Assisi
  • 1261 John IV Lascaris of the restored Eastern Roman Empire is deposed and blinded by orders of his co-ruler Michael VIII Palaeologus.

CommunicationSanta María

1492 Christopher Columbus' flagship the Santa María runs aground and sinks on Hispaniola

  • 1522 Turkish troops occupy Rhodos
  • 1553 Battle of Tucapel: Mapuche rebels under Lautaro defeats the Spanish conquistadors and exetutes the governor of Chile Pedro de Valdivia.
  • 1582 Zealand/Brabant adopts Gregorian calendar, yesterday was Dec 14th
  • 1599 The city of Natal, Brazil, is founded.
  • 1613 Johan Sigismund of Brandenburg becomes protestant
  • 1621 Gov William Bradford of Plymouth Colony (now in Massachusetts) forbids game playing on Christmas
  • 1640 Pierre de Fermat writes to Marin Mersenne about Fermat's church thesis
  • 1641 Emperor Ferdinand III makes appointments with Sweden & France
  • 1643 Christmas Island founded and named by Captain William Mynors of the East India Ship Company vessel, the Royal Mary.
  • 1651 Massachusetts General Court ordered a five shilling fine for "observing any such day as Christmas"
  • 1683 English Whig leader Duke of Monmouth flees to Holland
  • 1688 British King James II lands in Ambleteuse, France
  • 1688 Lord Delamere sides with King James II
  • 1717 Floods ravage Dutch coast provinces, thousands killed

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1741 Astronomer Anders Celsius introduces Centigrade temperature scale

Astronomer Anders Celsius
Anders Celsius
  • 1745 Prussia and Austria sign Treaty of Dresden giving much of Silesia to the Prussians
  • 1758 Return of Halley's comet 1st sighted by Johann Georg Palitzsch
  • 1760 Jupiter Hammon, an African American slave, composes poetry broadside "An Evening Thought" (1st poetry published by an African American 1761)
  • 1769 First Christian service in New Zealand; Mass is celebrated in Doubtless Bay by Father Paul-Antoine Léonard de Villefeix of the de Surville expedition
  • 1775 Pope Pius VI encyclical on the problems of the pontificate
  • 1776 Washington crosses Delaware & surprises & defeats 1,400 Hessians
  • 1809 Physician Ephraim McDowell performs the first abdominal surgery in the U.S, an ovariotomy to remove a 22 lb ovarian tumor
  • 1814 Rev Samuel Marsden of the Church Missionary Society holds the first Christian service in New Zealand on land, at Rangihoua
  • 1818 1st known Christmas carol ("Silent Night, Holy Night" - "Stille Nacht, Heilige Nacht) sung (Austria)
  • 1818 Handel's Messiah, premieres in the US in Boston
  • 1830 Hector Berlioz's "Symphony Fantastic" premieres
  • 1831 Louisiana & Arkansas are first states to observe Christmas as holiday

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1832 Charles Darwin celebrates Christmas in St Martin at Cape Receiver

Naturalist Charles Darwin
Charles Darwin
  • 1833 Charles Darwin celebrates Christmas in Port Desire, Patagonia
  • 1834 Charles Darwin celebrates Christmas on the Beagle at Tres Montes, Chile
  • 1835 Charles Darwin celebrates Christmas in Pahia, New Zealand
  • 1837 Battle of Okeechobee-US forces defeat Seminole Indians
  • 1843 1st theatre matinee (Olympic Theatre, NYC)
  • 1848 New Haven Railroad opens
  • 1862 40,000 watch Union army men play baseball at Hilton Head, SC
  • 1868 Despite bitter opposition, President A Johnson grants unconditional pardon to all persons involved in Southern rebellion (Civil War)
  • 1875 Lambs Club in NY forms
  • 1888 1st indoor baseball game played at fairgrounds in Philadelphia
  • 1894 1st midwestern football team to play on west coast, University of Chicago defeats Stanford 24-4 at Palo Alto, CA in football

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1896 "Stars & Stripes Forever" written by John Philip Sousa

  • 1899 Farmers send/guide belegerd Ladysmith Kerstpudding/desire in grenade
  • 1900 Arthur Schnitzler's "Leutnant Gustl" forbidden in Germany
  • 1901 Battle at Tweefontein: British force camped on a hill is surprised by a Boer attack at 2am
  • 1902 Clyde Fitch' "Girl with Green Eyes" premieres in NYC
  • 1902 Pope Leo XIII, at his annual Christmas reception, endorses the Christian Democratic movement now emerging in Europe as an attempt to offer an alternative to more radical movements
  • 1905 V Herbert/H Blossoms musical "Mlle Modiste" premieres in NYC
  • 1911 Edward Knoblock's "Kismet" premieres in NYC
  • 1914 Legendary "Christmas Truce" takes place on the battlefields of WWI between British and German troops. Instead of fighting, soldiers exchange gifts and play football.

