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This Day in History for December 24

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

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

1893 – Henry Ford completes his first useful petrol/gasoline fueled 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 – Richard Rodgers Theater opens at 226 W 46th, NYC.

1941 – Attack on Pearl Harbor, first ships of Admiral Nagumo’s Pearl Harbor fleet returned to Japan

1943 – US President FDR appoints General Eisenhower Supreme Commander of the Allied forces.

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

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

1966 – USAF C144 military charter aircraft crashes near Binh Thai, Vietnam, killing 129.

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

1973 – District of Columbia Home Rule Act is passed, allowing residents of Washington, D.C. to elect their own local government.

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

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

1982 – Chaminade, with a student body of only 850 students, beats #1 ranked Virginia 77-72 in a holiday basketball classic.

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

2000 – The Texas 7 hold up a sports store in Irving, Texas.  Police officer Aubrey Hawkins is shot during the robbery.

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

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