How Kissing Works
by Tracy V. Wilson
Anthropologists report that 90 percent of the people in the world kiss. Most people look forward to their first romantic kiss and remember it for the rest of their lives. Parents kiss children, worshippers kiss religious artifacts and couples kiss each other. Some people even kiss the ground when they get off an airplane.When
you really think about it, kissing is pretty gross. It involves saliva and mucous membranes, and it may have historical roots in chewed-up food. Experts estimate that hundreds or even millions of bacterial colonies move from one mouth to another during a kiss. Doctors have also linked kissing to the spread of diseases like meningitis, herpes and mononucleosis.
So how does one gesture come to signify affection, celebration, grief, comfort and respect, all over the world? No one knows for sure, but anthropologists think kissing might have originated with human mothers feeding their babies much the way birds do. Mothers would chew the food and then pass it from their mouths to their babies’ mouths. After the babies learned to eat solid food, their mothers may have kissed them to comfort them or to show affection.
In this scenario, kissing is a learned behavior, passed from generation to generation. We do it because we learned how to from our parents and from the society around us. There’s a problem with this theory, though: women in a few modern indigenous cultures feed their babies by passing chewed food mouth-to-mouth. But in some of these cultures, no one kissed until Westerners introduced the practice.
The Effects of Kissing
While researchers aren’t exactly sure how or why people started kissing, they do know that romantic kissing affects most people profoundly. The Kinsey Institute describes a person’s response to kissing as a combination of three factors:
- Your psychological response depends on your mental and emotional state as well as how you feel about the person who is kissing you. Psychologically, kissing someone you want to kiss will generally encourage feelings of attachment and affection. If you’re kissing someone you don’t like, or you’re kissed against your will, your psychological response will be completely different.
- Your body physically reacts to being kissed. Most people like to be touched, and that’s part of your body’s response to kissing. But kissing also affects everything from your blood to your brain. We’ll look at your body’s biological reactions to kissing in detail in a later section.
- The culture in which you grew up plays a big part in how you feel about kissing. In most Western societies, people are conditioned to, look forward to and enjoy kissing. The behavior of the people around you, depictions in the media and other social factors can dramatically affect how you respond to being kissed.
A kiss is the juxtaposition of the oracle oris muscles in a state of contraction.
“The difference between something good and something great is attention to detail.”
~ Charles R. Swindoll
(Apply this quote to the kiss)
jux·ta·po·si·tion / [juhk-stuh-puh-zish-uhn] –noun
- an act or instance of placing close together or side by side, esp. for comparison or contrast.
- the state of being close together or side by side.
1607 – Indian chief Powhatan spared John Smith’s life because of the pleas of Powhatan’s daughter, Pocahontas.
1778 – British troops, attempting a new strategy to defeat the colonials in America, captured Savannah, the capital of Georgia.
1782 – First nautical almanac in US was published by Samuel Stearns in Boston.
1812 – The USS Constitution won a battle with the British ship HMS Java about 30 miles off the coast of Brazil. Before Commodore William Bainbridge ordered the sinking of the Java he had her wheel removed to replace the one the Constitution had lost during the battle.
1813 – British soldiers burn Buffalo, New York during the War of 1812.
1835 – The Treaty of New Echota is signed, ceding all the lands of the Cherokee east of the Mississippi River to the United States.
1837 – Canadian militiamen destroyed the Caroline, a U.S. steamboat docked at Buffalo, New York.
1837 – Hiram A. and John A. Pitts of Maine patented the steam-powered threshing machine. Their machine threshed the grain from the heads, separated the straw by a blower, and removed the chaff from the grain in a single operation.
1845 – Texas (comprised of the present state of Texas and part of New Mexico, Colorado, and Wyoming) was admitted as the 28th state of the Union, with the provision that the area should be divided into no more than five states.
1848 – Gas lights first installed at White House (Polk’s administration)
1851 – The first American YMCA opens in Boston, Massachusetts.
1852 – Emma Snodgrass arrested in Boston for wearing pants. “The foolish girl, Emma Snodgrass, who goes about in virile toggery, was taken before the Court here, as a vagrant, a day or two ago. But it was proved that she did not beg nor misbehave herself, and that she payed her way. She was therefore let go — to pursue a wretched life of idleness and immorality.”
1860 – The first British seagoing iron-clad warship, the HMS Warrior is launched.
1862 – Civil War: Union General William T. Sherman is thwarted in his attempt to capture Vicksburg, Mississippi, when he orders a frontal assault on entrenched Rebels.
1862 – Bowling Ball invented. The game has been around since 5200 B.C.. This was the creation of the wooden bowling ball.
1863 –Civil War: U.S.S. Reindeer with Army steamer Silver Lake No. 2 in company, reconnoitered the Cumberland River at the request of General Grant.
1867 – First telegraph ticker used by a brokerage house.
1876 – The Ashtabula River Railroad bridge disaster occurs. It was a derailment caused by the failure of a bridge over the Ashtabula River about 1,000 feet from the railroad station at Ashtabula, in far northeastern Ohio. At about 7:30 pm, two locomotives hauling 11 railcars of the Lake Shore and Michigan Southern Railway carrying 159 passengers plunged into the river in deep snow when the bridge gave way beneath them. The wooden cars were set alight by their heating stoves, but no attempt was made to extinguish the fire. The accident killed ninety-two people, including the gospel singer and hymn-writer Philip Bliss and his wife. It was the worst rail accident in the U.S. until the Great Train Wreck of 1918. Only the first engine of the train made it to the other side at 7:28 p.m. as the bridge began to collapse. The rest of the train broke away and plummeted to the bottom of the ravine below.
1885 – Gottlieb Daimler patents first motorbike (Germany)
1890 – United States soldiers massacre more than 300 men, women and children of the Great Sioux Nation at Wounded Knee, South Dakota on the Lakota Pine Ridge Indian Reservation . This was the last major conflict with Indians.
1891 – Thomas Edison patents the radio.
1903 – An Executive Order extended the jurisdiction of the Lighthouse Service to Guantanamo, Cuba.
1909 – William A. Besserdich and his brother-in-law, Otto Zachow, were young blacksmiths in Clintonville, Wisconsin, when they built America’s first successful four-wheel-drive motor car.
1913 – Seligs Polyscope Company releases “The Unwelcome Throne”, the first serial motion picture.
1921 – Sears, Roebuck President, Julius Rosenwald, pledged $20 million of his personal fortune to help Sears through hard times.
1924 – Milton Berle (d.2002), comedian, at 16 made his debut at Loew’s State Theater in Times Square for $600 per week.
1930 – Fred P. Newton completed the longest swim ever (1826 miles) when he swam in the Mississippi River from Ford Dam, Minnesota to New Orleans, Louisiana. He was accompanied on the adventure by his brother and a friend named James Patterson.
1933 – Yankees refuse to release Babe Ruth so he can manage the Cincinnati Reds.
1934 – The first college basketball game at New York City’s Madison Square Garden is played between the University of Notre Dame and New York University.
1934 – Japan renounces the Washington Naval Treaty of 1922 and the London Naval Treaty of 1930.
1937 – The Irish Free State is replaced by a new state called Ireland with the adoption of a new constitution.
1938 – Construction on Lake Washington Floating Bridge, Seattle WA, begins. The bridge (also called Mercer Island Bridge) opened on July 2, 1940, to great fanfare, and at 6,620 feet long (the pontoon section only), it was the world’s largest floating structure at the time.
1940 – World War II: In The Second Great Fire of London, the Luftwaffe firebombs City of London, killing almost 200 civilians.
1943 – “San Fernando Valley” was recorded by Bing Crosby.
1943 – World War II: USS Silversides (SS-236) sinks three Japanese ships and damages a fourth off Palau.
1945 – The mystery voice of “Mr. Hush” introduced to the game show “Truth or Consequences.”
1948 – James V. Forrestal, the first Secretary of Defense, made the first public announcement that the U.S. military has begun feasibility studies on the launching of artificial Earth satellites.
1949 – KC2XAK of Bridgeport, Connecticut becomes the first Ultra high frequency (UHF) television station to operate a daily schedule.
1950 – CHART TOPPERS – “The Thing” by Phil Harris, “Tennessee Waltz” by Patti Page, “Nevertheless” by Jack Denny and “If You’ve Got the Money Honey I’ve Got the Time” by Lefty Frizzell all topped the charts.
1950 – The Associated Press named General of the Army Douglas MacArthur the outstanding newsmaker of 1950.
1950 – Time magazine selected “GI Joe” as the Man of the Year.
1951 – “Cry” by Johnny Ray topped the charts.
1952 – The first transistor hearing aid went on sale, the model 1010 manufactured by the Sonotone Corporation in Elmsford, NY, U.S. It weighed 3.5-oz, measured 3″x1.5″x0.6″ and cost $229.50.
1953 – Jean Stapleton debuted in her first Broadway play, “In the Summer House”, which closed after only 55 performances.
1955 – Barbra Streisand’s first recording, “You’ll Never Know” at age 13.
1956 – “Singing the Blues” by Guy Mitchell topped the charts.
1957 – Singers Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme were married in Las Vegas.
1958 – CHART TOPPERS – “The Chipmunk Song” by The Chipmunks, “One Night” by Elvis Presley, “Lonesome Town” by Ricky Nelson and “City Lights” by Ray Price all topped the lights.
1958 – TV soap “Young Dr Malone” debuts.
1962 – “Telstar” by the Tornados topped the charts.
1963 – Twenty-two people perish in the Hotel Roosevelt fire (11:38), the worst fire to occur in Jacksonville, Florida since the Great Fire of 1901.
1965 – Supremes release “My World is Empty Without You.”
1965 – Country and Western music singer and recording star Johnny Cash entered a plea of guilty before U.S. District Judge D.W. Suttle Tuesday at his arraignment on charges of possessing 668 Dexadrin and 475 Equanil tablets when arrested October 4th at El Paso International Airport.
1965 – James Bond in “Thunderball” premieres in US.
1965 – Vietnam: A Christmas truce was observed in Vietnam, while President Johnson tried to get the North Vietnamese to the bargaining table.
1966 – CHART TOPPERS – “Winchester Cathedral” by The New Vaudeville Band, “I’m a Believer” by The Monkees, “That’s Life” by Frank Sinatra and “There Goes My Everything” by Jack Greene all topped the charts.
1967 – Star Trek’s “The Trouble With Tribbles” first airs.
1969 – New York Times reports Curt Flood will sue baseball & challenge the reserve clause.
1972 – Life magazine ended publication with the issue titled “Year in Pictures.” From 1936 it had produced over 1,860 issues. The magazine was resurrected as a monthly in 1978 and ended again in 2000,
1972 – Eastern Airlines Flight 401, a Lockheed Tri-Star Jumbo Jet carrying 176 people, crashed into the Florida Everglades. 75 people survived. In the end, the crash was blamed on the crew’s preoccupation with a landing gear light.
1973 – “Time in a Bottle” by Jim Croce topped the charts.
1974 – CHART TOPPERS – “Angie Baby” by Helen Reddy, “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” by Elton John, “You’re the First, the Last, My Everything” by Barry White and “What a Man, My Man Is” by Lynn Anderson all topped the charts.
1975 – A bomb explodes at La Guardia Airport in New York City, killing 11 people and injuring 74.
1979 – “Escape (The Pina Colada Song)” by Rupert Holmes topped the charts.
1982 – CHART TOPPERS – “Maneater” by Daryl Hall & John Oates, “The Girl is Mine” by Michael Jackson/Paul McCartney, “Dirty Laundry” by Don Henley and “Wild and Blue” by John Anderson all topped the charts.
1982 – Coach Paul “Bear” Bryant ends his career with Alabama (323 wins).
1983 – US announced its withdrawal from UNESCO.
1984 – “Like a Virgin” by Madonna topped the charts.
1986 – The Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables, FL, reopened for business after eighteen years and $47 million expended on restoration.
1987 – The antidepressant drug Prozac was allowed to go on the market. It was based on fluoxetine, which increases serotonin levels in the brain by preventing the cells that that produce serotonin from reabsorbing it too quickly.
1988 – The Federal Aviation Administration, responding to the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103, announced tightened security measures for U.S. air carriers at 103 airports in the Middle East and Western Europe.
1989 – On the final day of trading for the year and decade, the Japanese Nikkei 225 Average closes at an all-time high of 38,915.87.
1989 – Jane Pauley says goodbye to NBC’s “Today” show.
1990 – CHART TOPPERS – “Because I Love You” by Stevie B, “Justify My Love” by Madonna, “Impulsive” by Wilson Phillips and “I’ve Come to Expect It from You” by George Strait all topped the charts.
1992 – New York Gov. Mario Cuomo commuted the prison sentence of Jean Harris, the convicted killer of “Scarsdale Diet” author Herman Tarnower.
1994 – U.S. officials confirmed the release in North Korea of Army helicopter pilot Bobby Hall, 12 days after he was captured in a shootdown in which co-pilot David Hilemon was killed.
1997 – In Newport, Indiana, Orville Lynn Majors (36), a former nurse, was arrested for murder and suspected in the deaths of 130 out of 147 patients that died while he was on duty between 1993 and 1995.
2002 – Cincinnati’s Riverfront Stadium/Cinergy Field is demolished.
2003 – The FBI issues a memo instructing police to be alert of people carrying almanacs, stating that information in these reference works could be used to aid in the planning of terrorist attacks.
2004 – The death toll from the Indian Ocean Earthquake and subsequent tsunamis on December 26 reaches more than 80,000 and the Red Cross issues a statement saying that the number of dead is likely to rise above 100,000.
2005 – An official said the number of detainees on hunger strike at the U.S. military detention facility in Guantanamo Bay more than doubled in the last week to 84.
2006 – US regulators gave final approval for the $86 billion merger between AT&T and BellSouth, the biggest merger in telecommunications history.
2006 – Two American sailors died after falling from a US submarine off the coast of southern England.
2007 – New England Patriots finish the season 16-0. New England became the first team since the 1972 Dolphins to finish the regular season undefeated.
2007 – Tom Brady and Randy Moss both of the New England Patriots set NFL records. Tom for Most Touchdown Passes in a season with 50 and Randy for the Most Touchdown Receptions in a season with 23.
2008 – Yellowstone National Park was jostled by a host of small earthquakes for a third straight day, and scientists watched closely to see whether the more than 250 tremors were a sign of something bigger to come.
2009 – Robert Park, a 28-year-old US citizen from Tucson, Arizona, crossed the Tumen River and entered North Korea without permission around 5 pm on Christmas Day. He wanted to urge the country’s leader, Kim Jong-Il, to repent and release prisoners, according to a group associated with the activist.
2010 – The United States revokes the visa for Bernardo Álvarez Herrera, the Venezuelan ambassador to the country
2011 – Mark Meckler, co-founder of Tea Party Patriots, was arrested at New York City’s LaGuardia Airport on a gun charge! He currently faces 15 years in prison. Yet, he had in his possession a concealed-carry permit.
2012 – Bank of America has reportedly frozen the account of gun manufacturer American Spirit Arms, according to its owner, Joe Sirochman. His bank manager is quoted, ‘We believe you should not be selling guns and parts on the Internet.’”
1800 – Charles Goodyear, American inventor of vulcanization process for rubber.
1809 – William Gladstone, English statesman and four-time Prime Minister.
1876 – Pablo Casals, Spanish cellist.
1907 – Robert C. Weaver, the first Black American to serve on a President’s cabinet (Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Secretary of Housing and Urban Development).
1917 – Thomas Bradley, American, mayor of Los Angeles.
1937 – Mary Tyler Moore, American actress and comedian
NASH, DAVID P.
Rank and organization: Private First Class, U.S. Army, Company B, 2d Battalion, 39th Infantry, 9th Infantry Division. Place and date: Giao Duc District, Dinh Tuong Province, Republic of Vietnam, December 29th, 1968. Entered service at: Louisville, Ky. Born: 3 November 1947, Whitesville, Ky. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Pfc. Nash distinguished himself while serving as a grenadier with Company B, in Giao Duc District. When an ambush patrol of which he was a member suddenly came under intense attack before reaching its destination, he was the first to return the enemy fire. Taking an exposed location, Pfc. Nash suppressed the hostile fusillade with a rapid series of rounds from his grenade launcher, enabling artillery fire to be adjusted on the enemy. After the foe had been routed, his small element continued to the ambush site where he established a position with three fellow soldiers on a narrow dike. Shortly past midnight, while Pfc. Nash and a comrade kept watch and the two other men took their turn sleeping, an enemy grenade wounded two soldiers in the adjacent position. Seconds later, Pfc. Nash saw another grenade land only a few feet from his own position. Although he could have escaped harm by rolling down the other side of the dike, he shouted a warning to his comrades and leaped upon the lethal explosive. Absorbing the blast with his body, he saved the lives of the three men in the area at the sacrifice of his life. By his gallantry at the cost of his life are in the highest traditions of the military service, Pfc. Nash has reflected great credit on himself, his unit, and the U.S. Army.
AUSTIN, WILLIAM G.
Rank and organization: Sergeant, Company E, 7th U.S. Cavalry. Place and date: At Wounded Knee Creek, S. Dak., December 29th, 1890. Entered service at: New York, N.Y. Birth: Galveston, Tex. Date of issue: 27 June 1891. Citation: While the Indians were concealed in a ravine, assisted men on the skirmish line, directing their fire, etc., and using every effort to dislodge the enemy.
CLANCY, JOHN E.
Rank and organization: Musician, Company E, 1st U.S. Artillery. Place and date: At Wounded Knee Creek, S. Dak., December 29th, 1890. Entered service at: ——. Birth: New York, N.Y. Date of issue 23 January 1892. Citation: Twice voluntarily rescued wounded comrades under fire of the enemy.
Rank and organization: Private, Company E, 7th U.S. Cavalry. Place and date: At Wounded Knee Creek, S. Dak., December 29th, 1890. Entered service at: Schellburg, Pa. Birth: Schellburg, Pa. Date of issue: 23 June 1891. Citation: Extraordinary gallantry.
GARLINGTON, ERNEST A.
Rank and organization: First Lieutenant, 7th U.S. Cavalry. Place and date: At Wounded Knee Creek, S. Dak., December 29th, 1890. Entered service at: Athens, Ga. Born: 20 February 1853, Newberry, S.C. Date of issue: 26 September 1893. Citation: Distinguished gallantry.
GRESHAM, JOHN C.
Rank and organization: First Lieutenant, 7th U.S. Cavalry. Place and date: At Wounded Knee Creek, S. Dak., December 29th, 1890. Entered service at: Lancaster Courthouse, Va. Birth: Virginia. Date of issue: 26 March 1895. Citation: Voluntarily led a party into a ravine to dislodge Sioux Indians concealed therein. He was wounded during this action.
HAMILTON, MATHEW H.
Rank and organization: Private, Company G, 7th U.S. Cavalry. Place and date: At Wounded Knee Creek, S. Dak., December 29th, 1890. Entered service at: New York, N.Y. Birth: Australia. Date of issue: 25 May 1891. Citation: Bravery in action.
HARTZOG, JOSHIJA B.
Rank and organization: Private, Company E, 1st U.S. Artillery. Place and date: At Wounded Knee Creek, S. Dak., December 29th, 1890. Entered service at: ——. Birth: Paulding County, Ohio, Date of issue: 24 March 1891. Citation: Went to the rescue of the commanding officer who had fallen severely wounded, picked him up, and carried him out of range of the hostile guns.
HAWTHORNE, HARRY L.
Rank and organization: Second Lieutenant, 2d U S. Artillery. Place and date: At Wounded Knee Creek, S. Dak., December 29th, 1890. Entered service at: Kentucky. Born: 1860, Minnesota. Date of issue: 1 1 October 1892. Citation: Distinguished conduct in battle with hostile Indians .
HILLOCK, MARVIN C.
Rank and organization: Private, Company B, 7th U.S. Cavalry. Place and date: At Wounded Knee Creek, S. Dak., December 29th, 1890. Entered service at: Lead City, S. Dak. Birth: Michigan. Date of issue: 16 April 1891. Citation: Distinguished bravery.
Rank and organization: Private, Company A, 7th U.S. Cavalry. Place and date: At Wounded Knee Creek, S. Dak., December 29th, 1890. Entered service at: ——. Birth: Pulaski County, IL. Date of issue: 23 June 1891. Citation: Conspicuous and gallant conduct in battle.
Rank and organization: Sergeant, Company I, 7th U.S. Cavalry. Place and date: At Wounded Knee Creek, S. Dak., December 29th, 1890. Entered service at: ——. Birth: Ireland. Date of issue: 16 April 1891. Citation: Bravery, especially after having been severely wounded through the lung.
McMlLLAN, ALBERT W.
Rank and organization: Sergeant, Company E, 7th U.S. Cavalry. Place and date: At Wounded Knee Creek, S. Dak., December 29th, 1890. Entered service at: Baltimore, Md. Birth: Baltimore, Md. Date of issue: 23 June 1891. Citation: While engaged with Indians concealed in a ravine, he assisted the men on the skirmish line, directed their fire, encouraged them by example, and used every effort to dislodge the enemy.
Rank and organization: Private, Company E, 7th U.S. Cavalry. Place and date: At Wounded Knee Creek, S. Dak., December 29th, 1890. Entered service at: Newark, N.J. Birth: Ireland. Date of issue: 17 December 1891. Citation: Conspicuous bravery in action against Indians concealed in a ravine.
TOY, FREDERICK E.
Rank and organization: First Sergeant, Company C, 7th U.S. Cavalry. Place and date: At Wounded Knee Creek, S. Dak., December 29th, 1890. Entered service at:——. Birth: Buffalo, N.Y. Date of issue: 26 May 1891. Citation: Bravery.
Rank and organization: First Sergeant, Company I, 7th U.S. Cavalry. Place and date: At Wounded Knee Creek, S. Dak., December 29th, 1890. Entered service at: ——. Birth: Germany. Date of issue: 27 March 1891. Citation: Killed a hostile Indian at close quarters, and, although entitled to retirement from service, remained to the close of the campaign.
Rank and organization: Sergeant, Company B, 7th U.S. Cavalry. Place and date: At Wounded Knee Creek, S. Dak., December 29th, 1890. Entered service at: Boston, Mass. Birth: Quincy, Mass. Date of issue: 16 April 1891. Citation: Continued to flght after being severely wounded.
WElNERT, PAUL H.
Rank and organization: Corporal, Company E, 1st U.S. Artillery. Place and date: At Wounded Knee Creek, S. Dak., December 29th, 1890. Entered service at: Baltimore, Md. Birth: Germany. Date of issue: 24 March 1891. Citation: Taking the place of his commanding of ficer who had fallen severely wounded, he gallantly served his piece, after each flre advancing it to a better position.
Rank and organization: Captain, Company A, 51st Indiana Infantry. Place and date: At Stone River, Tenn., December 29th, 1862. Entered service at: North Salem, Ind. Birth: Hendricks County, Ind. Date of issue: 28 September 1897. Citation: Was the first man to cross Stone River and, in the face of a galling fire from the concealed skirmishers of the enemy, led his men up the hillside, driving the opposing skirmishers before them.
WILLIAMSON, JAMES A.
Rank and organization: Colonel, 4th lowa Infantry. Place and date: At Chickasaw Bayou, Miss., December 29th, 1862. Entered service at: Des Moines, lowa. Born: 8 February 1829, Columbia, Adair County, Ky. Date of issue: 17 January 1895. Citation: Led his regiment against a superior force, strongly entrenched, and held his ground when all support had been withdrawn.
Pledge of Allegiance Day
National No Interruptions Day
The Ring of Fire
There seems to be an increase in the interest surrounding a region called the Ring of Fire. There is more and more talk of the fear of earthquakes and volcanoes. Even in Arizona there are old volcanoes including Mt. Humphreys just north of Flagstaff. Here is some more information.
If you have ever been on a river that was frozen and it starts to breakup you can have some idea about how the ring of fire and plate tectonics works. The planet earth rides on a solid core surrounded by a great “sea” of magma and the continents are like the pieces of ice in the river. Maybe a better picture would be a lake since it is calmer normally. Once the ice has started to break, the pieces start to move against each other sometimes breaking pieces off and making a lot of noise. The same thing happens in plate tectonics or how the continents or the plates react to one another.
One particular part of the earth that is especially active in this regard is an area the “Ring of Fire.” It is an area stretching from New Zealand, along the eastern edge of Asia, north across the Aleutian Islands of Alaska, and south along the coast of North and South America. The Ring of Fire is composed of over 75% of the world’s active and dormant volcanoes.
This huge ring was noticed and described long before the invention of the theory of plate tectonics. We now know that the Ring of Fire is located at the borders of the Pacific Plate and other major tectonic plates with the exception of the southeastern spreading ridge and 900 miles of the San Andreas Fault.
The volcanoes in this area occur because just about the entire Pacific plate is undergoing subduction beneath other and younger, lighter plates. The Pacific plate is the one being subducted, so it is diving into the mantle, where the oceanic crust is melted into new magma, which rises to the surface, and to shorten the story, creates a volcano. Since the entire rim is basically one unbroken subduction zone, you have lots of volcanoes. The plates, like the large pieces of ice in the river, actually are giant rafts of the earth’s surface which often slide next to, collide with, and are forced underneath other plates. Around the Ring, the Pacific Plate is colliding with and sliding underneath other plates.
Volcanoes are temporary features on the earth’s surface and there are currently about 1500 active volcanoes in the world. About ten percent of these are located in the United States. This is a listing of major volcanic areas in the Ring of Fire:
In South America the Nazca plate is colliding with the South American plate. This has created the Andes and volcanoes such as Cotopaxi and Azul.
In Central America, the tiny Cocos plate is crashing into the North American plate and is therefore responsible for the Mexican volcanoes of Popocatepetl and Paricutun (which rose up from a cornfield in 1943 and became a instant mountains).
Between Northern California and British Columbia, the Pacific, Juan de Fuca, and Gorda plates have built the Cascades and the infamous Mount Saint Helens, which erupted in 1980.
Alaska’s Aleutian Islands are growing as the Pacific plate hits the North American plate. The deep Aleutian Trench has been created at the subduction zone with a maximum depth of 25,194 feet.
From Russia’s Kamchatka Peninsula to Japan, the subduction of the Pacific plate under the Eurasian plate is responsible for Japanese islands and volcanoes (such as Mt. Fuji).
The final section of the Ring of Fire exists where the Indo-Australian plate subducts under the Pacific plate and has created volcanoes in the New Guinea and Micronesian areas. Near New Zealand, the Pacific Plate slides under the Indo-Australian plate.
Watch as volcanoes, earthquakes and tsunamis form and work. With this information you will see that it is not happenstance and actually follows a somewhat predictable path.
“Life has no limitations, except the ones you make.”
~ Les Brown
Bite the bullet
Endure pain with fortitude.
Origin: In the days before effective anesthetics soldiers were given bullets to bite on to help them endure pain. Improvements in battlefield medicine has seen the real act of biting bullets migrated into metaphor, although it must still happen occasionally.
First recorded in print in Kipling’s Light that Failed, 1891. Kipling uses ‘bite the bullet’ rather than ‘bite this bullet’, which we might have expected if the idea were new to the character being spoken to. That tends to suggest the phrase was already public when the story was written.
1598 – Richard and Cuthbert Burbage led a crew to begin the demolition of the Theater in London. They and partners that included William Shakespeare used the timbers to build a new theater. The Globe opened in 1599.
1612 – Galileo Galilei becomes the first astronomer to observe the planet Neptune, although he mistakenly catalogued it as a fixed star.
1732 – First known ad for “Poor Richard’s Almanack” (Pennsylvania Gazette). The ad promised “…Many pleasant and witty verses, jests and sayings … new fashions, games for kisses … men and melons … breakfast in bed, etc.
1789 – Lydia Darragh (b.1729), American spy, died in Philadelphia. Her exploits in 1777 did not become public until the publication of an anonymous article in 1827.
1832 – John C. Calhoun becomes the first Vice President of the United States to resign. He cited political differences with President Andrew Jackson and a desire to fill a vacant Senate seat in South Carolina
1835 – Osceola led his Seminole warriors in Florida into the Second Seminole War against the U.S. Army.
1836 – Spain recognizes independence of Mexico.
1846 – Iowa is admitted as the 29th U.S. state.
1862 – Civil War: Rear Admiral D. D. Porter’s gunboats supported General Sherman’s attempt to capture Confederate-held Chickasaw Bluffs, a vantage point upstream from Vicksburg.
1867 – U.S. claims Midway Island, first territory annexed outside Continental limits.
1869 – William E. Semple of Mt. Vernon, Ohio patents chewing gum. Chewing gum is a type of confectionery which is designed to be chewed instead of swallowed. Traditionally, it was made of chicle, a natural latex product, although for reasons of economy and quality many modern chewing gums use petroleum-based polymers instead of chicle. Chicle is nonetheless still the base of choice for some regional markets, such as in Japan. Glee Gum claims to be the last United States gum manufacturer to still use chicle.
1869 – The Knights of Labor, a labor union of tailors in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, held the first Labor Day ceremonies in American history.
1872 – A U.S. Army force defeated a group of Apache warriors at Salt River Canyon, Arizona Territory.
1877 – John Stevens of Neenah, Wisconsin, applies for a patent on his flour rolling mill.
1895 – First commercial movie screened. The Lumière brothers have their first paying audience at the Grand Cafe in Boulevard des Capucines marking the debut of the cinema.
1897 – The play Cyrano de Bergerac, by Edmond Rostand, premieres in Paris.
1900 – Convinced that her righteous campaign against alcohol justified her aggressive tactics, Carry Nation attacks a saloon in Wichita, Kansas, shattering a large mirror behind the bar and throwing rocks at a titillating painting of Cleopatra bathing.
1902 – The first indoor professional American football game, the World Series of pro football, was played in New York City at Madison Square Garden. Syracuse beats Philadelphia 6-0.
1903 – An Executive Order extended the jurisdiction of the Lighthouse Service to the non-contiguous territory of the Hawaiian Islands.
1904 – Farmers in Georgia burned two million bales of cotton to prop up falling prices.
1905 – Drydock Dewey left Solomon’s Island, MD, enroute through the Suez Canal to the Philippines to serve as repair base. This, the longest towing job ever accomplished, was completed by USS Brutus, USS Caesar, and USS Glacier on 10 July 1906.
1912 – The first municipally owned streetcars take to the streets in San Francisco.
1920 – U.S. resumed the deportation of communists and suspected communists.
1923 – George Bernard Shaw’s “St Joan” premieres in New York NY.
1925 – George/Ira Gershwin’s musical “Tip-Toes” premieres in New York NY.
1928 – Louis Armstrong makes 78rpm recording of “West End Blues.”
1928 – Last recording of Ma Rainey, “Mother of the Blues” (34:39) is made. She didn’t have a voice that was strong or beautiful as her protégé Bessie Smith, but she had a deep feeling for the sad songs she performed.
1939 – First flight of the Consolidated XB-24 “Liberator” bomber prototype.
1941 – World War II: In the Philippines, American and allied troops continue to fall back. They are now at the Tarlac-Cabanatuan line. Japanese attacks continue.
1941 – World War II: Authority given to establish the Navy’s own Construction Battalion. This is the actual beginning of the renowned Seabees and this “nickname” came from the sounds of its official name “CB”. Admiral Moreell personally furnished them with their official motto: Construimus, Batuimus — “We Build, We Fight.”
1943 – World War II: On New Britain, the US 1st Marine Division begins advancing to attack the Japanese airfield at Cape Gloucester.
1944 – World War II: The US 5th Army, fighting in the Italian Serchio valley, has pulled back from the town of Barga in response to German counterattacks.
1944 – World War II: 1200 B-17 Flying Fortress bombers, escorted by 700 fighters, attacked Coblenz and other targets. Late in the day, Bomber Command bombs Cologne.
1944 – Former Washington 3rd baseman Buddy Lewis receives the Distinguished Flying Cross for service over Burma.
