See what makes December 24 special at Famous Daily.
History, birthdays, holiday, and a quote!
What happened on December 24
- December 24, 0563 The Byzantine church Hagia Sophia in Constantinople is inaugurated for the second time after being destroyed by earthquakes.
- December 24, 0640 John IV begins his reign as Catholic Pope
- December 24, 1294 "Pope Boniface VIII is elected Pope, replacing St. Celestine V, who had abdicated."
- December 24, 1515 Thomas Wolsey is named Lord Chancellor.
- December 24, 1584 "Basque whaler Joanes de Echaniz dictates his last will and testament at Carol's Cove, near Red Bay Labrador, it is the oldest surviving will in Canadian history."
- December 24, 1777 "Kiritimati, also called Christmas Island, is discovered by James Cook."
- December 24, 1781 "Friedrich, Baron von Riedesel 1738-1800 erects Canada's first Christmas tree for the garrison in Fort Sorel, Quebec"
- December 24, 1814 The Treaty of Ghent is signed ending the War of 1812.
- December 24, 1814 Treaty of Ghent (end of the War of 1812) signed
- December 24, 1818 """Silent Night"" composed by Franz Joseph Gruber; first sung next day"
- December 24, 1818 """Silent Night"" is composed by Franz Xaver Gruber and Josef Mohr."
- December 24, 1824 The Chi Phi Society (later Chi Phi Fraternity) is founded by Robert Baird at Princeton University.
- December 24, 1832 "First US Negro hospital founded by whites chartered, Savannah GA"
- December 24, 1851 "Fire devastates Library of Congress in Washington destroys 35,000 volumes"
- December 24, 1851 Library of Congress burns.
- December 24, 1865 "Several Confederate veterans form the Ku Klux Klan in Pulaski, Tn"
- December 24, 1865 Several U.S. Civil War Confederate veterans form the Ku Klux Klan.
- December 24, 1871 "Giusseppi Verdi's ""Aida"" premieres in Cairo, at Suez canal opening"
- December 24, 1889 Bicycle with a back-pedal brake patented
- December 24, 1889 Daniel Stover and William Hance patent bicycle with back pedal brake
- December 24, 1905 Howard Hughes born
- December 24, 1906 "Radio: Reginald Fessenden transmits the first radio broadcast; consisting of a poetry reading, a violin solo, and a speech."
- December 24, 1906 Reginald A Fessenden became first to broadcast music over radio (Mass)
- December 24, 1910 "Luisa Tetrazzini sings to 250,000 people at Lotta's Fountain"
- December 24, 1914 "World War I: The ""Christmas truce"" begins."
- December 24, 1919 "John D. Rockefeller, the world's richest man, gave away one-hundred million dollars and I missed it"
- December 24, 1920 Enrico Caruso gives his last public performance (New York NY)
- December 24, 1924 Albania becomes a republic
- December 24, 1933 "Paris express train derails and kills 160, injures 300 (France) 1936 first radioactive isotope medicine administered, Berkeley, Ca"
- December 24, 1939 World War II: Pope Pius XII makes a Christmas Eve appeal for peace.
- December 24, 1941 World War II: Hong Kong falls to the Japanese Imperial Army.
- December 24, 1941 World War II: Kuching is conquered by Japanese forces.
- December 24, 1942 "First powered flight of V-1 buzz bomb, Peenemonde, Germany"
- December 24, 1942 "The department of National Defence says there are now 681,615 volunteers and conscripts in the Canadian forces."
- December 24, 1942 "World War II: French monarchist, Fernand Bonnier de La Chapelle, assassinates Vichy French Admiral Franois Darlan in Algiers."
- December 24, 1943 FDR appoints General Eisenhower supreme commander of Allied forces
- December 24, 1943 World War II: U.S. General Dwight D. Eisenhower becomes the Supreme Allied Commander.
- December 24, 1946 4th French republic established
- December 24, 1946 First Live Church Service Telecast
- December 24, 1946 France's Fourth Republic is founded.
- December 24, 1948 Canada formally recognizes the state of Israel.
- December 24, 1948 "First US house completely sunheated is occupied, Dover, Mass"
- December 24, 1951 First televised opera (Amahl and the Night Visitor)
- December 24, 1951 Libya becomes independent from Italy. Idris I is proclaimed King of Libya.
- December 24, 1951 United Kingdom of Libya gains independence from Italy via the UN
- December 24, 1953 2 fast express trains crash head-on killing 103 (Czechoslovakia)
- December 24, 1953 NBC's Dragnet becomes the first network-sponsored television program.
- December 24, 1953 "Tangiwai disaster: A railway bridge collapse at Tangiwai, New Zealand sending a fully loaded passenger train into the Whangaehu River and killing 153 people."
- December 24, 1953 Wellington-Auckland (NZ) express train swept away in flood kills 166
- December 24, 1954 Laos gains its independence
- December 24, 1964 "Shooting begins on ""The Cage"" the pilot for Star Trek"
- December 24, 1966 "A Canadair CL-44 chartered by the United States military crashes into a small village in South Vietnam, killing 129."
