This Day in History - December 25

Monday, December 25, 2017

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December 25 is the 359th day of 2017. There are 6 days left in the year. Today is Christmas Day

TODAY'S HIGHLIGHT

1997: Cubans celebrate Christmas Day as a public holiday for the first time in 30 years.

OTHER EVENTS

1066: William the Conqueror is crowned king of England.

1154: Pope Adrian IV is enthroned.

1223: St Francis of Assisi assembles one of the first Nativity scenes, in Greccio, Italy.

1776: George Washington crosses the Delaware for a surprise attack on British forces.

1818: The Christmas carol Silent Night is sung for first time in the Austrian village of Oberndorff.

1868: US President Andrew Johnson grants an unconditional pardon to all persons involved in the southern rebellion that resulted in the Civil War.

1917: A football game takes place in the Argonne Forest during World War I between German soldiers on one side and British, Canadian and American soldiers on the other.

1926: Hirohito becomes emperor of Japan, succeeding his father, Emperor Yoshihito.

1941: Hong Kong surrenders to Japanese in World War II.

1977: Israel's Prime Minister Menachem Begin meets Egypt's President Anwar Sadat at Ismailia, Egypt, for peace talks.

1985: Glowing rivers of lava flow from Mount Etna in Sicily after eruption and earthquake.

1991: Mikhail Gorbachev formally resigns as president of the Soviet Union.

1992: Christmas brings peace, at least temporarily, to war-torn parts of the world: A ceasefire holds in Northern Ireland, fighting subsides in Bosnian capital of Sarajevo, and French and American soldiers secure a Somali town without firing a shot.

2007: About 40 Iranian Jews complete a covert escape from Iran, hoping to build new lives in Israel after fleeing a hard-line regime that repeatedly called for the Jewish state's destruction.

2008: The deputy police chief of Zihuatanejo, a Mexican resort town, and six other officers who allegedly had been protecting drug cartel members at a cock fight, are arrested, the Government says. Fourteen suspected members of the Beltran Leyva drug gang are also arrested.

2009: A Nigerian man who said he was an agent for al-Qaeda tries to blow up a Northwest Airlines plane with 289 people aboard as it was preparing to land in Detroit, but travellers who smelled smoke and heard what sounded like firecrackers rush to subdue him.

2010: A burqa-clad female suicide bomber in Pakistan lobs hand grenades, then detonates her explosive belt among a crowd at an aid centre, killing at least 45 people in militants' latest strike against the authorities' control over the key tribal region bordering Afghanistan.

2011: The Sudanese army says that it killed the leader of the main Darfur rebel group in fighting earlier this week, touting his death as a key victory against a powerful rebel force that once threatened Sudan's capital.

2012: Pope Benedict XVI in his Christmas message calls for an end to the slaughter in Syria and for more meaningful negotiations between the Palestinians and Israelis.

2013: Egypt's military-backed interim government declares the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organisation, intensifying its campaign of arrests and prosecutions targeting its members.

TODAY'S BIRTHDAYS

Sir Isaac Newton, English scientist-mathematician (1642-1727); Claude Claudion Michel, French sculptor (1783-1814); Helena Rubenstein, Australian-born beautician (1871-1965); Anwar el-Sadat, Egyptian president (1918-1981); Cab Calloway, US band leader (1907-1994); Jimmy Buffet, US singer (1946- ); Sissy Spacek, US actress (1949- ); Annie Lennox, British singer (1954- )

— AP

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