December 26 in Pop Culture History

December 26th History, Trivia, and Fun Facts

December 26th History Highlights

  • 1898 – Marie and Pierre Curie announced the isolation of radium.
  • 1908 – Jack Johnson became the first black heavyweight boxing champion, after defeating Tommy Burns in Australia.
  • 1991 – The Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union formally dissolved the Soviet Union.
  • If you were born on December 26th,
    You were likely conceived the week of… April 3rd (same year)

December 26th is…

Boxing Day (in the United Kingdom)
National Candy Cane Day
National Thank You Note Day
National Whiner’s Day

Kwanzaa is Celebrated December 26 to January 1

Kwanzaa is a week-long secular holiday that celebrates African American heritage. Each year it is celebrated from December 26th to January 1st. Kwanzaa was founded by a black nationalist by the name of Ron Karenga in 1966. The name is derived from the Swahili phrase, “matunda ya kwanza” which means “first fruits.”

The additional “a” was added to represent the seven children in the United Slaves Organization at the time. Karenga also wanted the seven letters to represent the “Seven Principles of Blackness.” Each one of the principles represents one day of the celebration, which are as follows: umoja (unity), kujichagulia (self-determination), ujima (collective work and responsibility), ujamaa (cooperative economics), nia (purpose), kuumba (creativity), imani (faith).

Kwanzaa was established as a means to help African Americans reconnect with their African culture and heritage. It was originally created by Karenga to spread offensive views about the Christian Faith.

During Kwanzaa, people decorate their houses with colorful art and African cloth. Fresh fruits are put out on tables as centerpieces to represent African idealism. The colors of Kwanzaa are black, which represents the people, red, which represents struggle, and green which represents the future. During the celebration, observers must choose a central place in their homes for the symbols of Kwanzaa.

The celebration includes drumming and musical selections, libations, which are a reading of the “African Pledge” and the Principles of Blackness, a reflection of Pan-African colors, a candle lighting ritual, artistic performances, and a feast. Zawadi (gifts) such as books and heritage symbols are given to the children.

Each day, observers greet each other with, “Habri Gani” which means “What’s the news?”

The last day of Kwanzaa is the first day of the New Year; it is a day of self-reflection and reflection on life and future of people, and the recommitment of one’s highest cultural values.

Kwanzaa celebrates family, community and culture. The holiday is built on the five fundamental activities of the continental African “first fruit” celebration which are: ingathering, reverence, commemoration, recommitment, and celebration. Although it may seem like it, Kwanzaa is NOT a religious holiday; it is a celebration of heritage and culture.

December 26th Birthday Quotes

“All about us we see a world in revolt; but revolt is negative a mere finishing-off process. In the midst of destruction, we carry with us also our creation, our hopes, our strength, our urge to be fulfilled. The climate changes as the wheel turns, and what is true for the sidereal world is true for man. The last two thousand years have brought about a duality in man such as he never experienced before, and yet the man who dominates this whole period was one who stood for wholeness, one who proclaimed the Holy Ghost. No life in the whole history of man has been so misinterpreted, so woefully misunderstood as Christ’s.”
– Henry Miller

“Banks have a new image. Now you have ‘a friend,’ your friendly banker. If the banks are so friendly, how come they chain down the pens?”
– Alan King

“I felt obligated to change music to art, the same way that Galileo proved the Earth was round to the world and that the Sun did not stand still.”
– Phil Spector

“I used to like to break into other people’s houses and sit in their rooms. I found it very comforting to be in someone’s empty house.”
– Jared Leto

“I’ve always said I have an amazing team and network of friends and people that I work with that, you know, inspire me and enable me to do what I do.”
– Alexander Wang

“I dreamt I slept on a sidewalk, but you still laid with me. I dreamt I fell into a lion’s den, and you still came for me. I dreamt I lost all of my faith, and you still prayed for me.”
– Jon Bellion, in Conversations With My Wife