Music releaseMusic Premiere

1915 Irving Berlin & Harry B Smith's musical premieres in NYC

Composer and Lyricist Irving Berlin
Composer and Lyricist
Irving Berlin
  • 1917 "Why Marry" 1st drama to win Pulitzer Prize, premieres in NYC
  • 1917 Hirsch/Harbach's musical "Going Up" premieres in NYC

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1922 -Dec 26] Lenin dictates his "Political testament"

Marxist Revolutionary and Russian Leader Vladimir Lenin
Marxist Revolutionary and Russian Leader
Vladimir Lenin
  • 1923 Imperial Theater opens at 249 W 45th St NYC
  • 1926 Prince-regent Hirohito becomes Emperor of Japan (1926-1989) upon the death of his father Yoshihito
  • 1928 Christmas Day attendance at cricket MCG (Vic v NSW) Australia is 14,887
  • 1928 NSW (v Vic) go from 8-74 to 9-113 to be 9-367 at stumps
  • 1929 Grimmett takes 6-146 for SA, Queensland all out 380 Crowd 5,390
  • 1930 1st US bobsled run open to public (Lake Placid, NY)
  • 1930 Mt Van Hoevenberg bobsled run at Lake Placid, NY opens
  • 1930 Slinger Nitschke scores 142 SA v Qld at Adelaide before 5,422
  • 1930 Tasmania all out 280, WI 2-139 at Hobart Crowd 2,500
  • 1931 Albert Lonergan scores 137 SA v Qld at Adelaide before 5,697
  • 1931 Fleetwood-Smith takes 5-69 Victoria v Tas at Hobart
  • 1931 NY's Metropolitan Opera broadcasts an entire opera over radio
  • 1932 7.6 magnitude earthquake ravages Qansu, China, kills 275

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1932 During King George V's Christmas dinner speech his chair collapes

King of the United Kingdom George V
King of the United Kingdom
George V
  • 1933 Another Christmas Day five-wicket haul by Clarrie Grimmett
  • 1933 Belgian Working people's party accept Henry de Mans Plan of Labor
  • 1933 Stan Smith takes 8-33 for Victoria v Tasmania at Hobart
  • 1934 Four centuries for SA as they make 7-644 v Qld before 6,180
  • 1934 Samson Raphaelson's "Accent on Youth" premieres in NYC
  • 1936 Belgian bishops condemn fascism & communism
  • 1936 Ron Hamence scores 104 for SA v Queensland before 4,865
  • 1937 Arturo Toscanini conducts 1st Symphony of the Air over NBC Radio
  • 1937 Queensland all out for 93 v SA in front of 10,436
  • 1938 George Cukor announces Vivien Leigh will play Scarlett O'Hara in "Gone with the Wind"
  • 1939 Grimmett & Ward rip through Qld except Bill Brown (156)
  • 1939 Montgomery Ward introduces Rudolph the 9th reindeer

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1940 Bradman out 1st ball for SA v Victoria before 6213

Cricket Legend Donald Bradman
Cricket Legend
Donald Bradman
  • 1940 Richard Rodgers & Lorenz Harts "Pal Joey" premieres in NYC
  • 1941 Japan announces surrender of British-Canadian garrison at Hong Kong
  • 1941 Japanese aircraft carriers Akagi/Kagu back in Kure, Japan
  • 1942 Admiral Dalans murderer of Bosinier de la Chapelle, sentenced to death
  • 1942 British Col S W Bailey reaches Mihailovics headquarter
  • 1942 Russian artillery/tank battle on German armies at Stalingrad
  • 1946 Constitution accepted in Taiwan
  • 1947 Taiwan passes Human Rights laws (Day of Earth Law)
  • 1947 The Constitution of the Republic of China comes into effect.
  • 1950 Coronation Stone, taken from Scone in Scotland by Edward I in 1296, stolen from Westminster Abbey & smuggled back to Scotland
  • 1951 1st Christmas Day in Test Crickets, Aust v WI at Adelaide
  • 1951 West Indies defeat Australia by 6 wkts on 3rd day of 3rd Test Cricket
  • 1953 Avalanche of lava kills 150 (Ruapehu volcano, New Zealand)
  • 1954 WSFA TV channel 12 in Montgomery, AL (NBC) begins broadcasting
  • 1954 Rhythm and blues singer Johnny Ace, accidentally shoots himself in the head at the City Auditorium in Houston, Texas
  • 1955 Pope Pius XII encyclical on sacred music & popular music

MurderMurder of Interest

1957 Ed Gein found insane of murder

Murderer and Body Snatcher Ed Gein
Murderer and Body Snatcher
Ed Gein
  • 1958 Alan Freed's Christmas Rock & Roll Spectacular opens
  • 1959 A synagogue in Cologne Germany desecrated with swatstikas

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1959 Richard Starkey (later better known as Ringo Starr) receives his first drum set

Beatles Drummer Ringo Starr
Beatles Drummer
Ringo Starr
  • 1959 Sony brings transistor TV 8-301 to the market
  • 1962 USSR performs nuclear test at Novaya Zemlya USSR

Film release premierFilm Release

1962 "To Kill a Mockingbird", a film adaptation of the novel by Harper Lee, directed by Robert Mulligan and starring Gregory Peck, is released

