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First Confidential

 


THIS DAY IN HISTORY - DECEMBER 24th

The Praise of Christmas - A Visit from Saint Nicholas, Quote

'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house

'Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,

In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there.

~ “A Visit from Saint Nicholas

Wikiquote (A Visit from Saint Nicholas (also known as "The Night Before Christmas" and "'Twas the Night Before Christmas" from its first line, is a poem first published anonymously in 1823 and later attributed to Clement Clarke Moore, who acknowledged authorship. An argument has been made that it was actually written by Henry Livingston, Jr., a claim that has been hotly disputed.)

This Day in History

December 24th, 563

Global Earthquake epicenters Byzantine Empire is the great church of Hagia Sophia (Church of the Holy Wisdom) in Constantinople (562)

563 - The Byzantine church Hagia Sophia in Constantinople is dedicated for the second time after being destroyed by earthquakes.

Wikipedia  Image: Preliminary Determination of Epicenters / Aleppo Syria; Anchorage, Alaska - March 28, 1964 Prince William Sound USA earthquake and tsunami; 8.9 Mega Earthquake Strikes Japan; Tsunami Swirls Japan's Ibaraki Prefecture March 12 2011. credit NOAA / NGDC, NOAA National Geophysical Data Center, USGS, National Geographics.

Photo: Byzantine Empire is the great church of Hagia Sophia (Church of the Holy Wisdom) in Constantinople (562)


December 24th, 1144

Crusades collage: Crusades were a series of religious expeditionary wars blessed by Pope Urban II and the Catholic Church, with the stated goal of restoring Christian access to the holy places in and near Jerusalem - Jerusalem considered a sacred city and symbol of all three major Abrahamic faiths (Judaism, Christianity and Islam) Crusades: Battle of Montgisard; 1177, by Charles Philippe Larivière

Crusades
1144 - Siege of Edessa; The capital of the crusader County of Edessa falls to Zengi, the atabeg of Mosul and Aleppo.

Wikipedia  Image: The Siege of Antioch, from a 15th-century miniature; After the successful siege of Jerusalem in 1099, Godfrey of Bouillon, leader of the First Crusade, became the first ruler of the Kingdom of Jerusalem; Baldwin I of Jerusalem; Medieval image of Peter the Hermit, leading knights, soldiers and women toward Jerusalem during the First Crusade; The Battle of Ager Sanguinis, 1337 miniature; Pope Innocent III excommunicating the Albigensians, Massacre against the Albigensians by the crusaders; The capture of Jerusalem marked the First Crusade's success.
Crusades: Battle of Montgisard; 1177, by Charles Philippe Larivière.


December 24th, 1294

Catholic Ecumenical Councils: include 21 councils over a period of 1700 years. (While definitions changed throughout history, in today's Roman Catholic understanding Ecumenical Councils are assemblies of Patriarchs, Cardinals, residing Bishops, Abbots, male heads of religious orders and other juridical persons, nominated by the Roman Pontiff.) They meet to discuss matters of faith and Church discipline.

Catholic Ecumenical Councils:
1294 - Pope Boniface VIII is elected Pope, replacing Saint Celestine V, who had resigned.

Wikipedia  Photo: Catholic Ecumenical Councils include 21 councils over a period of 1700 years. (While definitions changed throughout history, in today's Roman Catholic understanding Ecumenical Councils are assemblies of Patriarchs, Cardinals, residing Bishops, Abbots, male heads of religious orders and other juridical persons, nominated by the Roman Pontiff.) They meet to discuss matters of faith and Church discipline.


December 24th, 1777

James Cook: portrait by Nathaniel Dance-Holland, c. 1775, National Maritime Museum, Greenwich; British explorer James Cook's ship was named the HMS Endeavour; Captain James Cook, Sir Joseph Banks, Lord Sandwich, Dr Daniel Solander and Dr John Hawkesworth, credit National Library of Australia (NLA) digital collections; Captain James Cook (1728-1779) is shown meeting Nootka leader Muquinna (died 1798) at Nootka Sound on what is now Vancouver Island, in 1778, during his explorations of Canada’s northwest coast, credit Canadian Military History

British Captain James Cook discovers Kiritimati (also called Christmas Island).

