ON THIS DAY: December 25, 2018

December 25th is

Christmas Pudding Day

Kiss the Cook Day

Pumpkin Pie Day

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MORE! Clara Barton, Maurice Utrillo and Malak Hifni Nasif, click

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WORLD FESTIVALS AND NATIONAL HOLIDAYS

Christianity – traditional date for the birth of Christ

Angola – Family Day

Pakistan – Quaid-e-Azam (Great Leader)
Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s birthday

Taiwan – Constitution Day

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On This Day in HISTORY

36 – The forces of Emperor Guangwu of the Eastern Han, under the command of Wu Han, conquer the separatist Chengjia Empire, reuniting China

274 – A temple is dedicated to Sol Invictus by Roman Emperor Aurelian

Sol Invictus, usually identified by his seven-rayed ‘halo’

336 – The first recorded celebration of Christmas on December 25, during the reign of Emperor Constantine, the first Christian Roman Emperor

508 – Clovis I, king of the Franks, is baptized into the Catholic faith at Reims, by Bishop of Reims, later Saint Remigius

Merovingian coin from the reign of Clovis I

800 – Charlemagne is crowned first Holy Roman Emperor in Rome by Pope Leo III

1000 – The Kingdom of Hungary is established as a Christian kingdom by Stephen I

1066 – William the Conqueror, Duke of Normandy is crowned king of England at Westminster Abbey, London



1213 – King John of England orders 3,000 capons, 1,000 salted eels, 400 hogs, 100 pounds of almonds and 24 casks of wine for his Christmas feasts

1223 – St. Francis of Assisi assembles one of the first Nativity scenes, in Greccio, Italy

1415 – England’s Henry V orders food be given to citizens of Rouen trapped by his siege

1583 – Orlando Gibbons born, English composer of keyboard works, madrigals and fantasias for viols – six of his pieces are included in the first printed collection of English keyboard music, Parthenia



1642 – Sir Isaac Newton born, English mathematician who wrote ‘Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy’ (1687)



1665 – Lady Grizel Baillie born, Scottish songwriter; “And werena my heart light I wad dee” is her best-known song; her meticulously kept account books (1692-1746) contain much information about social life in 18th century Scotland

1741 – Anders Celsius develops the Centigrade temperature scale; in the same year, he had also overseen the building of the Uppsala Observatory, the oldest astronomical observatory in Sweden, where he worked on the temperature scale



1771 – Dorothy Wordsworth born, English author, poet and diarist; sister of William Wordsworth; noted for her diaries and Recollections of a Tour Made in Scotland, published in 1874, and Grasmere Journal, published posthumously, was taken from diaries of her life in the Lake District, where she lived with her brother and his family



1776 – General George Washington and his troops cross the Delaware River for a surprise attack against Hessian forces at Trenton NJ

Washington Crossing the Delaware, by George Caleb Bingham

1781 – Sydney, Lady Morgan born, Irish novelist and poet; The Wild Irish Girl



1809 –  Dr. Ephraim McDowell performs first ovariotomy, removing a 22-pound tumor from Jane Todd Crawford of Green County KY, who traveled 60 miles to Danville KY to brave the surgery without anesthetic or antisepsis, returned home 25 days later, and lived another 32 years

1814 – Reverend Samuel Marsden holds the first Christian service on land in New Zealand at Rangihoua Bay

1815 – The Handel and Haydn Society, oldest continually performing arts organization in the United States, gives its first performance

1821 – Clara Barton born, American nursing pioneer,  humanitarian, and almost sing-handedly, founder and first president (1881-1904) of the American Red Cross. At the outbreak of the U.S. Civil War, Barton worked as a U.S. Patent Office clerk and collected provisions and medical supplies for the Union Army. Restless with her limited role, and undeterred by War Department regulations and prevailing stereotypes, Barton distributed supplies and tended to the wounded and dying, despite life-threatening conditions. She was called “the angel of the battlefield” for her nursing of wounded soldiers. After the war, she helped to reunite missing soldiers and their families or resolve what happened to MIAs; later lectured to crowds about her war experiences.



