1974 : Thousands are left homeless and more than 30 people are feared dead after cyclone Tracy with winds of up to 135mph hits the northern Australian city of Darwin on Christmas Day.
In Kentucky a small pox epidemic was raging with hundreds of people stricken. The mortality rate was 20% and health authorities demanded that every person in the state be vaccinated.
The soldiers of Germany, Russia, France, and Britain call a Christmas truce with soldiers crossing the area of no mans land calling out "Merry Christmas" in their enemies' native tongues.
1926 : Hirohito becomes the 124th Emperor of Japan, succeeding his father, Emperor Yoshihito.
Sixteen Indian sailors revolted and quit their posts when they heard that their ship was going to America. They were terrified that they would perish to death from the cold. The rebellious sailors were thrown in prison.
A long tour of 16,000 miles over North Africa was made by 27 French pilots in the air corps. They returned at Christmas and got a wildly enthusiastic response at home.
An Anglo-American pact signed in London would allow certain gifts to the British from the U.S. to be mailed without customs or freight charges. Charitable organizations sending relief packages to groups or individuals in Britain were exempt from tariffs.
Celebrating Birthdays Today
Born: 25th December 1946 Pascagoula, Mississippi, U.S.
Known For : Jimmy Buffett best known as American Country and Western Singer whose career stretches back to the late 60's with some of biggest hits in the Seventies including Margaritaville. He has a large band of followers many of whom follow him around the country where he plays live concerts. He is also a successful businessman owning or licensing Food chains including "The Margaritaville Cafe restaurant chain" . He partnered with another country great Alan Jackson on "It's Five O'Clock Somewhere," in 2003 which made the number one slot on the U.S. country music charts and number 17 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Born: 25th December 1954 Ellon, Aberdeenshire, Scotland
Known For : Annie Lennox best known as a Scottish musician and recording artist, including her time as part of the pop duo Eurythmics who had a string of hits including "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)", and "Here Comes the Rain Again". Following her embarking on a solo career in the Nineties she has also had worldwide success with "Walking on Broken Glass", "No More I Love You's" and "Little Bird" She has been named as one of the 100 Greatest Singers of All Time by Rolling Stone magazine.
U.N. soldiers fighting communists in a very cold Korea celebrated Christmas with 42 Catholic priest and double that amount of Protestant ministers. One soldier commented, "This is the loneliest day of the year."
The young Queen Elizabeth gives her first Christmas broadcast on BBC radio from the study at Sandringham House
Reporter William F. Buckley, writing in The Kokomo Tribune, had visited South Vietnam and observed that 80% of the casualties were South Vietnamese and 20% were American troops. He felt that the U.S. was going about the war in the wrong way.
In a wave of hatred against America and the Shah a Colorado oil individual was attacked by three terrorists with machine guns and killed. In the sacred city of Mashad 9 demonstrators were murdered and 81 wounded.
In the new atmosphere of glasnost that Mikhail Gorbachev ushered in 70 Soviet children went to 3 American schools in the wealthy Riverdale section of the Bronx.
Ex Romanian president Nicolae Ceausescu and his wife Elena have been shot by a firing squad after a secret military tribunal found them both guilty of genocide and other crimes against the state.
Mikhail Gorbachev, leader of the Soviet Union for almost seven years and executive president for nearly two, steps down from office.
Statistics Canada made public a study on truckers which observed that one in five truckers worked 60 hours a week. Some truckers manipulated their records and worked over 100 hours a week. New legislation would allow them to work 70 hours a week which is 14 hours a day.
From 1962 Toys Page
A fire at a Christmas party at an unlicensed disco kills more than 300 people in Luoyang, China
Scientists lose contact with the British-built Mars probe, Beagle 2 is less than a meter across and had travelled to the red planet "piggyback" on the European Space Agency's Mars Express orbiter. Nasa successfully landed Spirit rover on Mars in 2004 which did send back astonishing images of the planet's surface.
2006 : Ethiopia supported the UN backed government in Somalia and sent war planes into Somalia to bomb villages that supported the Islamic movement.
2006 : James Brown, the Godfather of Soul, has died. He was 73. Admitted to hospital in Atlanta after being diagnosed with severe pneumonia he died at 01.45 Eastern time. Brown was famous for hits including I Got You (I Feel Good), Papa's Got a Brand New Bag and Living in America.
The Iraqi government protested on Monday after U.S. forces arrested a number of Iranian officials in Baghdad, allegedly because they were inciting attacks in the country. Two of the men detained were Iranians that had been invited to Iraq by President Talabani as part of an agreement to build better security links between the two countries. ( Most Officials were released a few days later and asked to leave the country )
One San Francisco Zoo visitor was killed and two others injured this evening when a tiger escaped from its cage. The tiger was fatally shot while it was attacking a patron, said San Francisco Fire Department spokesman Lt. Ken Smith. The attack happened shortly after the zoo's 5 p.m. closing time at a cafe on the east end of the zoo. The tiger cages are located near the center of the zoo.
Singer, dancer and actress Eartha Kitt has died at the age eighty-one. She died of colon cancer on Christmas Day her publicist said. Her famous hits included Old Fashioned Girl, C'est Si Bon and Santa Baby, and she was blacklisted in the U.S. in the late 1960s from having spoken out about the Vietnam War at a White House function.
The U.S. has condemned the Taleban video of an American soldier that was captured by the militants in June as an affront to his family at Christmas. The man in the film, who identifying himself as Private Bowe Bergdahl, criticises the U.S. over the Afghan War and relations with Muslims. A Taleban spokesman then called for the release of captured insurgents in exchange for their prisoner. His parents responded by appealing for his release.
2009 : Northwest Airlines Flight 253 was arriving at Detroit from the Netherlands. The flight was a failed al-Qaeda bombing attempt on Christmas Day in which a passenger tried to set off the plastic explosives that had been sewn to his underwear. There were two hundred and ninety passengers on the flight. The attempted bomber was an Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, who was twenty-three years old. The plastic explosives had failed to detonate properly, resulting in flames and popping noises. A Dutch passenger tackled and restrained him.
25th December, 2012 : Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France celebrated its 850th anniversary and commenced a year-long festival in honor of the historic landmark.
Authorities discovered an incomplete tunnel connecting Hong King to China. Chinese authorities believe the tunnel was being made with the intention of smuggling goods into Hong Kong to avoid tariffs.
From 1967 Toys Page
From 1965 Toys Page