On This Day in History for December 24

Events in History

Events 1 - 100 of 101

  • 563 The Byzantine church Hagia Sophia in Constantinople is dedicated for the second time after being destroyed by earthquakes.
  • 640 John IV begins his reign as Catholic Pope
  • 1046 Pope Clement II, [Suitger] elected
  • 1294 Cardinal Benedetto Gaetani chosen as Pope Boniface VIII
  • 1476 400 Burgundian soldiers freeze to death during siege of Nancy
  • 1515 Thomas Wolsey appointed Lord Chancellor of England
  • 1565 Compromise of the Nobles in Habsburg Netherlands closes against inquisition
  • 1568 Uprising of Moriscos in Granada
  • 1593 Storm hits Texel: 40 ships hit, 500 killed
  • 1651 Jan van Riebeeck departs for Cape of Good Hope to found 1st permanent European settlement
  • 1715 Swedish troops occupy Norway

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1777 Kiritimati, also called Christmas Island, is discovered by James Cook

Captain/Explorer James Cook
Captain/Explorer
James Cook
  • 1798 Russia & Britain sign Second anti-French Coalition

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1799 Jacobin plot against Napoleon uncovered

French Emperor Napoléon Bonaparte
French Emperor
Napoléon Bonaparte
  • 1814 Treaty of Ghent signed, ending US Britain War of 1812
  • 1832 1st US Negro hospital founded by whites chartered, Savannah, Georgia
  • 1832 HMS Beagle anchors in Wigwam Bay at Cape Receiver
  • 1851 Fire devastates US Library of Congress in Washington, destroys 35,000 volumes
  • 1860 Joseph Jefferson's "Rip Van Winkle" premieres in NYC
  • 1864 Battle of Gordonsville, VA
  • 1865 Several Confederate veterans form Ku Klux Klan in Pulaski, Tn
  • 1874 Pope Pius IX proclaims a jubilee for 1875
  • 1884 Austria-Hungary admits King Leopold II's Congo Free State

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1893 Henry Ford completes his first useful petrol / gasoline fuelled engine

Ford Motor Company Founder Henry Ford
Ford Motor Company Founder
Henry Ford
  • 1894 Scheveningse fishing boats destroyed by storm
  • 1898 Herman Heijermans' "Ghetto" premieres in Amsterdam
  • 1900 Herman Heijermans' "Hope of Blessing" premieres in Amsterdam
  • 1900 The French Chamber of Deputies and Senate pass a bill calling for an end to agitation or prosecutions against those involved in the Dreyfus affair, which has divided France since 1894
  • 1900 Foreign powers present the Chinese Empress with their list of 'irrevocable conditions' before their nations will withdraw troops from China
  • 1901 Private companies allowed to use the word "postcard" in the US. Previously they were labelled "Private Mailing Cards" and known as "souvenir cards".
  • 1904 German SW Africa abolishes slavery of young children
  • 1910 Luisa Tetrazzini sings to 250,000 people at Lotta's Fountain, San Francisco
  • 1912 Irving Fisher patents archiving system with index cards
  • 1914 German plane drops bombs on Dover England
  • 1920 Enrico Caruso gives his last public performance (NYC)
  • 1922 London Coloseum opens
  • 1924 1st radio transmission of NCRV in Netherlands
  • 1924 Albania becomes a republic (ex-premier Ahmed Zogoe's coup)
  • 1924 Richard Rodgers Theater (46th St Chanin's) opens at 226 W 46th NYC
  • 1924 School in Babb's Switch, Oklahoma, catches fire, 36 die
  • 1928 George Abbott Theater (Adelphi, 54 St) opens at 152 W 54th St NYC

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1930 Sukarno sentenced to four years in prison by Indonesian authorities in Bandung, Dutch East Indies

