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This Day in History for December 24

This Day In History1777 – Kiritimati, also called Christmas Island, is discovered by James Cook.

1818 – Christmas carol “Silent Night” composed by Franz Xaver Gruber is first sung at St. Nicholas parish church in Oberndorf.

1851 – Fire devastates US Library of Congress in Washington, destroys 35,000 volumes.

1860 – Joseph Jefferson’s “Rip Van Winkle” premieres in NYC.

1889 – Daniel Stover & William Hance patent bicycle with back pedal brake.

1893 – Henry Ford completes his first useful petrol/gasoline fuelled engine.

1901 – Private companies allowed to use the word “postcard” in the US. Previously, they were labeled “Private Mailing Cards” and known as “souvenir cards”

1912 – Irving Fisher patents archiving system with index cards.

1924 – School in Babb’s Switch, Oklahoma, catches fire, 36 die.

1936 – 1st radioactive isotope medicine administered in Berkeley, California.

1939 – World War II: Pope Pius XII makes a Christmas Eve appeal for peace.

1948 – First US completely solar heated house is occupied (Dover, Mass)

1956 – “I Love Lucy” Christmas show airs, never put in syndication.

1964 – Shooting begins on “The Cage” the pilot for Star Trek.

1968 – Apollo 8 astronauts read passages from Book of Genesis.

1970 – Walt Disney’s “Aristocats” is released.

1974 – Former US astronaut John Glenn joins the Senate for Ohio.

1980 – Americans remembered Iran hostages by shining lights for 417 seconds.

1992 – US President George H.W. Bush pardons Caspar Weinberger for Iran-contra affair.

2001 – “Time Magazine” names New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani ‘Person of the Year’, for leadership after 9/11 attacks.

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