1831 – The Christmas Rebellion, an 11-day uprising of 60,000 of Jamaica’s 300,000 slaves, planned as a peaceful general strike. Led by ‘native’ Baptist preacher Samuel Sharpe, blacks demand more freedom and a working wage of “half the going wage rate.” They take oaths to stay away from work until their demands are met by the plantation owners, who refuse all of their demands. The strike escalates into the largest slave uprising in the British West Indies – the reprisals are brutal, slaves are executed for any infraction, and buried in mass graves, and chapels of slave congregations destroyed

1837 – Zachary Taylor leads 800 men in the Battle of Lake Okeechobee FL against less than 400 Seminoles. His troops suffered heavy casualties, while the Seminoles lost only about a dozen warriors, but Taylor’s men succeeded in driving the Seminoles away across the Lake. The ‘Florida War’ lasted from December 1835 to August 1842, and is the longest and most expensive of the U.S. conflicts with Native Americans

1865 – Evangeline Booth born, English-American, first woman Salvation Army General; after the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, she led a mass meeting in New York’s Union Square, raising over $12,000 for Salvation Army relief work among the victims of the disaster 

1868 – U.S. President Andrew Johnson grants an unconditional pardon to all persons involved in the Southern rebellion that resulted in the Civil War

1876 – Muhammad Ali Jinnah born, founder of the nation of Pakistan, and its first Governor-General



1878 – Noël, Countess of Rothes, born, noted as a prolific philanthropist, especially for the Red Cross, as a nurse for wounded soldiers who turned her home into a hospital during WWI, and as a woman suffrage supporter. But she is best remembered for helping to maintain order and morale aboard her lifeboat during the 1912 Titanic disaster. She took a turn at the tiller, steering the boat clear of the sinking liner, then encouraged the other survivors, including a young woman whose husband went down with the ship, with her calm decisiveness and comforting words, while helping to row the lifeboat. She and the other survivors sang “Pull for the Shore” and “Lead Kindly Light” when the Carpathia, the ship which rescued them, was sighted. She then cared for the rescued women and children from steerage aboard the Carpathia, but shunned reporters who labeled her a heroine, giving the all credit to the cool head and skill of Seaman Jones, who was in charge of their lifeboat, and the other women aboard. She gave an inscribed silver pocket watch to Seaman Jones as thanks, and they wrote to each other for her Christmas Day birthday until her death in 1956



1883 – Maurice Utrillo born, French painter


Notre Dame de Clignantcourt, by Maurice Utrillo

1883 – Hana Miesel born in Belarus, then part of the Russian Empire; Israeli agronomist, Zionist and feminist; founder of Havat HaAlamot (the maidens’ farm) and a women’s agricultural school at Hahalal



1886 – Malak Hifni Nasif born, Egyptian feminist and writer. After graduating in 1903 at the top of her class from the Saniyyah Teacher Training College, she taught in the Girls Section of the Abbas Primary School, but was forced to quit when she married in 1907 because of an Egyptian law forbidding married women work as teachers. She began writing under the pen name Bahithat al-Badiya, and soon found out that her husband already had a wife and children which he had told her nothing about before their marriage. Though she stayed on as his second wife until her death, her writing became full of observations about the status of women in Egypt, and she corresponded extensively with women writers. She also wrote rebuttals to some of the writings of major male writers involved the growing nationalist political movement who wanted reforms for Egyptian men, but not for women. She was however opposed to the unveiling advocated by most of the other women’s rights activists of the time, and mostly wrote about making major reforms in the marital rights of Egyptian women, including ending polygamy, raising the minimum age for women to marry to at least age 16, and for women to have the right to divorce their husbands. But she was also concerned with better education for women, which she believed must not be in missionary schools, but in public schools controlled by Egyptians, which included the history and culture of Egypt in the curriculum