Wikipedia  Painting: James Cook, portrait by Nathaniel Dance-Holland, c. 1775, National Maritime Museum, Greenwich; British explorer James Cook's ship was named the HMS Endeavour; Captain James Cook, Sir Joseph Banks, Lord Sandwich, Dr Daniel Solander and Dr John Hawkesworth, credit National Library of Australia (NLA) digital collections; Captain James Cook (1728-1779) is shown meeting Nootka leader Muquinna (died 1798) at Nootka Sound on what is now Vancouver Island, in 1778, during his explorations of Canada’s northwest coast, credit Canadian Military History.


December 24th, 1814

War of 1812 collage Signing of the Treaty of Ghent: Admiral of the Fleet James Gambier is shaking hands with United States Ambassador to Russia John Quincy Adams; British Under-Secretary of State for War and the Colonies Henry Goulburn is carrying a red folder

War of 1812:
1814 - Treaty of Ghent is signed ending the War of 1812.

Wikipedia  Painting: Damage to the US Capitol after the Burning of Washington; HMS Shannon leading the captured American frigate USS Chesapeake into Halifax, Nova Scotia (1813); USS Constitution vs HMS Guerriere; the death of Tecumseh at Moraviantown; Oliver Hazard Perry's message to William Henry Harrison after the Battle of Lake Erie began with what would become one of the most famous sentences in American military history: "We have met the enemy and they are ours; "Andrew Jackson leads the defence of New Orleans; The mortally wounded Isaac Brock spurs troops on at the Queenston Heights.
Signing of Treaty of Ghent; Admiral of the Fleet James Gambier is shaking hands with United States Ambassador to Russia John Quincy Adams; British Under-Secretary of State for War and the Colonies Henry Goulburn is carrying a red folder.


December 24th, 1914

World War I: A cross, left near Ypres in Belgium in 1999, to commemorate the site of the Christmas Truce in 1914 (The text reads: 1914 – The Khaki Chum's Christmas Truce – 1999 – 85 Years – Lest We Forget.British and German troops hold a temporary truce on Christmas Day 1914 during World War I)

World War I:
1914 - the "Christmas truce" begins.

Wikipedia  Photo: A cross, left near Ypres in Belgium in 1999, to commemorate the site of the Christmas Truce in 1914. (The text reads: 1914 – The Khaki Chum's Christmas Truce – 1999 – 85 Years – Lest We Forget.British and German troops hold a temporary truce on Christmas Day 1914 during World War I)


December 24th, 1939

World War II: Second firestorm raid on Germany, the Royal Air Force conducts an air raid on the town of Kassel, killing 10,000 and rendering 150,000 homeless World War II: Battle of Leyte Gulf; Battle of Leyte Gulf; The first kamikaze attack: A Japanese plane carrying a 200-kilogram (440 lb) bomb attacks HMAS Australia off Leyte Island World War II: German V1 flying-bomb and V2 Rockets - Preparations for a Salvo Launch of V-2 Rockets in the Heidelager near Blizna (Poland) (1944) World War II: Eastern Front (World War II); was a theatre of World War II between the European Axis powers and co-belligerent Finland against the Soviet Union, Poland, and some other Allies which encompassed Northern, Southern and Eastern Europe from 22 June 1941 to 9 May 1945

World War II:
1939 - Pope Pius XII makes a Christmas Eve appeal for peace.
1941 - Kuching is conquered by Japanese forces.
1942 - French monarchist, Fernand Bonnier de La Chapelle, assassinates Vichy French Admiral François Darlan in Algiers.
1943 - United States General Dwight D. Eisenhower becomes the Supreme Allied Commander.

Wikipedia  Photo: Bombing of Dresden in World War II; August Schreitmüller's sculpture 'Goodness' surveys Dresden after a firestorm started by Allied bombers in 1945.
USS Bunker Hill was hit by kamikazes piloted by Ensign Kiyoshi Ogawa and another airman on 11 May 1945. 389 personnel were killed or missing from a crew of 2,600; Ensign Kiyoshi Ogawa, who flew his aircraft into the USS Bunker Hill during a Kamikaze mission on 11 May 1945; Kamikaze Missions - Lt Yoshinori Yamaguchi's Yokosuka D4Y3 (Type 33 Suisei) "Judy" in a suicide dive against USS Essex. The dive brakes are extended and the non-self-sealing port wing tank is trailing fuel vapor and/or smoke 25 November 1944.
German V1 flying-bomb and V2 Rockets - Preparations for a Salvo Launch of V-2 Rockets in the Heidelager near Blizna (Poland) (1944), credit German History in Documents and Images GHDI.