1st President of Indonesia Sukarno
1st President of Indonesia
Sukarno
  • 1930 F Garcia Lorca's "La Zapatera Prodigiosa" premieres in Madrid
  • 1932 Arturo Alessandri wins presidental election in Chile
  • 1933 Paris express train derails & kills 160, injures 300 (France)
  • 1934 Grimmett takes 9-180 for SA as Queensland make 430
  • 1935 National Council of Negro Women forms
  • 1936 1st radioactive isotope medicine administered in Berkeley, California
  • 1937 Dutch government recognizes Italian king Emanuel III as emperor of Abyssinia
  • 1939 World War II: Pope Pius XII makes a Christmas Eve appeal for peace.
  • 1941 First ships of admiral Nagumo's Pearl Harbor fleet return to Japan
  • 1942 First powered flight of V-1 'buzz bomb', Peenemunde, Germany
  • 1942 Red army occupies German airports at Tasjinskaja & Morozowsk

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1943 US President FDR appoints General Eisenhower Supreme Commander of the Allied forces

34th US President & WWII General Dwight D. Eisenhower
34th US President & WWII General
Dwight D. Eisenhower
32nd US President Franklin D. Roosevelt
32nd US President
Franklin D. Roosevelt
  • 1943 Terence Rattigan's "While the Sun Shines" premieres in London
  • 1946 US General MacNarney gives 800,000 "minor nazis" amnesty
  • 1946 French Fourth Republic is founded
  • 1948 First US completely solar heated house is occupied (Dover, Mass)
  • 1948 Greek government disbands due to state of war, press censorship
  • 1951 United Kingdom of Libya gains independence from Italy via UN
  • 1953 Two fast express trains crash head-on killing 103 in Czechoslovakia
  • 1953 René Coty elected president of France
  • 1953 Wellington-Auckland (NZ) express train swept away in flood kills 166
  • 1954 Council for the Protection of Children forms in Netherlands
  • 1954 Laos gains its independence

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1955 Author Aldous Huxley takes LSD for the first time

  • 1956 "I Love Lucy" Christmas show airs, never put in syndication
  • 1956 Ferdinand de Lesseps statue blown up in Port Said Egypt
  • 1960 Dutch bishops question papacy values
  • 1962 USSR performs nuclear test at Novaya Zemlya USSR
  • 1963 Greek & Turks riot in Cyprus
  • 1966 Soviet spacecraft Luna 13 lands on Moon
  • 1966 USAF C144 military charter aircraft crashes near Binh Thai, Vietnam, killing 129
  • 1967 China performs nuclear test at Lop Nor, PRC
  • 1967 Pirate Radio Pegasus starts broadcasting off New Zealand
  • 1968 Apollo 8 astronauts read passages from Book of Genesis
  • 1970 9 Jews are convicted in Leningrad of hijacking a plane
  • 1970 Walt Disney's "Aristocats" is released
  • 1971 Peruvian Airlines Electra crashes at headwaters of Amazon, killing all except Juliane Margaret Koepcke found 10 days later
  • 1973 Ferryboat capsized off coast of Equador, drowning 200
  • 1973 District of Columbia Home Rule Act is passed, allowing residents of Washington, D.C. to elect their own local government.

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1974 Former US astronaut John Glenn join the Senate for Ohio

Astronaut and Politician John Glenn
Astronaut and Politician
John Glenn
  • 1977 "Ghost to the Post", Raiders tight end Dave Casper ("The Ghost") catches a 42-yard reception to set up the Raiders' tying field goal near the end of regulation (Raiders win in OT)
  • 1979 1st Ariane rocket launched
  • 1980 Americans remembered Iran hostages by shining lights for 417 seconds
  • 1981 USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR
  • 1984 Palace coup in Mauritania
  • 1986 French hostage Aurel Cornea, held in Lebanon for 9 months, released
  • 1986 Iran offensive against Iraqi islands of Shatt al-Arab
  • 1989 Charles Taylor enters Liberia to unseat President Samuel K Doe

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1989 Panama's dictator, Manual Noriega, seeks asylum at Vatican embassy

Panamanian General and Dictator Manuel Noriega
Panamanian General and Dictator
Manuel Noriega

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1990 Saddam Hussein says Israel will be Iraq's 1st target

Iraqi President Saddam Hussein
Iraqi President
Saddam Hussein

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1992 US President George H. W. Bush pardons Caspar Weinberger for Iran-contra affair

