Today in History, December 24th

By | December 24, 2013
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A few of the great historical events that happened today in history, December 24th!

1638 The Ottomans under Murad IV recapture Baghdad from Safavid Persia.
1812 Joel Barlow, aged 58, American poet and lawyer, dies from exposure near Vilna, Poland, during Napoleon’s retreat from Moscow. Barlow was on a diplomatic mission to the emperor for President Madison.

Joel Barlow

Joel Barlow

1814 A treaty of peace between the United States and Great Britain, ending the War of 1812, is signed at Ghent, Belgium. The news does not reach the United States until two weeks later (after the decisive American victory at New Orleans).
1814 The War of 1812 officially ended as the United States and Britain signed the Treaty of Ghent in Belgium.
1851 Fire devastated the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., destroying about 35,000 volumes.
1861 The USS Gem of the Sea destroys the British blockade runner Prince of Wales off the coast at Georgetown, S.C.
1862 A Christmas present arrives a day early for the Federal troops at Columbus, Kentucky, in the way of artillery on board the USS New Era.
1865 The Ku Klux Klan was founded as a private social club by several Confederate Army veterans in Pulaski, Tenn.

Ku Klux Klan

Ku Klux Klan

1871 Giuseppe Verdi’s opera “Aida” had its world premiere in Cairo, Egypt, to celebrate the opening of the Suez Canal.
1906 Canadian physicist Reginald A. Fessenden became the first person to broadcast a music program over radio, from Brant Rock, Mass.
1914 Over 577,000 Allied soldiers are to spend Christmas as prisoners in Germany.
1917 The Kaiser warns Russia that he will use “iron fist” and “shining sword” if peace is spurned.
1920 Enrico Caruso gave his last public performance, at the Metropolitan Opera in New York.
1943 President Franklin D. Roosevelt appointed Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower supreme commander of Allied forces during World War II.
1947 An estimated 20,000 communists, led by guerrilla General Markos Vafiadis proclaim the Free Greek Government in northern Greece. They issue a call to arms to establish the regime throughout the nation.

General Markos Vafiadis

General Markos Vafiadis

1956 African Americans defy a city law in Tallahassee, Florida, and occupy front bus seats.
1963 New York’s Idlewild Airport is renamed JFK Airport in honor of the murdered President Kennedy.
1964 The U.S. headquarters in Saigon is hit by a bomb killing two officers.
1966 A Soviet research vehicle soft-lands on the moon.
1967 The Greek Junta frees ex-Premier Papandreou.
1968 The first pictures of an Earth-rise over the moon are seen as the crew of Apollo 8 orbits the moon.
1970 Nine GIs are killed and nine are wounded by friendly fire in Vietnam.
1972 Hanoi bars all peace talks with the United States until U.S. air raids over North Vietnam stop.
1974 An oil tanker’s spill pollutes 1,600 square miles of Japan’s Inland Sea.
1992 President George H.W. Bush pardoned former Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger and five others in the Iran-Contra scandal.

Caspar Weinberger

Caspar Weinberger

2002 Laci Peterson was reported missing from her Modesto, Calif., home, by her husband, Scott, who was later convicted of murdering her and their unborn son.
2009 The Senate passed health care legislation, 60-39, in the chamber’s first Christmas Eve vote since 1895.
2009 A woman jumped barriers in St. Peter’s Basilica and knocked down Pope Benedict XVI as he was walking down the main aisle to begin Christmas Eve Mass; the pope was unhurt.

Today in history facts are from various sites including, but not limited too: the History Channel, The New York Times, WHG, and

Author: Today in History

A few of the great historical events that happened today in history!

One thought on “Today in History, December 24th

  1. Frank Pandozzi

    December 24th, 1776 when General George Washington
    ordered his, small, ragged army to prepare for their crossing of the
    Delaware River for their impending attack against the Hessian, and
    British troops. This strategic move by Washington during the
    Revolutionary war was a risky, but necessary plan to thwart the British.
    New York City was falling to the enemy, and the war was being lost.
    Washington’s army was also diminishing in numbers. A high rate of
    desertion and disease along with low morale was crippling his already
    small number of troops. The odds of Washington’s army pulling off a
    secret, major attack against the this enemy was not in his favor. But
    the General knew, as he always did, that God was on his side.

    few weeks earlier Thomas Paine wrote a pamphlet, “The American Crisis.”
    In it, he penned the words below that Washington used to spark the
    morale of his troops. In the end, the tattered, colonial army, crossed
    the ice capped river, and defeated the Hessian’s and the British.
    Washington attributed Paine’s words to energizing his army to a
    victory. One of the most famous renderings of that time was Paine’s

    “These are the times that try men’s souls; the summer
    soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the
    service of his country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and
    thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered;
    yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the
    more glorious the triumph.”

    Merry Xmas, Happy Holidays,
    God Bless America,

    Frank W. Pandozzi
    Executive Producer
    Exploring History’s treasures


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