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December 24th History, Trivia and Fun Facts

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December 24th History Highlights

  • 1814 - Representatives of the United Kingdom and the United States signed the Treaty of Ghent, ending the War of 1812.
  • 1818 - The first performance of Silent Night took place in the church of St. Nikolaus in Oberndorf, Austria
  • 1851 - The Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., burned, destroying 35,000 books, about 2/3 of the library's collection.
  • 1945 - Five of the nine Sodder children become missing after their home in Fayetteville, West Virginia, mysteriously burned down.

There Is A Santa Claus

Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world. You tear apart the baby's rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived, could tear apart. Only faith, fancy, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, Virginia, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding. No Santa Claus! Thank God! he lives, and he lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay, ten times ten thousand years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.
- Francis Pharcellus Church in "Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus" New York Sun newspaper, 1897.

A scientist ought to have a healthy disregard for coincidences.
- Fritz Leiber

Failure? Scared to death of it.
- Ryan Seacrest

Everyone knows Newton as the great scientist. Few remember that he spent half his life muddling with alchemy , looking for the philosopher's stone. That was the pebble by the seashore he really wanted to find.
- Fritz Leiber

December 24th is...

Christmas Eve
Lat Minute Shopper's Day
National Egg Nog Day

December 24th Quotes

'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there.
- from A Visit from St. Nicholas, by Clement Clarke Moore

December 24th Birthdays

1166 - John, King of England, Magna Carta (died in 1216)
1761 - Jean-Louis Pons, French astronomer, found 37 comets (died in 1831)
1809 - Christopher 'Kit' Carson, American general and frontiersman (died in 1868)
1905 - Howard Hughes, American businessman, engineer, and pilot (died in 1976)
1910 - Fritz Leiber, American fantasy and science fiction author (died in 1992)
1922 - Ava Gardner, American actress (died in 1990)
1924 - Lee Dorsey, American singer-songwriter (died in 1986)
1944 - Mike Curb, American businessman, musician and politician
1945 - Lemmy, English rock singer-songwriter and bass player (died in 2015)
1961 - Wade Williams, American character actor
1962 - Kate Spade, American fashion designer, co-founder of Kate Spade New York (died in 2018)
1969 - Mark Millar, Scottish comic book author and creator
1971 - Ricky Martin, Puerto Rican-American singer-songwrite
1973 - Stephenie Meyer, American author
1974 - Ryan Seacrest, American radio host and television personality
1977 - Michael Raymond-James, American actor

December 24th History

1777 - Kiritimati, also called Christmas Island, was discovered by James Cook.

1801 - Richard Trevithick publicly displayed his "Puffing Devil," or "Puffer," the first steam-powered passenger vehicle. The steam engine was a prototype of steam powered trains.

1814 - The War of 1812 ended between the British Empire and the United States.

1818 - Silent Night (music: Franz Xaver Gruber, lyrics: Joseph Mohr) premiered in the church of St. Nikolaus in Oberndorf, Austria.

December 24, 1836 (fiction) RIP Jacob Marley, A Christmas Carol, Story

December 24, 1843 (fiction) The events of A Christmas Carol occurred, Story

1851 - A fire erupted at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., destroying about 35,000 books, including much of Thomas Jefferson's collection.

1865 - In Pulaski, Tennessee, a group of Confederate veterans formed the "Ku Klux Klan."

1889 - A bicycle with a back-pedal brake was patented (# 418,142) by Daniel Stover and William Hance of Freeport, Ill.

1914 - An unofficial 'cease fire' on the Western Front, the "Christmas truce" began. Both sides stopped fighting, shared gifts, and celebrated Christmas together. An estimated 100,000 British and German troops were involved.

December 24, 1941 (fiction) Steve Rogers was rejected from US military service, classified 4F, Marvel Cinematic Universe

December 24, 1951 - Amahl and the Night Visitors was broadcast live on NBC

1955 - The Lennon Sisters debuted on the Lawrence Welk Show (ABC)

1955 - NORAD Tracks Santa for the first time in what will become an annual Christmas Eve tradition, thanks to a misprinted phone number in a Sear's retail catalogue. For the first several years, it was run by the Continental Air Defense Command (CONAD) Center.

1968 - Apollo 8 broadcast to the Earth, and reported that there is a Santa Claus.

1972 - Entertainment Bob Hope gave his ninth (and final) Christmas show in Vietnam.

1973 - District of Columbia Home Rule Act was passed, giving residents of Washington DC the power to elect their own local government.

1988 - #1 Hit December 24, 1988 - January 13, 1989: Poison - Every Rose Has Its Thorn

1993 - Tombstone and Philadelphia were released in theaters.

1997- Woody Allen married Soon-Yi Previn, the adopted daughter of his former girlfriend Mia Farrow.

Today's Random Trivia and Shower Thoughts

... a man who thinks he's George Washington has been seeing a psychiatrist. He finishes up one session by telling him, "Tomorrow, we'll cross the Delaware and surprise them when they least expect it." As soon as he's gone, the psychiatrist picks up the phone and says, "King George, this is Benedict Arnold. I have the plans!"

The largest man-made lake in the U.S. is Lake Mead, created by the Hoover Dam.

The village of Carol Stream, Illinois is not named after a local stream, but is in fact one of only a few municipalities in the US named after a person's first and last name.

Jimmy Carter was the first president to admit to seeing a UFO.

Santa has to deliver presents to almost 22 million kids an hour, every hour, on the night before Christmas. That's about 365,000 kids a minute; about 6,100 a second.

Biggest film of 2015: Star Wars Ep. VII: The Force Awakens (Action/Adventure) earned ~ $936,000,000

TV Quotes... "Jane, you ignorant slut" (Dan Aykroyd to Jane Curtin) on "Saturday Night Live".

The drug term "trip" was first coined by U.S. Army scientists in the 1950's when they were experimenting with LSD.

"Don't empty my mind! Please, I beg you! My mind is all I have! I've spent my whole life trying to fill it!" - Dr. Hans Zarkov

The Queen's full title is "Her Majesty Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and of Her other Realms and Territories, Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith."

A group of Cobras is called a Quiver.

Despite their reputation, it is actually very rare for an opossum to have rabies because their body temperature is too low for rabies to survive and replicate well.

The Charles W. Howard Santa Claus School (established in 1937) is the longest continuously running Santa Claus School in the world.

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