1944 – The musical “On the Town” opened in New York City and ran for 462 performances. It features the song, “New York, New York.”
1945 – The U.S. Congress officially recognizes the Pledge of Allegiance. The Pledge of Allegiance was written by Reverend Francis Bellamy for use at the dedication of the World’s Fair Grounds in Chicago on October 21, 1892. The words “under God” were added in 1954 in a law signed by President Dwight D. Eisenhower.
1947 – Chicago Cardinals beat Philadelphia Eagles 28-21 in NFL championship game.
1948 – The DC-3 airliner NC16002 disappears 50 miles south of Miami, Florida. The aircraft carried 29 passengers and three crew members. No reason for the loss was determined by the official investigation and it remains unsolved. This aircraft was the first to operate an airline schedule in the world.
1949 – CHART TOPPERS – “I Can Dream, Can’t I?” by The Tommy Dorsey Orchestra (vocal: Jack Leonard), “A Dreamer’s Holiday” by Perry Como, “Dear Hearts and Gentle People” by Bing Crosby and “Mule Train” by Tennessee Ernie Ford all topped the charts.
1949 – 20th Century Fox announces it will produce TV programs.
1950 – Korean War: Chinese troops cross 38th Parallel, into South Korea.
1952 – Korean War: The Far East Air Force mounted its heaviest bombing attack since August of 1952 with a 200-plane attack against targets southwest of Pyongyang.
1956 – Dr. Frances Horwich [Miss Frances], Ding Dong School started on NBC-TV. Seen Monday through Friday, the “Ding Dong School” was one of the first educational shows for kids. It pioneered the style later used by Mr. Rogers and others.
1957 – “April Love” by Pat Boone topped the charts.
1957 – The 2,000,000th Volkswagen was finished on this day.
1958 – What might be called greatest NFL game, Colts beat Giants 23-17 (2:35:16). The reason it might be called that? Twelve future Hall of Fame members played that game at Yankee Stadium, and included none other than Johnny Unitas. This was also the first game to go into overtime.
1958 – Chipmunks (Alvin, Simon & Theodore with David Seville) hit #1.
1959 – “Why” by Frankie Avalon topped the charts.
1961 – Tennessee Williams’ “Night of the Iguana” premieres in New York NY.
1963 – “Dominique” by Singing Nun topped the charts.
1964 – Vietnam: South Vietnamese troops retake Binh Gia in a costly battle.
1965 – CHART TOPPERS – “Over and Over” by The Dave Clark Five, “I Got You (I Feel Good)” by James Brown, “The Sounds of Silence” by Simon & Garfunkel and “Buckaroo” by Buck Owens & The Buckaroos all topped the charts.
1968 – Beatles’ “Beatles-The White Album” (1:33:34) goes #1 & stays #1 for 9 weeks.
1968 – Israeli commando troops destroy 13 civilian aircraft at Beirut International Airport.
1969 – Neil Simon’s “Last of the Red Hot Lovers” premieres in New York NY.
1972 – Vietnam: After 11 days of round-the-clock bombing (with the exception of a 36-hour break for Christmas), North Vietnamese officials agree to return to the peace negotiations in Paris.
1973 – CHART TOPPERS – “The Most Beautiful Girl” by Charlie Rich, “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” by Elton John, “Time in a Bottle” by Jim Croce and “If We Make It Through December” by Merle Haggard all topped the charts.
1973 – Alexander Solzhenitsyn publishes “Gulag Archipelago,”
1973 – Akron OH’s Chamber of Commerce terminates itself from Soap Box Derby. Starting in 1935, the All-American Soap Box Derby had taken place in Akron and acquired a national sponsor: Chevrolet. Tribute to the American boy as inventor, engineer and sportsman.
1973 – Pres. Nixon signed into law the Endangered Species Act. The first list of endangered species contained Gray whales. The Gray whale was removed from the list in 1994 when the population climbed back to about 22,000.
1974 – “Angie Baby” by Helen Reddy topped the charts.
1975 – Twenty-five year old David Gelfer pointed a .44 magnum at Ted Nugent and was then brought down to the ground by members of the audience and security guards. Gelfer was charged with “intimidating with a weapon.”
1976 – “Fiddler on the Roof” (3:00:54) opens at Winter Garden Theater New York City.
1981 – CHART TOPPERS – “Physical” by Olivia Newton-John, “Waiting for a Girl like You” by Foreigner, “Let’s Groove” by Earth, Wind & Fire and “Love in the First Degree” by Alabama all topped the charts.
1981 – The first American test-tube baby, Elizabeth Jordan Carr, is born in Norfolk, Virginia.
1981 – The HBO pay cable television service expanded its schedule offering to 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
1981 – Pat Sajak starts hosting the daytime version of Wheel of Fortune.
1982 – Recommissioning of USS New Jersey (BB-62), the first of four Iowa-class battleships that were returned to service in 1980s.
1982 – Nevell Johnson Jr. was mortally wounded by a police officer in a Miami video arcade. The event set off three days of race-related disturbances that left another man dead.
1983 – Dennis Wilson of the Beach Boys drowned while swimming near his boat in the harbor at Marina del Ray, CA.
1984 – The Edge of Night, a long running daytime American soap opera ends after a 28 year run and 7420 episodes.
1985 – “Say You, Say Me” by Lionel Richie topped the charts.
1987 – MASS SHOOTING: The bodies of 14 relatives of R. Gene Simmons were found at his home near Dover, AR. Simmons had gone on a shooting spree in Russellville that claimed two other lives.
1988 – British authorities investigating the explosion that destroyed Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, concluded that a bomb caused the blast aboard the jumbo jet.
1989 – CHART TOPPERS – “Another Day in Paradise” by Phil Collins,” Don’t Know Much” Linda Ronstadt (featuring Aaron Neville), “Rhythm Nation” by Janet Jackson and “A Woman in Love” by Ronnie Milsap all topped the charts.
1990 – USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) and USS America (CV-66) Carrier Battle Groups deploy from Norfolk, VA, for Middle East to join Operation Desert Shield.
1990 – Thirty-three people were injured in a trolley collision in Boston.
1991 – Ted Turner is named Time Magazine “Man of the Year.”
1991 – Nine people died in a crush to get into a basketball game at City College in New York. The game was promoted by rapper Sean “Puff Daddy” Combs.
1992 – NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Montana played in his final game as a San Francisco 49er in a victory over the Detroit Lions.
1993 – US Energy Secretary Hazel O’Leary told CNN that people wrongfully exposed to radiation through federally funded experiments more than 40 years ago deserved to be compensated. Birth of the Entitlement mindset.
1994 – CIA Director R. James Woolsey resigned, ending a tenure shadowed by the Aldrich Ames spy scandal.
1995 – CompuServe sets a precedent by blocking access to sex-oriented newsgroups after being pressured by German prosecutors.
1997 – In Medford, Mass., a fire in a three-story building left six people dead including four children.
1998 – One woman was killed and more than 100 other people hurt, when a United Airlines jumbo jet en route from Tokyo to Honolulu encountered severe turbulence over the Pacific.
1998 – IRAQ: American aircraft patrolling the no-fly zone in Iraq destroyed an air defense site after the battery opened fire on them. President Clinton said there would be no letup in American and British pressure on Saddam Hussein.
1998 – In Riverside, Ca., Tyisha Miller (19) was killed by a hail of police bullets as she sat in her car with a gun. Her car had some 27 bullet holes. Miller died from bullets to her head and chest with a total of 12 bullets in her body.
1999 – Officials in Seattle canceled a public New Year’s Eve celebration due to security concerns.
1999 – Clayton Moore, TV star of the Lone Ranger series, died at age 85. His 169 episodes ran from 1949-1957, featured Jay Silverheels as Tonto and Fred Foy as the announcer: “Return with us now to those thrilling days of yesteryear…”
2000 – US 2000 census results set the population at 281,421,906, a gain of 13.2% since 1990.
2000 – U.S. retail giant Montgomery Ward announces it is going out of business after 128 years.
2000 – Bad weather in the Midwest was blamed for 41 deaths: including 22 in Texas and 11 in Oklahoma.
2001 – Buffalo, NY, dug out from a five-day storm that left nearly seven feet of snow.
2001 – In Pennsylvania a 30-50 car crash on snow-slickened I-80 left five people dead near Williamsport. Another 50 cars were involved in two pileups that left at least two more people dead.
2002 – US federal unemployment benefits ended for nearly 800,000.
2003 – A motorhome carrying ten people went off I-15 near Salt Lake City, Utah. Five people were killed including four children.
2004 – The US said it was adding 20 million-dollars to an initial 15 million-dollar contribution for Asian tsunami relief after the UN claimed we were being “stingy.” The death toll from the Dec 26 earthquake-tsunami catastrophe rose to more than 55,000.
2004 – An explosion at a scrap metal plant in Muskogee, Oklahoma, US, explodes killing two workers. The blast is felt about 50 miles away. The company is later fined for workplace violations.
2005 – A US immigration judge orders John Demjanjuk, a retired auto worker accused of being a Nazi concentration camp guard at Sobibor in Poland (1943), deported to the Ukraine for crimes against humanity committed during World War II.
2005 – US officials said the number of indictments for bilking victims of Hurricane Katrina has grown to 49 at a Bakersfield, California, call center used by the Red Cross.
2005 – Richard Causey (45), former accounting chief for Enron Corp., pleaded guilty to criminal conduct preceding the company’s collapse into bankruptcy.
2005 – Firefighters searched for missing people and hoped for cooler, calmer weather after deadly wildfires raced across thousands of acres of grassland in Texas and Oklahoma. Fires due to the worst drought in decades destroyed dozens of homes.
2006 – James Brown, the hardest working man in showbiz made a last visit to the Apollo Theatre in Harlem.
2006 – Senators of the US Virgin Islands passed Act 6905 in a special session. It raised the governor’s salary from $80,000 to $150,000 and senators’ salaries from $65,000 to $80,000. The average income on St. Croix was $26, 548.
2008 – In Michigan strong winds knocked down tree limbs and power lines eliminating power to nearly 230,000 homes and businesses, mostly in Wayne and Oakland counties.
2009 – In Mississippi a fire in an apartment in Starkville killed six children and three adults.
2009 – In northern Nevada federal officials began a 2-month roundup of some 2,500 wild horses due to overpopulation. Of 1,922 horses, 86 horses died in the government roundup, mostly from stress and trauma.
2010 – Five male teenagers from Little Haiti, Miami, Florida are killed by carbon monoxide poisoning in a motel room after fumes from a car kept idling overnight vent up a staircase into their room.
2010 – A fire in a New Orleans warehouse kills eight people and two dogs, most of them homeless artists and musicians.
1879 – Billy Mitchell, American military aviation pioneer (d. 1936)
1905 – Earl “Fatha” Hines, American musician often called “The Father of Modern Jazz Piano.”
1981 – Elizabeth Jordan Carr, the first official American test-tube baby.
No Medal of Honor Citations for Actions Taken This Day
Howdy Doody’s Birthday – 1947
History of Howdy Doody
If you are in your fifties or early sixties, do places like Doodyville, Pioneer Village or the Peanut Gallery ring any bells? Do you remember characters like Flub-a-Dub and a rather dim-witted carpenter named Dilly Dally? How about actors and actresses like Clarabell, Chief Thunderthud, Princess Summerfall Winterspring and Phineas T. Bluster. Then there was “Buffalo Bob” whose real name was Bob Smith.
It all began before the first episode. Bob Smith (soon to be Buffalo Bob) was hosting a kids’ radio show in New York called Triple B Ranch on radio affiliate WEAF. The Triple B stood for Big Brother Bob Smith. He developed the country bumpkin voice of a ranch hand and greeted the radio audience with, “Oh, ho, ho, howdy doody.” The original Howdy marionette was designed by Frank Paris. In a contract dispute Paris left the show with that original and a new Howdy was designed. The new Howdy was designed by two artists, Margo and Rufus Rose, who’d worked at Walt Disney Studios. He was an all-American boy with red hair, forty-eight freckles (one for each state in the Union), and a permanent smile. Howdy’s face symbolized the youthful energy of the new medium and appeared on the NBC color test pattern beginning in 1954. When some kids asked about his altered appearance it was explained that he’d undergone “plastic surgery”.
The idea for a children’s television program called Howdy Doody began on that radio program. Smith launched the television program “Puppet Playhouse” on 17 December 1947. Within a week the name of the program was changed to The Howdy Doody Show and it made its debut (NBC) on December 27th, 1947. It was the first show of the day. This was the first nationally broadcast show. It ran to Sep. 30, 1960 and was the first television show to hit the 2000 episode mark. It finally ran for over 2300 episodes. The show was on NBC and was produced by Martin Stone.
The live characters included Clarabell the Clown (Bob Keeshan who later became Captain Kangaroo), Chief Thunderthud, Princess Summerfall Winterspring. The puppet characters included Heidi Doody, Heidi was Howdy’s sister and she filled in for Howdy when he needed a vacation. Phineas T. Bluster , Doodyville’s entrepreneurial mayor, Howdy’s grumpy nemesis. Bluster had eyebrows that shot straight up when he was surprised. Dilly Dally was Bluster’s naive, high-school-aged accomplice who wiggled his ears when he was frustrated. Flub-a-Dub was a whimsical character who was a combination of eight animals.. The theme was based on the French ditty: “Ta-ra-ra-Boom-der-e.”
In 1948, an election year, Howdy ran for “President of All the Boys and Girls”. Howdy’s popularity exploded that year–the show received a quarter of a million requests for “Howdy for President” buttons. Among those in the growing television audience were Bob Smith’s sons, Robin, Ronnie and, later Chris. “They were glued to the set, fascinated,” Bob recalls. “I’d come home and they’d say, ‘Daddy, do you know what Clarabell did to Buffalo Bob today?
Smith treated the marionettes as if they were real, and as a result, so did the children of America. Howdy, Mr. Bluster, Dilly, and the Flub-a-Dub gave the impression that they could cut their strings, saunter off the stage, and do as they pleased.”
There was a live audience of approximately 40 kids who sat in the audience of the show and they were referred to as the Peanut Gallery. Bob says the show focused on two things kids love–fantasy and slapstick. For visual excitement, there was the shell game, bursting balloons and –everyone’s favorite–seltzer water squirting. “The puppets weren’t fantasy,” Bob recalls, “but the stories were. The kids thought the puppets were real, and we treated them that way. We’d say, ‘Put the microphone on Howdy’, never’ on the puppet’.”
As the show’s popularity zoomed, Bob appeared on Edward R. Murrow’s Person to Person while working on two other live shows–a network morning radio show and a television variety show. The burden of all those added duties, plus many personal appearances, contributed to a heart attack in 1954. This sidelined Bob for a year, and when he came back, airtime was becoming too expensive to have a children’s show run five times a week.
Additional strange characters included:
Ugly Sam, a burly wrestler
John J. Fazdoozle, America’s Number One “Boing” private eye
Wendy Scuttlebutt, a ship captain
Other human characters on the show included Oilwell Willy and Dr. Singasong.
“Don’t let the dazzling heights you aspire to scare you from getting started. After all, few could climb Mt. Everest tomorrow, though virtually all could begin preparing.”
prepense (pri-PENS) adjective
[From Anglo-Norman purpenser (to premeditate), from Latin pensare (to think).]
1777 – Floating mines intended for use against British Fleet found in Delaware River.
1814 – Destruction of schooner Carolina, the last of Commodore Daniel Patterson’s make-shift fleet that fought a series of delaying actions that contributed to Andrew Jackson’s victory at the Battle of New Orleans.
1831 – Charles Darwin embarks on his journey aboard the HMS Beagle, where he will formulate the theory of evolution.
1845 – Ether anesthetic is used for childbirth for the first time (Dr. Crawford Williamson Long in Jefferson, Georgia).
1846 – Mexican War: An army of volunteers known as Doniphan’s Thousand, led by Colonel Alexander W. Doniphan, wins a major victory in the war with Mexico with the occupation of El Paso.
1860 – U.S. Revenue Cutter Aiken was surrendered to South Carolina authorities.
1862 – Civil War: Battle of Chickasaw Bluffs, Miss. (Chickasaw Bayou), began.
1862 – Civil War: Battle of Elizabethtown, KY.
1864 – Civil War: The defeated Confederate Army of Tennessee finishes crossing the Tennessee River as General John Bell Hood’s force retreats into Mississippi.
1892 – Bishop Potter laid the corner stone of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City. Bishop Potter struck the massive stone three times with a large wooden mallet, “Other foundation can no man lay, than that is laid which is Jesus Christ.”
1900 – Militant prohibitionist Carry A. Nation performed her first public smashing of a bar, at the Carey Hotel in Wichita, Kansas.
1903 – “Sweet Adeline”, a barbershop quartet favorite, is first sung.
1904 – James Barrie’s play Peter Pan premieres in London.
1913 – Charles Moyer, president of the Miners Union, was shot in the back and dragged through the streets of Chicago.
1915 – In Ohio, iron and steel workers went on strike for an eight hour day and higher wages.
1927 – Jerome Kern/Oscar Hammerstein II’s “Show Boat” opened in New York. Show Boat, considered to be the first true American musical play, opens at the Ziegfeld Theatre on Broadway.
1932 – Radio City Music Hall, “Showplace of the Nation”, opens in New York.
1934 – The first youth US hostel opened at Northfield, Mass.
1937 – Mae West performed an Adam and Eve skit that got her banned from NBC radio.
1938 – The first skimobile course in America opened in North Conway, NH.
1939 – The radio program, “The Glenn Miller Show,” debuted on the CBS radio network.
1941 – World War II: Rubber rationing was instituted by the U.S. government, due to shortages caused by World War II. Tires were the first items to be restricted by law.
1942 – World War II: On Guadalcanal, US attacks on Mount Austen renew. Attacking troops from the 132nd Infantry regiment, suffer heavy loses and make no real gains despite a heavy artillery barrage prior to the attack.
1943 – The threat of a paralyzing railroad strike loomed over the United States during the 1943 holiday season. The action was taken under the wartime Labor Disputes Act. The railroads were returned to private management on January 18, 1944.
1944 – World War II: Europe – Attacks by the British 30th Corps (part of US 1st Army) force the German 2nd Panzer Division (an element of 5th Panzer Army) out of Celles.
1944 – World War II: Europe – The US 8th Air Force bombs Coblenz, Bonn and Kaiserslautern (nominally railway targets). The RAF conducts nighttime raids on Munchen-Gladbach and Bonn.
1944 – World War II: General Patton’s Third Army, spearheaded by the 4th Armored Division, relieved the surrounded city of Bastogne in Belgium.
1945 – Foreign ministers from the former Allied nations of the United States, the Soviet Union, and Great Britain agreed to divide Korea into two separate occupation zones and to govern the nation for five years.
1945 – International Monetary Fund established – The World Bank is created with the signing of an agreement by 28 nations.
1946 – US wins first Davis Cup since 1938.
1947 – Howdy Doody, a children’s television program, makes its debut (NBC). (See Fact of the Day)
1948 – CHART TOPPERS – “Buttons and Bows” by Dinah Shore, “On a Slow Boat to China” by The Kay Kaiser Orchestra (vocal: Harry Babbitt & Gloria Wood), “My Darlin, My Darling” by Jo Stafford & Gordon MacRae and “A Heart Full of Love (For a Handful of Kisses)” by Eddy Arnold all topped the charts.
1950 – Korean War: Lieutenant General Matthew B. Ridgway took command of U.N. ground forces in Korea.
1950 – Korean War: Captain Marcus L. Sullivan became the first Army aviator to pilot a helicopter, a Bell H-13, in Korea.
1951 – Right-hand drive vehicle for mail delivery. The Crosley car was put into use by the U.S. Postal Service in Cincinnati, Ohio.
1952 – “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” by Jimmy Boyd topped the charts.
1956 – CHART TOPPERS – “Singing the Blues” by Guy Mitchell, “A Rose and a Baby Ruth” by George Hamilton IV, “Garden of Eden” by Joe Valino and “Singing the Blues” by Marty Robbins all topped the charts.
1956 – Segregation on Tallahassee, Fla. buses was outlawed.
1958 – “Chipmunk Song” by David Seville and The Chipmunks topped the charts.
1964 – The Supremes made their first appearance on TV’s “Ed Sullivan Show.”
1965 – The BP oil rig Sea Gem capsized in the North Sea, with the loss of 13 lives.
1966 – The words from “Star Trek” theme copyright registered.
1966 – Vietnam War: A United States and South Vietnamese joint-service operation takes place against one of the best-fortified Viet Cong strongholds, located in the U Minh Forest in the Mekong Delta, 125 miles southwest of Saigon.
1968 – The U.S. agreed to sell fifty F-4 Phantom jets to Israel.
1968 – The long-running radio program “The Breakfast Club” signs off for the last time (ABC radio).
1968 – Apollo Program: Apollo 8 splashes down in the Pacific Ocean, ending humanity’s first manned mission to the Moon.
1969 – “Someday We’ll Be Together” by Diana Ross & the Supremes topped the charts.
1969 – Vietnam War: In the fiercest battle in six weeks, U.S. and North Vietnamese forces clash near Loc Ninh, about 80 miles north of Saigon.
1970 – “Hello, Dolly!” closes at St James Theater NYC after 2,844 performances.
1971 – Snoopy, Charlie Brown, Linus, Lucy and Woodstock of Charles Schulz’ famous “Peanuts” comic strip made the cover of “Newsweek” magazine this day.
1971 – The “Sonny & Cher Show” began airing on CBS. The show ran for four and a half years.
1972 – CHART TOPPERS – “Me and Mrs. Jones” by Billy Paul, “You Ought to Be with Me” by Al Green, “Clair” by Gilbert O’Sullivan and “Got the All Overs for You (All Over Me)” by Freddie Hart & The Heartbeats all topped the charts.
1975 – “Let’s Do It Again” by the Staple Singers topped the charts.
1975 – The Four Seasons, “December 1963 (Oh, What A Night)” was released.
1979 – “Knots Landing” premieres on CBS-TV.
1980 – CHART TOPPERS – “(Just Like) Starting Over” by John Lennon, “Love on the Rocks” by Neil Diamond, “Hungry Heart” by Bruce Springsteen and “That’s All That Matters” by Mickey Gilley all topped the charts.
1980 – Calvin Murphy (Rockets) begins longest NBA free throw streak of 78.
1983 – President Reagan took all responsibility for the lack of security in Beirut that allowed a terrorist on a suicide mission to kill 241 Marines.
1983 – A propane gas fire devastated 16 blocks of Buffalo, NY. The fire killed five firefighters, two civilians, destroyed about a $1,000,000,000 in fire equipment, and leveled several city blocks, as well as the infamous fire alarm box # 29 also known as the Hoodoo Box. Firebox #29 of the Buffalo, New York Fire Department was a “bad luck” box. It was known for difficult and expensive fires and more importantly for the number of firemen killed and injured while operating at this box. It seemed to be cursed or be a “Hoo Doo”.
1984 – British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was the woman most admired by the American people, according to a Gallup Poll. It marked the third consecutive year that the ‘Iron Lady’ received that honor.
1985 – Palestinian terrorists kill eighteen people inside Rome and Vienna airports. A total of twenty people were killed, including five of the attackers, who were slain by police and security personnel.
1986 – “Walk Like an Egyptian” by Bangles topped the charts.
1987 – Steve Largent sets all-time NFL record for career catches. When he retired, Largent held six major career pass receiving records most receptions (819), most consecutive games with a reception (177), most yards on receptions (13,089), most touchdowns on receptions (100), most seasons with 50 or more receptions (10) and most seasons with 1,000 yards or more on receptions (8). All this by a receiver who the Houston Oilers thought was too small and slow to make it in the pros.
1989 – President Bush, on a visit to Beeville, Texas, said he was determined to bring deposed Panamanian leader Manuel Noriega to justice “for poisoning the children of the United States” with illegal drugs.
1991 – The United States and the Philippines announced that the United States would abandon the Subic Bay naval base by the end of 1992.
1991 – Cincinnati Bengals hire Dave Shula as youngest NFL coach (32).
1991 – “Carol Burnett Show” last airs on CBS-TV. is generally regarded as the last successful major network variety show, to date. It continues to have success in syndicated reruns.
1992 – An armed gang subdued a lone security guard at a Brooklyn-based armored car company and made off with more than $8.2 million.The robbery, the second largest cash theft in the city’s history, occurred when the guard was surprised at about 11:30 p.m. Sunday in the command room of the Hudson Armored Car Courier Co. as he was watching television.
1992 – The U.S. shot down an Iraqi fighter jet during what the Pentagon described as a confrontation between a pair of Iraqi warplanes and US F-16 jets in U.N.-restricted airspace over southern Iraq.
1996 – Officials of NBC and Panasonic activated the new 891 sq. foot Astrovision screen near the base of One Times Square, New York.
1996 – Officials in Las Vegas announced that the 12-story, 900-room, 10-year-old Hacienda Hotel would be blown up on New Year’s Eve. A new 4,000 room resort owned by Circus Circus would replace it.
1996 – In South Bend, Ind., Annie Fulford was shot and killed during a drug-related robbery. Her boyfriend, Leif O’Connell, began a rampage and after two months began drive-by shootings of black men that left one dead and five injured.
1998 – Six inmates, including four convicted killers, escaped from Riverbend Maximum Security Institution in Tennessee. All were recaptured by the end of next day.
1998 – In Michigan six children of Femeeka O’Steen (27) died of smoke inhalation in Detroit as their mother recovered in a hospital after giving birth.
1999 – Space shuttle Discovery landed at Cape Canaveral, Fla., following a successful repair of the Hubble Space Telescope.
2000 – Software engineer Michael McDermott pleaded innocent to seven counts of murder in the shooting deaths of seven co-workers the day before at an Internet consulting company in Wakefield, Mass. McDermott was later convicted and sentenced to life without parole.
2000 – President Clinton appointed Roger Gregory as the first African-American judge to the US Court of appeals in Richmond, Va.
2001 – President George W. Bush granted China permanent normal trade status with the US.
2001 – The US announced plans to hold Taliban and al Qaeda prisoners at the Guantanamo Bay naval base in Cuba.
2001 – Afghanistan: US warplanes destroyed a compound in eastern Afghanistan believed to used by a Taliban intelligence chief. Qari Ahmadullah (40), former Taliban chief of intelligence, was killed while fleeing US bombardment near Naka village in Paktia province.
2002 – The hamlet of Bridgeville on Highway 36 in Humboldt County, Ca., was sold on Ebay for $1.77 million. The Ebay deal failed and in 2004 a Southern California investor purchased the 82-acre town for $700,000.
2002 – North Korea ordered U.N. nuclear inspectors to leave the country and said it would restart a laboratory capable of producing plutonium for nuclear weapons.
2002 – Poland announced it will buy 48 U.S.-made F-16 jet fighters from Lockheed Martin for $3.5 billion to upgrade its air force to NATO standards.
2004 – In an audiotape, a man purported to be Osama bin Laden endorsed Abu Musab al-Zarqawi as his deputy in Iraq and called for a boycott of January’s elections in the country.
2004 – A massive burst of energy from a neutron star, SGR 1806-20, was detected in the constellation Sagittarius. It was the equivalent of what the sun emits every 150,000 years.
2005 – Grass fires burned in drought-stricken Texas and Oklahoma. Over three days, nearly 200 homes were lost and the fires blamed for at least four deaths.
2006 – A Florida doctor pleaded guilty to securities fraud in connection with a life insurance scam that cost 28,000 investors nearly $1 billion.
2006 – It was reported that the San Francisco Dept. of Parking and Traffic had begun a 90-day test run using cameras to scan license plates in search of cars with unpaid citations. Metal boots were immediately attached to cars with at least five outstanding tickets.
2006 – Ohio’s state Supreme Court publicly reprimanded Gov. Bob Taft for his ethics violations in office, a black mark that will stay on his permanent record as an attorney.
2006 – A two-day storm with sixty mph winds hit the San Francisco Bay Area. In Marin County the main hall of Manka’s Inverness Lodge, built in 1917, burned down when wind knocked a tree into a water heater. A woman was killed when a tree crashed through her cottage in Lagunitas.
2007 – In Richmond, Ca., two gunmen shot and killed Ravinder (30) and Paramjit (42) Kalsi as they closed their restaurant.
2009 – The New York Times reported that the United States has quietly opened a third, largely covert front against the Al-Qaeda terror network in Yemen. The paper said the Pentagon will be spending more than 70 million dollars over the next 18 months, and using teams of special forces, to train and equip Yemeni military, Interior Ministry and coast guard forces.
2010 – Allen Stanford’s, chairman of the now defunct Stanford Financial Group of Companies, lawyers seek a two-year postponement of his trial and for his release from prison in the meanwhile. He is charged with running a $7 billion Ponzi scheme.
2011 – Over $30 billion was spent on holiday online shopping in the United States, a 15% increase from last year, according to comScore.
2011 – Sears Holdings Corporation announces plans to close over 100 Sears and K-Mart stores in the United States.
2012 – Former U.S. Central Command Commander and Retired Army General, Herbert Norman Schwarzkopf, passed away today. “It doesn’t take a hero to order men into battle. It takes a hero to be one of those men who goes into battle.”
2012 – Toyota Motor Corporation, moving to put years of legal problems behind it, has agreed to pay more than $1 billion to settle dozens of lawsuits relating to sudden acceleration.
2012 – Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor denied a request by Christian business Hobby Lobby to block part of the federal health care law that requires employee health-care plans to provide insurance coverage for the morning-after pill and similar emergency contraception pills.
1571 – Johannes Kepler, German astronomer.
1654 – Jacob Bernoulli, Swiss mathematician (d. 1705)
1822 – Louis Pasteur, French scientist who developed pasteurization process and rabies vaccination.
1901 – Marlene Dietrich (Maria von Losch), German-born actress.
1926 – Lee Salk, American child psychologist.
1943 – Cokie Roberts, American journalist
JENNINGS, DELBERT O.
Rank and organization: Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company C, 1st Battalion (Airborne), 12th Cavalry, 1st Air Cavalry Division. Place and date: Kim Song Valley, Republic of Vietnam, December 27th, 1966. Entered service at: San Francisco, Calif. Born: 23 July 1936, Silver City, N. Mex. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of life above and beyond the call of duty. Part of Company C was defending an artillery position when attacked by a North Vietnamese Army regiment supported by mortar, recoilless-rifle, and machine gun fire. At the outset, S/Sgt. Jennings sprang to his bunker, astride the main attack route, and slowed the on-coming enemy wave with highly effective machine gun fire. Despite a tenacious defense in which he killed at least twelve of the enemy, his squad was forced to the rear. After covering the withdrawal of the squad, he rejoined his men, destroyed an enemy demolition crew about to blow up a nearby howitzer, and killed three enemy soldiers at his initial bunker position. Ordering his men back into a secondary position, he again covered their withdrawal, killing one enemy with the butt of his weapon. Observing that some of the defenders were unaware of an enemy force in their rear, he raced through a fire-swept area to warn the men, turn their fire on the enemy, and lead them into the secondary perimeter. Assisting in the defense of the new position, he aided the air-landing of reinforcements by throwing white phosphorous grenades on the landing zone despite dangerously silhouetting himself with the light. After helping to repulse the final enemy assaults, he led a group of volunteers well beyond friendly lines to an area where eight seriously wounded men lay. Braving enemy sniper fire and ignoring the presence of booby traps in the area, they recovered the eight men who would have probably perished without early medical treatment. S/Sgt. Jenning’s extraordinary heroism and inspirational leadership saved the lives of many of his comrades and contributed greatly to the defeat of a superior enemy force. His actions stand with the highest traditions of the military profession and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the U.S. Army.