- December 24, 1966 Luna 13 lands on Moon
- December 24, 1966 USAF C144 military charter crashes near Binh Thai Vietnam kills 129
- December 24, 1967 Pirate Radio Pegasus starts broadcasting off New Zealand
- December 24, 1968 "Apollo Program: The crew of Apollo 8 enters into orbit around the Moon, becoming the first humans to do so. They performed 10 lunar orbits and broadcast live TV pictures that became the famous Christmas Eve Broadcast, one of the most watched programs in history."
- December 24, 1968 The crew of the USS Pueblo is released by North Korea after being held for 11 months on suspicion of spying.
- December 24, 1970 9 Jews are convicted in Lenningrad of hijacking a plane
- December 24, 1970 "Walt Disney's ""The Aristocats"" is released"
- December 24, 1971 "Peruvian Airlines Electra crashes at headwaters of Amazon, killing all except Juliane Margaret Koepcke found 10 days later"
- December 24, 1973 "Ferryboat capsized off coast of Equador, drowning 200"
- December 24, 1974 "Cyclone Tracy devastates Darwin, Australia."
- December 24, 1979 The first European Ariane rocket is launched.
- December 24, 1979 The Soviet Union invades Afghanistan to support the country's Marxist government.
- December 24, 1980 Americans remembered Iran hostages by shining lights for 417 seconds
- December 24, 1986 "French hostage Aurel Cornea, held in Lebanon for 9 months, released"
- December 24, 1987 Japanese legendary rock band BOWY declares their breakup at the Shibuya Kokaido.
- December 24, 1989 "Panama's dictator, Manual Noriega seeks asylum at the Vatican embassy"
- December 24, 1990 Saddam says Israel will be Iraq's main target
- December 24, 1991 Mary Kinnear dies at age 93; appointed to the Senate 1967; one of Canada's first female senators.
- December 24, 1997 The Dominican Republic becomes a member of the Berne Convention copyright treaty.
- December 24, 1997 The Sid El-Antri massacre (or Sidi Lamri) in Algeria kills 50-100 people.
- December 24, 2000 "The Texas 7 hold up a sports store in Irving, Texas. Police officer Aubrey Hawkins is shot during the robbery."
- December 24, 2002 The New Delhi Metro opens.
- December 24, 2003 The Spanish police thwart an attempt by ETA to detonate 50 kg of explosives at 3:55 p.m. inside Madrid's busy Chamartn Station.
- December 24, 2009 A lawsuit is threatened against the Indonesian Navy and International Organization for Migration after a 29-year-old Sri Lankan asylum seeker is allowed to die through medical negligence after vomiting blood and having a seizure in Indonesia.
- December 24, 2009 "A suicide bomb attack kills at least eight people in Kandahar, Afghanistan."
- December 24, 2009 An Israeli man is shot dead by Palestinian gunmen in the northern West Bank.
- December 24, 2009 "At least 30 suspected Al-Qaeda militants are killed in an airstrike in Shabwah Governorate, Yemen."
- December 24, 2009 "At least 40 people are killed and many injured after a tour bus plunges into a ravine near Cuzco, Peru."
- December 24, 2009 At least three bodies have been recovered and 23 are missing after a collision between a ferry and a fishing boat in the Philippines.
- December 24, 2009 Bomb attacks in the Iraqi cities of Baghdad and Hilla leave 23 dead.
- December 24, 2009 "China sentences a further five people to death over riots in �r�mqi, Xinjiang in July, bringing the total number of people sentenced to death to 22."
- December 24, 2009 "Hewlett-Packard admits face detection software on its laptops has trouble detecting dark-skinned faces, leading to casual claims of racism by some."
- December 24, 2009 Iran says it is to invalidate banknotes which have been pasted with slogans in the name of the Opposition by 8 January 2010.
- December 24, 2009 "Niger issues arrest warrants for three opposition leaders including a former President, as it condemns the Economic Community of West African States' refusal to recognise the legitimacy of President Mamadou Tandja."
- December 24, 2009 "Pope Benedict XVI is knocked down by a woman during a procession before the Christmas Eve Mass at St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican City. He is uninjured, but Roger Cardinal Etchegaray suffers a hip fracture. (Sky News)"
- December 24, 2009 Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signs a decree ordering a 20% cut of staff at the Interior Ministry after a series of scandals involving the police.
- December 24, 2009 "The Archbishop of York, John Sentamu speaks out against a bill being debated in Uganda that would outlaw homosexuality."
- December 24, 2009 The Greek parliament approves emergency cuts in government spending for 2010 in an attempt to reduce the country's budget deficit.
- December 24, 2009 The Indian Army kills nine members of the Peoples Revolutionary Party of Kangleipak and Kanglei Yana Kan Lup during three incidents in Manipur.
- December 24, 2009 "The United States Senate passes a health-care bill expected to extend insurance coverage to 30 million additional Americans, in a party-line vote, 60-39."
- December 24, 2009 Thousands of Christian pilgrims gather in Bethlehem in the West Bank to mark Christmas.
- December 24, 2009 Turkish police arrest over 43 campaigners and members of the banned Kurdish Communities Union in raids.
- December 24, 2009 Venezuela orders businesses to cut electricity consumption by 20% as droughts threaten generation capacity at the 10.2 gigawatt Guri hydroelectric power station.
- December 24, 2009 "Vietnamese authorities charge human rights lawyer Le Cong Dinh with attempts to ""overthrow the state""."