41st US President George H. W. Bush
41st US President
George H. W. Bush
  • 1994 Four Muslim fundamentalists capture Air France pilot in Algiers
  • 1997 1st time a Channukah candle is officially lit in Vatican City
  • 1997 The Sid El-Antri massacre (or Sidi Lamri) in Algeria kills 50-100 people.
  • 1997 The Dominican Republic becomes a member of the Berne Convention copyright treaty

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1999 Opening of St Peter's Holy Door by Pope John Paul II in approach of 3rd millennium

264th Pope John Paul II
264th Pope
John Paul II

Event of interestEvent of Interest

2001 "Time Magazine" names New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani 'Person of the Year', for leadership after 9/11 attacks

Mayor of New York City Rudy Giuliani
Mayor of New York City
Rudy Giuliani
  • 2003 Spanish police thwart an attempt by ETA to detonate 50 kg of explosives at 3:55 p.m. inside Madrid's busy Chamartín Station.

Birthdays in History

  • 3 Galba, Roman Emperor (d. 69)
  • 1167 John "without a land", King of England (1199-1216)
  • 1389 John VI, Duke of Brittany (d. 1442)
  • 1475 Thomas Murner, German writer (d.c. 1537)
  • 1491 Ignatius of Loyola, Spanish founder of the Jesuit order (d. 1556)
  • 1508 Pietro Carnesecchi, Italian humanist (d. 1567)
  • 1564 Abraham C Bloemaert, painter/cartoonist/engraver
  • 1588 Constance of Austria, queen of Poland (d. 1631)
  • 1609 Philip Warwick, English writer and politician (d. 1683)
  • 1635 Mariana of Austria, second wife of king Philip IV of Spain (d. 1696)
  • 1689 French van Mieris "the Young", Dutch painter/historian
  • 1698 William Warburton, English Bishop of Gloucester (d. 1779)
  • 1714 Rainieri De Calzabigi, Italian's literary (1st European Lottery)
  • 1716 Patrice F earl De Neney, South Netherlands chairman of Secret Council
  • 1724 Johann Conrad Ammann, Swiss physician and naturalist (d. 1811)
  • 1745 Benjamin Rush, Byberry Pa, physician/general/signer (Declaration of Independence)
  • 1754 George Crabbe, Aldeburgh England, poet (Everlasting Mercy)
  • 1761 Jean-Louis Pons, French astronomer (d. 1831)
  • 1784 Grand Duchess Elena Pavlovna of Russia (d. 1803)
  • 1791 A Eugene Scribe, French dramatist (Bertrand et Raton)
  • 1798 Adam B Mickiewicz, Poland, national poet (Pan Tadeusz)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1809 Kit Carson, American frontiersman, Indian fighter and army officer, born in Madison County, Kentucky (d. 1868)

Frontiersman Kit Carson
Frontiersman
Kit Carson
  • 1810 Wilhelm Marstrand, Danish painter (d. 1873)
  • 1812 Karl Eduard Zachariae, German jurist (d. 1894)
  • 1818 James Prescott Joule, physicist (discovered conservation of energy)
  • 1822 Charles Hermite, French mathematician (proof that e is transcendental), born in Dieuze, France (d. 1901)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1822 Matthew Arnold, English poet and critic (Dover Beach), born in Laleham, England (d. 1888)