Rank and organization: First Lieutenant, U.S. Army, Company L, 15th Infantry, 3d Infantry Division. Place and date: Sigolsheim, France, December 27th, 1944. Entered service at: Georgetown, Tex. Birth: Florence, Tex. G.O. No.: 79, 14 September 1945. Citation: While leading his platoon on 27 December 1944, in savage house-to-house fighting through the fortress town of Sigolsheim, France, he attacked a building through a street swept by withering mortar and automatic weapons fire. He was hit and severely wounded in the arm and shoulder; but he charged into the house alone and killed its two defenders. Hurling smoke and fragmentation grenades before him, he reached the next house and stormed inside, killing two and capturing eleven of the enemy. He continued leading his platoon in the extremely dangerous task of clearing hostile troops from strong points along the street until he reached a building held by fanatical Nazi troops. Although suffering from wounds which had rendered his left arm useless, he advanced on this strongly defended house, and after blasting out a wall with bazooka fire, charged through a hail of bullets. Wedging his submachinegun under his uninjured arm, he rushed into the house through the hole torn by his rockets, killed five of the enemy and forced the remaining twelve to surrender. As he emerged to continue his fearless attack, he was again hit and critically wounded. In agony and with one eye pierced by a shell fragment, he shouted for his men to follow him to the next house. He was determined to stay in the fighting, and remained at the head of his platoon until forcibly evacuated. By his disregard for personal safety, his aggressiveness while suffering from severe wounds, his determined leadership and superb courage, 1st Lt. Whiteley killed nine Germans, captured twenty-three more and spearheaded an attack which cracked the core of enemy resistance in a vital area.
Rank and organization: Ordinary Seaman, U.S. Navy. Born: 1839, New York, N.Y. Accredited to: New York. G.O. No.: 11, 3 April 1863. Citation: Cotton served on board the U.S.S. Baron De Kalb in the Yazoo River expedition, 23 to December 27th, 1862. Proceeding under orders up the Yazoo River, the Baron De Kalb, with the object of capturing or destroying the enemy’s transports, came upon the steamers John Walsh, R. J. Locklan, Golden Age and the Scotland, sunk on a bar where they were ordered to be burned. Continuing up the river, the Baron De Kalb was fired upon but, upon returning the fire, caused the enemy’s retreat. Returning down the Yazoo, she destroyed and captured large quantities of enemy equipment and several prisoners. Serving bravely throughout this action, Cotton, as coxswain “distinguished himself in the various actions.”
Rank and organization: Captain of the Forecastle, U.S. Navy. Born: 1837, New Orleans, La. Accredited to: Pennsylvania. G.O. No.: 11, 3 April 1863. Citation: Serving on board the U.S.S. Baron De Kalb, Yazoo River Expedition, 23 to December 27th, 1862. Proceeding under orders up the Yazoo River, the U.S.S. Baron De Kalb, with the object of capturing or destroying the enemy’s transports, came upon the steamers John Walsh, R. J. Locklan, Golden Age and the Scotland sunk on a bar where they were ordered fired. Continuing up the river, she was fired on, but upon returning the fire, caused the enemy’s retreat. Returning down the Yazoo, she destroyed and captured larger quantities of enemy equipment and several prisoners. Serving bravely throughout this action, Leon, as captain of the forecastle, “distinguished himself in the various actions.”
Rank and organization: Boatswain’s Mate, U.S. Navy. Born: 1842, Prussia. Entered service at: St. Louis, Mo. G.O. No.: 11, 3 April 1863. Citation: Serving as boatswain’s mate on board the U.S.S. Benton during the attack on Haines Bluff, Yazoo River, December 27th, 1862. Taking part in the ninety-minute engagement with the enemy, who had the dead range of the vessel and was punishing her with heavy fire, Martin served courageously throughout the battle until the Benton was ordered to withdraw.
Rank and organization: Boatswain’s Mate, U.S. Navy. Born: 1817, Scotland. Accredited to: Massachusetts. G.O. No.: 11 , 3 April 1 863. Citation: Serving on board the U.S.S. Baron De Kalb, Yazoo River Expedition, 23 to December 27th, 1862. Proceeding under orders up the Yazoo River, the U.S.S. Baron De Kalb, with the object of capturing or destroying the enemy’s transports, came upon the steamers John Walsh, R. J. Locklan, Golden Age, and the Scotland, sunk on a bar where they were ordered burned. Continuing up the river, she was fired on but, upon returning the fire, caused the enemy’s retreat. Returning down the Yazoo, she destroyed and captured large quantities of enemy equipment and several prisoners. Serving bravely throughout this action, McDonald, as boatswain’s mate, “distinguished himself in the various actions.”
Rank and organization: Boatswain’s Mate, U.S. Navy. Born: 1834, Boston, Mass. Accredited to: Massachusetts. G.O. No.: 32, 16 April 1864. Citation: Serving as boatswain’s mate on board the U.S.S. Benton during the attack on Haines Bluff, Yazoo River, December 27th, 1862. Wounded during the ninety-minute engagement in which the enemy had the dead range of the vessel and was punishing her with heavy fire, Moore served courageously in carrying lines to the shore until the Benton was ordered to withdraw.
MORTON, CHARLES W.
Rank and organization: Boatswain’s Mate, U.S. Navy. Born: 1836, Ireland. Accredited to: Maryland. G.O. No.: 11, 3 April 1863. Citation: Serving as boatswain’s mate on board the U.S.S. Benton during the Yazoo River Expedition, 23 to December 27th, 1863. Taking part in the ninety-minute engagement with the enemy at Drumgould’s Bluff, 27 December, Morton served courageously.
National Whiners Day
How to enjoy Whiners Day:
December 26 is National Whiners Day. It comes at a very appropriate time of year. Since a day has been designated specifically for you to whine and moan and groan about all that isn’t right or fair, you really need to enjoy this day to its absolute fullest.
While you’re whining go ahead and whine about how tired you are from all of the party invitations you couldn’t turn down, the hours you spent shopping, and the time you spent decorating. Whine about how long it will take you to get your decorations packed away and the house back in its proper order. National Whiners Day comes immediately after Christmas Day. As adults we probably are not as verbally honest about how we feel about our gifts as children are. You can look at a child’s face and know if they are delighted, disappointed, or disgusted with the gift they just opened. As adults, we’ve spent years perfecting that “Just what I wanted” smile. when sometimes even the most thoughtful presents only seem to elicite groans of discontent.
There’s a long history in children’s books of whiny characters. In the eighteenth century, for example, Maria Edgeworth’s famous didactic tale, “The Purple Jar,” told the story of Rosamund who pleads for a purple jar. Her mother gives Rosamund the choice between the jar or a much-needed pair of new shoes and Rosamund goes for the jar, then whines when she has to suffer the consequences of her
impulse buying. Don’t forget Dr. Seuss’s archetypal meglomaniac, Yertle the Turtle, who obsesses over the altitude of his own standing in the pond. And who could forget the King of Complaining himself, Judith Viorst’s Alexander, who takes having a bad day to new heights? “I went to sleep with gum in my mouth and now there’s gum in my hair and when I got out of bed I tripped on the skateboard and by mistake I dropped my sweater in the sink while the water was running and I could tell it was going to be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day,” Alexander’s litany of complaints is an important outlet and a form of cathartic expression for children and can lead to some unexpectedly creative solutions
While you may not want the giver to know how you feel about a gift you don’t like, you can use National Whiners Day to whine about your disappointment to a friend (a very trustworthy friend), your spouse, or simply whine to yourself.
While you have a designated day to whine, make sure you whine about everything that is annoying you. Whine about the weather if you don’t like it. Whine about the world situation, your personal finances, or your appearance. Get all of your whining finished before midnight.
By taking advantage of a day to whine, you can begin practicing living in a positive state of mind on December 27. By the time the new year arrives the concept of positive thinking will be your new good habit for the upcoming year
“Snowboarding is an activity that is very popular with people who do not feel that regular skiing is lethal enough.”
~ Dave Barry
This is the act of taking a gift that has been received and giving it to somebody else in the guise of a new gift.
The concept of a repeatedly regifted item is similar to “mathom”, a word coined by J. R. R. Tolkien in his novel The Hobbit (1954). He wrote: “Anything that Hobbits had no immediate use for, but were unwilling to throw away, they called a mathom. Their dwellings were apt to become rather crowded with mathoms, and many of the presents that passed from hand to hand were of that sort.”
1620 – Pilgrim Fathers land at what becomes New Plymouth in Massachusetts.
1773 – Expulsion of tea ships from Philadelphia.
1776 – Revolutionary War: The British are defeated in the Battle of Trenton.
1786 – Daniel Shay led a rebellion in Massachusetts to protest the seizure of property for the non-payment of debt.
1799 – George Washington is eulogized by Colonel Henry Lee as “first in war, first in peace and first in the hearts of his countrymen.”
1820 – Moses Austin meets with Spanish authorities in San Antonio to ask permission for 300 Anglo-American families to settle in Texas.
1825 – The Erie Canal opens.
1848 – The Phi Delta Theta fraternity is founded.
1848 – First gold seekers arrive in Panamá en route to San Francisco. Most travel would take five or six months.
1854 – Wood-pulp paper first exhibited, Buffalo, NY.
1860 – Following the secession of South Carolina (20 December) Major Robert Anderson, USA, removed his garrison from Fort Moultrie to Fort Sumter, on an island in Charleston Harbor.
1860 – Confederate diplomatic envoys James Mason and John Slidell are freed by the Lincoln administration, thus heading off a possible war between the United States and Great Britain.
1861 – Civil War: Confederate diplomatic envoys James M. Mason and John Slidell are freed by the United States government, thus heading off a possible war between the United States and Britain.
1862 – Civil War: Battle of Dumfries, Va.
1862 – Civil War: The Battle of Chickasaw Bayou begins.
1862 – Civil War: Four nuns who were volunteer nurses on board USS Red Rover were the first female nurses on a U.S. Navy hospital ship. Red Rover, a 625-ton side-wheel river steamer, was built in 1859 at Cape Girardeau, Missouri. She was purchased by the Confederate Government in November 1861 and used as an accommodation ship at New Orleans, Louisiana. In early 1862, she aided the defense efforts at Columbus, Kentucky, and at Island Number Ten on the Mississippi River.
1862 – The largest mass-hanging in US history took place in Mankato, Minnesota, killing 39 following the Sioux Uprising. Thirty-eight Dakota Amerindians were hanged for participation in the uprising; a total of 303 were sentenced to be hanged but President Lincoln pardoned 265 at the urging of Bishop Henry Benjamin Whipple. Lincoln’s intervention was not popular at the time.
1865 – James H. Mason of Franklin, Massachusetts, received a patent for a coffee percolator.
1878 – For the first time in America, electric lighting was installed in a store at the Grand Depot, owned by John Wanamaker. Eight dynamos provided the electrical power to run 28 arc lamps.
1898 – Marie and Pierre Curie announce the isolation of radium.
1908 – Jack Johnson becomes the first Black heavyweight boxing champion by defeating Tommy Burns in Sydney, Australia.
1917 – During World War I, the U.S. government took over operation of the nation’s railroads.
1917 – First NHL defensemen to score a goal: Toronto Maple Leaf Harry Cameron.
1919 – Yankees & Red Sox reach agreement on transfer of Babe Ruth.
1924 – Judy Garland, age 2 1/2, billed as Baby Frances, show business debut.
1925 – NHL record 141 shots as New York Americans (73) beat Pittsburgh Pirates (68) 3-1.
1925 – Six U.S. destroyers were ordered from Manila to China to protect interests in the civil war that was going on there.
1927 – The East-West Shrine football game featured numbers on both the front and back of players’ jerseys.
1928 – Johnny Weissmuller announces his retirement from amateur swimming.
1931 – George/Ira Gershwin’s “Of Thee I Sing” premieres on Broadway. It became the first American musical to be awarded a Pulitzer Prize.
1931 – Phi Iota Alpha, the oldest existing Latino fraternity is founded.
1933 – The Nissan Motor Company is organized in Tokyo, Japan.
1933 – Edwin Armstrong was granted a patent for a two-path FM radio.
1939 – W.C. Handy records the classic “St. Louis Blues“.
1941 – Winston Churchill became the first British prime minister to address a joint meeting of the U.S. Congress, just three weeks after the U.S. entered World War II.
1943 – World War II: Under command of Seventh Amphibious Force, landings at Cape Gloucester, New Britain was conducted with Coast Guard-manned LST’s 18, 22, 66, 67, 68, 168, 202, 204, and 206.
1943 – World War II: The German warship Scharnhorst sinks off the coast of North Cape in Norway after being attacked by the Royal Navy late the previous evening.
1943 – World War II: Count Claus von Stauffenberg tried in vain to plant a bomb in Hitler’s headquarters.
1943 – World War II: The US 5th Army clears Monte Sammucro and the surrounding hills of German forces.
1944 – The play “The Glass Menagerie” by Tennessee Williams is first publicly performed.
1944 – World War II: U.S. troops repulse German forces at Bastogne.
1944 – World War II: In Italy two platoons of the segregated 92nd Infantry Division fought the German 14th Army at Sommocolonia. Of 70 “Buffalo Soldiers” and 25 Italian Partisans only 18 survived.
1946 – The Flamingo Hotel opens in Las Vegas. Billy Wilkerson designed the Flamingo and sold a controlling interest to Bugsy Siegel when his money ran out. It was the third hotel casino built on the Las Vegas strip.
1946 – “Beggar’s Holiday” opens at Broadway Theater New York City for 111 performances.
1947 – CHART TOPPERS – “How Soon” by Jack Owens, “Civilization” by Louis Prima, “Serenade of the Bells” by The Sammy Kaye Orchestra (vocal: Don Cornell) and “I’ll Hold You in My Heart (Till I Can Hold You in My Arms)” by Eddy Arnold all topped the charts.
1947 – Twenty-six inches of snow falls in 16 hours in New York City.
1953 – “Big Sister” was heard for the last time on CBS Radio. The show ran for 17 years.
1953 – Korean War – The U.S. announced the withdrawal of two divisions from Korea.
1954 – “The Shadow” aired on radio for the last time.
1955 – Bill Haley and the Comets’ “See You Later Alligator” was released by Decca Records.
1955 – RKO is first to announce sale of its film library to TV.
1957 – Twenty helicopters from Marine Light Helicopter Squadron 162, were rushed to Ceylon onboard the USS PRINCETON where US Marines participated in the rescue and evacuation of flood victims.
1959 – “Heartaches by the Number” by Guy Mitchell topped the charts.
1960 – Musical “Do re mi” with Phil Silvers premieres.
1961 – Jay & the Americans recorded “She Cried.”
1963 – CHART TOPPERS – “Dominique” by The Singing Nun, “Louie Louie” by The Kingsmen, “You Don’t Have to Be a Baby to Cry” by The Caravelles and “Love’s Gonna Live Here” by Buck Owens all topped the charts.
1964 – Beatles’ “I Feel Fine” single goes #1 and stays #1 for 3 weeks.
1965 – “Funny Girl” with Barbra Streisand closes on Broadway. Barbra Streisand’s delivery of “People” still sends a chill down the spine.
1966 – The first Kwanzaa is celebrated by Maulana Karenga, the chair of Black Studies at California State University, Long Beach.
1967 – Wham-O Frisbee patented.
1967 – Atlantic Richfield oil workers struck oil on Alaska’s North Slope at Prudhoe Bay.
1967 – Vietnam: North Vietnamese troops started a general offensive against government forces in southern Laos.
1970 – “My Sweet Lord” by George Harrison topped the charts.
1971 – CHART TOPPERS – “Family Affair” by Sly & The Family Stone, “Brand New Key” by Melanie, “An Old Fashioned Love Song “ by Three Dog Night and “Kiss an Angel Good Mornin’ “ by Charley Pride all topped the charts.
1971 – U.S. fighter-bombers begin striking at North Vietnamese airfields, missile sites, antiaircraft emplacements, and supply facilities. These raids continued for five days.
1972 – The 33rd president of the United States, Harry S. Truman, died in Kansas City, Mo.
1973 – Comet Kohoutek reaches perihelion but is not such a display as expected.
1973 – “The Exorcist“, starring Linda Blair & rated X, premieres.
1978 – In San Jose, Ca., Nolan K. Bushnell, inventor of the Pong video game, opened the 20,000-sq.-foot Pizza Time Theater, the world’s largest pizza parlor.
1979 – CHART TOPPERS – “Escape (The Pina Colada Song)” by Rupert Holmes, “Please Don’t Go” by K.C. & The Sunshine Band, “Send One Your Love” by Stevie Wonder and “Happy Birthday Darlin’ “ by Conway Twitty all topped the charts.
1981 – “Physical” by Olivia Newton-John topped the charts.
1982 – TIME magazine’s Man of the Year was for the first time given to a non-human, the personal computer.
1984 – House Speaker Tip O’Neill was selected to receive the J. Fred Muggs Award, given by “TV Guide” for TV goofs and blunders. The Speaker of the House earned the uncoveted prize when he ordered cameras from CSPAN to pan the almost empty House of Representatives while Republicans were making rip-roaring speeches.
1987 – A bomb exploded at a USO bar in Barcelona, Spain, killing one U.S. sailor and injuring nine others; a little-known group called the Red Army of Catalonian Liberation claimed responsibility.
1987 – Run D.M.C.’s Jason Mizell was hospitalized when his Jeep was hit head-on by a driver going the wrong-way.
1986 – The first long-running American television soap opera, “Search for Tomorrow”, airs its final episode after thirty-five years on the air.
1986 – Doug Jarvis, 31, sets NHL record of 916 consecutive games. He ultimately appeared in 964 NHL contests without missing a single game.
1988 – Another body from the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 was found, bringing the confirmed death toll to 240.
1990 – The US government reported that its 1990 census had counted a total 249,632,692 people.The census counted over 1.6 million Americans of Chinese descent with 40% of them in California.
1990 – Nancy Cruzan, the young woman in an irreversible vegetative state whose case led to a US Supreme Court decision on the right to die, died at a Missouri hospital.
1991 – Jack Ruby’s gun sells for $220,000 in auction. The gun used in the killing was placed on auction in New York City. The .38-caliber Colt Cobra revolver, originally purchased for $62.50 went to bidder Frank Roman who bought the gun on behalf of a private gun collector.
1991 – Supreme Soviet meets and formally dissolves the USSR.
1991 – President Bush nominated businesswoman Barbara Franklin to be commerce secretary.
1992 – Time magazine announced it had chosen President-elect Bill Clinton its 1992 “Man of the Year.”
1995 – Israel turned dozens of West Bank villages over to the Palestinian Authority in a smooth transfer of power.
1996 – Six-year-old beauty queen JonBenet Ramsey was found beaten and strangled in the basement of her family’s home in Boulder, CO. She was found in the basement of her family home eight hours after the mother discovered a ransom note demanding $118,000. To date, the slaying remains unsolved.
1996 – Honda Motor Co. announced the first human-shaped robot that can move independently and do basic tasks. It stood 6 feet and weighed 462 lbs. and took 10 years of engineering.
1997 – It was reported that the US Centers for Disease Control had begun work on a “Bird Flu” vaccine in response to the nine confirmed cases and four deaths in Hong Kong.
1998 – President Clinton, in his weekly radio address, urged Congress to lower the blood-alcohol limit for drunken driving nationwide to 0.08 percent to conform with 17 states and the District of Columbia. The other 33 states have 0.10.
1998 – Iraq announced its intention to fire upon U.S. and British warplanes that patrol the northern and southern no-fly zones.
1998 – Severe gales over Ireland, northern England, and southern Scotland cause widespread disruption and widespread power outages in Northern Ireland and southern Scotland.
1999 – The crew of space shuttle “Discovery” packed up its tools and prepared to return home after an eight-day mission of repairs to the Hubble Space Telescope that NASA declared a success.
1999 – Time Magazine named Albert Einstein (d.1955) as the Person of the Century.
2000 – MASS SHOOTING: Michael McDermott, age 42, a software tester at Edgewater Tech in Wakefield, Mass.,opened fire at his place of employment killing seven people. McDermott had no criminal history. He wielded a semiautomatic rifle and a shotgun.
2000 – President Clinton signed a ban on cutting shark fins and discarding the fish back to the sea.
2000 – Donna Shalala, US Sec. of Health and Human Services, blocked a GOP sponsored drug reimportation plan intended to reduce drug prices.
2001 – Iraq: The Al Jazeera Arab network broadcast a new video-taped statement from Osama bin Laden that appeared to have been made in late Nov or early December.
2002 – French Raelian scientist Brigitte Boisselier says Clonaid has delivered the world’s first human clone, a 7-pound baby girl, through cesarean section. The claim was subsequently dismissed by scientists for lack of proof.
2003 – An avalanche in Provo Canyon, Utah, left three snowboarders dead.
2004 – An earthquake measuring 9.3 on the Richter magnitude scale creates a tsunami causing devastation in Sri Lanka, India, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, The Maldives and many other areas around the rim of the Indian Ocean, killing more than 250,000 people. The 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake was an undersea megathrust earthquake that occurred at 00:58:53 UTC with an epicenter off the west coast of Sumatra, Indonesia. It was it is the third largest earthquake ever recorded on a seismograph. The earthquake had the longest duration of faulting ever observed, between 8.3 and 10 minutes. It caused the entire planet to vibrate as much as 1 centimetre (0.4 inches) and triggered other earthquakes as far away as Alaska. It inundated coastal communities with waves up to 98 ft high. The Impossible (trailer)
2004 – Peyton Manning of the Indianapolis Colts broke Dan Marino’s single-season touchdown pass record when he threw his 48th and 49th of the season against San Diego. The Colts defeated San Diego in overtime, 34-31.
2004 – An unmanned cargo ship docked at the international space station, ending a shortage that forced astronauts to ration supplies.
2004 – Reggie White (43), NFL defensive star, died in Huntersville, NC of a heart attack. White played 15 seasons with Philadelphia, Green Bay and Carolina. He retired after the 2000 season as the NFL’s career sacks leader with 198.
2005 – “Monday Night Football” ended an unprecedented 36-year run on ABC TV with a lackluster game, a 31-to-21 New England Patriots victory over the New York Jets. The series switched to ESPN the following season.
2005 – New Orleans Police officers shot and killed a man brandishing a knife in a confrontation that was partially videotaped by a bystander, setting off another internal investigation of the embattled department.
2005 – Iraq: Two US pilots were killed after their Apache collided in mid-air with another helicopter just west of Baghdad.
2006 – Gerald R. Ford (b.1913), former Michigan Congressman and US President (1973-1976), died. He had declared “Our long national nightmare is over” as he replaced Richard Nixon, but may have doomed his own chances of election by pardoning his disgraced predecessor.
2006 – A 21,000 gallon oil spill off the Texas coast resulted when a ship anchor hit an oil line.
2007 – Online auction giant eBay said it has launched a microlending website, www.microplace.com, that lets people invest in entrepreneurs in poor communities around the world and get a return on their money.
2007 – President Bush signed a $555 billion domestic spending bill and took a swipe at Congress for including pet projects totaling nearly $10 billion.
2007 – The US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission said that employers could reduce of eliminate health benefits for retirees when they turn 65 and become eligible for Medicare.
2008 – In Hawaii a power failure during a thunderstorm blacked out Oahu’s population of about 900,000 people and thousands of tourists including vacationing President-elect Barack Obama.
2008 – In Philadelphia a duplex fire apparently caused by fuel spilling from an overfilled kerosene heater killed seven people, including 3 kids, in a basement that had only one exit.
2010 – The eastern United States is struck by more snow, with South Carolina receiving its first ever snow on Christmas Day.
2010 – Newly released cables from July 2004 reveal that American diplomats panicked about a screening of the film Fahrenheit 9/11, which is critical of the U.S. government’s response to the September 11 attacks.
2011 – Drew Brees, the quarterback for the New Orleans Saints, breaks the 1984 National Football League record for yards passing in a single season.
2012 – A moderate severe weather outbreak hits several southern states on Christmas Day including Texas, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana. More than 30 tornadoes are reported. The storms leave at least six people dead.
1646 – Robert Bolling, English settler in Virginia (d. 1709)1716 – Thomas Gray, English poet.
1792 – Charles Babbage, English mathematician.
1837 – Commodore George Dewey, American naval hero of the Spanish-American War.
1891 – Henry Miller, American novelist.
1921 – Steve Allen, American comedian, author, musician, composer, TV host.
1940 – Phil Spector, American music producer.
*FOX, JOHN R.
Rank and Organization: Lieutenant, Cannon Company, 366th Infantry Regiment, 92d Infantry Division. Entered Service: Cincinnati, OH Born: May 18, 1915; Cincinnati, Ohio Citation: For extraordinary heroism against an armed enemy in the vicinity of Sommocolonia, Italy on December 26th, 1944. During the preceding few weeks, Lieutenant Fox served with the 598th Field Artillery Battalion as a forward observer. On Christmas night, enemy soldiers gradually infiltrated the town of Sommocolonia in civilian clothes, and by early morning the town was largely in hostile hands. Commencing with a heavy barrage of enemy artillery at 0400 hours on 26 December 1944, an organized attack by uniformed German units began. Being greatly outnumbered, most of the United States Infantry forces were forced to withdraw from the town, but Lieutenant Fox and some other members of his observer party voluntarily remained on the second floor of a house to direct defensive artillery fire. At 0800 hours, Lieutenant Fox reported that the Germans were in the streets and attacking in strength. He then called for defensive artillery fire to slow the enemy advance. As the Germans continued to press the attack towards the area that Lieutenant Fox occupied, he adjusted the artillery fire closer to his position. Finally he was warned that the next adjustment would bring the deadly artillery right on top of his position. After acknowledging the danger, Lieutenant Fox insisted that the last adjustment be fired as this was the only way to defeat the attacking soldiers. Later, when a counterattack retook the position from the Germans, Lieutenant Fox’s body was found with the bodies of approximately one-hundred German soldiers. Lieutenant Fox’s gallant and courageous actions, at the supreme sacrifice of his own life, contributed greatly to delaying the enemy advance until other infantry and artillery units could reorganize to repel the attack. His extraordinary valorous actions were in keeping with the most cherished traditions of military service, and reflect the utmost credit on him, his unit, and the United States Army.
HENDRIX, JAMES R.
Rank and organization: Private, U.S. Army, Company C, 53d Armored Infantry Battalion, 4th Armored Division. Place and date: Near Assenois, Belgium, December 26th, 1944. Entered service at: Lepanto, Ark. Birth: Lepanto, Ark. G.O. No.: 74, 1 September 1945. Citation: On the night of 26 December 1944, near Assenois, Belgium, he was with the leading element engaged in the final thrust to break through to the besieged garrison at Bastogne when halted by a fierce combination of artillery and small arms fire. He dismounted from his half-track and advanced against two 88mm. guns, and, by the ferocity of his rifle fire, compelled the gun-crews to take cover and then to surrender. Later in the attack he again left his vehicle, voluntarily, to aid two wounded soldiers, helpless and exposed to intense machinegun fire. Effectively silencing two hostile machine-guns, he held off the enemy by his own fire until the wounded men were evacuated. Pvt. Hendrix again distinguished himself when he hastened to the aid of still another soldier who was trapped in a burning half-track. Braving enemy sniper fire and exploding mines and ammunition in the vehicle, he extricated the wounded man and extinguished his flaming clothing, thereby saving the life of his fellow soldier. Pvt. Hendrix, by his superb courage and heroism, exemplified the highest traditions of the military service.
*McGUlRE, THOMAS B., JR.
Rank and organization: Major, U.S. Army Air Corps, 13th Air Force. Place and date: Over Luzon, Philippine Islands, December 25-December 26th, 1944. Entered service at: Sebring, Fla.. Birth: Ridgewood, N.J. G.O. No.: 24, 7 March 1946. Citation: He fought with conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity over Luzon, Philippine Islands. Voluntarily, he led a squadron of fifteen P-38’s as top cover for heavy bombers striking Mabalacat Airdrome, where his formation was attacked by twenty aggressive Japanese fighters. In the ensuing action he repeatedly flew to the aid of embattled comrades, driving off enemy assaults while himself under attack and at times outnumbered three to one, and even after his guns jammed, continuing the fight by forcing a hostile plane into his wingman’s line of fire. Before he started back to his base he had shot down three Zeros. The next day he again volunteered to lead escort fighters on a mission to strongly defended Clark Field. During the resultant engagement he again exposed himself to attacks so that he might rescue a crippled bomber. In rapid succession he shot down one aircraft, parried the attack of four enemy fighters, one of which he shot down, single-handedly engaged three more Japanese, destroying one, and then shot down still another, his 38th victory in aerial combat. On 7 January 1945, while leading a voluntary fighter sweep over Los Negros Island, he risked an extremely hazardous maneuver at low altitude in an attempt to save a fellow flyer from attack, crashed, and was reported missing in action. With gallant initiative, deep and unselfish concern for the safety of others, and heroic determination to destroy the enemy at all costs, Maj. McGuire set an inspiring example in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service.
WARE, KEITH L.
Rank and organization: Lieutenant Colonel, U.S . Army, 1st Battalion, 1 5th Infantry, 3d Infantry Division. Place and date: Near Sigolsheim, France, December 26th, 1944. Entered service at: Glendale, Calif. Born: 23 November 1915, Denver, Colo. G.O. No.: 47, 18 June 1945. Citation: Commanding the 1st Battalion attacking a strongly held enemy position on a hill near Sigolsheim, France, on 26 December 1944, found that one of his assault companies had been stopped and forced to dig in by a concentration of enemy artillery, mortar, and machinegun fire. The company had suffered casualties in attempting to take the hill. Realizing that his men must be inspired to new courage, Lt. Col. Ware went forward 150 yards beyond the most forward elements of his command, and for two hours reconnoitered the enemy positions, deliberately drawing fire upon himself which caused the enemy to disclose his dispositions. Returning to his company, he armed himself with an automatic rifle and boldly advanced upon the enemy, followed by two officers, nine enlisted men, and a tank. Approaching an enemy machinegun, Lt. Col. Ware shot two German riflemen and fired tracers into the emplacement, indicating its position to his tank, which promptly knocked the gun out of action. Lt. Col. Ware turned his attention to a second machinegun, killing two of its supporting riflemen and forcing the others to surrender. The tank destroyed the gun. Having expended the ammunition for the automatic rifle, Lt. Col. Ware took up an Ml rifle, killed a German rifleman, and fired upon a third machinegun fifty yards away. His tank silenced the gun. Upon his approach to a fourth machinegun, its supporting riflemen surrendered and his tank disposed of the gun. During this action Lt. Col. Ware’s small assault group was fully engaged in attacking enemy positions that were not receiving his direct and personal attention. Five of his party of eleven were casualties and Lt. Col. Ware was wounded but refused medical attention until this important hill position was cleared of the enemy and securely occupied by his command.
NOIL, JOSEPH B.
INTERIM 1871 – 1898
Rank and organization: Seaman, U.S. Navy. Born: 1841, Nova Scotia. Accredited to: New York. Citation: Serving on board the U.S.S. Powhatan at Norfolk, December 26th, 1872, Noil saved Boatswain J. C. Walton from drowning.
Excerpt from “The Holy Bible”
Book of Luke – Birth of Jesus
And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.
(And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)
And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.
To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.
And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.
And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.
And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.
And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.
And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.
But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.
And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.
And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, his name was called JESUS, which was so named of the angel before he was conceived in the womb.
And when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were accomplished, they brought him to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord;
(As it is written in the law of the LORD, Every male that openeth the womb shall be called holy to the Lord;)
And to offer a sacrifice according to that which is said in the law of the Lord, A pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons.
And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him.
And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord’s Christ.
And he came by the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law,
Then took he him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said,
Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word:
For mine eyes have seen thy salvation,
Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people;
A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.
And Joseph and his mother marvelled at those things which were spoken of him.
And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother, Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against;
(Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.
And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of
Aser: she was of a great age, and had lived with an husband seven years from her virginity;
And she was a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day.
And she coming in that instant gave thanks likewise unto the Lord, and spake of him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem.
And when they had performed all things according to the law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own city Nazareth.
And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him.
“There has been only one Christmas – the rest are anniversaries.”
Just the long way to spell “Noel”, No “L”
No·el /noʊˈɛl –noun
the Christmas season; yuletide.
