is the 358th day of the year (359th in December 24 leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 7 days remaining until the end of the year.
563 - The Byzantine church Hagia Sophia in Constantinople is inaugurated for the second time after being destroyed by earthquakes.
640 - John IV becomes Pope.
1294 - Pope Boniface VIII is elected Pope, replacing St. Celestine V, who had abdicated.
1515 - Thomas Wolsey is named the English Lord Chancellor.
1777 - Kiritimati, also called Christmas Island, was discovered by James Cook.
1800 - Assassination attempt on Napoleon Bonaparte's life.
1814 - The Treaty of Ghent was signed which ended the War of 1812.
1818 - " Silent Night" composed by Franz Xaver Gruber and Josef Mohr.
1851 - Library of Congress burns.
1865 - Several US Civil War Confederate veterans form the Ku Klux Klan.
1888 - Vincent Van Gogh cuts off his ear during some sort of seizure.
1906 - Radio: Reginald Fessenden transmitted the first radio broadcast. The first program, consisted of a poetry reading, a violin solo, and a speech.
1914 - World War I: The " Christmas truce" begins.
1924 - Albania becomes a republic.
1929 - Assassination attempt of Argentine President Hipólito Yrigoyen.
1939 - World War II: Pope Pius XII makes a Christmas Eve appeal for peace.
1941 - World War II: Hong Kong falls to the Japanese Imperial Army.
1941 - World War II: Kuching is conquered by Japanese forces.
1942 - World War II: French monarchist, Fernand Bonnier de La Chapelle, assassinates Vichy French Admiral François Darlan in Algiers
1943 - World War II: U.S. General Dwight D. Eisenhower becomes the Supreme Allied Commander.
1946 - France's Fourth Republic founded.
1951 - Libya becomes independent from Italy. Idris I is proclaimed King of Libya.
1953 - Tangiwai disaster: A railway bridge collapse at Tangiwai, New Zealand sends a fully loaded passenger train into the Whangaehu River, killing 153 people.
1953 - NBC's becomes the first network-sponsored Dragnet television program.
1954 - Laos becomes independent.
1966 - A Canadair CL-44 chartered by the United States military crashes into a small village in South Vietnam, killing 129.
1968 - The crew of the USS is released by Pueblo North Korea after being held for 11 months on suspicion of spying.
1968 - Apollo Program: The crew of enter 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 Apollo 8 Christmas Eve Broadcast, one of the most watched programs in history.
1974 - Cyclone Tracy devastates Darwin, Australia.
1979 - The Soviet Union invades Afghanistan to support the country's Marxist government.
1979 - The first European Ariane rocket is launched.
1987 - Japanese legendary rock band BOØWY declares their breakup at the Shibuya Kokaido.
1990 - Wedding from Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise.
1997 - The Sid El-Antri massacre (or Sidi Lamri) in Algeria kills 50-100 people.
1997 - The Dominican Republic becomes a member of the Berne Convention copyright treaty.
2000 - The Texas 7 holds up a sports store in Irving. Police officer Aubrey Hawkins is shot during the robbery.
2002 - The New Delhi Metro opens.
2003 - The Spanish police thwart an attempt by ETA to detonate 50 kg of explosives at 3:55 p.m. inside Madrid's busy Chamartín Station.
1166 - King John of England (d. 1216)
1389 - John VI (d. 1442)
1475 - Thomas Murner, German writer (d.c. 1537)
1491 - Ignatius of Loyola, Spanish founder of the Jesuit order (d. 1556)
1508 - Pietro Carnesecchi, Italian humanist (d. 1567)
1588 - Constance of Austria, queen of Poland (d. 1631)
1609 - Philip Warwick, English writer and politician (d. 1683)
1635 - Mariana of Austria, second wife of king Philip IV of Spain (d. 1696)
1698 - William Warburton, English Bishop of Gloucester (d. 1779)
1724 - Johann Conrad Ammann, Swiss physician and naturalist (d. 1811)
1754 - George Crabbe, English poet and naturalist (d. 1832)
1761 - Jean-Louis Pons, French astronomer (d. 1831)
1798 - Adam Mickiewicz, Polish poet (d. 1855)
1809 - Kit Carson, American frontiersman (d. 1868)
1812 - Karl Eduard Zachariae, German jurist (d. 1894)
1818 - James Prescott Joule, British physicist (d. 1889)
1822 - Matthew Arnold, English poet (d. 1888)
1837 - Elisabeth of Bavaria a.k.a Sissi, Empress of Austria (d. 1898)
1843 - Lydia Koidula, Estonian poet (d. 1886)