  • 1963 Walt Disney's "The Sword in the Stone" is released

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1964 George Harrison's girlfriend Patti Boyd attacked by female Beatle fans

Singer-Songwriter George Harrison
George Harrison
  • 1965 The Yemeni Nasserite Unionist People's Organisation is founded in Taiz

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1967 Paul McCartney & Jane Asher get engaged

Musician & member of the Beatles Paul McCartney
Musician & member of the Beatles
Paul McCartney
  • 1968 Frank Borman's Christmas reading while orbiting Moon
  • 1968 42 Dalits are burned alive in Kilavenmani village, Tamil Nadu, India, a retaliation for a campaign for higher wages by Dalit labourers.
  • 1969 5 Israeli gunboats escape from Cherbourg harbor
  • 1969 India all out for 163 at Madras v Aust, Ashley Mallett 5-91
  • 1971 Longest NFL game (82m40s) as Dolphins beat Chiefs 27-24
  • 1971 Operation PUSH (People United to Save Humanity) form Jesse Jackson
  • 1971 Worst hotel fire in history kills 163 at Taeyokale Hotel in Seoul
  • 1972 England beat India by six wickets in the 1st Cricket Test in Delhi
  • 1973 Tommy Chambers (Scotland) finishes 51 yr cycle tour (799,405 miles)
  • 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.
  • 1973 Arab oil ministers cancel January 5 percent production cut; Saudi Arabian oil minister promises 10 percent OPEC production rise

Film release premierFilm Premier

1973 "The Sting" directed by George Roy Hill and starring Paul Newman and Robert Redford premieres in Los Angeles and New York (Best Picture 1974)

Actor Robert Redford
Robert Redford
Actor & Entrepreneur Paul Newman
Actor & Entrepreneur
Paul Newman
  • 1974 Cyclone Tracy virtually destroys Darwin, Australia
  • 1974 Marshall Fields drives a vehicle through the gates of the White House, resulting in a four-hour standoff.
  • 1975 Pardis Sabeti, Iranian-American biologist and geneticist, born in Tehran, Iran
  • 1976 Egyptian SS Patria sinks in Red Sea, about 100 killed
  • 1976 Takeo Fukuda becomes Japanese premier
  • 1976 6th Fiesta Bowl: #8 Oklahoma beats Wyoming, 41-7

Conference meetingMeeting of Interest

1977 Israeli PM Menachem Begin meets Egyptian Pres Sadat in Egypt

Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin
Israeli Prime Minister
Menachem Begin
  • 1977 7th Fiesta Bowl: #8 Penn State beats #15 Arizona State, 42-30
  • 1978 8th Fiesta Bowl: #8 Arkansas ties #15 UCLA, 10-10
  • 1979 Opening day of 4th Test Cricket, India 8-112 v Pakistan at Kanpur
  • 1979 USSR airlifts invasionary army to Afghanistan
  • 1979 9th Fiesta Bowl: #10 Pittsburgh beats Arizona, 16-10
  • 1982 Mudassar Nazar scores century, then Imran Khan rips through Indians
  • 1983 1st live telecast of Christmas Parade at the EPCOT Centre, Disney World Florida
  • 1984 NBA's Bernard King scores 60 points
  • 1987 Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme, who escaped 2 days earlier, recaptured
  • 1989 Japanese scientist achieve -271.8°C, coldest temp ever recorded


1989 Show trial of Romanian Commuinst dicator Nicolae Ceaușescu and his wife Elena on charges of genocide and personal enrichment. The couple are found guilty and executed by firing squad the same day.

Dictator of Romania Nicolae Ceausescu
Dictator of Romania
Nicolae Ceausescu

Film release premierFilm Premier

1990 "The Godfather Part III" directed by Francis Ford Coppola and starring Al Pacino, Diane Keaton and Andy Garcia premieres

  • 1990 The first successful trial run of the system which would become the World Wide Web.
  • 1991 Last day of a washout Pakistan v Sri Lanka at Gujranwala

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1991 Mikhail Gorbachev formally resigns as President of USSR in a televised speech

General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union Mikhail Gorbachev
General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union
Mikhail Gorbachev
  • 1994 "Comedy Tonight" closes at Lunt-Fontanne Theater NYC after 8 performances
  • 1997 For 1st time US movie box office receipts pass $6 billion

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1997 Jerry Seinfeld says this is the final season of his TV show

Comedian Jerry Seinfeld
Jerry Seinfeld

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1999 Opening of doors of St. John Lateran Pope John Paul II

264th Pope John Paul II
264th Pope
John Paul II
  • 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.

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2008 Phil Jackson becomes the sixth coach in NBA history to win 1,000 games

  • 2009 Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab unsuccessfully attempts a terrorist attack against the US while on board Northwest Airlines Flight 253
  • 2012 27 people are killed after an Antonov An-72 plane crashes near Shymkent, Kazakhstan
  • 2012 8 people are killed and thousands left homeless after two fires strike Manila, Philippines

Film release premierFilm Release

2013 "The Wolf of Wall Street", starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill, is released