(lowercase) a Christmas song or carol.
a male given name.
336 – The first recorded celebration of Christmas on December 25 took place in Rome. Church fathers designated December 25th, the birthday of the popular pagan god Mithras, as Jesus’s official birth date. The celebration of the birth of Christ also took over the pagan winter solstice holiday, which like the birthday of the sun god Mithras, fell in late December. From thereon, December 25 was to be observed at a holy mass, or “Christ’s Mass.”
800 – Coronation of Charlemagne as Holy Roman Emperor, in Rome.
1066 – Coronation of William the Conqueror as king of England, at Westminster Abbey, London.
1223 – St. Francis of Assisi assembles the first Nativity scene.
1492 – Columbus’ ship Santa Maria docks at Dominican Republic.
1621 – Governor William Bradford of Plymouth forbids game playing on Christmas day.
1659 – Massachusetts General Court ordered a fine for observing Christmas. Christmas Day was deemed by the Puritans to be a time of seasonal excess with no Biblical authority.
1741 – Astronomer Anders Celcius introduces Centigrade temperature scale.
1758 – Halley’s comet first sighted by Johann Georg Palitzsch during return.
1760 – Jupiter Hammon, New York slave who was probably the first Black poet, published “An Evening Thought: Salvation by Christ, with Penitential Cries.”
1776 – George Washington and his army cross the Delaware River to attack the Kingdom of Great Britain’s Hessian mercenaries in Trenton, New Jersey. Washington crossed the ice-choked Delaware River with 5,400 troops.
1779 – A court-martial was convened against Benedict Arnold. He defended himself successfully on 6 of 8 charges but was convicted of illegally issuing a government pass and using government wagons to transport personal goods.
1795 – A Christmas party was given by the Washington’s for members of Congress on Christmas Day, 1795, at which a bountiful feast was served to the guests – all men with the exception of the First Lady! The festivities at the Mount Vernon plantation in Virginia would start at daybreak with a Christmas fox hunt. It was followed by a hearty mid-day feast that included “Christmas pie,” dancing, music, and visiting that sometimes did not end for a solid week.
1809 – The first abdominal surgical procedure was performed — in Danville, Kentucky. Dr. Ephraim McDowell removed a huge ovarian tumor from a courageous Kentucky woman of about 46 named Mrs. Jane Todd Crawford.
1815 – The Handel and Haydn Society, oldest continuously performing arts organization in the U.S., gives its first performance.
1818 – The first performance of “Silent Night” takes place in the Church of St. Nikolaus in Oberndorf, Austria. It was the first known Christmas carol.
1826 – The Eggnog Riot at the United States Military Academy concludes after beginning the previous evening.
1830 – The first regularly scheduled passenger train in the United States began operation, the South Carolina Canal and Railroad Company.
1831 – Louisiana & Arkansas are first states to observe Christmas as holiday.
1837 – Battle of Okeechobee: United States forces defeat Seminole Indians.
1837 – Mirror of Liberty, Pioneer Black magazine, published in New York City by abolitionist David Ruggles.
1843 – First theatre matinee (Olympic Theatre, New York NY).
1861 – Stonewall Jackson spent Christmas with his wife; their last together.
1862 – Civil War: President and Mrs. Lincoln visited hospitals in the Washington D.C. area on this Christmas Day.
1862 – Civil War: John Hunt Morgan and his raiders clashed with Union forces near Bear Wallow, Kentucky. Fighting also occurred at Green’s Chapel.
1862 – Civil War: Union army men play baseball at Hilton Head SC. It was the best attended sporting events of the nineteenth century occurred on Christmas Day when the 165th New York Volunteer Regiment (Duryea Zouaves) played at Hilton Head, South Carolina with more than 40,000 troops watching.
1868 – U.S. President Andrew Johnson grants unconditional pardon to all Civil War Confederate soldiers.
1888 – First indoor baseball game played at fairgrounds in Philadelphia.
1889 – President Benjamin Harrison, his grandchildren, and extended family gathered around the first indoor White House Christmas tree.
1894 – The University of Chicago became the first Midwestern football team to play on the west coast. U.C. defeated Stanford, 24-4, in Palo Alto, CA.
1896 – “Stars & Stripes Forever” written by John Philip Sousa.
1914 – World War I: Known as the Christmas truce, German and British troops on the Western Front temporarily cease fire.
1917 – “Why Marry?”, first dramatic play to win a Pulitzer Prize, opens at the Astor Theatre in New York City.
1926 – Hirohito becomes Emperor of Japan, succeeding the Taisho Emperor.
1930 – The Mt. Van Hoevenberg bobsled run at Lake Placid, New York opened to the public. It was the first bobsled track of international specifications to open in the U.S.
1937 – Arturo Toscanini conducts first “Symphony of the Air” over NBC Radio.
1939 – The Charles Dickens classic, “A Christmas Carol”, was read by Lionel Barrymore on “The Campbell Playhouse” on CBS radio.
1939 – Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer is introduced by Montgomery Ward stores. Sung by Gene Autrey.
1940 – Richard Rodgers & Lorenz Hart’s “Pal Joey” premieres in New York. ( I Could Write A Book from this musical)
1941 – World War II: Admiral Chester W Nimitz arrives at Pearl Harbor to assume command of the U.S. Pacific Fleet .
1941 – World War II: Hong Kong surrendered to the Japanese.
1942 – The longest, sponsored program in the history of broadcasting was heard on NBC radio’s Blue network. The daylong “Victory Parade’s Christmas Party of Spotlight Bands” was heard over 142 radio stations.
1944 – World War II: Allied forces surrounding the German-held Bulge begin counterattacking.
1946 – CHART TOPPERS – “The Christmas Song” by Nat King Cole, “White Christmas” by Bing Crosby, “Ole Buttermilk Sky” by The Kay Kyser Orchestra (vocal: Mike Douglas & The Campus Kids)and “Divorce Me C.O.D.” by Merle Travis all topped the charts.
1950 – Dick Tracy marries Tess Trueheart (Comics).
1950 – First Walt Disney special on TV.
1950 – CBS television gave Allen his first network television show. The Steve Allen Show premiered at 11 am and was later moved into a thirty-minute, early evening slot.
1950 – Korean War : Chinese forces crossed the 38th parallel.
1951 – Spingarn Medal presented to Mabel K. Staupers for her leadership in the field of nursing.
1951 – Harry T. Moore, Florida NAACP official, killed and his wife seriously injured by bomb blast which wrecked their home in Mins, Florida.
1953 – “Rags to Riches” by Tony Bennett topped the charts.
1954 – CHART TOPPERS – “White Christmas” by Bing Crosby, “Mr. Sandman” by The Chordettes, “Count Your Blessings” by Eddie Fisher and “More and More” by Webb Pierce all topped the charts.
1956 – Home of Rev. F.L. Shuttlesworth, Birmingham protest leader, destroyed by dynamite bomb.
1959 – Sony brings transistor TV 8-301 to the market. It was the world’s first transistorized TV. It had an 8” screen and retailed for $249.95.
1959 – Richard Starkey, 18, who later would be known as Ringo Starr, received a drum set for Christmas.
1962 – CHART TOPPERS – “Telstar” by The Tornadoes, “Limbo Rock” by Chubby Checker, “Go Away Little Girl” by Steve Lawrence and “Don’t Let Me Cross Over” by Carl Butler & Pearl (Dee Jones) all topped the charts.
1962 – The Department of Commerce Census Clock in Washington, DC, recorded the U.S. population on this day as 188,000,000.
1963 – Walt Disney’s “The Sword In The Stone” is released.
1964 – The James Bond movie “Goldfinger” premieres in US.
1965 – “Over and Over” by Dave Clark Five topped the charts.
1965 – Sherman Poppen invented the “Snurfer,” the first snowboard by screwing together two pairs of children’s skis.
1968 – 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.
1970 – CHART TOPPERS – “The Tears of a Clown” by Smokey Robinson & The Miracles, “My Sweet Lord/Isn’t It a Pity” by George Harrison, “One Less Bell to Answer” by The 5th Dimension and “Coal Miner’s Daughter” by Loretta Lynn all topped the charts.
1971 – In the longest game in NFL history (82m40s), the Miami Dolphins defeat the Kansas City Chiefs 27-24.
1971 – “Brand New Key” by Melanie topped the charts.
1973 – Skylab astronauts took a seven hour walk in space and photographed the comet Kohoutek.
1974 – Marshall Fields crashed his Chevrolet Impala into the Northwest Gate of the White House complex. Dressed in Arab clothing, Fields claimed that he was the Messiah and that he was laden with explosives. He drove up to the North Portico and positioned himself only several feet from the front door. After four hours of negotiations, Fields surrendered. President Gerald Ford and his family were not home at the time.
1976 – “Tonight’s the Night (Gonna Be Alright)” by Rod Stewart topped the charts.
1977 – Prime Minister of Israel Menachem Begin meets in Egypt with President of Egypt Anwar Sadat.
1978 – CHART TOPPERS – “Le Freak” by Chic, “Too Much Heaven” by Bee Gees, “My Life” by Billy Joel and “The Gambler” by Kenny Rogers all topped the charts.
1978 – Guards at the San Francisco’s De Young Museum discovered that four Renaissance paintings had been stolen. In 1999 three of the works, including Rembrandt’s “Portrait of a Rabbi,” were recovered in NYC. “Harbor Scene” by William van de Velde was still missing.
1982 – “Maneater” by Daryl Hall & John Oates topped the charts.
1986 – CHART TOPPERS – “Walk Like an Egyptian” b y Bangles, “Everybody Have Fun Tonight” by Wang Chung, “Notorious” by Duran Duran and “Too Much is Not Enough” by Bellamy Brothers all topped the charts.
1987 – Authorities recaptured Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme, who had escaped two days earlier from the federal prison in Alderson, W.V., where she was serving a life sentence for her attempt on the life of President Ford.
1989 – Japanese scientist achieves -271.8 degrees C, coldest temp ever recorded.
1989 – Former baseball player and manager Billy Martin died in a truck crash in Fenton, NY.
1990 – James Brown gave his first concert performance in two years for soldiers of Ft. Jackson, SC. Brown was on a 4-day furlough from prison.
1991 – Mikhail Gorbachev resigns as president of the Soviet Union (the union itself is dissolved the next day).
1993 – “Hero” by Mariah Carey topped the charts.
1995 – The Mt. Moriah Baptist Church in Hillsborough, N.C., burned down. Arson was suspected and investigations by the FBI and ATF were later begun.
1997 – Jerry Seinfeld says this is the final season of his TV show.
1997 – Richard Bliss, a field technician for Qualcomm Inc. accused of spying in Russia, arrived in San Diego after Russian authorities were persuaded to let him return home.
1998 – Seven days into their journey , American millionaire Steve Fossett, British mogul Richard Branson and Per Lindstrom of Sweden set down their ICO Global Challenger balloon in the Pacific near Honolulu. This ended their latest effort to circumnavigate the world.
1998 – A storm snapped power lines in Virginia and left thousands without power as cold weather hit across the South.
1999 – Space shuttle “Discovery’s” astronauts finished their repair job on the Hubble Space Telescope.
2002 – Katie Hnida became the first woman to play in a Division I football game when she attempted an extra point following a New Mexico touchdown in the Las Vegas Bowl against UCLA. Hnida, a walk-on junior, had her kick blocked but by then she had already made history
2002 – Andrew Whittaker of Hurricane, W. Va., won the Powerball lottery ticket for $314.9 million.
2002 – A US winter storm left up to 3 feet of snow across the Northeast. The storm claimed 23 people in its weeklong march across the country.
2003 – The ill-fated Beagle 2 probe which was released from the Mars Express Spacecraft on December 19, disappears shortly before its scheduled landing.
2003 – Near San Bernadino, Ca., sixteen people were killed at a youth camp after mudslides, triggered by heavy rain, swept down the San Gabriel Mountains recently scorched by wildfire. Two of the fourteen people killed were at a KOA campground near Devore.
2003 – Florida’s Gov. Jeb Bush dedicated a faith-based prison.
2004 – President Bush urged Americans to help the neediest among them by volunteering to care for the sick, the elderly and the poor in a Christmas Day call for compassion.
2004 – Portions of South and Southeast Texas south of I-10 had their first White Christmas ever as snow was recorded falling from Brownsville to Beaumont with as much as 13 inches in Brazoria.
2006 – James Brown (b.1928), the dynamic “Godfather of Soul,” died early Christmas Day. His 1965 song “I Got You (I Feel Good)” is considered one of the all-time greatest in rock’s cannon.
2007 – In southern California a pack of pit bulls surrounded Kelly Caldwell (45) and mauled her to death. Barstow police shot and killed two of the dogs.
2007 – A Siberian tiger named Tatiana (4) escaped its enclosure at the San Francisco Zoo, killing Carlos Sousa (17) of San Jose and mauling two others.
2008 – Eartha Kitt (81), singer, dancer and actress, died in New York City.
2008 – Iraq’s Christians, a scant minority in this overwhelmingly Muslim country, quietly celebrated Christmas with a present from the government, which declared it an official holiday for the first time.
2009 – An attempted bombing took place as Northwest Airlines Flight 253 from Amsterdam prepared to land in Detroit just before noon. Law enforcement officials identified the suspect as Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab (23), a Nigerian man, who claimed to be acting on orders from al-Qaida to blow up the airliner with a bomb sewed into his underwear.
2009 – In Maryland law enforcement found the body of Sarah H. Foxwell (11) near the Delaware state line three days after she was last seen at her home.
2010 – Atlanta, Georgia gets its first white Christmas in 128 years. More than 500 flights going through the airport were affected.
2011 – The warmest temperature ever recorded at the South Pole is set with a top of 100F set at the Amundsen–Scott South Pole Station.
2012 – Major tornadoes move through Mobile, AL. One damages the Mobile Infirmary Hospital, the largest not-for-profit hospital in Alabama. With more than 2,500 employees and 650 physicians on staff. All hospitals in the area on generators.
4 BC – Jesus Christ of Nazareth (Celebrated Day)
1642 – Sir Isaac Newton, British mathematician.
1757 – Benjamin Pierce, U.S. politician (d 1839)
1821 – Clara Barton, American nurse, founder of American Red Cross.
1865 – Evangeline Booth, the 4th General of The Salvation Army (d. 1950)
1887 – Conrad Hilton, American hotel magnate.
1890 – Robert Ripley, collector of odd facts (d. 1949)
1899 – Humphrey Bogart, American Academy Award-winning actor.
1907 – Cab Calloway, American bandleader, singer.
1918 – Anwar el-Sadat, Egyptian president; Nobel Peace Prize winner with Israel’s Menachim Begin in 1978.
1924 – Rod Serling, American scriptwriter.
1946 – Jimmy Buffett, American singer and songwriter, in Pascagoula, Mississippi.
1948 – Barbara Mandrell, American singer and actress
Rank and organization: Staff Sergeant (then Private), U.S. Army, Company G, 318th Infantry, 80th Infantry Division. Place and date: Near, Chaumont, Belgium, December 25th, 1944. Entered service at: Baltimore, Md. Birth: Baltimore, Md. G.O. No.: 45, 12 June 1945. Citation: He alone made it possible for his company to advance until its objective was seized. Company G had cleared a wooded area of snipers, and one platoon was advancing across an open clearing toward another wood when it was met by heavy machinegun fire from two German positions dug in at the edge of the second wood. These positions were flanked by enemy riflemen. The platoon took cover behind a small ridge approximately forty yards from the enemy position. There was no other available protection and the entire platoon was pinned down by the German fire. It was about noon and the day was clear, but the terrain extremely difficult due to a three-inch snowfall the night before over ice-covered ground. Pvt. Wiedorfer, realizing that the platoon advance could not continue until the two enemy machinegun nests were destroyed, voluntarily charged alone across the slippery open ground with no protecting cover of any kind. Running in a crouched position, under a hail of enemy fire, he slipped and fell in the snow, but quickly rose and continued forward with the enemy concentrating automatic and small-arms fire on him as he advanced. Miraculously escaping injury, Pvt. Wiedorfer reached a point some ten yards from the first machinegun emplacement and hurled a handgrenade into it. With his rifle he killed the remaining Germans, and, without hesitation, wheeled to the right and attacked the second emplacement. One of the enemy was wounded by his fire and the other six immediately surrendered. This heroic action by one man enabled the platoon to advance from behind its protecting ridge and continue successfully to reach its objective. A few minutes later, when both the platoon leader and the platoon sergeant were wounded, Pvt. Wiedorfer assumed command of the platoon, leading it forward with inspired energy until the mission was accomplished.
Rank and organization: Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps. Born: 25 January 1855, New York, N.Y. Accredited to: New York. G.O. No.: 326, 18 October 1884. Citation: For leaping overboard from the U.S. Flagship Lancaster, at Villefranche, France, December 25th, 1881, and rescuing from drowning Robert Blizzard, ordinary seaman, a prisoner, who had jumped overboard.
Rank and organization: Boatswain’s Mate, U.S. Navy. Born: 1816 Massachusetts. Accredited to: Massachusetts. G.O. No.: 59, 22 June 1865. Citation: Barnum served on board the U.S.S. New Ironsides during action in several attacks on Fort Fisher, December 24th and December 25th, 1864; and on 13th, 14th, and 15th January 1865. The ship steamed in and took the lead in the ironclad division close in shore and immediately opened its starboard battery in a barrage of well directed fire to cause several fires and explosions and dismount several guns during the first two days of fighting. Taken under fire as she steamed into position on 13 January, the New Ironsides fought all day and took on ammunition at night despite severe weather conditions. When the enemy came out of his bombproofs to defend the fort against the storming party, the ship’s battery disabled nearly every gun on the fort facing the shore before the cease-fire orders were given by the flagship. Barnum was commended for highly meritorious conduct during this period.
Rank and organization: Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps. Born: 1840, Philadelphia, Pa. Accredited to: Pennsylvania. Citation: On board the U.S.S. Ticonderoga during the attacks on Fort Fisher, December 24 and December 25th, 1864, and 13 to 15 January 1865. Despite heavy return fire by the enemy and the explosion of the 100-pounder Parrott rifle which killed eight men and wounded twelve more, Sgt. Binder, as captain of a gun, performed his duties with skill and courage during the first two days of battle. As his ship again took position on the 13th, he remained steadfast as the Ticonderoga maintained a well-placed fire upon the batteries on shore, and thereafter, as she materially lessened the power of guns on the mound which had been turned upon our assaulting columns. During this action the flag was planted on one of the strongest fortifications possessed by the rebels.
Rank and organization: Contraband, U.S. Navy. Entered service at: Virginia. G.O. No.: 32, 16 April 1864. Accredited to: Virginia. Citation: On board the U.S. Steam Gunboat Marblehead off Legareville, Stono River, December 25th, 1863, in an engagement with the enemy on John’s Island. Serving the rifle gun, Blake, an escaped slave, carried out his duties bravely throughout the engagement which resulted in the enemy’s abandonment of positions, leaving a caisson and one gun behind.
Rank and organization: Boatswain’s Mate, U.S. Navy. Born: 1838, Indiana. Accredited to: Indiana. G.O. No.: 59, 22 June 1865. Citation: On board the U.S.S. Ticonderoga during attacks on Fort Fisher, 24 and December 25th, 1864; and 13 to 15 January 1865. Despite heavy return fire by the enemy and the explosion of the 100-pounder Parrott rifle which killed eight men and wounded twelve more, Campbell, as captain of a gun, performed his duties with skill and courage during the first two days of battle. As his ship again took position on the line of the 13th, he remained steadfast as the Ticonderoga maintained a well-placed fire upon the batteries on shore, and thereafter, as she materially lessened the power of guns on the mound which had been turned upon our assaulting columns. During this action the flag was planted on one of the strongest fortifications possessed by the rebels.
Rank and organization: Coxswain, U.S. Navy. Born: 1839, Scotland. Accredited to: Pennsylvania. G.O. No.: 59, 22 June 1865. Citation: Dempster served on board the U.S.S. New Ironsides during action in several attacks on Fort Fisher, 24 and December 25th, 1864; and 13, 14, and 15 January 1865. The ship steamed in and took the lead in the ironclad division close inshore and immediately opened its starboard battery in a barrage of well-directed fire to cause several fires and explosions and dismount several guns during the first two days of fighting. Taken under fire as she steamed into position on 13 January, the New Ironsides fought all day and took on ammunition at night despite severe weather conditions. When the enemy came out of his bombproofs to defend the fort against the storming party, the ship’s battery disabled nearly every gun on the fort facing the shore before the cease-fire orders were given by the flagship.
Rank and organization: Quartermaster, U.S. Navy. Born: Maine. Accredited to: Maine. G.O. No.: 59, 22 June 1865. Citation: On board the U.S.S. Monadnock in action during several attacks on Fort Fisher, 24 and December 25th, 1864; and 13, 14, and 15 January 1865.
With his ship anchored well inshore to insure perfect range against the severe fire of rebel guns, Dunn continued his duties when the vessel was at anchor, as her propellers were kept in motion to make her turrets bear, and the shooting away of her chain might have caused her to ground. Disdainful of shelter despite severe weather conditions, he inspired his shipmates and contributed to the success of his vessel in reducing the enemy guns to silence.
The “Christmas truce” is a term used to describe the brief unofficial cessation of hostilities that occurred between German and British troops stationed on the Western Front of World War I during Christmas 1914. The truce began on Christmas Eve, December 24, 1914, when German troops began decorating the area around their trenches in the region of Ypres, Belgium, for Christmas. They began by placing candles on trees, then continued the celebration by singing Christmas carols, namely Stille Nacht (Silent Night). The British troops in the trenches across from them responded by singing English carols.
The two sides continued by shouting Christmas greetings to each other. Soon thereafter, there were calls for visits across the “No Man’s Land” where small gifts were exchanged — whisky, jam, cigars, and the like. The artillery in the region fell silent that night. The truce also allowed a breathing spell where recently-fallen soldiers could be brought back behind their lines by burial parties. Proper burials took place as soldiers from both sides mourned the dead together and paid their respects. At one funeral in No Man’s Land, soldiers from both sides gathered and read a passage from the 23rd Psalm:
“The Lord is my shepherd. I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures. He leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul. He leadeth me in the path of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil.”
The truce spread to other areas of the lines, and there are many stories — some perhaps apocryphal — of football (soccer) matches between the opposing forces. The film Merry Christmas (film) suggests that letters sent home from the war related that the score was 3-2 in favor of the Germans.
In many sectors, the truce lasted through Christmas night, but in some areas, it continued until New Year’s Day.
The truce occurred in spite of opposition at higher levels of the military. Earlier in the autumn, a call by Pope Benedict XV for an official truce between the warring governments had been ignored.
British commanders Sir John French and Sir Horace Smith-Dorrien vowed that no such truce would be allowed again. (However, both had left command before Christmas 1915.) In all of the following years of the war, artillery bombardments were ordered on Christmas Eve to ensure that there were no further lulls in the combat. Troops were also rotated through various sectors of the front to prevent them from becoming overly familiar with the enemy. Despite those measures, there were a few friendly encounters between enemy soldiers, but on a much smaller scale than the previous year.
“But I am sure that I have always thought of Christmas time, when it has come round…as a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time; the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely.”
~ Charles Dickens (A Christmas Carol)
yule·tide [yool-tahyd] –noun
the Christmas season. Generally regarded as the time between December 24 and January 6th
-as an adjective
of or pertaining to the Christmas season.
1724 – Benjamin Franklin arrived in London.
1777 – Kiritimati, also called Christmas Island, was discovered by James Cook.
1814 – The Treaty of Ghent was signed which ended the War of 1812.
1816 – “Silent Night,” perhaps the most celebrated of Christmas carols, was first performed on Christmas Eve of 1816 in Salzburg, Austria. The organ was not working in the church, and so it was accompanied by a single guitar melody, played by the composer Franz Gruber.
1826 – The Eggnog Riot at the United States Military Academy began tonight. It was caused by the smuggling of whiskey, two days prior to the incident, to make eggnog for a Christmas Day party in the North Barracks of the Academy. The riot eventually involved more than one-third of the cadets by the time it ceased on Christmas morning.
1851 – Fire devastated the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., destroying around 2/3 (35,000 volumes) of its collection, including 2/3 of Thomas Jefferson’s personal library, sold to the institution in 1815.
1860 – Joseph Jefferson’s “Rip Van Winkle” premieres in New York NY.
1861 – Civil War: The USS Gem of the Sea destroyed the British blockade runner Prince of Wales off the coast at Georgetown, S.C.
1862 –Civil War: The USS New Era arrives at Columbus, Ky laden with artillery pieces, an early Christmas present for the Federal troops.
1864 – Civil War: A Union fleet under Admiral David Dixon Porter begins a bombardment of Fort Fisher, North Carolina.
1864 – Civil War: Rear Admiral Lee, commanding the Mississippi Squadron, arrived off Chickasaw, Alabama, in an attempt to cut off the retreat of Confederate General Hood’s army from Tennessee.
1865 – Several veterans of the Confederate Army formed a private social club in Pulaski, Tennessee, called the Ku Klux Klan. The name of the Ku Klux Klan is derived from the Greek word kuklos, meaning circle, and clan, a Scottish Gaelic word for the traditional tribal units of Scotland that reflects the Scottish ancestry of many of the KKK’s founding members.
1867 – It was Christmas Eve that R.H. Macy’s department store in New York City remained open until midnight to catch last-minute shoppers.
1881 – Five thousand Blacks from Edgefield County, South Carolina, migrants, protesting exploitation and violence, settled in Arkansas.
1886 – Thomas Stevens is first man to bicycle around the world.
1889 – Daniel Stover & William Hance patent bicycle with back pedal brake.
1893 – Henry Ford completes his first useful gas motor. At this time Ford was chief steam engineer at the main Detroit Edison Company plant with responsibility for maintaining electric service in the city 24 hours a day.
1906 – Reginald A. Fessenden, a Canadian physicist, became first to broadcast a radio program, consisting of a poetry reading, a violin solo, and a speech. His source location was Brant Rock, MA, SE of Boston on the coast.
1912 – Irving Fisher patents archiving system with index cards.
1913 – The Italian Hall disaster or Massacre in Calumet, Michigan, results in the death of 73 Christmas party goers held by striking mine workers, including 59 children. The tragedy began when there were over four hundred people in the second floor room and someone yelled “Fire!”; there was none. The event was memorialized by Woody Guthrie in the song “1913 Massacre“.
1914 – World War I: The “Christmas truce” begins. 577,875 Allied soldiers spent Christmas as prisoners in Germany. World War I was only months old on Christmas Eve 1914 when an extraordinary unofficial truce occurred in many places along the Western Front. “We were all moved and felt quite melancholy,” wrote one German soldier, “each of us taken up with his own thoughts of home.”
1914 – In World War I, the first air raid on Britain was made when a German airplane dropped a bomb on the grounds of a rectory in Dover.
1919 – John D. Rockefeller, thought to be the world’s richest man, gave away $100 million dollars.
1920 – Enrico Caruso gives his last public performance (New York NY).
1924 – Notre Dame football coach Knute Rockne opposed elimination of the pass.
1928 – The first broadcast of “The Voice of Firestone” was heard. The half-hour musical series appealed to family audiences because of its wholesome programming. The show would also serve as a promotional vehicle for Firestone and its products.
1936 – First radioactive isotope medicine administered, Berkeley CA.
1939 – World War II: Pope Pius XII makes a Christmas Eve appeal for peace.
1941 – World War II: 7000 troops of the Japanese 16th Infantry Division land at Lamon Bay in southeast Luzon.
1941 – World War II: First ships of Admiral Nagumo’s Pearl Harbor-fleet return to Japan.
1941 – World War II: Hong Kong falls to the Japanese Imperial Army.
1942 – World War II: German rocket engineer Wernher von Braun launched the first surface-to-surface guided missile.
1943 – World War II: U.S. General Dwight D. Eisenhower becomes the Supreme Allied Commander.Almost everyone had believed the position would go to the American Chief of Staff George C. Marshall.
1943 – World War II: An American task force of cruisers and destroyers bombards Buka Island and the Japanese base at Buin on Bougainville.
1944 – World War II: All beef products are again being rationed. New quotas are introduced for most other commodities as well.
1944 – “The Andrews Sisters’ “Eight-To-The-Bar-Ranch” radio program debuted on ABC Radio.
1944 – World War II: A German submarine torpedoed the Belgian transport ship S.S. Leopoldville with 2,235 soldiers aboard. About 800 American soldiers died. The soldiers were crossing the English Channel to be reinforcements at the battle that became known as the “Battle of the Bulge”.
1945 – CHART TOPPERS – “It Might as Well Be Spring” by The Sammy Kaye Orchestra (vocal: Billy Williams), “White Christmas” by Bing Crosby, “It’s Been a Long, Long Time” by The Harry James Orchestra (vocal: Kitty Kallen) and “Silver Dew on the Blue Grass Tonight” by Bob Wills all topped the charts.
1946 – US General MacNarney gave 800,000 “minor Nazis” amnesty.
1947 – According to the movie, “Miracle On Thirty-Fourth Street“, The New York State Supreme Court declared Kris Kringle “Santa Claus.” It was established by 21 bags of mail being delivered by the U.S. Post Office. Natalie Wood was eight years old when the movie was made.
1948 – “The Perry Como Show” premiered on TV.
1948 – First US house completely sun-heated is occupied (Dover MA).
1948 – For the first time ever, a midnight Mass was broadcast on television. St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City was the locale.
1949 – “Mule Train” by Frankie Laine topped the charts.
1950 – Korean War: U.S. amphibious fleet, Task Force 90, commanded by Rear Admiral James H. Doyle, completed evacuation of X Corps from Hungnam. TF 90 evacuated 105,000 U.S. and ROK Marines and soldiers, 17,500 vehicles, 350,000 tons of cargo and 91,000 Korean civilians in just over 190 ships. This enormously complex operation has been termed “Inchon in Reverse.”
1950 – Korean War: In a daring helicopter rescue, the U.S. Air Force’s 33rd Air Rescue Squadron snatched 35 U.S. and ROK soldiers from behind enemy lines.
1950 – President Harry Truman addresses the American people.
1951 – Gian Carlo Menotti’s “Amahl and the Night Visitors,” (54:17) the first opera written specifically for television, was first broadcast by NBC.
1952 - The McCarren-Walter Act takes effect and revises America’s immigration laws. The law was hailed by supporters as a necessary step in preventing communist subversion in the United States, while opponents decried the legislation as being xenophobic and discriminatory. The act, named after Senator Pat McCarren (Democrat-Nevada) and Representative Francis Walter (Democrat-Pennsylvania), did relatively little to alter the quota system for immigration into the United States that had been established in the Immigration Act of 1924.
1952 – The Public Health Service reported that US births approached 4 million for the year, setting a new record.
1953 – CHART TOPPERS – “Ebb Tide” by The Frank Chacksfield Orchestra, “White Christmas” by Bing Crosby, “Ricochet “ by Teresa Brewer and “Let Me Be the One” by Hank Locklin all topped the charts.
1953 – NBC’s Dragnet becomes the first network-sponsored television program.
1953 – Pierre Salinger, SF Chronicle reporter, won the 1953 McQuade Memorial Award for his articles on poor conditions in California county jails. He had himself arrested under an alias in Bakersfield and Stockton for an inside look.
1955 – The Lennon Sisters debuted on the Lawrence Welk Show. The sisters , Dianne (age 16), Peggy (age 14), Kathy (age 12) and Janet (age 9) became TV stars.
1955 – “Sixteen Tons” by Tennessee Ernie Ford topped the charts.
1955 – NORAD Tracks Santa for the first time in what will become an annual Christmas Eve tradition.
1956 – “I Love Lucy” Christmas show airs, never put in syndication.
1956 – Blacks defied a city law in Tallahassee, Fla., and occupied front bus seats.
1960 – “Are You Lonesome Tonight?” by Elvis Presley topped the charts.