Poet/Critic Matthew Arnold
Poet/Critic
Matthew Arnold
  • 1837 Sissi, Emperor of Austria
  • 1843 Lydia Koidula, Estonian poet (d. 1886)
  • 1867 Manuel de Oliveira Lima, Brazilian historian/diplomat
  • 1867 Kantaro Suzuki, 42nd Prime Minister of Japan (d. 1948)
  • 1868 Emanuel Lasker, Germany, world chess champion (1894-21)
  • 1869 Henriette GA Roland Holst-van der Schalk, Dutch poet (Women in Forest)
  • 1879 Émile Nelligan, Quebec poet (d. 1941)
  • 1880 Johnny Gruelle, Arcola Illinois, American cartoonist, children's book writer and creator of Raggedy Ann (d. 1939)
  • 1881 Juan Ramon Jiménez, Spain, poet (Distant Gardens, Nobel 1956)
  • 1886 Michael Curtiz, Hungarian-born director (d. 1962)
  • 1894 Georges Guynemer, French WW I pilot
  • 1895 E. Roland Harriman, American financier (d. 1978)
  • 1900 Joey Smallwood, Canadian politician, Premier of Newfoundland (d. 1991)
  • 1904 Herbert D Riley, US vice-admiral (WW II, Guadalcanal, Okinawa)
  • 1904 Joseph Moses Juran, American industrial engineer and philanthropist.
  • 1905 Anna "Ans" van Dike ("the Young"), Jewish nazi collaborator
  • 1906 John Walker, museum director
  • 1907 I[sidore] F[einstein] Stone, US journalist (IF Stone's Weekly)
  • 1909 Adam Rapacki, Polish minister of Foreign Affairs (1956-68)
  • 1910 Fritz [Reuter] Leiber Jr, US, sci-fi author (Bazaar of the Bizarre)
  • 1910 Max Miedinger, typeface designer, famous for creating Helvetica in 1957 (d. 1980)
  • 1910 William "Bill" Pickering, NASA scientist (JPL), born in Wellington, New Zealand (d. 2004)
  • 1911 Eric Briault, educationalist
  • 1911 Malcolm MacEwen, writer
  • 1917 Kim Jong-suk, Wife of Kim Il-sung, mother of Kim Jung-Il, "The Heroine of the Anti-Japanese Revolution" (d. 1949)
  • 1920 Evgeniya Rudneva, Russian World War II heroine (d. 1944)
  • 1923 Wilton S Mkwayi, South African ANC leader
  • 1923 George Patton IV, American general (d. 2004)
  • 1924 Willem Drees, economist/Dutch politician (DS'70)
  • 1926 Paul Buissonneau, French-born Quebec theatre director
  • 1927 Mary Higgins Clark, American suspense novelist (Cry in the Night, Stillwatch), born in Bronx, NY
  • 1932 On Kawara, Japanese conceptual artist
  • 1932 Cynthia Payne, English brothel madam, born in Bognor Regis, West Sussex (d. 2015)
  • 1934 Stjepan Mesić, president of Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Secretary General of Non-Aligned Movement and president of Croatia.
  • 1938 Valentim Loureiro, Portuguese politician, and former football chairman of Boavista F.C. and Liga Portuguesa de Futebol Profissional
  • 1940 Anthony Fauci, US health official
  • 1943 Tatton Sykes, English baron/large landowner
  • 1943 Tarja Halonen, President of Finland
  • 1944 Oswald Gracias, Roman Catholic Archbishop of Bombay
  • 1946 Brenda Howard, American bisexual activist (d. 2005)
  • 1946 Jeff Sessions, American politician (R), US Attorney General (2017-), born in Selma, Alabama
  • 1947 Kevin Sheedy, coach of Australian Football League club Essendon FC
  • 1949 Randy Neugebauer, American politician
  • 1950 Dana Gioia, American poet
  • 1953 François Loos, French politician
  • 1955 Clarence Gilyard Jr, Moses Lake Wash, actor (Chips, Duck Factory)
  • 1957 Hamid Karzai, President of Afghanistan
  • 1959 Keith Deller, British darts player
  • 1960 Glenn McQueen, American animator (d. 2002)
  • 1961 Ilham Aliyev, President of Azerbaijan Republic
  • 1961 Mary Barra, American CEO of General Motors (1st woman to head a global automotive company), born in Waterford, Michigan
  • 1967 Mikhail Shchennikov, Russian race walker
  • 1981 Dima Bilan, Karachay-Russian pop artist

Weddings in History

  • 1914 Agatha Miller (later best selling detective author) marries aviator Archibald Christie

HeartWedding of Interest

1917 Famous pilot Jimmy Doolittle (21) weds high school sweetheart Josephine E. Daniels

Aviation Pioneer Jimmy Doolittle
Aviation Pioneer
Jimmy Doolittle

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1935 Chemist Percy Lavon Julian weds sociologist Anna Roselle Johnson