1889 – Lila Bell Wallace born, American magazine publisher and philanthropist; co-founder  in 1922 of Reader’s Digest with her husband. She gave an estimated $60 million USD to various charities in her lifetime

1890 – Robert Ripley born, American anthropologist and publisher

1899 – Humphrey Bogart born, legendary American actor and film star



1907 – Cab Calloway born, American Jazz composer-singer-bandleader

1911 – Louise Bourgeois born in Paris, French-American artist best known for her large-scale sculpture and installation art, but she was also a painter and printmaker; her work is somewhat related to both Surrealism and Feminist art,  but is not considered as fully part of either school


Spider – Louise Bourgeois

1917 – Why Marry? by playwright Jesse Lynch Williams, opens at New York’s Astor Theatre, the first dramatic play to win a Pulitzer Prize (1918)

1918 – Anwar el-Sadat born, Egyptian president who won the Nobel Peace Prize for negotiating a peace treaty with Israel

1921 – Zaib-un-Nissa Hamidullah (Bengali: জেবুন্নেসা হামিদুল্লাহ)born, Pakistani author, journalist, publisher, poet and feminist; a pioneer of Pakistani literature and journalism in English, and in women’s rights in Pakistan. Before independence, she was the first Muslim woman to write a column in an Indian newspaper. After independence, she became Pakistan’s first English-language woman columnist, writing for the Karachi daily newspaper Dawn, as well as a pioneering woman editor, publisher and political commentator when she founded Pakistan’s first glossy social magazine, the Mirror. She was also the first Pakistani woman included in press delegations sent to other countries. She was a founding member of the Pakistani Working Women’s Association and the Karachi branch of Business and Professional Women’s Foundation. In 1957, her magazine was banned for six months because of her outspoken editorials critising the harsh regime of Major-General Iskander Mirza. After refusing to publically apologise to ge the ban lifted, she appealed to the Supreme Court of Pakistan, which found in her favour, holding the ban order illegal and unconstitutional, making her the first woman journalist to win a case in the Pakistani Supreme Court



1924 – Rod Serling born, writer-producer of the iconic TV series, The Twilight Zone



1926 – Hirohito becomes Emperor of Japan after the death of his father Emperor Taisho

1929 – Christine Miller Jones born, American Democratic politician and teacher; member of the Maryland House of Delegates and served on the Economic Matters Committee (1982-1994); chaired the Legislative Black Caucus of Maryland (1991-1992); Assistant majority floor leader in 1994; died from injuries and burns a week after being rescued from a house fire in 2013



1935 – Jeanne Hopkins Lucas born, first African American woman elected to the North Carolina state Senate where she was originally appointed to finish out the term of Sneator Ralph Hunt in 1993, and then was re-elected six times, serving in leadership positions like Majority Whip and Senior Chair of the Appropriations on Education and Higher Education Committee



1937 – Arturo Toscanini conducts NBC’s first “Symphony of the Air” radio broadcast

1939 – “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens, is read on CBS radio for the first time

1942 – Barbara Follett born, British Labour politician and literary agent-business manager; Parliamentary Undersecretary, Department for Communities and Local Government (2009-2010); Undersecretary of State for Equality (2007-2008); Undersecretary of State for Department for Work and Pensions (2007);  Minister for the East of England, Regional Affairs (2007-2010); Member of Parliament for Stevenage (1997-2010); she left politics in 2010 to take over as CEO of the Follett Office, and literary agent for her husband, author Ken Follett

1941 – Admiral Chester W. Nimitz arrives at Pearl Harbor to assume command of the U.S. Pacific Fleet



1945 – Eve Pollard born Evelyn Pollack, Lady Lloyd, English author, journalist and editor; second woman editor of a UK national newspaper, at the Sunday Mirror (1987-1991), and the Sunday Express (1991-1994); in 1985, launch editor-in-chief of ELLE magazine in the U.S.; published books include Jackie, a biography of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, and her novels Splash, Best of Enemies and Unfinished Business 