1961 – CHART TOPPERS – “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” by The Tokens, “Run to Him” by Bobby Vee, “The Twist” by Chubby Checker and “Walk on By” by Leroy Van Dyke all topped the charts.
1963 – New York’s Idlewild Airport was renamed John F. Kennedy International Airport, in honor of the assassinated President John F. Kennedy.
1964 – Shooting begins on “The Cage”, the pilot for Star Trek.
1964 – Vietnam: Two Viet Cong agents disguised as South Vietnamese soldiers leave a car filled with explosives parked at the Brinks Hotel in Saigon. The hotel was housing U.S. officers. Two Americans were killed in the blast and 65 Americans and Vietnamese were injured.
1966 – The Luna 13 spacecraft was launched toward the Moon from an earth-orbiting platform and accomplished a soft landing on December 24, 1966, in the region of Oceanus Procellarum.
1966 – Vietnam: A Canadair CL-44 chartered by the United States military crashes into a small village in South Vietnam, killing 129.
1966 – “Winchester Cathedral” by the New Vaudeville Band topped the charts.
1967 – Joe Namath (New York Jets) became the first NFL quarterback to pass for 4,000 yards.
1968 – Apollo Program – The crew of Apollo 8 (James A. Lovell, William Anders and Frank Borman) enter into orbit around the Moon, becoming the first humans to do so. They performed ten lunar orbits and broadcast TV pictures that became the famous Christmas Eve Broadcast, one of the most watched programs in history. The astronauts finished the program with readings from Genesis by Jim Lovell.
1969 – CHART TOPPERS – “Leaving on a Jet Plane” by Peter, Paul & Mary, “Someday We’ll Be Together” by Diana Ross & The Supremes, “Down on the Corner/Fortunate Son” by Creedence Clearwater Revival and “ (I’m So) Afraid of Losing You Again” by Charley Pride all topped the charts.
1969 – Curt Flood writes to Bowie K. Kuhn, the Commissioner of Baseball, asking to be declared a free agent .
1970 – Walt Disney’s “The Aristocats” is released.
1970 – Nine GIs were killed and nine wounded by friendly fire in Vietnam.
1971 – Jimmy Hoffa (1913-1975) was released from prison after President Nixon commuted his jail term.
1972 – Vietnam: Hanoi barred all peace talks with the U.S. until the air raids are stopped.
1972 – Vietnam: Comedian Bob Hope gives what he says is his last Christmas show to U.S. servicemen in Saigon.
1973 – The US Congress passed the Home Rule Act, which allowed residents of Washington DC to elect a mayor. Walter Washington was elected in 1974.
1977 – CHART TOPPERS – “How Deep Is Your Love” by the Bee Gees, “Blue Bayou” by Linda Ronstadt, “ (Every Time I Turn Around) Back in Love Again” by L.T.D. and “Here You Come Again” by Dolly Parton all topped the charts.
1979 – First Ariane-rocket launched.
1980 – Americans remembered the U.S. hostages in Iran by burning candles or shining lights for 417 seconds — one second for each day of captivity.
1983 – “Say, Say, Say” by Paul McCartney & Michael Jackson topped the charts.
1985 – CHART TOPPERS – “Say You, Say Me” by Lionel Richie, “Party All the Time” by Eddie Murphy, “Alive & Kicking “ by Simple Minds and “The Chair” by George Strait all topped the charts.
1987 – In Lebanon, the kidnappers of Terry Anderson released a videotape in which The Associated Press correspondent told his family he was in good health, and said to President Reagan, “Surely by now you know what must be done and how you can do it.” Anderson was freed nearly four years later.
1988 – “Every Rose Has Its Thorn” by Poison topped the charts.
1988 – President-elect Bush nominated Elizabeth H. Dole, onetime Transportation Secretary, to be his Secretary of Labor.
1991 – Walter Hudson (46), a 1,025 lb. man, died.
1992 – President George Bush pardoned six Reagan aides involved in the Iran-Contra Affair, including Caspar W. Weinberger, former secretary of defense, and Robert C. McFarlane, former national security advisor.
1992 – First African-American to hold the position of Secretary of Agriculture was awarded to Alphonso Michael “Mike” Espy.
1992 – In Ohio, Marvallous Keene and three accomplices began a three-day binge of murder and robbery in Dayton that left 6 people dead.
1995 – Fire broke out at the Philadelphia Zoo, killing 23 rare gorillas, orangutans, gibbons and lemurs.
1997 – The Air Force agreed to sell McClellan Air Force Base to Sacramento County for a maximum of $90 million. Payments would begin in Dec 2008 and continue over 45 years.
1997 – The world’s first civilian spy satellite, EarlyBird I, was launched from Russia. It was built by EarthWatch Inc. of Longmont, Colo.
1998 – At Disneyland in Anaheim, CA, a tourist was hit by a piece of flying metal while waiting to board a ride. The man’s wife and a Disneyland employee were also injured. Luan Phi Dawson died December 26th from his injuries.
1998 – Most of California’s citrus crop was considered ruined after three consecutive nights of freezing cold.
2000 – Thirty-six minutes after the end of a game, both the New England Patriots and the Miami Dolphins were called back to the playing field. The teams had to play the final 3 seconds of the game which the Dolphins had won 27-24. The end result did not change.
2000 – The Texas 7 holds up a sports store in Irving, Texas. Police officer Aubrey Hawkins is shot during the robbery.George Rivas, a recent escapee from Connally State prison, killed the officer during the holdup.
2001 – A West Virginia woman kidnapped 16-month-old Jasmine Anderson from a Chicago bus station in order to pass the child off as her own; Sheila Matthews and Jasmine were found by FBI agents three days later in West Virginia. Matthews was later sentenced to more than twelve years in prison.
2002 – North Korea ratcheted up its standoff with Washington, starting repairs at a long-frozen nuclear reactor and warning that U.S. policy was leading to an “uncontrollable catastrophe” and the “brink of nuclear war.”
2002 – Laci Peterson (27) disappeared from her Modesto, Ca., neighborhood. She was eight months pregnant. A reward for her return soon reached $500,000.
2003 – It was reported that U.S. and Russian experts recovered 37 pounds of weapons-grade uranium, enough to develop a nuclear warhead, from a closed atomic facility in Bulgaria.
2004 – The 2004 Christmas Eve Snowstorm delivers an extremely unusual snowfall to the southern United States.
2004 – US Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, bearing gifts of praise and encouragement, paid a surprise Christmas Eve visit to US troops in some of the most dangerous areas of Iraq.
2004 – The Comair computer system crashed after it was overwhelmed by cancellations and delays due to winter storms in the Ohio Valley. Comair was forced to cancel all of its 1,100 flights the next day. US AIR cancelled numerous flights and baggage problems rippled through its system for days.
2005 – Michael Vale (83), the actor best known for portraying sleepy-eyed Fred the Baker in Dunkin’ Donuts commercials, died in New York.
2008 – In Covina, Ca., a man dressed as Santa who had been having marital problems opened fire at a Christmas party, leaving 9 people dead in a home that then caught fire.
2008 – US government data showed that the number of domestic workers filing new claims for jobless benefits jumped by 30,000 to a 26-year peak last week, as the country’s year-long recession continued to chill the labor market.
2009 – Senate Democrats passed a landmark health care bill in a climactic Christmas Eve vote that could define President Barack Obama’s legacy and usher in near-universal medical coverage for the first time in the country’s history.
2009 – In Arkansas two men shot and killed Philip Wise, a Salvation Army major, in front of his three young children in North Little Rock.
2009 – David Goldman, a New Jersey man, and his 9-year-old son, Sean Goldman, were reunited in Brazil after a five-year international custody battle, and immediately headed home to spend the holidays in the US.
2010 – Thousands of people gather in Bethlehem to celebrate Christmas.
2011 – Sam Schmid, a junior at the University of Arizona, suffered severe brain damage and broken femurs in a five-car accident in October that killed his friend and roommate. Sam was in a coma was unwittingly poised to give the ultimate this holiday season–his life, and with it, his organs. Instead, his mother became the recipient of the ultimate gift: his sudden recovery.
2012 – A gunman in upstate New York set a trap and has shot four firefighters, killing two and seriously injuring two others, as they responded to a blaze this morning. Shots were initially fired at West Webster firefighters as they arrived at 5:35 a.m. to battle the blaze along Lake Road in Webster, approximately 10 miles west of Rochester, NY.
1745 – Benjamin Rush, American medical pioneer and signer of the Declaration of Independence.
1809 – Kit Carson, American frontiersman, American Indian agent, and Union general.
1818 – James Prescott Joule, (d. 1889) was an English physicist.
1904 – Herbert D Riley, US vice-admiral (WW II, Guadalcanal, Okinawa).
1905 – Howard Hughes, American industrialist, pilot, Hollywood producer and director. U.S. business executive.
1922 – Ava Gardner, actress (On the Beach, Night of the Iguana).
1923 – George Patton IV (d. 2004) was a major general in the United States Army and the son of World War II General George Patton.
1929 – Mary Higgins Clark, American author
BIDDLE, MELVIN E.
Rank and organization: Private First Class, U.S. Army, Company B, 517th Parachute Infantry Regiment. Place and date: Near Soy, Belgium, December 23- December 24th, 1944. Entered service at: Anderson, Ind. Birth: Daleville, Ind. G.O. No.. 95, 30 October 1945. Citation: He displayed conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action against the enemy near Soy, Belgium, on 23 and 24 December 1944. Serving as lead scout during an attack to relieve the enemy-encircled town of Hotton, he aggressively penetrated a densely wooded area, advanced four hundred yards until he came within range of intense enemy rifle fire, and within twenty yards of enemy positions killed three snipers with unerring marksmanship. Courageously continuing his advance an additional two hundred yards, he discovered a hostile machinegun position and dispatched its two occupants. He then located the approximate position of a well-concealed enemy machinegun nest, and crawling forward threw hand grenades which killed two Germans and fatally wounded a third. After signaling his company to advance, he entered a determined line of enemy defense, coolly and deliberately shifted his position, and shot three more enemy soldiers. Undaunted by enemy fire, he crawled within twenty yards of a machinegun nest, tossed his last hand grenade into the position, and after the explosion charged the emplacement firing his rifle. When night fell, he scouted enemy positions alone for several hours and returned with valuable information which enabled our attacking infantry and armor to knock out two enemy tanks. At daybreak he again led the advance and, when flanking elements were pinned down by enemy fire, without hesitation made his way toward a hostile machinegun position and from a distance of fifty yards killed the crew and two supporting riflemen. The remainder of the enemy, finding themselves without automatic weapon support, fled panic stricken. Pfc. Biddle’s intrepid courage and superb daring during his twenty hour action enabled his battalion to break the enemy grasp on Hotton with a minimum of casualties.
BURR, ELMER J
Rank and organization: First Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company 1, 127th Infantry, 32d Infantry Division. Place and date: Buna, New Guinea, December 24th, 1942. Entered service at: Menasha, Wis. Birth: Neenah, Wis. G.O. No.: 66, 11 Oct. 1943. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action above and beyond the call of duty. During an attack near Buna, New Guinea, on 24 December 1942, 1st Sgt. Burr saw an enemy grenade strike near his company commander. Instantly and with heroic self-sacrifice he threw himself upon it, smothering the explosion with his body. 1st Sgt. Burr thus gave his life in saving that of his commander.
CASTLE, FREDERICK W.
Rank and organization: Brigadier General. Assistant Commander, 4th Bomber Wing, U.S. Army Air Corps. Place and date: Germany, December 24th, 1944. Entered service at: Mountain Lake, N.J. Born: 14 October 1908, Manila P.I. G.O. No. 22, 28 February 1947. Citation: He was air commander and leader of more than 2,000 heavy bombers in a strike against German airfields on 24 December 1944. En route to the target, the failure of one engine forced him to relinquish his place at the head of the formation. In order not to endanger friendly troops on the ground below, he refused to jettison his bombs to gain speed maneuverability. His lagging, unescorted aircraft became the target of numerous enemy fighters that ripped the left wing with cannon shells, set the oxygen system afire, and wounded two members of the crew. Repeated attacks started fires in two engines, leaving the Flying Fortress in imminent danger of exploding. Realizing the hopelessness of the situation, the bailout order was given. Without regard for his personal safety he gallantly remained alone at the controls to afford all other crewmembers an opportunity to escape. Still another attack exploded gasoline tanks in the right wing, and the bomber plunged earthward, carrying Gen. Castle to his death. His intrepidity and willing sacrifice of his life to save members of the crew were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service.
Rank and organization. Corporal, Company A, 1st Tennessee Cavalry. Place and date: At Richland Creek, Tenn., December 24th, 1864. Entered service at: Cumberland Gap, Tenn. Born: 1834, Hawkins County, Tenn. Date of issue: 24 February 1865. Citation: Capture of flag of Chalmer’s Division.
Two Babes In a Manger
|In 1994, two Americans answered an invitation from the Russian Department of Education to teach morals and ethics (based on biblical principles) in the public schools. They were invited to teach at prisons, businesses, the fire and police departments and a large orphanage. About 100 boys and girls who had been abandoned, abused, and left in the care of a government-run program were living in an orphanage. They relate the following story in their own words:|
It was nearing the holiday season, 1994, time for our orphans to hear, for the first time, the traditional story of Christmas. We told them about Mary and Joseph arriving in Bethlehem. Finding no room in the inn, the couple went to a stable, where the baby Jesus was born, and then placed in a manger.
Throughout the story, the children and orphanage staff sat in amazement as they listened. Some sat on the edges of their stools, trying to grasp every word. Completing the story, we gave the children three small pieces of cardboard to make a crude manger. Each child was given a small paper square, which was cut from yellow napkins I had brought with me. No colored paper was available in the city.
Following instructions, the children tore the paper and carefully laid strips in the manger for straw. Small squares of flannel, cut from a worn-out nightgown an American lady was throwing away as she left Russia, were used for the baby’s blanket. A doll-like baby was cut from tan felt we had brought from the U.S.
The orphans were busy assembling their manger as I walked among them to see if they needed any help. All went well until I got to one table where little Misha sat. He looked to be about six years old and had finished his project. As I looked at the little boy’s manger, I was startled to see not one, but two babies in the manger. Quickly, I called for the translator to ask the lad why there were two babies in the manger.
Crossing his arms in front of him and looking at this completed manger scene, the child began to repeat the story very seriously. For such a young boy, who had only heard the Christmas story once, he related the happenings accurately ~ until he came to the part where Mary put the baby Jesus in the manger. Then Misha started to ad-lib. He made up his own ending to the story as he said…
“…And when Maria laid the baby in the manger, Jesus looked at me and asked me if I had a place to stay. I told him I have no mamma and I have no papa, so I don’t have any place to stay. Then Jesus told me I could stay with him. But I told him I couldn’t, because I didn’t have a gift to give him like everybody else did. But I wanted to stay with Jesus so much, so I thought about what I had that maybe I could use for a gift. I thought maybe if I kept him warm, that would be a good gift. So I asked Jesus, ‘If I keep you warm will that be a good enough gift?’ And Jesus told me, ‘If you keep me warm, that will be the best gift anybody has ever given me.’ So I got into the manger, and then Jesus looked at me and told me I could stay with him ~ for always.”
As little Misha finished his story, his eyes brimmed full of tears that fell down his little cheeks. Putting his hand over his face, his head dropped to the table and his little shoulders shook as he sobbed and sobbed. The little orphan had found someone who would never abandon nor abuse him, someone who would stay with him ~ for always.
I’ve learned that it’s not what you have in your life, but who you have in your life that counts. “Be joyful always; pray continually; give in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (I Thes. 5:16-18)
What gifts would you bring to the manger?
“The future is something which everyone reaches at the rate of sixty minutes an hour, whatever he does, whoever he is.”
~ C.S. Lewis
flibbertigibbet FLIB-ur-tee-jib-it, noun:
A silly, flighty, or scatterbrained person, especially a pert young woman with such qualities.
Flibbertigibbet is from Middle English flipergebet, which is probably an imitation of the sound of meaningless chatter.
1620 – Construction began of the first permanent European settlement in New England, one week after the Mayflower arrived at Plymouth harbor in present day Massachusetts.
1672 – Giovanni Cassini discovers Rhea, a satellite of Saturn. Rhea is the largest airless satellite of Saturn.
1776 – Thomas Paine published his first “American Crisis” essay.
1776 – Continental Congress negotiated a war loan of $181,500 from France.
1779 – Benedict Arnold was given a court-martial for improper conduct. He was charged with issuing a military pass to Robert Shewell, a businessman of alleged Tory sympathies; of closing Philadelphia shops to the public, while buying from them for himself; of imposing menial chores on the sons of free men; and of using State wagons to transport private property.
1783 – George Washington resigns as commander-in-chief of the Continental Army at the Maryland State House in Annapolis, Maryland. He goes to his home at Mount Vernon, Va.
1788 – Maryland voted to cede a 100-square-mile area for the seat of the national government; about two-thirds of the area became the District of Columbia.
1793 – Thomas Jefferson warned of slave revolts in West Indies.
1803 – Lt. Stephen Decatur, commanding the schooner Enterprise, captured a Barbary ketch, which was entered into the US Navy as the Intrepid.
1823 – The poem “Account of a Visit from St. Nicholas” was published anonymously in the Troy (N.Y.) Sentinel; the verse, more popularly known as “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas,” was later attributed to Clement C. Moore.
1852 – The Theatre of Celestial John opened on Telegraph Hill in San Francisco, CA. It was the first Chinese theatre in the U.S.
1861 – Lord Lyons, The British minister to America presented a formal complaint to secretary of state, William Seward, regarding the Trent affair. The Trent Affair was an international diplomatic incident that occurred during the American Civil War.
1862 – Civil War: Confederate President Jefferson Davis declares Union General Benjamin Butler a felon and insists that he be hanged if captured.
1864 – President Lincoln signed a bill passed the preceding day by Congress which created the rank of vice admiral.
1864 – Civil War: The powder ship U.S.S. Louisiana, Commander Rhind, towed by U.S.S. Wilderness late at night, anchored and was blown up 250 yards off Fort Fisher, North Carolina.
1879 – Thomas Edison patented a magneto-electric machine.
1888 – Vincent van Gogh cuts off the lower part of his left ear, takes it to a brothel, and gives it to a prostitute named Rachel. He did this following a quarrel with Paul Gauguin.
1900 – The Federal Party, which recognized American sovereignty, was formed in the Philippines.
1907 – First all-steel passenger railroad coach completed, Altoona PA.
1910 – LT Theodore G. Ellyson becomes first naval officer sent to flight training.
1912 – First “Keystone Kops” film, titled “Bangville Police“. The Keystone Kops was a series of silent film comedies featuring an incompetent group of policemen produced by Mack Sennett for his Keystone Film Company between 1912 and 1917.
1913 – The Federal Reserve Act or the Owen-Glass Act, is signed into law by President Woodrow Wilson, creating the 12-bank Federal Reserve.
1916 – World War I: Battle of Magdhaba – Allied forces defeat Turkish forces in Egypt’s Sinai peninsula.
1919 – First hospital ship, U.S.S. Relief, built to move wounded naval personnel, launched. It was designed with 515 beds on board.
1919 – Alice Parker of Morristown, New Jersey, invented a new and improved gas heating furnace that provided central heating.
1921 – President Harding freed Socialist Eugene Debs and 23 other political prisoners. Debs, a socialist, had run a campaign for the presidency from jail and got 920,000 votes.
1928 – National Broadcasting Company established a permanent U.S. coast-to-coast radio hookup.
1930 – Bette Davis (Ruth Elizabeth Davis) arrives in Hollywood under contract to Universal Studios. The studio representative who went to meet her train left without her because he could find no one who looked like a movie star.
1933 – The Pope condemned the Nazi sterilization program.
1937 – First flight of the Vickers Wellington bomber. It was widely used in the first two years of World War II, before being replaced as a bomber by much larger four-engine designs like the Avro Lancaster. The Wellington was popularly known as ‘the Wimpy’ by service personnel, after J. Wellington Wimpy from the Popeye cartoons.
1938 – Margaret Hamilton’s costume catches fire in filming of “Wizard of Oz”. When it was time for The Wicked Witch of the West to disappear. what happened was during the fourth shoot of this scene, the smoke and flames came too quickly causing her hat and broomstraw to catch fire. As a result, Margaret Hamilton suffered several burns about the face and a very bad burn to her hand.
1938 – “Mrs. Wiggs of the Cabbage Patch” was heard for the final time on the radio.
1941 – World War II: Japanese Imperial Army occupied Wake Island and American forces surrendered to the Japanese.
1941 ; World War II: The 440-foot tanker Montebello was sunk off the California coast near Cambria by a Japanese submarine. The crew of 38 survived and in 1996 it was found that the 4.1 million gallon cargo of crude oil appeared intact.
1942 – Bob Hope agreed to entertain U.S. airmen in Alaska.
1943 – The first telecast of a complete opera (Hansel & Gretel) was made from Schenectady, NY.
1944 – CHART TOPPERS – “White Christmas” by Bing Crosby, “Santa Claus is Coming to Town “ by Bing Crosby & The Andrews Sisters, “Don’t Fence Me In” by Bing Crosby & The Andrews Sisters and “I’m Wastin’ My Tears on You” by Tex Ritter all topped the charts.
1944 – General Dwight D. Eisenhower confirmed the death sentence of Private Eddie Slovik, the only American shot for desertion since the Civil War.
1946 – Highest ridership in New York City subway history took place with 8.8 million passengers.
1947 – John Bardeen, Walter H. Brattain, and William Shockley invented the transistor at Bell Telephone Laboratories in New Jersey. They won the Nobel Prize for their discovery.
1947 – President Truman granted a pardon to 1,523 who had evaded the World War II draft.
1948 – Seven former Japanese leaders sentenced to death by hanging at the International Military Tribunal for the Far East were executed at Sugamo Prison in Tokyo.
1950 – “The Tennessee Waltz” by Patti Page topped the charts.
1950 – Lieutenant General Walton Walker, Eighth Army commander, was killed in a jeep accident. Major General Frank W. Milburn assumed temporary command of Eighth Army.
1951 – The first televised coast-to-coast pro football game. Dumont paid $75,000 for the rights as Los Angeles Rams beat Cleveland Browns (48:33) 24-17 in the NFL championship game.
1952 – CHART TOPPERS – “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” by Jimmy Boyd, “Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer” by Gene Autry, “White Christmas” by Bing Crosby and “Don’t Let the Stars Get in Your Eyes” by Skeets McDonald all topped the charts.
1954 – The first human kidney transplant is performed by Dr. Joseph E. Murray at Peter Bent Brigham Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts. Ronald Herrick donated a kidney to his twin brother, Richard. In 1990 Dr. Murray was awarded a Nobel Prize for his work.
1954 – The classic movie, “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea“, was released.
1957 – Dan Blocker made his acting debut on television in the “Restless Gun.” He later went on to play “Hoss” in the TV series “Bonanza.”
1958 – Dedication of Tokyo Tower, world’s highest self-supporting iron tower.
1960 – CHART TOPPERS – “Are You Lonesome To-night?” by Elvis Presley, “Wonderland by Night “ by Bert Kaemphert, “North to Alaska” by Johnny Horton and “Wings of a Dove” by Ferlin Husky all topped the charts.
1961 – “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” by The Tokens topped the charts.
1962 – Cuba started returning US prisoners from Bay of Pigs invasion.
1963 – Beach Boys first appearance on “Shindig”. Shindig was a prime-time rock music show that featured live performances by the top acts of the early Sixties.
1966 – Dr Seuss’ “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” airs for first time on CBS.
1967 – “Daydream Believer” by the Monkees topped the charts.
1968 – CHART TOPPERS – “I Heard It Through the Grapevine” by Marvin Gaye, “For Once in My Life” by Stevie Wonder, “Stormy” by Classics IV featuring Dennis Yost and “Wichita Lineman” by Glen Campbell all topped the charts.
1968 – American astronauts on Apollo 8 became the first men to orbit the Moon. The three-man crew was Frank Borman (Commander), James A. Lovell, Jr. (Command Module Pilot) and William Anders (Lunar Module Pilot).
1968 – The eighty-two crew members of the U.S. intelligence ship USS Pueblo were released by North Korea, eleven months after they had been captured.
1969 – B.J. Thomas earns a gold record for “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head.”
1970 – The North Tower of the World Trade Center is topped out at 1,368 feet, making it the tallest building in the world.
1971 – Pres. Nixon signed the National Cancer Act, an initiative that came to be known as the “war on cancer.” Dr. David A. Wood (1905-1996) helped draft the National Cancer Act. The act added $100 million to the National Cancer Institute directed by Dr. Carl Baker (1920-2009) and Harold Varmus, M.D.(2010 – Present) .
1972 – The “Immaculate Reception” Steelers top the Raiders. With a fortunate bounce, Franco Harris found himself on the end of an unlikely reception that changed the outcome of a fantastic defensive struggle with the Oakland Raiders in the first-ever playoff game at Pittsburgh’s Three Rivers Stadium.
1972 – “Me and Mrs. Jones” by Billy Paul topped the charts.
1973 – The Shah of Iran announced that the petroleum-exporting states of the Persian Gulf would double the price of their crude oil.
1974 – The B-1 bomber made its first successful test flight.
1975 – Congress passed the Metric Conversion Act declaring that the SI (International System of Units) will be the country’s basic system of measurement.
1975 – Richard S. Welch, the Central Intelligence Agency station chief in Athens, was shot and killed outside his home. The left-wing November 17 urban guerrilla group was responsible.
1976 – CHART TOPPERS – “Tonight’s the Night (Gonna Be Alright)” by Rod Stewart, “The Rubberband Man” by the Spinners, “You Make Me Feel Like Dancing” by Leo Sayer and “Thinkin’ of a Rendezvous” by Johnny Duncan all topped the charts.
1978 – “Le Freak” by Chic topped the charts.
1982 – The Environmental Protection Agency announces it has identified dangerous levels of dioxin in the soil of Times Beach, Missouri.
1983 – Washington Redskins quarterback Joe Theisman was named Offensive Player of the Year by the National Football League.
1983 – Journal Science publishes first report on nuclear winter.
1986 – Voyager, piloted by Dick Rutan and Jeana Yeager, lands at Edwards Air Force Base in California and becomes the first aircraft to fly non-stop around the world. The trip covered 25,012 miles.
1987 – Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme, serving a life sentence for the attempted assassination of U.S. President Ford in 1975, escaped from the Alderson Federal Prison for Women in West Virginia. She was recaptured two days later.
1989 – “Another Day in Paradise” by Phil Collins topped the charts.
1991 – Longtime Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Chuck Noll retired after 23 seasons. He was the only coach to have four Super Bowl wins (1975-1976, 1979-1980) and was the fifth winningest coach in the NFL (209-156-1).
1991 – A fire destroyed a house in Corsicana, Texas, killing three young children; their father, Cameron Todd Willingham, was convicted of starting the blaze and was executed in 2004, although some experts raised questions about whether the fire had been deliberately set.
1992 – An American mission to save lives in Somalia lost the first of its own when a U.S. vehicle hit a land mine near Bardera, killing civilian Army employee Lawrence N. Freedman of Fayetteville, N.C.
1994 – Baseball owners impose salary cap, fiercely opposed by players.
1994 – John Connolly, FBI agent, came to the Winter Hill gang’s headquarters in a Boston liquor store and warned Kevin Weeks of pending FBI arrests for mobsters James Bulger, Stephen Flemmi and Francis Salemme. Connolly was convicted for corruption in 2002 and sentenced to 121 months.
1997 – A Denver federal court jury convicted Terry Nichols of involuntary manslaughter and conspiracy for his role in the Oklahoma City bombing.
1997 – Chicago Bull coach Phil Jackson is quickest to reach 500 wins (682 games).
1997 – US Agriculture Department estimates it costs $149,820 to raise a child to 18.
1997 – The FDA approved the first inhaled antibiotic, made by PathoGenesis, to help lung function in patients with cystic fibrosis.
1998 – In California two days of severe cold caused an estimated $591 million in agricultural damage. Hard hit were the lemon and navel orange crop of the central San Joaquin Valley. Damage estimates later rose to over $700 million.
1999 – President Clinton pardoned Freddie Meeks, a black sailor court-martialed for mutiny during World War Two when he and other sailors refused to load live ammunition following a deadly explosion at the Port Chicago Naval Magazine (July 17, 1944) near San Francisco that had claimed more than 300 lives.
1999 – In Keokuk, Iowa, a house fire left three children and 3 firemen dead. Dave McNally (48), Jason Bitting (29) and Nate Tuck (39) were caught in a flashover.
2001 – Time magazine named Mayor Rudolph Giuliani as Person of the Year.
2002 – US Senate Republicans unanimously elected Bill Frist to succeed Trent Lott as their leader in the next Congress.
2002 – Iraqi aircraft shot down a U.S. unmanned surveillance drone over southern Iraq.
2003 – New York Governor George Pataki pardoned the late comedian Lenny Bruce for his 1964 obscenity conviction.
2003 – A Virginia jury recommended a sentence of life in prison for Lee Boyd Malvo.
2003 – A cow, slaughtered in Washington state on Dec 9, was reported to have tested positive for mad cow disease, the first such US case.
2004 – US Marines battled insurgents in Fallujah with warplanes dropping bombs and tanks shelling suspected guerrilla positions. Three U.S. Marines were killed.
2004 – Washington state election officials announced that Democratic candidate Christine Gregoire was the winner in the governor’s race by 130 votes, out of 2.9 million ballots cast, over her Republican opponent Dino Rossi.
2004 – Former Connecticut Gov. John G. Rowland, driven from office by a corruption scandal, pleaded guilty to a single federal charge that carries a sentence of up to five years in prison. He was later sentenced to a year and a day in federal prison.
2004 – 400 meter asteroid 99942 Apophis is estimated to have a roughly one-in-forty chance of colliding with Earth in 2029. Its Torino Scale rating is 4.
2005 – U.S. News and World Report claimed that the United States government has been monitoring mosques in the United States since September 11 for traces of radiation.
2006 – The U.S. military reports that top Taliban military commander Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Osmani was killed on Tuesday by a U.S. airstrike while traveling by vehicle in a deserted area in the southern Afghanistan province of Helmand.
2006 – A review process directed by the Pentagon cleared 46 detainees at the Guantanamo prison camp for transfer this year to their home countries.
2007 – High wind and ice coated power lines blacked out tens of thousands of people in the Midwest. The storm was blamed for at least twenty-two deaths. At least eight people in Minnesota, five in Wisconsin, three each in Indiana and Wyoming and one each in Michigan, Texas and Kansas were killed in traffic accidents.
2008 – In New York City police found the body of investor Rene-Thierry Magon de la Villehuchet (65) at his Madison Avenue office. He had grown increasingly subdued after the Madoff scandal broke and apparently swallowed sleeping pills and slashed his wrists with a box cutter. His investment fund had lost $1.4 billion with Bernard Madoff.
2008 – Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the world’s largest retailer, said it will pay as much as $640 million to settle 63 lawsuits over wage-and-hour violations, ending years of dispute.
2008 – In Phoenix, Arizona, Joe Sauceda Gallegos (36) beat two boys, ages 7 and 10, with an aluminum baseball bat. On Apr 4, 2012, Gallegos was sentenced to 2 life terms in prison, after pleading guilty to two counts of first degree murder.
2009 – The White House said President Obama has removed Madagascar, Guinea and Niger from a list of African countries receiving trade benefits, but reinstated Mauritania.
2009 – In Alaska a 123-foot tug boat hit Bligh Reef, the same reef that damaged the Exxon Valdez in 1989. Over the next few days 49,000 gallons of diesel fuel were salvaged from the tug. It was unknown how much fuel was spilled.
2009 – American Airlines Flight 331, with 154 people onboard, overshoots the runway at Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston, Jamaica, injuring forty-four.
2010 – The US population reportedly grew 9.7% over the previous decade to 308.7 million as the US Census Bureau began releasing data.
