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This Day in History for December 25

352 – 1st definite date Christmas was celebrated on December 25th.

1621 – Governor William Bradford of Plymouth Colony (now in Massachusetts) forbids game playing on Christmas.

1818 – Handel’s Messiah, premieres in the US in Boston.

1868 – Despite bitter opposition, US President Andrew Johnson grants unconditional pardon to all persons involved in Southern rebellion (Civil War)

1896 – “Stars & Strips Forever” written by John Philip Sousa.

1915 – Irving Berlin & Harry B. Smith’s musical premieres in NYC.

1930 – Mt Van Hoevenberg bobsled run at Lake Placid, NY opens, 1st US bobsled run open to public.

1931 – NY’s Metropolitan Opera broadcast an entire opera over radio.

1938 – George Cukor announces Vivien Leigh will play Scarlett O’Hara in “Gone with the Wind”

1939 – Montgomery Ward introduces Rudolph the 9th red nose reindeer.

1958 – Alan Freed’s Christmas Rock & Roll Spectacular opens.

1962 – “To Kill a Mockingbird”, a film adaptation of the novel by Harper Lee, directed by Robert Mulligan and starring Gregory Peck, is released (Gregory Peck – Best Actor Academy Awards 1963)

1965 – US President Lyndon B. Johnson orders a halt to bombing operations in North Vietnam, hoping to spur peace talks.

1968 – Frank Borman’s Christmas reading while orbiting the Moon.

1983 – 1st live telecast of Christmas Parade at the EPCOT Centre, Disney World Florida.

1997 – For 1st time US movie box office receipts pass $6 billion.

2003 – The ill-fated Beagle 2 probe which was released from the Mars Express Spacecraft on December 19, disappears shortly before its scheduled landing.

2008 – Phil Jackson becomes the sixth coach in NBA history to win 1,000 games.

2013- “The Wolf of Wall Street”, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill, is released.

2014 – “Unbroken”, drama film directed by Angelina Jolie and starring Jack O’Connell and Domhall Gleeson, released in the United States.

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