HeartWedding of Interest

1936 Paleoanthropologist Mary Nicol (23) weds archaeologist Louis Leakey (33) in England

Paleoanthropologist Mary Leakey
Paleoanthropologist
Mary Leakey
Archaeologist and paleoanthropologist Louis Leakey
Archaeologist and paleoanthropologist
Louis Leakey

HeartWedding of Interest

1949 Linguist Noam Chomsky (21) weds Carol Doris Schatz (19)

Linguist & Author Noam Chomsky
Linguist & Author
Noam Chomsky
  • 1981 Guardian Angels Curtis Sliwa & Lisa Evers marry

HeartWedding of Interest

1986 President of Indonesia Joko Widodo (25) weds Iriana (23) in Solo, Central Java

President of Indonesia Joko Widodo
President of Indonesia
Joko Widodo

Deaths in History

  • 427 Archbishop Sisinnius I of Constantinople
  • 1069 Godfried II, with the Beard, duke of Neder-Lutherans, dies
  • 1257 John I, Count of Hainaut (b. 1218)
  • 1380 John von Neumarkt, German bishop/Chancellor Karel IV, dies

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1524 Vasco da Gama, Portuguese explorer/viceroy of Cochin, dies at about 55

Explorer Vasco da Gama
Explorer
Vasco da Gama
  • 1541 Andreas R Bodenstein von Carlstadt, radical Lutheran, dies at about 61
  • 1548 Maximilian of Egmond, Dutch count/stadholder of Frisia, dies
  • 1660 Mary, 1st British Princess Royal and the Princess of Orange (b. 1631)
  • 1707 Noel Coypel, French painter, dies at 78
  • 1813 Empress Go-Sakuramachi of Japan (b. 1740)
  • 1863 W M Thackeray, writer, dies at 52
  • 1865 Sir Charles Lock Eastlake, British painter and writer (b. 1793)
  • 1868 Adolphe d'Archiac, French paleontologist and geologist (b. 1802)
  • 1869 Edwin M[cMasters] Stanton, US Secretary of War (1861-65), dies at 55
  • 1872 William John Macquorn Rankine, British physician and engenier (b. 1820)
  • 1873 Johns Hopkins, Baltimore philanthropist and businessman (b. 1795)
  • 1885 Louis-Prosper Gachard, Belgian historian, dies at 85
  • 1889 Jan Jakob Lodewijk ten Kate, Dutch poet and clergyman (b. 1819)
  • 1898 Sharbel Makhluf, Lebanese monk canonized in 1977 by Pope Paul VI (b. 1828)
  • 1904 Juliaan Dillens, Flemish sculptor, dies at 55
  • 1907 Isidor Feinstein "Izzy" Stone, journalist (IF Stone's Weekly), dies
  • 1909 Nicolaas G Pierson, director Suriname/Dutch Bank, dies at 80

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1914 John Muir, Scottish naturalist, dies of pneumonia at 76

Environmental Philosopher John Muir
Environmental Philosopher
John Muir
  • 1930 Eduard David, German minister (constitution of Weimar), dies at 67
  • 1938 Bruno Taut, German architect (b. 1880)
  • 1942 Jean LXF Darlan, French admiral, murdered by gaullists
  • 1942 K Balmont, writer, dies at 75
  • 1952 Henry A "Hans" Kramers, Dutch theoretical physicist, dies at 58
  • 1965 William M. Branham, Christian minister (b. 1906)
  • 1971 Maria Koepcke, ornithologist (b. 1924)
  • 1972 Charles Atlas, bodybuilder, dies at 79
  • 1972 Ernst Kreuder, German writer (The Attic Pretenders), dies at 69
  • 1973 Gerard Kuiper, Dutch/US astronomer after whom the Kuiper belt is named, dies at 68
  • 1976 Duarte Nuno, Duke of Braganza, heir to the throne of Portugal (b. 1907)
  • 1977 Samael Aun Weor, Colombian writer (b. 1917)
  • 1979 Dirk Uipko Stikker, Dutch CEO (Heineken)/sect-gen NATO, dies at 82
  • 1979 Rudi [Rudolf] Dutschke, German student leader, dies at 39