2010 – The US Treasury Department defended its issuance of special licenses for American companies to do business with Iran and other blacklisted nations, in response to a New York Times report on deals made despite sanctions and trade embargoes.
2010 – In central Florida Kenneth Stephens Jr. (35), a blast team supervisor, was trapped underwater and feared dead after ground gave way at a limerock mine in Bushnell.
2013 – OBAMACARE: Coverage deadline is extended by one day, to Dec. 24.
1777 – Alexander I, czar of Russia.
1790 – Jean-François Champollion, French founder of Egyptology who deciphered the Rosetta Stone.
1805 – Joseph Smith, American, founder of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
1822 – Wilhelm Bauer, German engineer (d. 1875) He was the German inventor and engineer, who built several hand-powered submarines.
1843 – Richard Conner, American CIVIL WAR Medal of Honor Recipient (d. 1924)
1867 – Sarah Breedlove Walker, American businesswoman and philanthropist considered to be the first black female millionaire.
1907 – James Roosevelt, the oldest son of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. He was a United States Congressman, an officer in the United States Marine Corps.
1918 – José Greco, Italian-born flamenco dancer (d. 2001)
1923 – James Stockdale, American admiral, Medal of Honor recipient (d. 2005)
1935 – Paul Hornung, a retired professional football player, a Hall of Fame running back for the Green Bay Packers of the NFL from 1957 to 1966, winning four NFL titles and the first Super Bowl.
1944 – Wesley Clark, U.S. general and NATO Supreme Allied Commander
1946 – Susan Lucci, American actress is best known for appearing as Erica Kane on the ABC television soap opera All My Children, from January 16, 1970 to September 23, 2011.
1952 – William Kristol, American politician and journalist, founded The Weekly Standard
1963 – Jim Harbaugh, is an American football coach and former quarterback who is the head coach for the San Francisco 49ers of the National Football League (NFL).
BOLDEN, PAUL L.
Rank and organization: Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company 1, 120th Infantry, 30th Infantry Division. Place and date: Petit-Coo, Belgium, December 23rd, 1944. Entered service at: Madison, Ala. Birth: Hobbes Island, Iowa. G.O. No.: 73, 30 August 1945-. Citation: He voluntarily attacked a formidable enemy strong point in Petit-Coo, Belgium, on 23 December, 1944, when his company was pinned down by extremely heavy automatic and small-arms fire coming from a house 200 yards to the front. Mortar and tank artillery shells pounded the unit, when S/Sgt. Bolden and a comrade, on their own initiative, moved forward into a hail of bullets to eliminate the ever-increasing fire from the German position. Crawling ahead to close with what they knew was a powerfully armed, vastly superior force, the pair reached the house and took up assault positions, S/Sgt. Bolden under a window, his comrade across the street where he could deliver covering fire. In rapid succession, S/Sgt. Bolden hurled a fragmentation grenade and a white phosphorous grenade into the building; and then, fully realizing that he faced tremendous odds, rushed to the door, threw it open and fired into thirty-five SS troopers who were trying to reorganize themselves after the havoc wrought by the grenades. Twenty Germans died under fire of his submachinegun before he was struck in the shoulder, chest, and stomach by part of a burst which killed his comrade across the street. He withdrew from the house, waiting for the surviving Germans to come out and surrender. When none appeared in the doorway, he summoned his ebbing strength, overcame the extreme pain he suffered and boldly walked back into the house, firing as he went. He had killed the remaining fifteen enemy soldiers when his ammunition ran out. S/Sgt. Bolden’s heroic advance against great odds, his fearless assault, and his magnificent display of courage in reentering the building where he had been severely wounded cleared the path for his company and insured the success of its mission.
*ELROD, HENRY TALMAGE
Rank and organization: Captain, U.S. Marine Corps. Born: 27 September 1905, Rebecca, Ga. Entered service at: Ashburn, Ga. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while attached to Marine Fighting Squadron 211, during action against enemy Japanese land, surface and aerial units at Wake Island, 8 to December 23rd, 1941. Engaging vastly superior forces of enemy bombers and warships on 9 and 12 December, Capt. Elrod shot down two of a flight of twenty-two hostile planes and, executing repeated bombing and strafing runs at extremely low altitude and close range, succeeded in inflicting deadly damage upon a large Japanese vessel, thereby sinking the first major warship to be destroyed by small caliber bombs delivered from a fighter-type aircraft. When his plane was disabled by hostile fire and no other ships were operative, Capt. Elrod assumed command of one flank of the line set up in defiance of the enemy landing and, conducting a brilliant defense, enabled his men to hold their positions and repulse intense hostile fusillades to provide covering fire for unarmed ammunition carriers. Capturing an automatic weapon during one enemy rush in force, he gave his own firearm to one of his men and fought on vigorously against the Japanese. Responsible in a large measure for the strength of his sector’s gallant resistance, on 23 December, Capt. Elrod led his men with bold aggressiveness until he fell, mortally wounded. His superb skill as a pilot, daring leadership and unswerving devotion to duty distinguished him among the defenders of Wake Island, and his valiant conduct reflects the highest credit upon himself and the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.
BIBBER, CHARLES J.
Rank and organization: Gunner’s Mate, U.S. Navy. Born: 1838, Portland, Maine. Accredited to: Maine. G.O. No.: 45, 31 December 1864. Citation: Bibber served on board the U.S.S. Agawam, as one of a volunteer crew of a powder boat which was exploded near Fort Fisher December 23rd,1864. The powder boat, towed in by the Wilderness to prevent detection by the enemy, cast off and slowly steamed to within three-hundred yards of the beach. After fuses and fires had been lit and a second anchor with short scope let go to assure the boat’s tailing inshore, the crew again boarded the Wilderness and proceeded a distance of twelve miles from shore. Less than two hours later the explosion took place, and the following day fires were observed still burning at the forts.
Rank and organization: Seaman, U S. Navy. Born: 1838, New York N.Y. Accredited to: New York. G.O. No.. 45, 31 December 1864. Citation: Conlan served on board the U.S.S. Agawam, as one of a volunteer crew of a powder boat which was exploded near Fort Fisher, December 23rd, 1864. The powder boat, towed in by the Wilderness to prevent detection by the enemy, cast off and slowly steamed to within 300 yards of the beach. After fuses and fires had been lit and a second anchor with short scope let go to assure the boat’s tailing inshore, the crew again boarded the Wilderness and proceeded a distance of 12 miles from shore. Less than 2 hours later the explosion took place, and the following day fires were observed still burning at the forts.
Rank and organization: Sergeant, Company H, 106th Illinois Infantry. Place and date: Near Jackson, Tenn., December 23rd, 1862. Entered service at: Lincoln, Ill. Birth: Germany. Date of issue: 16 May 1899. Citation: When his command was surrounded by a greatly superior force, voluntarily left the shelter of the breastworks, crossed an open railway trestle under a concentrated fire from the enemy, made his way out and secured reinforcements for the relief of his command.
Rank and organization: Captain of the Forecastle, U.S. Navy. Born: 1835. Accredited to: Virginia. G.O. No.: 45, 31 December 1864. Citation: Garvin served on board the U.S.S. Agawam, as one of a volunteer crew of a powder boat which was exploded near Fort Fisher, December 23rd, 1864. The powder boat, towed in by the Wilderness to prevent detection by the enemy, cast off and slowly steamed to within three-hundred yards of the beach. After fuses and fires had been lit and a second anchor with short scope let go to assure the boat’s tailing inshore, the crew again boarded the Wilderness and proceeded a distance of twelve miles from shore. Less than two hours later the explosion took place, and the following day fires were observed still burning at the fort.
Rank and organization: Seaman, U.S. Navy. Born: 1834, Scotland. Accredited to: New Hampshire. G.O. No.. 45, 31 December 1864. Citation: Hawkins served on board the U.S.S. Agawam, as one of a volunteer crew of a powderboat which was exploded near Fort Fisher, December 23rd, 1864. The powder boat, towed in by the Wilderness to prevent detection by the enemy, cast off and slowly steamed to within three-hundred yards of the beach. After fuses and fires had been lit and a second anchor with short scope let go to assure the boat’s tailing inshore, the crew again boarded the Wilderness and proceeded a distance of twelve miles from shore. Less than two hours later the explosion took place, and the following day fires were observed still burning at the fort.
Rank and organization: Second Class Fireman, U.S. Navy. Born: 1841, Ireland. Accredited to: New York. G.O. No.: 45, 31 December 1864. Citation: Hinnegan served on board the U.S.S. Agawam, as one of a volunteer crew of powder boat which was exploded near Fort Fisher, December 23rd, 1864. The powder boat, towed in by the Wilderness to prevent detection by the enemy, cast off and slowly steamed to within three-hundred yards of the beach. After fuses and fires had been lit and a second anchor with short scope let go to assure the boat’s tailing inshore, the crew again boarded the Wilderness and proceeded a distance of twelve miles from shore. Less than two hours later the explosion took place, and the following day fires were observed still burning at the fort.
Rank and organization: Captain of the Afterguard, U.S. Navy. Born: 1838, Ireland. Accredited to: Virginia. G.O. No.: 45, 21 December 1864. Citation: Montgomery served on board the U.S.S. Agawam, as one of a volunteer crew of a powder boat which was exploded near Fort Fisher, December 23rd, 1864. The powder boat, towed in by the Wilderness to prevent detection by the enemy, cast off and slowly steamed to within three-hundred yards of the beach. After fuses and fires had been lit and a second anchor with short scope let go to assure the boat’s tailing inshore, the crew again boarded the Wilderness and proceeded a distance of twelve miles from shore. Less than two hours later the explosion took place, and the following day fires were observed still burning at the forts.
Rank and organization: Quarter Gunner, U.S. Navy. Born: 1837, Newfoundland. Accredited to: Virginia. G.O. No.: 45, 31 December 1864. Citation: Neil served on board the U.S.S. Agawam, as one of a volunteer crew of a powder boat which was exploded near Fort Fisher, December 23rd, 1864. The powder boat, towed in by the Wilderness to prevent detection by the enemy, cast off and slowly steamed to within three-hundred yards of the beach. After fuses and fires had been lit and a second anchor with short scope let go to assure the boat’s tailing inshore, the crew again boarded the Wilderness and proceeded a distance of twelve miles from shore. Less than two hours later the explosion took place, and the following day fires were observed still burning at the forts.
Rank and organization: Coal Heaver, U.S. Navy. Born: 1840, Russia. Accredited to: Maine. G.O. No.: 45, 31 December 1864. Citation: On board the U.S.S. Agawam, as one of a volunteer crew of a powder boat which was exploded near Fort Fisher, December 23rd,1864. The powder boat, towed in by the Wilderness to prevent detection by the enemy, cast off and slowly steamed to within 300 yards of the beach. After fuses and fires had been lit and a second anchor with short scope let go to assure the boat’s tailing inshore, the crew again boarded the Wilderness and proceeded a distance of twelve miles from shore. Less than two hours later the explosion took place, and the following day, fires were observed still burning at the fort.
Rank and organization: Seaman, U.S. Navy. Born: 1837, England. Accredited to: Virginia. G.O. No.: 45, 31 December 1864. Citation: Roberts served on board the U.S.S. Agawan, as one of a volunteer crew of a powder boat which was exploded near Fort Fisher, December 23rd, 1864. The powder boat, towed in by the Wilderness to prevent detection by the enemy, cast off and slowly steamed to within 300 yards of the beach. After fuses and fires had been lit and a second anchor with short scope let go to assure the boat’s tailing inshore, the crew again boarded the Wilderness and proceeded a distance of twelve miles from shore. Less than two hours later the explosion took place and the following day fires were observed still burning at the fort.
National Date Nut Bread Day
The Gift of the Magi
One dollar and eighty-seven cents. That was all. And sixty cents of it was in pennies. Pennies saved one and two at a time by bulldozing the grocer and the vegetable man and the butcher until one’s cheeks burned with the silent imputation of parsimony that such close dealing implied.
Three times Della counted it. One dollar and eighty- seven cents. And the next day would be Christmas. There was clearly nothing to do but flop down on the shabby little couch and howl. So Della did it. Which instigates the moral reflection that life is made up of sobs, sniffles, and smiles, with sniffles predominating. While the mistress of the home is gradually subsiding from the first stage to the second, take a look at the home. A furnished flat at $8 per week. It did not exactly beggar description, but it certainly had that word on the lookout for the mendicancy squad.
In the vestibule below was a letter-box into which no letter would go, and an electric button from which no mortal finger could coax a ring. Also appertaining thereunto was a card bearing the name “Mr. James Dillingham Young.” The “Dillingham” had been flung to the breeze during a former period of prosperity when its possessor was being paid $30 per week. Now, when the income was shrunk to $20, though, they were thinking seriously of contracting to a modest and unassuming D. But whenever Mr. James Dillingham Young came home and reached his flat above he was called “Jim” and greatly hugged by Mrs. James Dillingham Young, already introduced to you as Della. Which is all very good. Della finished her cry and attended to her cheeks with the powder rag.
She stood by the window and looked out dully at a gray cat walking a gray fence in a gray backyard. Tomorrow would be Christmas Day, and she had only $1.87 with which to buy Jim a present. She had been saving every penny she could for months, with this result. Twenty dollars a week doesn’t go far. Expenses had been greater than she had calculated. They always are. Only $1.87 to buy a present for Jim. Her Jim. Many a happy hour she had spent planning for something nice for him. Something fine and rare and sterling–something just a little bit near to being worthy of the honor of being owned by Jim. There was a pier-glass between the windows of the room. Perhaps you have seen a pier-glass in an $8 flat. A very thin and very agile person may, by observing his reflection in a rapid sequence of longitudinal strips, obtain a fairly accurate conception of his looks. Della, being slender, had mastered the art. Suddenly she whirled from the window and stood before the glass. her eyes were shining brilliantly, but her face had lost its color within twenty seconds. Rapidly she pulled down her hair and let it fall to its full length. Now, there were two possessions of the James Dillingham Youngs in which they both took a mighty pride. One was Jim’s gold watch that had been his father’s and his grandfather’s. The other was Della’s hair. Had the queen of Sheba lived in the flat across the airshaft, Della would have let her hair hang out the window some day to dry just to depreciate Her Majesty’s jewels and gifts. Had King Solomon been the janitor, with all his treasures piled up in the basement, Jim would have pulled out his watch every time he passed, just to see him pluck at his beard from envy. So now Della’s beautiful hair fell about her rippling and shining like a cascade of brown waters. It reached below her knee and made itself almost a garment for her. And then she did it up again nervously and quickly. Once she faltered for a minute and stood still while a tear or two splashed on the worn red carpet. On went her old brown jacket; on went her old brown hat. With a whirl of skirts and with the brilliant sparkle still in her eyes, she fluttered out the door and down the stairs to the street. Where she stopped the sign read: “Mne. Sofronie. Hair Goods of All Kinds.”
One flight up Della ran, and collected herself, panting. Madame, large, too white, chilly, hardly looked the “Sofronie.” “Will you buy my hair?” asked Della. “I buy hair,” said Madame. “Take yer hat off and let’s have a sight at the looks of it.” Down rippled the brown cascade. “Twenty dollars,” said Madame, lifting the mass with a practised hand. “Give it to me quick,” said Della. Oh, and the next two hours tripped by on rosy wings. Forget the hashed metaphor. She was ransacking the stores for Jim’s present. She found it at last. It surely had been made for Jim and no one else. There was no other like it in any of the stores, and she had turned all of them inside out. It was a platinum fob chain simple and chaste in design, properly proclaiming its value by substance alone and not by meretricious ornamentation–as all good things should do. It was even worthy of The Watch.
As soon as she saw it she knew that it must be Jim’s. It was like him. Quietness and value–the description applied to both. Twenty-one dollars they took from her for it, and she hurried home with the 87 cents. With that chain on his watch Jim might be properly anxious about the time in any company. Grand as the watch was, he sometimes looked at it on the sly on account of the old leather strap that he used in place of a chain. When Della reached home her intoxication gave way a little to prudence and reason. She got out her curling irons and lighted the gas and went to work repairing the ravages made by generosity added to love. Which is always a tremendous task, dear friends–a mammoth task. Within forty minutes her head was covered with tiny, close-lying curls that made her look wonderfully like a truant schoolboy. She looked at her reflection in the mirror long, carefully, and critically. “If Jim doesn’t kill me,” she said to herself, “before he takes a second look at me, he’ll say I look like a Coney Island chorus girl. But what could I do–oh! what could I do with a dollar and eighty- seven cents?”
At 7 o’clock the coffee was made and the frying-pan was on the back of the stove hot and ready to cook the chops. Jim was never late. Della doubled the fob chain in her hand and sat on the corner of the table near the door that he always entered. Then she heard his step on the stair away down on the first flight, and she turned white for just a moment. She had a habit for saying little silent prayer about the simplest everyday things, and now she whispered: “Please God, make him think I am still pretty.” The door opened and Jim stepped in and closed it. He looked thin and very serious. Poor fellow, he was only twenty-two–and to be burdened with a family! He needed a new overcoat and he was without gloves. Jim stopped inside the door, as immovable as a setter at the scent of quail. His eyes were fixed upon Della, and there was an expression in them that she could not read, and it terrified her. It was not anger, nor surprise, nor disapproval, nor horror, nor any of the sentiments that she had been prepared for. He simply stared at her fixedly with that peculiar expression on his face. Della wriggled off the table and went for him. “Jim, darling,” she cried, “don’t look at me that way. I had my hair cut off and sold because I couldn’t have lived through Christmas without giving you a present. It’ll grow out again–you won’t mind, will you? I just had to do it. My hair grows awfully fast. Say `Merry Christmas!’ Jim, and let’s be happy. You don’t know what a nice– what a beautiful, nice gift I’ve got for you.”
“You’ve cut off your hair?” asked Jim, laboriously, as if he had not arrived at that patent fact yet even after the hardest mental labor. “Cut it off and sold it,” said Della. “Don’t you like me just as well, anyhow? I’m me without my hair, ain’t I?” Jim looked about the room curiously. “You say your hair is gone?” he said, with an air almost of idiocy. “You needn’t look for it,” said Della. “It’s sold, I tell you–sold and gone, too. It’s Christmas Eve, boy. Be good to me, for it went for you. Maybe the hairs of my head were numbered,” she went on with sudden serious sweetness, “but nobody could ever count my love for you. Shall I put the chops on, Jim?” Out of his trance Jim seemed quickly to wake. He enfolded his Della. For ten seconds let us regard with discreet scrutiny some inconsequential object in the other direction. Eight dollars a week or a million a year–what is the difference? A mathematician or a wit would give you the wrong answer. The magi brought valuable gifts, but that was not among them. This dark assertion will be illuminated later on. Jim drew a package from his overcoat pocket and threw it upon the table. “Don’t make any mistake, Dell,” he said, “about me. I don’t think there’s anything in the way of a haircut or a shave or a shampoo that could make me like my girl any less. But if you’ll unwrap that package you may see why you had me going a while at first.” White fingers and nimble tore at the string and paper. And then an ecstatic scream of joy; and then, alas! a quick feminine change to hysterical tears and wails, necessitating the immediate employment of all the comforting powers of the lord of the flat. For there lay The Combs–the set of combs, side and back, that Della had worshipped long in a Broadway window. Beautiful combs, pure tortoise shell, with jewelled rims–just the shade to wear in the beautiful vanished hair. They were expensive combs, she knew, and her heart had simply craved and yearned over them without the least hope of possession. And now, they were hers, but the tresses that should have adorned the coveted adornments were gone. But she hugged them to her bosom, and at length she was able to look up with dim eyes and a smile and say: “My hair grows so fast, Jim!” And them Della leaped up like a little singed cat and cried, “Oh, oh!”
Jim had not yet seen his beautiful present. She held it out to him eagerly upon her open palm. The dull precious metal seemed to flash with a reflection of her bright and ardent spirit. “Isn’t it a dandy, Jim? I hunted all over town to find it. You’ll have to look at the time a hundred times a day now. Give me your watch. I want to see how it looks on it.” Instead of obeying, Jim tumbled down on the couch and put his hands under the back of his head and smiled. “Dell,” said he, “let’s put our Christmas presents away and keep ‘em a while. They’re too nice to use just at present. I sold the watch to get the money to buy your combs. And now suppose you put the chops on.” The magi, as you know, were wise men–wonderfully wise men–who brought gifts to the Babe in the manger. They invented the art of giving Christmas presents. Being wise, their gifts were no doubt wise ones, possibly bearing the privilege of exchange in case of duplication. And here I have lamely related to you the uneventful chronicle of two foolish children in a flat who most unwisely sacrificed for each other the greatest treasures of their house. But in a last word to the wise of these days let it be said that of all who give gifts these two were the wisest. O all who give and receive gifts, such as they are wisest. Everywhere they are wisest. They are the magi.
“An optimist may see a light where there is none, but why must the pessimist always run to blow it out?”
~ Michel De Saint-Pierre
chocolate-box(CHO-kuh-lit boks, CHOK-lit -) adjective Having a romanticized beautiful image; stereotypically pretty. [From the kind of pictures often seen on boxes of chocolate.]
1440 – Bluebeard the pirate was executed.
1772 – Construction of the first schoolhouse west of the Allegheny Mountains was started in Schoenbrunn, Ohio, by Moravian missionaries.
1775 – The Continental Navy was organized in the American colonies under the command of Ezek Hopkins. It consisted of two frigates, two brigs and three schooners. Sailors were paid $8 a month. The officers were Esek Hopkins, Commander in Chief of the Fleet, Captains Dudley Saltonstall, Abraham Whipple, Nicolas Biddle, and John Hopkins. Lieutenants included John Paul Jones.
1783 – Gen. George Washington resigned his military commission.
1807 – The Embargo Act, forbidding trade with all foreign countries, is passed by the U.S. Congress, at the urging of President Thomas Jefferson. It was designed to force peace between Britain and France by cutting off all trade with Europe.
1809 – The Non-Intercourse Act, lifting the Embargo Act except for the United Kingdom and France, passes the U.S. Congress.
1829 – The Baltimore & Ohio Railroad opened the first passenger railway line.
1837 – First statute authorizing activities in the field of maritime safety. Congress authorized President “to cause any suitable number of public vessels, adapted to the purpose, to cruise upon the coast, in the severe portion of the season, and to afford aid to distressed navigators.”
1841 – USS Mississippi, first U.S. ocean-going side-wheel steam warship, was commissioned at Philadelphia.
1849 – The execution of Fyodor Dostoevsky is canceled at the last second.
1864 – Civil War: Savannah, Georgia falls to General William Tecumseh Sherman, concluding his “March to the Sea”. He sent President Abraham Lincoln this message: “I beg to present you as a Christmas present the city of Savannah.”
1864 – Civil War: Dec 22-Jan 2, Raid on Morgan’s: Bardstown to Elizabethtown, Ky.
1877 – “American Bicycling Journal” first published (Boston, MA)
1882 – First string of Christmas tree lights created by Thomas Edison.
1894 – The Dreyfus affair begins, in France, when Alfred Dreyfus is wrongly convicted of treason, on antisemitic grounds.
1894 – The United States Golf Association (USGA) was founded.
1895 – German physicist Wilhelm Röntgen made the first X-ray, of his wife’s hand.
1900 – A new 35hp car built by Daimler from a design by Emil Jellinke was completed. The car was named for Jellinek’s daugher, Mercedes.
1910 – U.S. Postal savings stamps were issued for the first time. in 1914, they were discontinued.
1915 – Federal Baseball League is dissolved.
1918 – The last of the food restrictions, that had been enforced because of the shortages during World War I, were lifted.
1920 – WEAF, in New York City, aired the first broadcast of a prize fight from ringside. The fight was broadcast from Madison Square Garden where Joe Lynch defeated Peter Herman to retain the bantamweight title.
1934 – Miss Theo Trowbridge sets female bowling record 702 pins in three games. Average of 234 per game.
1937 – The Lincoln Tunnel in New York opened to traffic, passing 1.5 miles under the Hudson River and connecting Weehawken, N.J., and Manhattan in New York City. This was the first of three tubes, the next went on the north side and the last on the south side. It is the world’s only three-tube underwater tunnel for vehicles.
1939 – Gloria Jacobs became the first girl to hold a world pistol record when she shot 299 out of a possible 300 points. She was 17 years old at the time.
1941 – Jimmie Lunceford & his orchestra recorded “Blues in the Night.” It was recorded for a movie of the same name.
1941 – World War II: After continuing the bombardment of Wake Island the Japanese land 200 men on the island to fierce resistance from the 450 US Marines stationed there.
1941 – Japanese troops made an amphibious landing on the coast of Lingayen Gulf on Luzon, the Philippines.
1941 – British Prime Minister Winston Churchill arrived in Washington for a wartime conference with. President Franklin Roosevelt.
1942 – Pharmacist’s Mate First Class Thomas A. Moore performs appendectomy on Fireman Second Class George M. Platter on board USS Silversides (SS-236).
1942 – Sue Dauser takes oath of office as Superintendent of Navy Nurse Corps, becoming first woman with the relative rank of captain in U.S. Navy. She was promoted to the rank of captain on 26 February 1944.
1943 – Manufacturers get permission to use synthetic rubber for baseball core. This change was originally brought on by the rubber shortage of WW II.
1943 – W.E.B. Du Bois was the first Black American elected to the National Institute of Arts and Letters.
1944 – Commissioning of first two Black American WAVES officers, Harriet Ida Pickens and Frances F. Wills.
1944 – World War II: German troops demand the surrender of United States troops at Bastogne, Belgium, prompting the famous one word reply by General Anthony McAuliffe: “NUTS!”
1944 – World War II: Vietnam People’s Army is formed to resist Japanese occupation of Vietnam.
1944 – World War II: On Leyte, there is fighting around Palompon where the Japanese forces on the island are now concentrated.
1950 – Korean War: Largest air battle of the War, U.S. Air Force F-86 Sabres shot down six communist MiG-15s over North Korea with the loss of a single F-86. This was a fitting end to the 4th Fighter Interceptor Wing’s first week in Korea.
1951 – “Sin (It’s No Sin)” by Eddy Howard topped the charts.
1951 – CHART TOPPERS – “Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer” by Gene Autry, “White Christmas” by Bing Crosby, “Slowpoke” by Pee Wee King and “Let Old Mother Nature Have Her Way” by Carl Smith all topped the charts.
1952 – The first Corvette, a production-ready prototype, is completed. The design of the sports car, which has since become an American classic, is said to have cost between $50,000 and $60,000 to build.
1956 – Colo is born, the first gorilla to be born in captivity arrived into the world at the Columbus Zoo in Ohio.
1956 – “Singing the Blues” by Guy Mitchell topped the charts.
1958 – The Chipmunks were at the #1 position on the music charts.
1959 – Continental League awards its last franchise to Dallas-Fort Worth. The Continental League was a proposed 8-team baseball league which never got off the ground but still had significant impact on baseball.
1960 – HS-3 and HU-2 (USS Valley Forge) helicopters rescue 27 men from oiler SS Pine Ridge breaking up in heavy seas off Cape Hatteras.
1961 – James O. Davis became the first U.S. casualty in Vietnam. He was serving with the Army Security Agency (ASA) in the Second IndoChina War and was killed in a deadly VietCong ambush.
1962 – “Telstar” by the Tornados topped the charts.
1962 – The millionth point in the NBA occurred in one of three games, Detroit-Chicago, New York-Boston, or Syracuse-San Francisco being played on this day.
1964 – Comedian Lenny Bruce is convicted of obscenity.
1964 – Lockheed SR-71 spy aircraft reaches 2194 mph (record for a jet).
1965 – Director David Lean’s “Dr Zhivago” premieres. The film occurs during the Bolshevik Revolution. The cast included Omar Sharif, Julie Christie, Geraldine Chaplin, Rod Steiger, and Alec Guinness.
1965 – Vietnam: The EF-105F Wild Weasel made its first kill over Vietnam. The Republic EF-105 Thunderchief, was a supersonic fighter-bomber equipped with electronic countermeasures. The Mach 2 capable aircraft bore the brunt of strike bombing over North Vietnam during the early years of the Vietnam War.
1967 – CHART TOPPERS – “Daydream Believer” by The Monkees, “Woman, Woman” by The Union Gap, “Boogaloo Down Broadway” by The Fantastic Johnny C and “It’s the Little Things” by Sonny James all topped the charts.
1970 – Treblinka SS commander Franz Stangl (b.1908) was sentenced to life in prison. He was responsible for the murder of approximately 900,000 people in the period 1941-1943. He died in 1971 from heart failure.
1972 – Joni Mitchell earns a gold record for the album, “For the Roses.”
1972 – Diana Sue Sylvester (22) was raped and killed in the San Francisco District after walking home from University of California- SF. In 2006 John Puckett (72), a retired carpet installer in Stockton, was arrested for the murder based on DNA evidence. In 2008 Puckett (74) was convicted of first-degree murder.
1973 – “The Most Beautiful Girl” by Charlie Rich topped the charts.
1975 – CHART TOPPERS – “That’s the Way (I Like It)” by KC & The Sunshine Band, “Let’s Do It Again” by The Staple Singers, “Saturday Night” by Bay City Rollers and “Convoy” by C.W. McCall all topped the charts.
1975 – Singers Ike and Tina Turner are robbed of $86,000 when a suitcase was stolen containing concert receipts.
1976 – “Your Arm’s Too Short to Box with God” opens at Lyceum NYC for 429 performances. The play is based on the gospel of St. Matthew and is presented through song, sermon and dance.
1976 – The last show of the original “Let’s Make A Deal” was aired.
1977 – Steve Cauthen (b.1960), Kentucky-born jockey, won his 355th race at age 16 setting a new earnings record.
1977 – Thomas Helms (26) climbed to the edge of the observation deck on the eighty-sixth floor of the Empire State Building, and jumped intending to kill himself on the streets 1000’s of feet below. He only fell twenty feet before landing on a narrow ledge on the 85th floor and was knocked unconscious.
1977 – Thirty-six people were killed when a 250-foot-high grain elevator at the Continental Grain Co. plant in Westwego, La., exploded.
1979 – “Escape (The Pina Colada Song)” by Rupert Holmes topped the charts.
1980 – US Congress passed the Low-Level Radioactive Waste Policy Act to ease the burden being placed on these states. The Act gave each US state the responsibility of developing a method of disposing of their own waste by 1986.
1981 – The Cardinals release outfielder Bobby Bonds. He retired in 1981 with 332 career homers, 461 steals, and 1,757 whiffs. His 189 strikeouts in 1970 and 187 in 1969 were the top two single-season totals in baseball history when he retired.
1983 – CHART TOPPERS – “Say Say Say” by Paul McCartney & Michael Jackson, “Say It Isn’t So” by Daryl Hall-John Oates, “Union of the Snake” by Duran Duran and “Black Sheep” by John Anderson all topped the charts.
1984 – Madonna’s “Like a Virgin” single goes #1 for six weeks.
1984 – Subway vigilante Bernhard Hugo Goetz shoots four Black men on an express train in The Bronx borough of New York City. He ended up serving eight months in prison for carrying an illegal weapon but was cleared of assault and attempted murder charges.
1986 – Joe Paterno was named Sportsman of the Year by Sports Illustrated magazine. It marked only the second time a coach had won the honor. The first to do so was UCLA’s basketball legend, John Wooden.
1989 – Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate re-opens after nearly 30 years, effectively ending the division of East and West Germany.
1990 – “Because I Love You” by Stevie B topped the charts.
1990 – Twenty-one sailors returning from shore leave to the aircraft carrier USS “Saratoga” drowned when the Israeli ferry they were traveling on capsized.
1991 – CHART TOPPERS – “Black or White” by Michael Jackson, “It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday” by Boyz II Men, “All 4 Love” by Color Me Badd and “My Next Broken Heart” by Brooks & Dunn all topped the charts.
1991 – The body of Lt. Col. William R. Higgins, an American hostage murdered by his captors, was found along a highway in Lebanon.
1993 – The daughter of Cuban President Fidel Castro was granted political asylum in the United States. (Conflicting sources vary from 3-5 days.)