Eastern Front (World War II); Germans race towards Stalingrad. August 1942; Soviet children during a German air raid in the first days of the war, June 1941, by RIA Novosti archive; Soviet sniper Roza Shanina in 1944. About 400,000 Soviet women served in front-line duty units Caucasus Mountains, winter 1942/43; Finnish ski patrol: the invisible enemy of the Soviet Army with an unlimited supply of skis; Men of the German Engineers Corps cross a river which is swollen after the first autumn rains, to strengthen bridges linking the German positions on the central front in Russia. by Keystone / Getty Images. October 1942; Russian snipers fighting on the Leningrad front during a blizzard. Photo by Hulton Archive / Getty Images, 1943; German soldiers surrendering to the Russians in Stalingrad, the soldier holding the white flag of surrender is dressed in white so that there could be no doubt of his intentions, a Russian soldier is on the right of the photograph. by Keystone / Getty Images, January 1943.


December 24th, 1951

Libya satellite / map (Libya becomes independent from Italy, December 24, 1951)

Libya becomes independent from Italy.

Wikipedia  Photo: Libya satellite / map (Libya becomes independent from Italy, December 24, 1951)".


December 24th, 1955

Tracking Santa thanks to Norad and Google Earth

NORAD Tracks Santa for the first time in what will become an annual Christmas Eve tradition.

Wikipedia  Image: Tracking Santa thanks to Norad and Google Earth.


December 24th, 1964

Vietnam War: Operation Swift; U.S. Marines engage the North Vietnamese in battle in the Que Son Valley

Vietnam War:
1964 - Viet Cong operatives bomb the Brinks Hotel in Saigon to demonstrate they can strike an American installation in the heavily guarded capital.
1966 - A Canadair CL-44 chartered by the United States military crashes into a small village in South Vietnam, killing 129.

Wikipedia  Picture: Vietnam_War; Side view of an HH-53 helicopter of the 40th Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron as seen from the gunner's position on an A-1 of the 21st Specialist Operations Squadron. (USAF Photo by Ken Hackman), Boston Globe


December 24th, 1968

Apollo Program: Apollo 11 first manned Moon landing and the first walk on the surface on the moon. Astronaut Buzz Aldrin walks on the surface of the moon near the leg of the lunar module Eagle. Apollo 11 Commander Neil Armstrong took this photograph with a 70mm lunar surface camera. Armstrong and Aldrin explored the Sea of Tranquility for two and a half hours while crewmate Michael Collins orbited above in the command module Columbia. The Blue Marble is a famous photograph of the Earth, taken on December 7, 1972, by the crew of the Apollo 17 spacecraft, at a distance of about 45,000 kilometres (28,000 mi)

Apollo program: Apollo 8; enters into orbit around the Moon, becoming the first humans to do so. They performed 10 lunar orbits and broadcast live TV pictures that became the famous Christmas Eve Broadcast, one of the most watched programs in history.

Wikipedia  Photo: Apollo Program: Apollo 11 first manned Moon landing and the first walk on the surface on the moon. Astronaut Buzz Aldrin walks on the surface of the moon near the leg of the lunar module Eagle. Apollo 11 Commander Neil Armstrong took this photograph with a 70mm lunar surface camera. Armstrong and Aldrin explored the Sea of Tranquility for two and a half hours while crewmate Michael Collins orbited above in the command module Columbia.
The Blue Marble is a famous photograph of the Earth, taken on December 7, 1972, by the crew of the Apollo 17 spacecraft, at a distance of about 45,000 kilometres (28,000 mi).


December 24th, 1997

The Three Witches from 'Macbeth', 1827 (The Picturesque Beauties of Shakespeare), by Alexandre-Marie Colin

Series of Christmas murders and attacks:
1997 - Sid El-Antri massacre in Algeria kills 50-100 people.
2000 - The "Texas 7" hold up a sports store in Irving, Texas. Police officer Aubrey Hawkins is murdered during the robbery.
2003 - The Spanish police thwart an attempt by ETA to detonate 50 kg of explosives at 3:55 p.m. inside Madrid's busy Chamartín Station.
2005 - Chad – Sudan relations; Chad declares a state of war against Sudan following a December 18 attack on Adré, which left about 100 people dead.
2008 - Lord's Resistance Army; a Ugandan rebel group, begins a series of attacks on Democratic Republic of the Congo, massacring more than 400.

Wikipedia  Painting: The Three Witches from "Macbeth", 1827 (The Picturesque Beauties of Shakespeare), by Alexandre-Marie Colin.