1845 - King George I of Greece (d. 1913)
1867 - Kantaro Suzuki, 42nd Prime Minister of Japan (d. 1948)
1868 - Emanuel Lasker, German chess player (d. 1941)
1879 - Queen Alexandrine of Denmark, Queen Consort to Christian X (d. 1952)
1879 - Émile Nelligan, Quebec poet (d. 1941)
1880 - Johnny Gruelle, American cartoonist, children's book writer and creator of Raggedy Ann (d. 1939)
1881 - Juan Ramón Jiménez, Spanish writer, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1958)
1886 - Michael Curtiz, Hungarian-born director (d. 1962)
1887 - Louis Jouvet, French actor and producer (d. 1951)
1893 - Harry Warren, American composer and lyricist ( Chattanooga Choo Choo - I Only Have Eyes for You) (d. 1981)
1894 - Georges Guynemer, French aviator (d. 1917)
1895 - E. Roland Harriman, American financier (d. 1978)
1898 - Héctor Scarone, Uruguayan footballer (d. 1967)
1898 - Baby Dodds, American jazz drummer (d. 1959)
1900 - Joey Smallwood, Canadian politician, Premier of Newfoundland (d. 1991)
1905 - Howard Hughes, American film producer and inventor (d. 1976)
1906 - Franz Waxman, German film composer (d. 1967)
1910 - Fritz Leiber, American writer (d. 1992)
1914 - Herbert Reinecker, German writer
1917 - Kim Jong-suk, Wife of Kim Il-sung, mother of Kim Jung-Il, "The Heroine of the Anti-Japanese Revolution" (d. 1949)
1920 - Evgeniya Rudneva, Russian World War II heroine (d. 1944)
1922 - Ava Gardner, American actress (d. 1990)
1923 - George Patton IV, American general (d. 2004)
1923 - Michael DiBiase, American wrestler (d. 1969)
1924 - Lee Dorsey, American singer (d. 1986)
1924 - Grigory Kriss, Russian Olympic champion fencer
1925 - Mohd. Rafi, Indian actor and playback singer (d. 1980)
1926 - Paul Buissonneau, French-born Quebec theatre director
1929 - Mary Higgins Clark, American author
1931 - Mauricio Kagel, Argentine composer
1931 - Ray Bryant, American jazz pianist and composer
1932 - On Kawara, Japanese conceptual artist
1937 - Félix Miéli Venerando, Brazilian football player
1938 - Bobby Henrich, American baseball player
1938 - Valentim Loureiro, Portuguese politician, and former football chairman of Boavista F.C. and
Liga Portuguesa de Futebol Profissional 1941 - John Levene, British actor
1943 - Tarja Halonen, President of Finland
1944 - Daniel Johnson, Quebec politician, Premier of Quebec
1944 - Mike Curb, American musician, record company executive and politician
1944 - Oswald Gracias, Roman Catholic Archbishop of Bombay
1944 - Barry Chuckle, British comedian
1945 - Lemmy, British singer, bassist ( Motörhead)
1945 - Nicholas Meyer, American author
1946 - Brenda Howard, American bisexual activist (d. 2005)
1946 - Jeff Sessions, American politician
1947 - Kevin Sheedy, coach of Australian Football League club Essendon FC
1948 - Frank Oliver, New Zealand rugby player
1949 - Randy Neugebauer, American politician
1949 - Warwick Brown, Australian racing driver
1950 - Dana Gioia, American poet
1951 - John D'Acquisto, baseball player
1953 - François Loos, French politician
1954 - José María Figueres, Costa Rican politician
1955 - Grand L. Bush, American actor
1955 - Clarence Gilyard, American actor
1957 - Hamid Karzai, President of Afghanistan
1957 - Diane Tell, Quebec singer
1958 - Munetaka Higuchi, Japanese drummer
1959 - Keith Deller, English darts player
1959 - Anil Kapoor, Indian actor
1960 - Glenn McQueen, American animator
1960 - Carol Vorderman, British television presenter
1961 - Ilham Aliyev, President of Azerbaijan Republic
1963 - Mary Ramsey, American singer ( 10,000 Maniacs)
1966 - Diedrich Bader, American actor
1967 - Mikhail Shchennikov, Russian race walker
1968 - Doyle Bramhall II, American guitarist
1969 - Mark Millar, Scottish comic book writer
1970 - Amaury Nolasco, American actor
1970 - Will Oldham, American singer and songwriter
1971 - Christopher Daniels, American professional wrestler
1971 - Ricky Martin, Puerto Rican singer
1971 - Giorgos Alkaios, Greek singer
1972 - Alvaro Mesen, Costa Rican footballer
1973 - Eddie Pope, American soccer player
1973 - Stephenie Meyer, Author
1974 - Marcelo Salas, Chilean footballer
1974 - Ryan Seacrest, American television host
1978 - Yıldıray Baştürk, Turkish footballer
1979 - Chris Hero, American professional wrestler
1980 - Tomas Kalnoky, American musician ( Streetlight Manifesto)