1994 – North Korea released the body of the slain U.S. helicopter pilot who was shot down days earlier.
1994 – US House Democrats chastised Speaker-to-be Newt Gingrich for accepting a $4.5 million book advance from Rupert Murdoch’s media empire.
1996 – Eight workers were killed in an explosion at the Wyman Gordon Forgings metal-fabricating plant in northwest Houston. They had been doing maintenance on 9-story pressurized tanks.
1996 – Kordell Stewart of the Pittsburgh Steelers ran 80 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter of an 18-14 loss to the Carolina Panthers. He set an NFL record for the longest scoring run by a quarterback.
1997 – The FDA approved Merck’s drug Propecia for countering baldness.
1997 – Actress Hunter Tylo, whose pregnancy got her fired from TV’s steamy soap “Melrose Place,” was awarded $4.9 million by jurors who agreed she was wrongfully terminated.
1998 – The Energy Dept. for the first time awarded a billion-dollar contract to the Tennessee Valley Authority to produce tritium at a TVA nuclear reactor for military use.
1998 – The women’s American Basketball League folded in the midst of its third season.
1998 – Nationwide gas stations faced this deadline to replace or improve their underground fuel tanks. Thousands of rural gas stations were expected to go out of business due to the costs.
1998 – The Bil Mar meat packing plant in Michigan recalled 35 million pounds of hot dogs and lunch meats following the deaths of 16 people due to the bacteria Listeria monocytogenes. In January another 30 million pounds were recalled from the Thorn Apple Valley plant in Arkansas.
1999 – Two astronauts from the shuttle “Discovery” went on a spacewalk to replace broken instruments in the Hubble Space Telescope.
1999 – President Clinton urged Americans not to panic despite enhanced security measures prompted by fears of terrorism.
2000 – Pres. Clinton granted Christmastime clemency to 62 people including Dan Rostenkowski, former Illinois congressman and chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee.
2001 – Richard Reid attempts to destroy a passenger airliner by igniting explosives hidden in his shoes aboard American Airlines Flight 63 travelling from Paris to Miami. It was diverted to Boston after the passengers and flight attendants subdued him.
2001 – CC the cat (carbon copy), the first cloned pet, is born. 2001 – A new “thermobaric” bomb had been developed by the Pentagon for use in caves and tunnels. The BLU-118b was capable of destroying a tunnel’s contents without collapsing the tunnel mouth.
2002 – Time magazine named Coleen Rowley, Cynthia Cooper and Sherron Watkins as Persons of the Year for their whistle-blowing efforts against the FBI, WorldCom and Enron.
2002 – North Korea said it had begun removing U.N. monitoring equipment from a nuclear reactor at the center of the communist state’s suspected pursuit of nuclear weapons.
2002 – Harris and Jerry Duckworth were shot to death at a party in the 800 block of Campbell St. in Oakland, Ca. A gang called the Nut Cases was found responsible and gang members faced trial in 2006.
2003 – A 6.5 earthquake jolted the central California coast. Marilyn Zafuto (55) and Jennifer Myrick (20) were killed in Paso Robles when the 1892 Mastagni Building and its 15-floor clock tower collapsed. Damages from the San Simeon quake were estimated at more than $100 million.
2003 – A federal judge ruled the Pentagon couldn’t enforce mandatory anthrax vaccinations for military personnel.
2004 – Thirteen U.S. soldiers and nine others were killed in a suicide bomber attack on a U.S. military dining hall near Mosul, Iraq.
2004 – A Texas woman paid $50,000 for a cloned cat, Little Nicky, created by Genetic Savings and Clone of Sausalito, Ca.
2005 – Astronomers using the Hubble Space Telescope reported the discovery of two new moons and two new rings circling Uranus.
2006 – Rape charges against three former members of the Duke University lacrosse team were dropped after the alleged victim said she couldn’t be sure she had been raped.
2006 – San Francisco police officer Bryan Tuvera (28) was shot in the head in a gunbattle that left Marlon Ruff (33), a two-year fugitive, dead in the Sunset District. Tuvera died hours later.
2006 – Space shuttle Discovery and its seven-member crew landed in Florida after a smooth, 13-day flight to rewire the International Space Station.
2008 – In Tennessee a dam broke at the Kingston Fossil Plant spilling some 5.4 million cubic yards of toxic coal ash sludge near the Emory River. TVA officials later said the spill does not threaten water in the Tennessee River, which is fed in part by the Emory River.
2008 – An Associated Press analysis found that the 116 banks that so far have received US taxpayer dollars to boost them through the economic crisis gave their top tier of executives in 2007 nearly $1.6 billion in salaries, bonuses and other benefits.
2009 – A US federal appeals court ordered Microsoft Corp. to stop selling its Word program in January and pay a Canadian software company $290 million for violating a patent, upholding the judgment of a lower court. Toronto-based i4i Inc. sued Microsoft in 2007, saying it owned the technology behind a tool in the popular word processing program.
2009 – Parker Griffith (b.1942), a Democratic congressman from Alabama, announced that he was switching parties to become a Republican.
2009 – American Airlines Flight 331 carrying 154 people skidded across a Jamaican runway in heavy rain, bouncing across the tarmac and injuring more than 40 people before it stopped just short of the Caribbean Sea.
2010 -The United States approves more than $4 billion assistance for rescuers and residents whose health was affected after the September 11 attacks in New York City in 2001.
2010 – Hillary Clinton, U.S. Secretary of State, is documented ordering all U.S. ambassadors to pressure their respective nations’ media into not being critical of the U.S. aid program in Haiti, days after the 2010 Haiti earthquake.
2011 – At least 72 people are killed and 169 wounded in a series of sixteen bombing attacks in the Iraqi capital Baghdad, shortly after the final withdrawal of American forces from Iraq.
2012 – The leader of Navy SEAL Team Four, one of the most senior commanders in the elite world of special operations, has died after apparently committing suicide in Afghanistan. Commander John W Price, 42, was found dead in his quarters with a gunshot wound just three days before Christmas. Cmdr Price was based in Naval Amphibious Base Little Creek, Virginia, near Norfolk and had been in the military for more than 23 years. He leaves behind a wife, Stephanie and a nine-year-old daughter Jillian, who both live in Virginia Beach.
1696 – James Oglethorpe, English general and founder of the state of Georgia (d. 1785)
1862 – Connie Mack, baseball executive and manager (d. 1956)
1912 – Lady Bird Johnson, First Lady of the United States
1915 – Barbara Billingsley, American actress
1917 – Gene Rayburn, American game show host (d. 1999)
1945 – Diane Sawyer, American journalist
1948 – Steve Garvey, Major League Baseball player
1949 – Maurice Gibb, English musician and a member of the Bee Gees.
DALESSONDRO, PETER J.
Rank and organization: Technical Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company E, 39th Infantry, 9th Infantry Division. Place and date: Near Kalterherberg, Germany, December 22nd, 1944.Entered service at: Watervliet, N.Y. Born: 19 May 1918, Watervliet, N.Y. G.O. No.: 73, 30 August, 1945. Citation: He was with the 1st Platoon holding an important road junction on high ground near Kalterherberg, Germany, on 22 December 1944. In the early morning hours, the enemy after laying down an intense artillery and mortar barrage, followed through with an all-out attack that threatened to overwhelm the position. T/Sgt. Dalessondro, seeing that his men were becoming disorganized, braved the intense fire to move among them with words of encouragement. Advancing to a fully exposed observation post, he adjusted mortar fire upon the attackers, meanwhile firing upon them with his rifle and encouraging his men in halting and repulsing the attack. Later in the day the enemy launched a second determined attack. Once again, T/Sgt. Dalessondro, in the face of imminent death, rushed to his forward position and immediately called for mortar fire. After exhausting his rifle ammunition, he crawled thirty yards over exposed ground to secure a light machinegun, returned to his position, and fired upon the enemy at almost pointblank range until the gun jammed. He managed to get the gun to fire one more burst, which used up his last round, but with these bullets he killed four German soldiers who were on the verge of murdering an aid man and two wounded soldiers in a nearby foxhole. When the enemy had almost surrounded him, he remained alone, steadfastly facing almost certain death or capture, hurling grenades and calling for mortar fire closer and closer to his outpost as he covered the withdrawal of his platoon to a second line of defense. As the German hordes swarmed about him, he was last heard calling for a barrage, saying, “OK, mortars, let me have it–right in this position!” The gallantry and intrepidity shown by T/Sgt. Dalessondro against an overwhelming enemy attack saved his company from complete rout
Crossword Puzzle’s Birthday
The Man and the Birds
The man to whom I’m going to introduce you was not a scrooge; he was a kind, decent, mostly good man. He was generous to his family and upright in his dealings with other men. But he just didn’t believe all that incarnation stuff which the churches proclaim at Christmas Time. It just didn’t make sense and he was too honest to pretend otherwise. He just couldn’t swallow the Jesus Story, about God coming to Earth as a man.
“I’m truly sorry to distress you,” he told his wife, “but I’m not going with you to church this Christmas Eve.” He said he’d feel like a hypocrite. That he’d much rather just stay at home, but that he would wait up for them. And so he stayed and they went to the midnight service.
Shortly after the family drove away in the car, snow began to fall. He went to the window to watch the flurries getting heavier and heavier and then went back to his fireside chair and began to read his newspaper. Minutes later he was startled by a thudding sound…Then another, and then another. Sort of a thump or a thud… It was getting later and snowing harder when he heard another thud against the picture window. Being alone in a quiet house he was startled by the sound. There was another loud thud before he was able to locate the source of the noise.
He walked over to the picture window and peered out into the growing night. Snow danced and swirled before his eyes as it fell to the ground and drifted up against the house. The light from the den lit up a small bit of yard beyond the window. There, in the snow was a small dazed bird.
While he stood there watching the little bird, he noticed that there were many birds – a small flock of them – huddling under the low shrubs, seeking shelter from the storm. They’d been caught in the storm and, in a desperate search for shelter, had tried to fly through his large landscape window.
The man had never seen birds out in this kind of weather. “They’re trying to get to the light,” he thought. “They must be freezing or they wouldn’t be out there like this.” Somehow in his heart the man knew the birds needed shelter or they would die. He couldn’t let the poor creatures lie there and freeze, he remembered the barn where his children stabled their pony. That would provide a warm shelter, if he could direct the birds to it.
Moved with pity for the small animals he put on his hat, coat and galoshes then went out into the storm. Quickly he tramped through the deepening snow to the barn. He opened the doors wide and turned on a light, but the birds did not come in. He knew that if he could get them out of the snow and the wind, they would be safe for the night. He figured food would entice them in. So he hurried back to the house, fetched bread crumbs, sprinkled them on the snow, making a trail to the yellow-lighted, wide open doorway of the barn. But to his dismay, the birds ignored the bread crumbs, and continued to flap around helplessly in the snow. The birds still ignored the lighted barn. Aware of the man’s presence they had become confused and afraid. They moved further and further away, huddling together for warmth. Occasionally one bird or another would fly toward the den window, only to end up dazed on the ground. He tried catching them…He tried shooing them into the barn by walking around them waving his arms…Instead, they scattered in every direction, except into the warm, lighted barn.
The man, realizing the birds’ fear, retreated in hope that they would discover the entrance to the barn – but they seemed so focused on the window they continued to fly into the glass, seemingly unaware of the light and shelter nearby. The temperature dropped even further, and the wind howled in the coming night and the snow fell even harder. The man turned up his collar against the cold and the wind. “Surely they’ll freeze to death out here,” thought the man. “There must be a way to get them inside.”
And then, he realized that they were afraid of him. To them, he reasoned, I am a strange and terrifying creature. If only I could think of some way to let them know that they can trust me…That I am not trying to hurt them, but to help them. How? Slowly he approached the birds, and as a group, the birds moved away. The man circled around the flock at a distance, placing the birds between him and the barn. Then in the dark, in the wind and the snow, on a white floor beneath a blackened sky, the dance began. The man would move one way, the birds another. Always toward the barn they moved in a crazy, zigzag pattern. Right here, then left, now stopping, now moving quickly, always veering away at the last moment only to regroup just as far from the door as when they first started. Any move he made tended to frighten them, confuse them. They just would not follow. They would not be led or shooed because they feared him.
Time and again they retraced their steps. Time and again the man thought he had succeeded in saving the birds only to be disappointed once more. A long time passed – what seemed like hours. The man was tired, cold and frustrated. No longer moved by pity, the man felt a great love for the creatures who fled before him in fear and confusion.
“I don’t understand it,” he said out loud. “They are cold and scared, in danger of dying but they won’t go in where it’s warm and safe. If I could only make them understand. If I could only somehow tell them it will be okay.
“If only I could be a bird,” he thought to himself, “and mingle with them and speak their language. Then I could tell them not to be afraid. Then I could show them the way to safety and warmth…to the safe, warm barn. But I would have to be one of them so they could see, and hear and understand.” If I could just become one of them – if only for a few minutes – I could let them know – I could show them to safety. Then they would listen – because I would be like them. If I could just be like them for a few minutes….”
(Big Pause five or ten seconds) (Restart with a lower, quieter voice)
Tears ran down his wind-chilled cheeks as he realized that God had spoken those same words in God’s own heart so long ago. He understood that 2,000 or so years ago God had done for humanity just what he wanted to do for the birds this night – that God had become one of us so that we might understand this world and not be afraid.
(Five second pause)
At that moment the church bells began to ring. The sound reached his ears above the sounds of the wind. And he stood there listening to the bells – Adeste Fidelis – “Ocome All Ye Faithful, Joyful and Triumphant – listening to the bells pealing the glad tidings of Christmas. Suddenly the man stopped talking and then slowly he fell to his knees in the swirling snow. There, kneeling in the snow, on a dark, cold, night, the man understood the meaning of Christmas for the first time in his life. And his heart was filled with joy and with the salvation of Jesus Christ.
Won’t you come out of the cold and wind? Won’t you come in to the light and warmth? Now, right here and now accept Jesus as your personal savior. Become a Christian, a follower of Christ.
“There are high spots in all of our lives and most of them have come about through encouragement from someone else. I don’t care how great, how famous or successful a man or woman may be, each hungers for applause.”
~ George M. Adams
1. Extreme nervousness; jitters
2. Delirium tremens: tremors and hallucinations caused by withdrawal from alcohol.
1620 – Plymouth Colony: William Bradford and the Mayflower Pilgrims land on what is now known as Plymouth Rock in Plymouth, Massachusetts.
1826 – American settlers in Nacogdoches, Mexican Texas, declare their independence, starting the Fredonian Rebellion.
1829 – First stone arch railroad bridge in US dedicated, Baltimore. It was the Carrollton Viaduct, straddling a wooded stretch of Gwynn’s Falls.
1848 – William Craft and his wife Ellen, slaves to separate masters, escaped under disguise from Macon, Georgia, and made their way to Philadelphia.
1849 – First skating club founded in North America. It was called “The Skater’s Club of the City and County of Philadelphia.”
1861 – Civil War: Medal of Honor: Public Resolution 82, containing a provision for a Navy Medal of Valor, is signed into law by President Abraham Lincoln.
1861 – Civil War: Lord Lyons, the British minister to the United States, meets with Secretary of State William Seward concerning the fate of James Mason and John Slidell, Confederate envoys arrested by the U.S. Navy aboard the British mail steamer Trent.
1864 – Civil War:The Confederate Navy continued vigorous efforts to save the remnants of the Savannah squadron still at that city on the eve of its capture.
1866 – Indians led by Red Cloud and Crazy Horse killed Captain William J. Fetterman and 79 other men who had ventured out from Fort Phil Kearny to cut wood. U.S. Army Captain William J. Fetterman once boasted, “Give me 80 men and I’ll march through the whole Sioux nation!”
1891 – Eighteen students play first basketball game at Springfield College in Springfield, MA.
1898 – Scientists Pierre & Marie Curie discover radium.
1909 – Introductory high schools (junior high-schools) were authorized at McKinley and Washington schools in Berkeley, CA .
1913 – Liverpudlian Arthur Wynne’s “word-cross”, the first crossword puzzle, is published in the New York World.
1914 – First feature-length silent film comedy, “Tillie’s Punctured Romance”.It was a silent film directed by Mack Sennett, the film stars Marie Dressler, Mabel Normand, and Charlie Chaplin, as well as the Keystone Kops.
1919 – J. Edgar Hoover gallantly deported anarchist, feminist Emma Goldman to Russia for agitating against forced conscription in the US.
1921 – The Supreme Court ruled that the Clayton Act does not legalize boycotts and does not protect unions against injunctions against them for restraint of trade.
1928 – President Calvin Coolidge signed the Boulder Canyon Project Act, which intended to dam the fourteen hundred mile Colorado River and distribute its water for use in Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming.
1929 – First US group hospital insurance plan instituted, Dallas TX. A group of Dallas teachers contracted with Baylor University Hospital to provide 21 days of hospitalization for a fixed $6.00 payment. The Baylor plan developed as a way to ensure that people paid their bills.
1932 – Fred Astaire & Ginger Rogers, first joint movie (“Flying Down to Rio”).
1932 – Carl McGee, Oklahoma inventor, applied for a patent for his parking meter. He had came up with the 1st coin-operated, single-space, mechanical meter to be used to free up parking spaces in downtown Oklahoma City.
1933 – Dried human blood serum was prepared for the first time in the U.S. at the school of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pa. Dried blood serum was used during WW II.
1933 – 20th Century Fox signs Shirley Temple, 5, to a studio contract.
1936 – First flight of the Junkers JU-88 bomber prototype.
1937 – The film Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1:29:47) is premiered at the Carthay Circle Theater in Los Angeles. The Carthay Circle Theater was one of the most famous movie palaces of Hollywood’s Golden Age. It opened at 6316 San Vicente Boulevard in 1926.
1942 – The US Supreme Court ruled all states had to recognize divorces granted in Nevada.
1943 – World War II: Pacific – USS Grayling (SS-208) sinks fourth Japanese ship since 18 December.
1943 – World War II: Europe – US 5th Army is heavily engaged near Monte Sammucro.
1944 – World War II: Europe – German troops surrounded the 101st Airborne Division at the Bastogne in Belgium.
1944 – World War II: Pacific – On Leyte, advances by US 10th Corps and US 24th Corps link up in the center of the Ormoc Valley. Isolated Japanese forces continue to resist in the area.
1944 – Horse racing was banned in the United States until after World War II.
1945 – Gen. George Patton died in Germany following a left-hand turn automobile accident. (See December 9, 1945)
1946 – Louis Jordan’s single, “Let the Good Times Roll,” debuted on the rhythm and blues charts.
1950 – CHART TOPPERS – “Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer” by Gene Autry, “White Christmas” by Bing Crosby, “Nevertheless” by Jack Denny and “If You’ve Got the Money Honey I’ve Got the Time” by Lefty Frizzell all topped the charts.
1950 – Cole Porter’s musical “Out of this World” premieres in New York City for 157 performances.
1950 – Korean War: Far East Air Force executed “Operation Kiddie Car” by transporting 1,000 Korean War orphans to the island of Cheju-do.
1951 – Joe DiMaggio announced his retirement from major league baseball.
1951 – Korean War: First helicopter landing aboard a hospital ship, USS Consolation.
1951 – Korean War: General Matthew Ridgway broadcast a message requesting that the Red Cross be allowed to inspect communist POW camps.
1954 – Dr. Sam Sheppard, an osteopathic surgeon, was convicted of murdering his pregnant wife, Marilyn, and was sentenced to life in prison.
1957 – “You Send Me” by Sam Cooke topped the charts.
1959 – Tom Landry accepts coaching job with Dallas Cowboys (stays until 1988).
1960 – Elvis Presley was inducted into the Los Angeles Indian Tribal Council coinciding with the opening with his movie “Flaming Star.”
1962 – A US and Cuba accord released Bay of Pigs captives.
1963 – “Dominique” by Singing Nun topped the charts.
1965 – Four pacifists were indicted in New York for burning draft cards.
1966 – CHART TOPPERS – “Snoopy Vs. The Red Baron” by The Royal Guardsmen, “Winchester Cathedral” by The New Vaudeville Band, “That’s Life” by Frank Sinatra and “Somebody Like Me” by Eddy Arnold all topped the charts.
1966 – The Beach Boys received a gold record for the single, “Good Vibrations“.
1968 – Apollo 8, crewed by Frank Borman, Jim Lovell and William Anders, is launched from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. This would be the first visit by a human to another celestial body.
1968 – “I Heard it Through the Grapevine” by Marvin Gaye topped the charts.
1968 – Crosby, Stills and Nash performed together in public for the first time.
1968 – Janis Joplin gave her first solo performance in Memphis, TN.
1969 – Diana Ross and the Supremes make their final television appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show, singing “Someday We’ll Be Together“.
1969 – Vince Lombardi (Washington Redskins) coaches his last football game, losing.
1970 – Elvis Presley went to the White House to volunteer his services to U.S. President Nixon on fighting the nation’s drug problems. He gave Nixon a chrome-plated Colt .45 and Tricky Dick gave Elvis a Narcotics Bureau badge.
1972 – Vietnam:Eight B-52 bombers and several fighter-bombers were lost since the commencement of Operation Linebacker II on December 18.
1974 – CHART TOPPERS – “Cat’s in the Cradle” by Harry Chapin, “Angie Baby” by Helen Reddy, “You’re the First, the Last, My Everything” by Barry White and “I Can Help” by Billy Swan all topped the charts.
1975 – In Vienna, Austria, Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, known as “Carlos the Jackal,” led Arab terrorists on a raid of a meeting of oil ministers from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). The terrorists killed three people, and took 70 people hostage, including 11 OPEC ministers. Sanchez evaded authorities until 1994, when French agents captured him hiding in the Sudan. He was sentenced to life imprisonment by a French jury.
1976 – The Liberian-registered tanker Argo Merchant ran aground near Nantucket Island, spilling millions of gallons of oil into the North Atlantic.
1980 – Harold Carmichael ends NFL streak of 127 consecutive game receptions.
1980 – The California Supreme Court ruled that a father has no automatic right to give his child his last name.
1980 – It was reported that the deadly red tide had given Northern California one of its worst seasons of paralytic shellfish poisoning in years.
1981 – Cincinnati defeated Bradley 75-73 in seven overtimes. The game was the longest collegiate basketball game in the history of NCAA Division I competition.
1982 – CHART TOPPERS – “Maneater” by Daryl Hall & John Oates, “The Girl is Mine” by Michael Jackson/Paul McCartney, “Steppin’ Out” by Joe Jackson and “Somewhere Between Right and Wrong” by Earl Thomas Conley all topped the charts.
1983 – Musical “Tap Dance Kid” premieres at Broadhurst Theater NYC for 669 performances.
1985 – “Born in the USA” becomes the second longest-lasting LP in the top 10.
1985 – “Say You, Say Me” by Lionel Richie topped the charts.
1986 – Atlanta center Jeff Van Note played his 246th and final NFL game as Atlanta downed Detroit, 20-6. At age 40, Van Note was the oldest player in pro football.
1988 – A bomb explodes on board Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie, Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland. It killed 270, all 243 passengers,16 crew on board and it killed 11 more people on the ground as large sections of the aircraft crashed into Lockerbie.
1989 – Kentuckian Larry Mahoney was convicted on 27 counts of manslaughter for a 1988 collision with a church bus. It was the nation’s most deadly drunken-driving accident.
1990 – CHART TOPPERS – “Because I Love You (The Postman Song)” by Stevie B, “Justify My Love” by Madonna, “Impulsive” by Wilson Phillips and “I’ve Come to Expect It from You” by George Strait all topped the charts.
1991 – El Sayyid Nosair was acquitted in New York of killing Jewish extremist Rabbi Meir Kahane. Nosair was later convicted in a federal trial.
1994 – A firebomb on the #4 train at Fulton St. New York City subway injured 48 people. Unemployed computer programmer Edward Leary was later convicted of attempted murder and sentenced to 94 years in prison.
1996 – After two years of denials, House Speaker Newt Gingrich admitted violating House ethics rules.
1996 – Singer Tony Bennett was rushed to a hospital for an emergency operation for an erupted hernia. Bennett was just arriving at the White House for a holiday dinner with U.S. President and Mrs. Clinton when he fell ill.
1997 – Detroit Lions Barry Sanders is third to run for 2,000 yards in a season.
1997 – Andrew S. Grove, chairman and CEO of Intel Corp., was named Time Magazine’s “Man of the Year.”
1998 – The first vaccine for Lyme disease was approved.
2001 – Pennsylvania Gov. Mark Schweiker announced an agreement on a state takeover of the Philadelphia school system. Plans called Edison Schools Inc. to help run the district.
2002 – Larry Mayes was released after spending 21 years in prison for a rape that maintained that he never committed. He was the 100th person in the U.S. to be released after DNA tests were performed.
2003 – Tom Ridge, head of the US Department of Homeland Security, announced that the government was elevating the national terror alert warning to “Code Orange,” an upgrade from the “Code Yellow” elevated status.
2003 – Time magazine’s named The American soldier, who bears the duty of “living with and dying for a country’s most fateful decisions,” as Person of the Year.
2005 – In Maryland two off-duty Baltimore police officers were shot to death at a suburban townhouse in Randallstown by a state officer for the Dept. of General Services. Eugene Victor Perry Jr. (33) surrendered shortly after the shootings. One of the victims was his former fiancee.
2006 – The US Census Bureau said Arizona had deposed Nevada as the fastest growing US state.
2006 – The Denver area was motionless for a second day after a powerful blizzard dumped 2 feet of snow on the region.
2010 – After days of relentless rain, Southern California is starting to feel the most intense storm system yet, with evacuations ordered, roads covered by water and mud, and residents anxiously eyeing already saturated mountainsides denuded by wildfires.
2012 – The Long Count of the Maya calendar recycles according to the most popular correlation. A minority argues it does so on December 23, 2012. The destruction of the planet did not happen or you would not be reading this!
2012 – A shooting at a highway in Blair County, Pennsylvania occurred. A man fatally shot a woman decorating for a children’s Christmas party at a tiny church hall and killed two men elsewhere in this rural township before he was shot dead in a gunfight with state troopers. Three troopers in patrol cars were injured in a pursuit after the gunman, driving a pick-up truck, fired at them. One trooper injured a wrist and then was hit in the chest but was saved by a bulletproof vest. The gunman was killed during a final exchange of gunfire after ramming his truck head-on into another police cruiser.
2012 – President Barack Obama nominates John Kerry to succeed Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State.
2012 – The Sutter’s Mill meteorite found in California on 22 April 2012 contains some of the oldest material in the Solar System, according to scientists.
2012 – The NHL announces the cancellation of the 2012–13 regular-season schedule through January 14th due to the 2012 NHL lockout bringing the total to 625 games, more than 50 percent of the entire schedule.
2013 – Two NASA astronauts,Expedition 38 Flight Engineers Rick Mastracchio and Mike Hopkins began a series of spacewalks to replace a faulty ammonia coolant pump. They finished it in a 5-hour, 28-minute spacewalk outside the International Space Station.
2014 – Veteran Florida officer Charles Kondek, 45, was killed in Tarpon Springs, Fla., about 30 miles northwest of Tampa. Kondek was reportedly responding to an early morning call when he was shot and killed.
1118 – Thomas Becket, Lord Chancellor of England and Archbishop of Canterbury (d. 1170)
1603 – Roger Williams, English theologian and colonist (d. 1684)
1734 – Paul Revere, American silversmith and patriot (d. 1818)
1804 – Benjamin Disraeli, British author, statesman.
1850 – William Wallace Lincoln, son of Abraham Lincoln (d. 1862)
1851 – Thomas Chipman McRae, American politician, 26th Governor of Arkansas (d. 1929)
1879 – Joseph Stalin (Dzhugashvili), Russian dictator.
1890 – Hermann Joseph Muller, American geneticist and Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1967)
1915 – Werner von Trapp, Austrian-American singer (d. 2007).
1918 – Donald Regan, White House Chief of Staff and United States Secretary of the Treasury (d. 2003)
1922 – Paul Winchell, American ventriloquist (d. 2005)
1926 – Joe Paterno, American Football coach
1935 – Phil Donahue, American talk show host
1937 – Jane Fonda, American actress, exercise guru, and activist; daughter of actor Henry Fonda.
1948 – Samuel L. Jackson, American actor
1954 – Chris Evert, American tennis champion.
1957 – Ray Romano, American actor and comedian. Best known for “Everybody Loves Raymond.”
1966 – Karri Turner, American actress. Best known for playing Lieutenant Harriet Sims in the television series JAG (1997–2005).
*SMEDLEY, LARRY E.
Rank and organization: Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps, Company D, 1st Battalion, 7th Marines, 1st Marine Division. Place and date: Quang Nam Province, Republic of Vietnam, December 21st, 1967. Entered service at: Orlando, Fla. Born: 4 March 1949, Front Royal, Va. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a squad leader with company D, in connection with operations against the enemy. On the evenings of 20-21 December 1967, Cpl. Smedley led his six-man squad to an ambush site at the mouth of Happy Valley, near Phouc Ninh (2) in Quang Nam Province. Later that night an estimated one-hundred Viet Cong and North Vietnamese Army regulars, carrying 122mm rocket launchers and mortars, were observed moving toward Hill 41. Realizing this was a significant enemy move to launch an attack on the vital Danang complex, Cpl. Smedley immediately took sound and courageous action to stop the enemy threat. After he radioed for a reaction force, he skillfully maneuvered his men to a more advantageous position and led an attack on the numerically superior enemy force. A heavy volume of fire from an enemy machinegun positioned on the left flank of the squad inflicted several casualties on Cpl. Smedley’s unit. Simultaneously, an enemy rifle grenade exploded nearby, wounding him in the right foot and knocking him to the ground. Cpl. Smedley disregarded this serious injury and valiantly struggled to his feet, shouting words of encouragement to his men. He fearlessly led a charge against the enemy machinegun emplacement, firing his rifle and throwing grenades, until he was again struck by enemy fire and knocked to the ground. Gravely wounded and weak from loss of blood, he rose and commenced a one-man assault against the enemy position. Although his aggressive and singlehanded attack resulted in the destruction of the machinegun, he was struck in the chest by enemy fire and fell mortally wounded. Cpl. Smedley’s inspiring and courageous actions, bold initiative, and selfless devotion to duty in the face of certain death were in keeping with the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.
*BENJAMIN, GEORGE, JR.
Rank and organization: Private First Class, U.S. Army, Company A, 306th Infantry, 77th Infantry Division. Place and date: Leyte, Philippine Islands, December 21st, 1944. Entered service at: Carney’s Point, N.J. Birth: Philadelphia, Pa. G.O. No.: 49, 28 June 1945. Citation: He was a radio operator, advancing in the rear of his company as it engaged a well-defended Japanese strong point holding up the progress of the entire battalion. When a rifle platoon supporting a light tank hesitated in its advance, he voluntarily and with utter disregard for personal safety left his comparatively secure position and ran across bullet-whipped terrain to the tank, waving and shouting to the men of the platoon to follow. Carrying his bulky radio and armed only with a pistol, he fearlessly penetrated intense machinegun and rifle fire to the enemy position, where he killed one of the enemy in a foxhole and moved on to annihilate the crew of a light machinegun. Heedless of the terrific fire now concentrated on him, he continued to spearhead the assault, killing two more of the enemy and exhorting the other men to advance, until he fell mortally wounded. After being evacuated to an aid station, his first thought was still of the American advance. Overcoming great pain he called for the battalion operations officer to report the location of enemy weapons and valuable tactical information he had secured in his heroic charge. The unwavering courage, the unswerving devotion to the task at hand, the aggressive leadership of Pfc. Benjamin were a source of great and lasting inspiration to his comrades and were to a great extent responsible for the success of the battalion’s mission.
CURREY, FRANCIS S.
