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This Day In History1621 – Governor William Bradford of Plymouth Colony (now in Massachusetts) forbids game playing on Christmas.

1651 – Massachusetts General Court ordered a five shilling fine for “observing any such day as Christmas”.

1809 – Physician Ephraim McDowell performs the first abdominal surgery in the U.S., an ovariotomy to remove a 22 lb. ovarian tumor.

1818 – 1st known Christmas carol (“Silent Night, Holy Night”) – “Stille Nacht, Helige Nacht) sung (Austria).

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

1896 – “Stars & Stripes Forever” written by John Phillip Sousa.

1914 – Legendary “Christmas Truce” takes place on the battlefields of WWI between British and German troops. Instead of fighting, soldiers exchange gifts and play football.

1930 – 1st US bobsled run open to public (Lake Placid, NY)

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

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

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

1959 – Richard Starkey (later better known as Ringo Starr) receives his first drum set.

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

1973 – “The Sting” directed by George Roy Hill and starring Paul Newman and Robert Redford premieres in Los Angeles and New York (Best Picture 1974)

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

1990 – The first successful trial run of the system which would become the World Wide Web.

1997 – Jerry Seinfeld says this is the final season of his TV show.

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

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