December 26th Birthdays

1863 – Charles Pathé, French record producer, co-founder of Pathé Records (died in 1957)
1891 – Henry Miller, American writer (died in 1980)
1893 – Mao Zedong, Chinese politician (died in 1976)
1907 – Albert Gore, Sr., American politician (died in 1998)
1914 – Richard Widmark, American actor (died in 2008)
1921 – John Severin, American comic book illustrator (died in 2012)
1927 – Alan King, American actor, producer, and screenwriter (died in 2004)
1939 – Phil Spector, American music producer, and murderer
1945 – John Walsh, American television host, and activist, creator of America’s Most Wanted
1948 – Candy Crowley, American journalist
1963 – Lars Ulrich, Danish-American drummer and songwriter
1971 – Jared Leto, American actor, and musician
1983 – Alexander Wang, American fashion designer
1985 – Beth Behrs, American actress
1986 – Kit Harington, English actor
1990 – Jon Bellion, American rapper
1991 – Eden Sher, American actress

December 26th History

1610 – Countess Elizabeth Bathory had tortured and killed possibly hundreds of young girls for over a dozen years. She believed eating flash and bathing in their blood would keep her youthful.

1862 – Four nuns serving as volunteer nurses on board USS Red Rover were the first female nurses on a US Navy hospital ship.

1865 – James H. Mason of Franklin, Mass., was issued a patent (# 51,741) for a coffee percolator.

1878 – The first electric lighting in an American store was installed at John Wanamaker’s “Grand Depot” department store, Philadelphia, PA.

1906 – The world’s first full-length feature film, Story of the Kelly Gang (about 70 minutes) was presented in the Town Hall at Melbourne, Australia.

1908 – Jack Johnson became the first black Heavyweight Boxing Champion, defeating Tommy Burns in Australia.

1919 – Babe Ruth, of the Boston Red Sox, was sold to the New York Yankees by owner Harry Frazee, beginning the ‘Curse of the Bambino’, which lasted until 2004.

1941 – President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed a bill establishing the fourth Thursday in November as Thanksgiving Day in the United States.

1946 – Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel opened The Pink Flamingo Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.

1963 – The Beatles’ I Want to Hold Your Hand and I Saw Her Standing There were released as singles in the US.

1964 – #1 Hit December 26, 1964 – January 22, 1965: The Beatles – I Feel Fine

1966 – Maulana Karenga held the first Kwanzaa, in California.

1967 – A patent (# 3,359,678) was issued to Wham-O for their improvement of the Frisbee, an “aerodynamic toy to be thrown through the air ? in throwing games.”

1970 – #1 Hit December 26, 1970 – January 22, 1971: George Harrison – My Sweet Lord / Isn’t It a Pity

1973 – Based on William Peter Blatty’s 1971 novel, The Exorcist, starring Linda Blair, was released in theaters.

1982 – The (object?) of the Year in Time magazine was the personal computer.

2004 (Earthquake & Tsunami) Northern Sumatra, Indonesia. A series of tsunamis killed more than 225,000 people in eleven countries with waves up to 100 feet high. It was the deadliest natural disaster in modern history.

Tilly Smith, a 10-year-old British schoolgirl, saved her family and 100 other tourists from the 2004 Asian tsunami, by recognizing signs of tsunamis she had learned in a geography lesson two weeks before.

Today’s Random Trivia and Shower Thoughts

My daughter-in-law asked my grandson if he had seen Santa Claus on Christmas Eve. Little Jimmy said, “No, but I heard what he said when he stubbed his toe on the sofa.”

The biggest film of 2013: The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (Action/Adventure) earned ~ $424,000,000

TV Quotes… “Live long and prosper” (Spock) on Star Trek.

“How do you like them apples?” – Will Hunting (Matt Damon) #moviequotes

President pro tempore of the Senate David Rice Atchison was President of the United States for one day (March 4, 1849) because Zachary Taylor did not want to be sworn in on a Sunday.

Minnie Mouse’s full name is Minerva Mouse.

On my Porsche I have a bumper sticker on it that says “See, I told you my other car was a Porsche.”

“I joined the army ’cause my father and my brother were in the army. I figured I better join before I got drafted.” – Cruiser, in Stripes #moviequotes

“Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read.” – Groucho Marx

After he finished school, Benedict Cumberbatch took a year off to volunteer as an English teacher in a Tibetan monastery in Darjeeling, India.

Walter Matthau – Real Name: Walter Matuschanskavasky

The word “dude” first appeared in the 19th century to describe young men who were way too engrossed in the task of being fashionable.

According to the creator, a bikini can only be considered genuine if “it can be pulled through a wedding ring.”

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