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Earthrise as seen by the crew of Apollo 8
Christmas Island (Kiritimati)
(Gregorian calendar) Christmas Eve unreferenced section
1294 – began his Boniface VIII papacy, replacing St. , who had declared that it was permissible for a Pope to Celestine V resign, and then promptly did so. lead too short
1777 – An expedition led by English explorer James Cook reached , the largest Christmas Island coral atoll in the world. refimprove
1871 – , one of Aida Giuseppe Verdi 's most popular operas, made its debut in Cairo, Egypt. refimprove section
1906 – Canadian inventor transmitted the first Reginald Fessenden radio broadcast, which included his playing a song on the violin and reading a passage from the Bible. date is only mentioned in an image caption and is not cited
1974 – struck Cyclone Tracy Darwin, Australia, eventually destroying more than 70% of the city. refimprove section
1979 – , the first Ariane 1 launch vehicle to be developed by the European Space Agency, had its first launch. no orbital elements, unreferenced section
1980 – Witnesses reported the first of several sightings of near unexplained lights in the sky RAF Woodbridge, in Rendlesham Forest, Suffolk, England, an incident called "Britain's Roswell". multiple issues
759 – Tang dynasty poet departed for Du Fu Chengdu, staying with his fellow poet Pei Di, where he composed poems about life in his thatched cottage.
1814 – The was signed in Treaty of Ghent Ghent, in present-day Belgium, ending the War of 1812 between the United Kingdom and the United States.
1826 – More than one third of the cadets enrolled in the United States Military Academy in West Point, New York, over the smuggling of rioted whiskey to make eggnog for a Christmas Day party.
1865 – Six Confederate veterans of the American Civil War founded a social club they named the , which later became a Ku Klux Klan white supremacist group.
1913 – Seventy-three people were in a crushed to death stampede after someone falsely yelled "fire" at a crowded Christmas party in Calumet, Michigan, U.S.
1953 – On New Zealand's North Island, at Tangiwai, a railway bridge was damaged by a lahar and beneath a passenger train, killing 151 people. collapsed
1955 – The program began when children began calling the NORAD Tracks Santa Continental Air Defense Command Center to inquire about Santa Claus' whereabouts due to a misprinted phone number.
1968 – Astronaut William Anders of the NASA Apollo 8 mission, the first manned voyage to orbit the Moon, took the famous photograph known as " ", showing the Earth rising above the lunar surface. Earthrise
2008 – The Lord's Resistance Army, a Ugandan rebel group, on several villages in began attacks Haut-Uele District, Democratic Republic of the Congo, resulting in at least 400 deaths and numerous atrocities.
British and German troops during the Christmas truce
(b. 1798) Adam Mickiewicz · (b. 1837) Cosima Wagner · (b. 1946) Jeff Sessions