1946 – Jimmy Buffet born, American songwriter-musician



1948 – Kay S. Hymowitz born, American nonfiction author, and contributor to the Wall Street Journal; books include Liberation’s children: parents and kids in a postmodern age, and Marriage and caste in America: separate and unequal families in a post-marital age 



1950 – The Stone of Scone is taken from Westminster Abbey by four Scottish nationalist students and returned to Scotland, although broken in two during the extrication.  It is taken back by England in 1951, but ultimately returned to Scotland in 1996. The Stone of Scone is the ancient coronation stone of the monarchs of Scotland, captured by English King Edward I in 1296 and taken to Westminster Abbey, fitted into the base of a wooden chair, and subsequently used for the coronations of English monarchs. Although there is a legend that the true stone was hidden by monks from Edward’s army, and the English got a fake, the supposed real stone has never been found



1958 –‘The Chipmunk Song’ becomes the only Christmas song in U.S. history to be #1 on Christmas Day



1959 – Richard Starkey, aka Ringo Starr, receives a drum set for Christmas



1961 – Íngrid Betancourt born, Colombian Oxygen Green Party politician, and anti-corruption activist, with dual Columbian and French citizenship; Senator of Colombia (1998-2002); Member of the Chamber of Representatives of Colombia (1994-1998). She was kidnapped by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) in February 2002 while campaigning for the Colombian presidency as a Green, and was rescued by Colombian security forces six and a half years later in July 2008, along with 14 other hostages (three U.S. citizens, and 11 Colombian policemen and soldiers)



1962 – The Soviet Union conducts its final above-ground nuclear weapon test, in anticipation of the 1963 Partial Nuclear Test Ban Treaty

1968 – Apollo 8 performs the first successful Trans-Earth injection (TEI) maneuver, sending its crew and spacecraft on a trajectory back to Earth from Lunar orbit

1977 – Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin meets with President Anwar Sadat in Egypt. They had met in November in Israel, and Sadat had addressed the Knesset

1989 – Deposed President of Romania Nicolae Ceaușescu and his wife, First-Deputy Prime-Minister Elena are condemned to death and executed after a summary trial

1989 – Dissident playwright Vaclav Havel is elected as president of Czechoslovakia



1991 – Mikhail Gorbachev resigns as President of the Soviet Union (the union itself is dissolved the next day). Ukraine’s referendum is finalized and it officially leaves the Soviet Union

2000 – Russian President Vladimir Putin signs a bill into law that officially establishes a new National anthem of Russia, with music adopted from the anthem of the Soviet Union that was composed by Alexander Vasilyevich Alexandrov

2004 – The Cassini orbiter releases Huygens probe which successfully lands on Saturn’s moon Titan on January 14, 2005


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About wordcloud9

Nona Blyth Cloud has lived and worked in the Los Angeles area for the past 50 years, spending much of that time commuting on the 405 Freeway. After Hollywood failed to appreciate her genius for acting and directing, she began a second career managing non-profits, from which she has retired. Nona has now resumed writing whatever comes into her head, instead of reports and pleas for funding. She lives in a small house overrun by books with her wonderful husband.
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7 Responses to ON THIS DAY: December 25, 2018

  1. Akshaya Thulasi says:

    May your heart and home be filled with all of the joys the festive season brings and be wrapped with love and warmth. Live long and healthy life . Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year!

  2. wordcloud9 says:

    However you celebrate at this time of year, may you be joyous, connected with beloved family and friends, and full of the peace and beauty of the season.

    Thank you, Dear Readers, one and all!

    And very best wishes for the New Year.

  3. We wish everyone a happy holiday season and hope your Christmas Day has been filled with joy.

    We also remember the homeless, hungry, sick, and victims of war this day.

Comments are closed.