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This Day in History for December 24

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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, destroys 35,000 volumes.

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

1893 – Henry Ford completes his first useful petroleum fuelled engine.

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

1906 – Reginald A. Fessenden became 1st to broadcast music over radio (Mass).

1912 – Irving Fisher patents archiving system with index cards.

1924 – Richard Rodgers Theater (46th St. Chanin’s) opens at 226 W 46th NYC.

1936 – 1st radioactive isotope medicine administered, Berkeley, Ca.

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

1943 – FDR appoints Gen. Eisenhower supreme commander of Allied forces.

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

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

1974 – Cardinals’ Lou Brock is named Sportsman of the Year.

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 Honolulu holiday basketball classic.

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

1994 – Four Muslim fundamentalists capture Air France pilot in Algiers.

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

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