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1980 Karl Dönitz, German admiral and last leader of Nazi Germany, dies of heart attack at 89

Naval commander and Nazi leader Karl Dönitz
Naval commander and Nazi leader
Karl Dönitz
  • 1982 Louis Aragon, French writer (b. 1897)
  • 1986 Gardner Fox, American author (Zatanna), dies at 75
  • 1987 John M "Joop" de Uyl, Dutch social-dem premier (1973-77), dies at 68
  • 1987 M. G. Ramachandran, Chief Minister of the Tamil Nadu (b. 1917)
  • 1990 Thorbjørn Egner, Norwegian author (b. 1922)
  • 1991 Walter Hudson, 1,025 lb man, dies at 46
  • 1992 Abdulkadir Widjojoatmodjo, Java diplomat, dies
  • 1992 Pierre Culliford [Peyo], Belgian cartoonist, dies of heart attack at 64
  • 1993 Alexander Mackendrick, British/US director (Lady Killers), dies at 81
  • 1993 Norman Vincent Peale, rev (Power of Positive Thinking), dies at 95
  • 1993 Yen Chia-kan, PM/President of Taiwan (1963-72, 75-78), dies
  • 1994 John Eastburn Boswell, medievalist, dies at 47
  • 1994 John Keith Wright, English Asst Sect of State (1971-84), dies at 66
  • 1994 John Osborne, English playwright (Entertainer, Look Back in Anger, Luther, dies at 65
  • 1994 Nathan I. Daniel, inventor (Guitars), dies at 82
  • 1995 Geoffrey Pinnington, journalist, dies at 76
  • 1995 Harry McLevy, trade unionist, dies at 59
  • 1996 Edward Leadbitter, politician, dies at 77
  • 1996 Nguyen Huu Tho, President of Vietnam (1980-81), dies
  • 1996 Peter Dormer, arts writer, dies at 47
  • 1997 James Komack, producer (Courtship of Eddie's Father), dies at 67
  • 1997 Pierre Péladeau, Quebec businessman, founder of Quebecor (b. 1925)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1998 Raemer Schreiber, American Physicist (Manhattan Project) who helped develop the first atomic bomb during World War II and prepared the Fat Man bomb that was used in the bombing of Nagasaki, dies at 88

Physicist Raemer Schreiber
Physicist
Raemer Schreiber
  • 1999 João Baptista de Oliveira Figueiredo, President of Brazil (b. 1918)
  • 1999 Bill Bowerman, American track and field coach
  • 1999 Maurice Couve de Murville, French politician, Prime minister of France (b. 1907)
  • 2000 John Cooper, English race car designer (b. 1923)
  • 2002 Kjell Aukrust, Norwegian author (b. 1920)
  • 2002 Laci Peterson, American murder victim (b. 1975)
  • 2006 Frank Stanton, American television executive (b. 1908)
  • 2007 Nicholas Pumfrey, British judge (b. 1951)
  • 2007 Akbar Radi, Iranian dramatist and playwright (b. 1939)
  • 2008 Harold Pinter, British playwright (The Birthday Party, The Homecoming), dies at 78

Person of interestPerson of Interest

2008 Samuel P. Huntington, American political scientist (The Clash of Civilizations) and presidential adviser, dies at 81

Political Scientist and Presidential Adviser Samuel P. Huntington
Political Scientist and Presidential Adviser
Samuel P. Huntington
  • 2009 Rafael Caldera, lawyer, sociologist, writer, speaker, politician, and ex-president of Venezuela (b. 1916)
  • 2010 Elisabeth Beresford, British author and creator of The Wombles (b. 1926)
  • 2010 Orestes Quércia, Brazilian politician (b. 1938)
  • 2016 Richard Adams, English author (Watership Down), dies at 96
  • 2016 Vera Rubin, American astronomer who discovered dark matter, dies at 88