Rank and organization: Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company K, 120th Infantry, 30th Infantry Division. Place and date: Malmedy, Belgium, December 21st, 1944. Entered service at: Hurleyville, N.Y. Birth: Loch Sheldrake, N.Y. G.O. No.: 69, 17 August 1945. Citation: He was an automatic rifleman with the 3d Platoon defending a strong point near Malmedy, Belgium, on 21 December 1944, when the enemy launched a powerful attack. Overrunning tank destroyers and antitank guns located near the strong point, German tanks advanced to the 3d Platoon’s position, and, after prolonged fighting, forced the withdrawal of this group to a nearby factory. Sgt. Currey found a bazooka in the building and crossed the street to secure rockets meanwhile enduring intense fire from enemy tanks and hostile infantrymen who had taken up a position at a house a short distance away. In the face of small-arms, machinegun, and artillery fire, he, with a companion, knocked out a tank with one shot. Moving to another position, he observed three Germans in the doorway of an enemy-held house. He killed or wounded all three with his automatic rifle. He emerged from cover and advanced alone to within fifty yards of the house, intent on wrecking it with rockets. Covered by friendly fire, he stood erect, and fired a shot which knocked down half of one wall. While in this forward position, he observed five Americans who had been pinned down for hours by fire from the house and three tanks. Realizing that they could not escape until the enemy tank and infantry guns had been silenced, Sgt. Currey crossed the street to a vehicle, where he procured an armful of antitank grenades. These he launched while under heavy enemy fire, driving the tankmen from the vehicles into the house. He then climbed onto a half-track in full view of the Germans and fired a machinegun at the house. Once again changing his position, he manned another machinegun whose crew had been killed; under his covering fire the five soldiers were able to retire to safety. Deprived of tanks and with heavy infantry casualties, the enemy was forced to withdraw. Through his extensive knowledge of weapons and by his heroic and repeated braving of murderous enemy fire, Sgt. Currey was greatly responsible for inflicting heavy losses in men and material on the enemy, for rescuing five comrades, two of whom were wounded, and for stemming an attack which threatened to flank his battalion’s position.
THORNE, HORACE M.
Rank and organization: Corporal, U.S. Army, Troop D, 89th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron, 9th Armored Division. Place and date: Near Grufflingen, Belgium, December 21st, 1944. Entered service at: Keyport, N.J. Birth. Keansburg, N.J. G.O. No.: 80, 19 September 1945. Citation. He was the leader of a combat patrol on 21 December 1944 near Grufflingen, Belgium, with the mission of driving German forces from dug-in positions in a heavily wooded area. As he advanced his light machinegun, a German Mark Ill tank emerged from the enemy position and was quickly immobilized by fire from American light tanks supporting the patrol. Two of the enemy tankmen attempted to abandon their vehicle but were killed by Cpl. Thorne’s shots before they could jump to the ground. To complete the destruction of the tank and its crew, Cpl. Thorne left his covered position and crept forward alone through intense machinegun fire until close enough to toss two grenades into the tank’s open turret, killing two more Germans. He returned across the same fire-beaten zone as heavy mortar fire began falling in the area, seized his machinegun and, without help, dragged it to the knocked-out tank and set it up on the vehicle’s rear deck. He fired short rapid bursts into the enemy positions from his advantageous but exposed location, killing or wounding eight. Two enemy machinegun crews abandoned their positions and retreated in confusion. His gun Jammed; but rather than leave his self-chosen post he attempted to clear the stoppage; enemy small-arms fire, concentrated on the tank, killed him instantly. Cpl. Thorne, displaying heroic initiative and intrepid fighting qualities, inflicted costly casualties on the enemy and insured the success of his patrol’s mission by the sacrifice of his life.
WARNER, HENRY F.
Rank and organization: Corporal, U.S. Army, Antitank Company, 2d Battalion, 26th Infantry, 1st Infantry Division. Place and date: Near Dom Butgenbach, Belgium, December 20th -December 21st, 1944. Entered service at: Troy, N.C. Born: 23 August 1923, Troy, N.C. G.O. No.: 48, 23 June 1945. Citation: Serving as 57-mm. antitank gunner with the 2d Battalion, he was a major factor in stopping enemy tanks during heavy attacks against the battalion position near Dom Butgenbach, Belgium, on 20-21 December 1944. In the first attack, launched in the early morning of the 20th, enemy tanks succeeded in penetrating parts of the line. Cpl. Warner, disregarding the concentrated cannon and machinegun fire from two tanks bearing down on him, and ignoring the imminent danger of being overrun by the infantry moving under tank cover, destroyed the first tank and scored a direct and deadly hit upon the second. A third tank approached to within five yards of his position while he was attempting to clear a jammed breach lock. Jumping from his gun pit, he engaged in a pistol duel with the tank commander standing in the turret, killing him and forcing the tank to withdraw. Following a day and night during which our forces were subjected to constant shelling, mortar barrages, and numerous unsuccessful infantry attacks, the enemy struck in great force on the early morning of the 21st. Seeing a Mark IV tank looming out of the mist and heading toward his position, Cpl. Warner scored a direct hit. Disregarding his injuries, he endeavored to finish the loading and again fire at the tank whose motor was now aflame, when a second machinegun burst killed him. Cpl. Warner’s gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of life above and beyond the call of duty contributed materially to the successful defense against the enemy attacks.
STRAUB, PAUL F.
Rank and organization: Surgeon. 36th Infantry, U.S. Volunteers. Place and date: At Alos, Zambales, Luzon, Philippine Islands, December 21st, 1899. Entered service at: lowa. Birth: Germany. Date of issue: 6 October 1906. Citation: Voluntarily exposed himself to a hot fire from the enemy in repelling with pistol fire an insurgent attack and at great risk of his own life went under fire to the rescue of a wounded officer and carried him to a place of safety.
Nine Ways To Achieve Unrealistically Realistic Success
“Realistic is the most commonly travelled road to mediocrity” – Will Smith
When a little boy says “I want to be an astronaut” – we smile at him and say, “Sure, honey, you can be anything you want to be!” When a twenty five year old man makes the same statement, we say, “Hey, be realistic!” Which basically means, “settle for something that brings you no satisfaction, just because you know you can get it”.
What happened in the 15 years that made a perfectly capable human-being turn into perfectly incapable grown-up, whose only choice in life is to get a degree in a highly- demanding field, find a regular job, work 30 + years and hopefully save enough money for retirement? It is as if in the course of our adulthood years instead of perfecting our skills, tripling our IQ, gaining valuable experience we are somehow getting dumber and less talented.
Common sense would suggest that if we could have accomplished everything we wanted at the age of 5, we are even more capable of doing it at the age of 25 or 50.
And since you and I are sensible people, let’s forget about the most depressing, demotivating, dream-killing cliché’s of our time to “be realistic” and go for something that we actually want and can accomplish!
Here are 9 ways to start achieving unrealistically realistic success:
1. Readjust your goals. When I first voiced my idea about quitting a regular job and starting my own website I got “worried” looks, ironic remarks and I was warned at least 700 times that it is a “crazy idea that is not going to work”. Now when I explain to people what I do I am told how lucky I am.
I honestly do not believe that success starts or is based on luck, intelligence, determination or some extraordinary talents. It starts with a big vision that is worth working for.
Take a look at your goal.
- Is it motivating?
- Is it inspiring?
- Is it the greatest goal ever?
If not, than perhaps you have made it too realistic. Psychological research shows that challenging goals lead to increased motivation and improved performance. It makes sense – the bigger the goal is, the more strongly we want to achieve it.
2. Think differently. If you do whatever everyone else is doing you will get the same results as everyone else is getting. Which is fine if this is what you want, but if you feel that you could do more/ be more/ achieve more, why settling for less?
All of the greatest discoveries, multi-billion dollar companies and break through- accomplishments were done by people, who thought differently from the rest of the world and were not afraid to put their vision into action.
3. Ignore the “realistic dudes”. They say that you should not go to a doctor whose office plants have died. Just as you should not ask a person who has achieved very little, advice on success. Before listening to “kind-hearted” advice to give up on your goals or think smaller, consider this – most people who claim to “be realistic” spend 95% of their time worrying about things that will never happen.
There is a huge difference between having your feet firmly on the ground and making Murphy’s Law “Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong” your life credo. Do not let the “realistic dudes” dampen your self-confidence and prevent you from going after your goals. Listen to yourself! You already know all the right answers!
4. See everyone as your equal. Two of the greatest fears: fear of failure and fear of success are caused by our unconscious need to compare ourselves with others. As a result we consider some groups of people to be “lower” than us and others to be “out of our league”, because we believe that they have something we have not been given. Here is the truth – no one cheated you at your birth. God did not send you to this Planet to demonstrate to you, your inferiority. You have all the intelligence, skills, tools and perfect circumstances to learn your lessons, develop and succeed. But it is up to you to figure out what success means to you and to make the maximum out of what you have been given.
5. Let go of what is holding you back. It does not matter what you have done to get where you are right now, because you cannot influence this. What matters is what you do today to get where you want to be. Let go of everything that holds you back and creates friction in your progress, be it past failures, pessimistic people or negative beliefs. They rob too much of your physical and mental energy.
6. Whatever you do, do something! Over time anything we do or do not do on a regularly basis turns into a habit. If we do not consciously try to change our behavior, our life style, opinions, and even relationships lose their excitement and become sedentary. Similar, no matter how great your ambitions are, if you do not do anything about them for a certain period of time, you develop a habit of constantly postponing your dreams for later.
I would like you to get to the end of this post, but I would also like you to commit to doing something that moves you closer to your goal as soon as you finish reading this! Momentum is the key to breaking free from the evil spells of stagnation and making your life more exciting and satisfying.
7. Know when to quit. Being unrealistic and striving for higher goals is not the same as being unreasonable and stubbornly sticking to projects that have absolutely no chances of success. Learn to concentrate on your winning ideas and drop quickly the ones that do not bring any results.
8. Use Pareto principle to amplify your achievements. The Pareto principle (also known as 80-20 rule) states that around 80% of the effects come from only 20% of the causes. It means that 80% of your achievements are direct result of 20% of your efforts. And vice versa, 80% of your problems and negative situations are provoked by only 20% of causes. Think of what events/actions/beliefs are responsible for the majority of your distress and negative emotions and which ones are making you happier and more successful? Then amplify your accomplishments by eliminating the main “negativity” triggers and concentrating on those things that bring you most joy and greater results.
9. Choose the path of least resistance. As strange as it may sound, achieving bigger goals usually takes just as much time and effort as accomplishing mediocre goals. There is simply less competition at the top. Aim higher than majority of people and you will not have to waste your energy competing with 95% of the population who are going after “realistic goals”.
And if someone tries to breed doubts in your heart instead of listening to them listen to Michelangelo who said that, “The greatest danger for most of us in not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it”. He obviously knew what he was talking about!
“Determine never to be idle…It is wonderful how much may be done if we are always doing. “
~ Thomas Jefferson
Argus-eyed AR-guhs-ide, adjective:
Extremely observant; watchful; sharp-sighted.
One who is Argus-eyed is as observant as Argus, a hundred-eyed monster from Greek mythology
1606 – Three small ships, the Susan Constant, Godspeed and Discovery, departed London under the command of Capt. Christopher Newport. In May of 1607, the royally chartered company established the first permanent English settlement in America at Jamestown (Virginia).
1669 – The first American jury trial was held in Delaware. Marcus Jacobson was condemned for insurrection and sentenced to flogging, branding & slavery.
1782 – First nautical almanac in US published by Samuel Stearns, Boston.
1790 – The first successful cotton spinning machines built using American resources began production of cotton yarn in Pawtucket, Rhode Island.
1803 – The Louisiana Purchase was completed as ownership of the territory was formally transferred from France to the United States for $15 million during ceremonies in New Orleans. The massive land purchase, nearly doubled the size of the young republic, and was Thomas Jefferson’s most notable achievement as President.
1816 – First savings bank in US opens (Philadelphia Savings Fund Society).
1820 – Missouri imposes a $1 bachelor tax on unmarried men between 21 & 50.
1822 – Congress authorizes the 14-ship West Indies Squadron to suppress piracy in the Caribbean.The West Indies Squadron was a United States Navy squadron that operated in the West Indies in the early nineteenth century. It was formed due to the need to suppress piracy in the Caribbean Sea, the Antilles and the Gulf of Mexico region of the Atlantic Ocean.
1860 – South Carolina becomes the first state to secede from the United States. South Carolina voted 169-0 for Ordinance of Secession.
1862 – Civil War: A relatively small force of Southern cavalry troops made an unexpected raid on the Union Arsenal at Holly Springs, Mississippi. This caused General Grant to withdraw his entire army of 75,000 troops from Mississippi.
1862 – Civil War: Brigadier-General Nathan B. Forrest occupied Trenton, Kentucky.
1864 – Civil War: Confederate forces evacuated Savannah, GA as Union Gen. William T. Sherman continued his “March to the Sea.”
1864 – Civil War: Battle of Ft. Fisher, NC begins and lasts to the 27th.
1864 – Civil War: Boats from the U.S.S. Chicopee, Valley City, and Wyalusing under the command of Commander Macomb on an expedition to engage Confederate troops at Rainbow Bluff, North Carolina, were fired upon while dragging for torpedoes, seven miles below the Bluff.
1879 – Thomas A. Edison privately demonstrated his incandescent light at Menlo Park, New Jersey.
1880 – Electric lights were installed throughout Broadway’s theater section in New York City.
1883 – The international cantilever railway bridge at Niagara Falls was opened with a ceremony before a gathered crowd estimated at more than 10,000 persons.
1892 – The pneumatic tire was patented.
1897 – Phineas Fogg completes around world trip, according to Jules Verne.
1900 – Giacobini discovers a comet (It will be first comet visited by spacecraft)
1912 – J Hartley Manners’ “Peg O’ My Heart” premieres in New York NY.
1919 – US House of Representatives restricted immigration.
1920 – Bob Hope becomes an American citizen. Hope was born in Eltham, London, England, the fifth of seven sons.
1921 – World Series length controversy. American League votes to return to best-of-7 World Series, while National League votes best-of-9.
1924 – Adolf Hitler was released from prison after serving less than one year of a five-year sentence for treason.
1928 – First international dogsled mail leaves Minot ME for Montréal, Québec.
1928 – For the first time, a living actress in the United States had a theater named after her. The Ethel Barrymore Theatre opened in New York City.
1932 – Al Jolson recorded “April Showers” on Brunswick Records.
1933 – The film “Flying Down to Rio” was first shown in New York.
1933 – The German government announced 400,000 citizens were to be sterilized because of hereditary defects.
1938 – The kinescope, now known as the cathode-ray tube, was patented by Russian immigrant Vladimir Zworykin.
1939 – The American cruiser USS Tuscalossa arrives in New York with 579 survivors from the scuttled German liner Columbus. They disembark on Ellis Island.
1940 – Connie Mack acquires controlling interest in the Athletics for $42,000.
1941 – World War II: First battle of the American Volunteer Group, better known as the “Flying Tigers” in Kunming, China.
1941 – World War II: Japanese troops landed on Mindanao.
1942 – World War II: Bombing of Calcutta by the Japanese.
1943 – World War II: Allied aircraft drop about 2000 tons of bombs on Frankfurt, Mannheim and other cities in southern Germany. There are also raids on the V-1 ramps in France.
1944 – World War II:The 5th Panzer Army continues to advance against the US 12th Army Group. American defenders of the road junctions of St. Vith and Bastogne continue to hold their positions.
1944 – The Women’s Air Force Service Pilots were deactivated. Before deactivation 1,074 WASPs logged 60 million miles flying for the U.S. Army Air Forces.
1944 – US Congress gives General Eisenhower his 5th star.
1945 – Rationing of auto tires ends in US.
1946 – The Frank Capra film “It’s A Wonderful Life” had a preview showing for charity at New York City’s Globe Theatre, a day before its “official” world premiere. James Stewart and Donna Reed star in the film. This was Jimmy Stewart’s first film and romantic scene on-screen since he had come back from the war, and he was afraid he would be, um, out of practice, but the kiss was so passionate that the censors had to edit it. B&W Version 2:10:33 Colorized Version 2:10:54
1946 – “The Yearling,” was copyright registered.
1948 – U.S. Supreme Court announced that it had no jurisdiction to hear the appeals of Japanese war criminals sentenced by the International Military Tribunal.
1949 – CHART TOPPERS – “I Can Dream, Can’t I?” by The Tommy Dorsey Orchestra (vocal: Jack Leonard), “Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer” by Gene Autry, “White Christmas” by Bing Crosby and “Mule Train” by Tennessee Ernie Ford all topped the charts.
1949 – Maurice Ravel/John Cranko’s ballet “Beauty & the Beast” premieres.
1950 – “Harvey“, starring James Stewart, premieres in New York.
1950 – Korean War: The First Marine Division was active against enemy guerillas in Masan-Pohang-Sondong-Ansong areas. Enemy pressure lessened as Marines forced the 10th North Korean Division to abandon guerilla activity and withdraw northward.
1951 – Nuclear power first harvested when EBR-, located in Arco, Idaho powers four light bulbs.
1952 – Jimmy Boyd reached the #1 with “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus“.
1952 – United States Air Force C-124 crashes and burns in Moses Lake, Washington killing 87.
1954 – Buick Motor Company signed Jackie Gleason to one of the largest contracts ever entered into with an entertainer. Gleason agreed to produce 78 half-hour shows over a two-year period for $6,142,500.
1956 – The Montgomery bus boycott ended after the U.S. Supreme Court ruling integrating the Montgomery bus system was implemented. The boycott by Black Americans had begun on December 5, 1955.
1957 – Elvis Presley given draft notice to join US Army for National Service.
1958 – “To Know Him Is To Love Him” by The Teddy Bears topped the charts.
1959 – The Walker family murders are committed. This crime is an unsolved murder of two parents and two children which took place in Osprey, Florida. A 2013 exhumation and DNA test showed no connection to Truman Capote’s “In Cold Blood.”
1962 – The Osmond brothers debut on the Andy Williams Show.
1962 – A world indoor pole-vault record was set by Don Meyers when he cleared 16 feet, 11/4 inches.
1963 – East and West Germany negotiated a method of allowing people to cross the border. It remained open for the holiday season, but closed again on January 6, 1964. 4,000 people crossed over to visit relatives during this period.
1965 – CHART TOPPERS – “Turn! Turn! Turn!” by The Byrds, “Over and Over” by The Dave Clark Five, “I Got You (I Feel Good)” by James Brown and “Make the World Go Away” by Eddy Arnold all topped the charts.
1965 – “The Dating Game” (22:43) premiered on television.
1965 – In the largest U.S. drug bust to date, 209 lb. of heroin was seized in Georgia.
1966 – NBA awards Seattle Supersonics a franchise for 1967-68 season.
1967 – “The Graduate“, starring Dustin Hoffman & Anne Bancroft, premieres.
1968 – The Zodiac Killer kills Betty Lou Jenson and David Faraday in Vallejo, California.
1969 – Peter, Paul & Mary’s “Leaving on a Jet Plane” reaches #1.
1971 – Walt Disney World presented it’s first Candlelight Processional in the Magic Kingdom with Rock Hudson as narrator. Each evening, nearly 400 performers fill the stage to create this mainstay of Disney’s holiday festivities.
1972 – Neil Simons “Sunshine Boys” premieres in New York NY.
1973 – Bobby Darin (b.1936), singer, died during open heart surgery in Los Angeles.
1975 – “That’s the Way (I Like It)” by K. C. & the Sunshine Band hits #1.
1978 – Former White House chief of staff H.R. Haldeman was released from prison after serving 18 months for his role in the Watergate cover-up.
1980 – NBC broadcasts New York Jets’ 24-17 win over Dolphins without audio.
1980 – “Lady” by Kenny Rogers topped the charts.
1980 – Shirley Temple Black became a grandmother. Her oldest daughter gave birth to a baby
1981 – CHART TOPPERS – “Physical” by Olivia Newton-John, “Waiting for a Girl like You” by Foreigner, “Let’s Groove” by Earth, Wind & Fire and “All Roads Lead to You” by Steve Wariner all topped the charts.
1981 – The first ever on-stage performance of the award-winning Broadway musical “Dreamgirls” at Imperial Theatre on Broadway.
1983 – Julius Erving scores his 25,000th career point, becoming the ninth professional basketball player to achieve this mark.
1983 – Donald Rumsfeld visited Saddam Hussein in Iraq. Following his visit the US supplied Hussein with satellite photos of Iranian deployments and allowed shipment of a variety of materials from American suppliers.
1984 – The Summit tunnel fire is the largest underground fire in history, as a freight train carrying over 1 million litres of petrol derails near the town of Todmorden in the Pennines.
1985 – Howard Cosell retires from television sports after 20 years with ABC.
1985 – The passage of US Public Law 99-194 established the position of American Poet Laureate. In 1986 Robert Penn Warren became designated as the 1st Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry.
1986 – “Walk Like an Egyptian” by Bangles topped the charts.
1986 – White teenagers beat Blacks in Howard Beach, New York City. One of the victims, Michael Griffith, was killed when a passing motorist’s car ran over him on the Belt Parkway as he was attempting to flee from the pursuers.
1987 – “Nuts” with Barbra Streisand premieres.
1988 – NBC signs lease to stay in New York City, 33 more years (2021).
1989 – CHART TOPPERS – “We Didn’t Start the Fire” by Billy Joel, “Another Day in Paradise” by Phil Collins, “Don’t Know Much” by Linda Ronstadt (featuring Aaron Neville) and “Two Dozen Roses” by Shenandoah all topped the charts.
1989 – United States invasion of Panama called “Operation Just Cause”: US sends troops into Panama to overthrow government of Manuel Noriega. This is also the first combat use of purpose-designed stealth aircraft.
1990 – Pentagon warned Saddam that US air power was ready to attack on January 15th.
1991 – A Missouri court sentences the Palestinian militant Zein Isa and his wife Maria to death for the honor killing of their daughter Palestina.
1991 – Oliver Stone’s “JFK” opened in the U.S.
1991 – Robert Bardo, the obsessed fan who had stalked actress Rebecca Schaeffer before killing her, was sentenced in Los Angeles to life in prison without parole.
1992 – U.S. Marines and Belgian paratroopers in Somalia took control of Kismayu’s port and airport; the first truck convoy in more than a month reached the starving inland town of Baidoa.
1993 – Alina Fernandez Revuelta, a daughter of Cuban President Fidel Castro, flew to Spain, where she was granted political asylum by the U.S. Embassy.
1994 – Marcelino Corniel, a homeless man, was shot and mortally wounded by White House security officers. He had brandished a knife near the executive mansion.
1996 – NeXT merges with Apple Computer, starting the path to Mac OS X.
1998 – Green Bay’s Brett Favre connected three times with Antonio Freeman
in the first half against the Tennessee Oilers en route to a 30-22 victory this day. In doing so, Favre became the first quarterback in NFL history to pass for 30 or more touchdowns in five consecutive seasons (33 in 1994, 28 in 1995, 39 in 1996, 35 in 1997, and 30 in 1998).
1998 – In Houston, TX, a 27-year-old woman gave birth to the only known living set of octuplets.
1998 – Balloonists Fossett, Branson and Per Lindstrand successfully ran through a thunderstorm to avoid traveling over Iraq, Russia and Iran.
1999 – Vermont’s Supreme Court rules that homosexual couples are entitled to the same benefits and protections as married heterosexual couples.
1999 – A federal judge ruled that a school voucher program in Cleveland violates the Constitution’s separation of church and state.
2001 – President Bush marked the 100-day anniversary of September 11th by freezing the assets of two Pakistan-based groups suspected of terrorist support.
2002 – US Senator Trent Lott resigns as majority leader.
2002 – Ted Williams’ eldest daughter, Bobby-Jo Williams Ferrell, dropped her objections to her siblings’ decision to have the Hall of Famer’s body frozen at a cryonics lab in Arizona.
2002 – Portland Trail Blazers players, Golden State Warriors players and Warriors’ fans get involved in a melee after the Trail Blazers beat the Warriors, 113–111 in Oakland. It might be the first time in NBA history that a home team’s fans attack the visiting team during or after a game.
2002 – U.S. jets fired on two Iraqi air defense sites in the southern no-fly zone after an Iraqi jet entered the restricted air space.
2002 – Pope John Paul II brought Mother Teresa (d.1997) closer to sainthood when he approved a miracle attributed to the nun.
2003 – Friends and relatives of Michael Jackson descended on his Neverland Ranch to show their support for the entertainer as he fought child molestation charges.
2004 – Attorneys presented opening statements in the Robert Blake murder trial in Los Angeles.
2004 – Researchers said radio waves from mobile phones harm body cells and damage DNA in laboratory conditions.
2005 – New York City’s Transport Workers Union Local 100 goes on strike, shutting down all New York City Subway and Bus services. This was timed for the height of the holiday shopping and tourist season, forcing millions of riders to find new ways to get around.
2005 – US District Court Judge John E. Jones III ruled against mandating teaching “intelligent design” in his ruling of Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District. He ruled it was unconstitutional to teach schoolchildren the intelligent design theory of life as an alternative to evolution.
2005 – President Bush signed legislation to establish a national data-bank for umbilical cord blood and bone marrow.
2005 – Wyoming planned to embark on an $8.8 million, five-year cloud-seeding project that aims to bolster mountain snowpack, and possibly yield proof on whether cloud seeding actually works.
2006 – President George W. Bush signed the “Stolen Valor Act” prohibiting anyone from falsely claiming to have won a military decoration.
2006 – Pennsylvania cleared the way for two slot machine casino licenses in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.
2007 – The New Orleans City Council voted to demolish 4,500 public housing units as police used chemical spray and stun guns on dozens of protesters who tried to force themselves into the council chamber.
2007 – Bear Stearns reported the first quarterly loss in its 84-year history as it wrote down $1.9 billion in mortgage assets.
2007 – NetSuite Inc., a software maker majority-owned by Larry Ellison, rose 37% in its first day of trading after raising $161.2 million in an IPO a day earlier at $26 per share.
2008 – San Francisco Police Chief Heather Wong (52) announced her retirement. In January 2004 she became the first woman to lead the San Francisco Police Department, and the first Asian American woman to head any major metropolitan city police force. Her annual retirement salary is $277, 656.
2009 – United States Army Major General Anthony Cucolo makes pregnancy a court-martial offense for both female and male troops under his command in northern Iraq.
2009 – The US Justice Dept. said the US has transferred twelve Guantanamo detainees back to their home countries, including four to Afghanistan, two to Somalia, and six to Yemen.
2009 – A storm that blanketed large areas of the mid-Atlantic with nearly two feet of snow reached southern New England. In a weekend assault along the East Coast, it caused at least five deaths, crippled travel and left empty stores normally crammed with holiday shoppers.
2010 -GM completes $2.1 billion purchase of stock held by the U.S. Treasury .
2010 – David Paterson, Governor of New York, is fined $62,125 for accepting free gifts from a registered lobbyist—the New York Yankees.
2011 – A Socata TBM-700 small plane crashes onto Interstate 287 in northern New Jersey, killing five people. The plane is described as a high performance single engine turboprop light business and utility aircraft.
2011 – Two Earth-sized planets, Kepler-20e and Kepler-20d, are found orbiting a star 950 light-years away from Earth. In miles, that is five quadrillion, 700 trillion miles (5,700,000,000,000,000).
2011 – The NCAA announces that it is penalizing the Ohio State Buckeyes football program with a one-year bowl game ban, among other penalties, as a result of a scandal at the program.
2012 – New Jersey liberal Ronnie McMillian threatened Rep. Michele Bachmann and Governor Bobby Jindal with threatening phone calls to public officials including Louisiana’s governor and Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann was arrested today. Authorities charged 27-year-old Ronnie McMillian of Hawthorne, N.J., with two counts of transmitting threats to injure another through interstate commerce.
2012 – The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) today announced that it will again delay the deadline for states to tighten security requirements for driver’s licenses. The current deadline for states to become materially compliant with REAL ID is January 15, 2013. But DHS has announced that it will grant deferment to states that are not REAL ID compliant for an unknown period of time.
2014 – Four more detainees—Shawali Khan, Khi Ali Gul, Abdul Ghani, and Mohammed Zahir—have been repatriated in Afghanistan, according to the Pentagon, which announced the the transfer is part of a larger bid by President Barack Obama to fully shut down the prison facility at Gitmo.
2014 – Ismaaiyl Brinsley, 28, posted a message threatening police on Instagram before killing two officers, Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu as they sat in their patrol case in Brooklyn. Brinsley later killed himself in a nearby subway station.
2014 – White House says courts have NO power to review Obama’s decision-making. Obama has repeatedly taken it upon himself to decide what laws he would enforce and what ones he doesn’t want enforced. The first ones that come to mind are the Defense of Marriage Act and immigration laws.
1579 – (baptized) John Fletcher, English playwright (d. 1625)
1740 – Arthur Lee, (d. 1792) was a physician and opponent of slavery who served as an American diplomat during the American Revolutionary War.
1833 – Samuel Mudd, American physician (d. 1883)
1868 – Harvey Firestone, American businessman who founded the Firestone Tire and Rubber Company (d. 1938)
1881 – Branch Rickey, American baseball player, manager and deeply devout Christian (d. 1965)
1898 – Irene Dunne, (d. 1990) was an American film actress and singer of the 1930s, 1940s and early 1950s.
1933 – Jean Carnahan, U.S. Senator
1946 – John Spencer, American actor (d. 2005)
1976 – Adam Powell, Neopets creator
|VOSLER, FORREST T.
Rank and organization: Technical Sergeant, U.S. Army Air Corps. 358th Bomber Squadron, 303d Bomber Group. Place and date. Over Bremen, Germany, December 20th, 1943. Entered service at: Rochester, N.Y. Born: 29 July 1923, Lyndonville, N.Y. G.O. No.: 73, 6 September 1944. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry in action against the enemy above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a radio operator-air gunner on a heavy bombardment aircraft in a mission over Bremen, Germany, on 20 December 1943. After bombing the target, the aircraft in which T/Sgt. Vosler was serving was severely damaged by antiaircraft fire, forced out of formation, and immediately subjected to repeated vicious attacks by enemy fighters. Early in the engagement a 20-mm. cannon shell exploded in the radio compartment, painfully wounding T/Sgt. Vosler in the legs and thighs. At about the same time a direct hit on the tail of the ship seriously wounded the tail gunner and rendered the tail guns inoperative. Realizing the great need for firepower in protecting the vulnerable tail of the ship, T/Sgt. Vosler, with grim determination, kept up a steady stream of deadly fire. Shortly thereafter another 20-mm. enemy shell exploded, wounding T/Sgt. Vosler in the chest and about the face. Pieces of metal lodged in both eyes, impairing his vision to such an extent that he could only distinguish blurred shapes. Displaying remarkable tenacity and courage, he kept firing his guns and declined to take first-aid treatment. The radio equipment had been rendered inoperative during the battle, and when the pilot announced that he would have to ditch, although unable to see and working entirely by touch, T/Sgt. Vosler finally got the set operating and sent out distress signals despite several lapses into unconsciousness. When the ship ditched, T/Sgt. Vosler managed to get out on the wing by himself and hold the wounded tail gunner from slipping off until the other crewmembers could help them into the dinghy. T/Sgt. Vosler’s actions on this occasion were an inspiration to all serving with him. The extraordinary courage, coolness, and skill he displayed in the face of great odds, when handicapped by injuries that would have incapacitated the average crewmember, were outstanding.
|NORRIS, J. W.
Rank and organization: Landsman, U.S. Navy. Born: 1862, England. Accredited to: New York. G.O. No.: 326, 18 October 1884. Citation: Serving on board the U.S.S. Jamestown, New York Navy Yard, December 20th, 1883, Norris rescued from drowning A. A. George, who had fallen overboard.
Rank and organization: Ordinary Seaman, U.S. Navy. Born. 1853 Montreal, Canada
Citation: Serving on board the U.S.S. Jamestown, New York Navy Yard, December 20th, 1883, Sweeney rescued from drowning A. A. George, who had fallen overboard from that vessel.