1981 - Dima Bilan, Karachay-Russian pop artist
1982 - Aiba Masaki, Japanese singer and actor
1985 - David Ragan, American race car driver
1986 - Edward Southall, English composer
1986 - Riyo Mori, Miss Universe 2007 from Japan
427 - Archbishop Sisinnius I of Constantinople
820 - Leo V, Byzantine Emperor (assassinated) (b. 775)
1257 - John I (b. 1218)
1453 - John Dunstaple, English composer (bc. 1390)
1524 - Vasco da Gama, Portuguese explorer (bc. 1469)
1660 - Mary (b. 1631)
1707 - Noël Coypel, French painter (b. 1628)
1813 - Empress Go-Sakuramachi of Japan (b. 1740)
1863 - William Makepeace Thackeray, English writer (b. 1811)
1865 - Sir Charles Lock Eastlake, English painter and writer (b. 1793)
1868 - Adolphe d'Archiac, French paleontologist and geologist (b. 1802)
1872 - William John Macquorn Rankine, Scotish physician and engenier (b. 1820)
1873 - Johns Hopkins, Baltimore philanthropist and businessman (b. 1795)
1889 - Jan Jakob Lodewijk ten Kate, Dutch poet and clergyman (b. 1819)
1898 - Sharbel Makhluf, Lebanese monk canonized in 1977 by Pope Paul VI (b. 1828)
1914 - John Muir, Scottish-born naturalist (b. 1838)
1935 - Alban Berg, Austrian composer (b. 1885)
1938 - Bruno Taut, German architect (b. 1880)
1941 - Siegfried Alkan, German composer (b. 1858)
1942 - François Darlan, vice-premier of Vichy France (b. 1881)
1957 - Norma Talmadge, American actress (b. 1893)
1972 - Gisela Richter, English art historian (b. 1882)
1972 - Melville Ruick, American actor (b. 1898)
1975 - Bernard Herrmann, American film composer (b. 1911)
1976 - Duarte Nuno, heir to the throne of Portugal (b. 1907)
1977 - Samael Aun Weor, Columbian writer (b. 1917)
1980 - Karl Dönitz, President of Germany (b. 1891)
1980 - Siggie Nordstrom, model, actress, entertainer, socialite and lead singer of The Nordstrom Sisters (b. 1893)
1982 - Louis Aragon, French writer (b. 1897)
1984 - Peter Lawford, English actor (b. 1923)
1985 - Robert Todd Lincoln Beckwith, Last Lincoln descendant (b. 1904)
1986 - Gardner Fox, American writer (b. 1911)
1987 - Joop den Uyl, Prime Minister of the Netherlands (b. 1919)
1987 - M. G. Ramachandran, Chief Minister of the Tamil Nadu (b. 1917)
1990 - Thorbjørn Egner, Norwegian author (b. 1922)
1992 - Peyo, Belgian comics artist, and creator of The Smurfs (b. 1928)
1992 - Bobby LaKind, American musician and singer ( The Doobie Brothers) (b. 1945)
1993 - Norman Vincent Peale, American writer (b. 1898)
1994 - John Boswell, American historian (b. 1947)
1994 - Rossano Brazzi, Italian actor and singer (b. 1916)
1997 - Toshirô Mifune, Japanese actor (b. 1920)
1997 - Pierre Péladeau, Quebec businessman, founder of Quebecor (b. 1925)
1999 - João Baptista de Oliveira Figueiredo, President of Brazil (b. 1918)
1999 - Maurice Couve de Murville, French politician, Prime minister of France (b. 1907)
1999 - Bill Bowerman, American track and field coach
2000 - Nick Massi, American singer ( The Four Seasons) (b. 1935)
2002 - Kjell Aukrust, Norwegian author (b. 1920)
2002 - Laci Peterson, American murder victim (b. 1975)
2004 - Johnny Oates, baseball player and manager (b. 1946)
2005 - Michael Vale, American commercial actor (b. 1922)
2006 - "Braguinha", Brazilian songwriter (b. 1907)
2006 - Kenneth Sivertsen, Norwegian singer, poet and comedian (b. 1961)
2006 - Frank Stanton, American television executive (b. 1908)
Holidays and observances Edit
December 24 is celebrated as the day before Christmas, thus called Christmas Eve.
Calendar of saints: Feast of Saint Adela and Saint Irmina.
It is the day when food is traditionally set out for Santa Claus and his reindeer. Children around the world are urged to go to bed early so they are not awake when he arrives.
In Portugal, Germany, Switzerland, Hungary, Finland, Denmark, Sweden, Iceland, Norway, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and the Dominican Republic, among others, this is the day that presents are exchanged and opened.
The Declaration of Christmas Peace takes place in the Old Great Square of Turku, Finland's official Christmas City, according to old traditions dating back to the Middle Ages.
External links Edit
81 Familypedia people were born on December 24
103 Familypedia people died on December 24
81 Familypedia people were first married on December 24