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2004 : A tsunami caused by an earthquake under the Indian Ocean killed over 10,000 people in southern Asia, with many more feared dead. The tsunami in the Indian Ocean travelled at high speed and slammed into coastal areas with little or no warning. Officials in Indonesia, Sri Lanka and India have all reported death tolls in the thousands and the figures are expected to rise sharply over the next few days. Over the next 7 days the death toll rose to more than 216,000 people in 13 countries. At least 128,000 people died in Indonesia alone. This made it one of the worst natural disasters in modern times. Find More What happened in 2004
The largest mass execution in United States history takes place on this day in Mankato, Minnesota when 38 Dakota prisoners were executed by hanging. 392 Native Americans of the Dakota tribe were taken prisoner and put on trial at the end of the US-Dakota War. 303 of them were convicted and sentenced to death and 16 were given prison sentences in rushed trials where the defendants were not represented. President Lincoln reviewed the trial transcripts and commuted most of the sentences.
1908 : In Montana Fred McCullom was murdered by his brother Harry in his father's pharmacy while the store was full of Christmas shoppers. The Marshal was called in but could not subdue the brothers.
Ten year old Helene Jacqueline was recognized by the French army as a hero. German soldiers shot her father and brother, but she would not reveal secret information about the underground French army to the enemy.
In Turkey President Muatapha Kemal issued restrictions on narcotic drugs. At a Christmas day meeting he decreed that 3 narcotics factories were to be closed and poppy growing would be limited to medical use only.
Nissan car company is started in Japan, it begins by selling it's cars under the Datsun name.
North Africa's fate rested on General Maxine Weygand, previous leader of the French military, who was commissioned to go to Africa and maintain the French colonies according to the wishes of the Vichy government. France did not want to surrender her colonies to the German-Italian partnership.
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Born: 26th December 1893 Shaoshan, Xiangtan, Hunan, Qing Dynasty
Died: September 9th 1976 Beijing, People's Republic of China
Known For : Mao Zedong was a Marxism-Leninism Communist and is known as the Leader of People's Republic of China (PRC) from its establishment in 1949 until his death in 1976. The book created of his quotations ( Quotations from Chairman Mao Zedong ) or as it was known in the west "The Little Red Book" , was published by the Government of the People's Republic of China from April 1964 until approximately 1976 and is the most printed book in the twentieth century with over five billion copies printed and included quotes like this "The Chinese Communist Party is the core of the Chinese revolution, and its principles are based on Marxism-Leninism. Party criticism should be carried out within the Party" and "It is the responsibility of all to cultivate themselves, and study Marxism-Leninism deeply. It is also necessary for people to turn their attention to contemporary problems, along empirical lines". He is still regarded with esteem in China unlike many other communist leaders from around the world following their death and his philosophies and ideas still rule China today. His leadership of the country is seen differently by many who believe his purges of those not following his doctrine ( Estimated at over 50 million murdered ). His social-political programs, such as the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution are blamed for causing severe famine and damage to the culture, society and economy of China. But Time magazine still rate him as one of the 100 most influential people of the 20th century.
Winston Churchill becomes the first British prime minister to address a joint meeting of the United States Congress when he tells them the progress of the war in Europe.
A severe snowstorm covers the Northeastern part of the United States , burying New York City under 25.8 inches of snow in 16 hours; the severe weather was blamed for some 80 deaths.
Soviet-led Hungary was in an economic crisis and Premier Janos Kadar was going to ask the World Bank for a loan of 100 million dollars. Hungary was ready to take money even from capitalist countries. However, reports from Washington claimed that Kadar would not get the loan.
Fifty-five Peace Corps members would be sent to Venezuela to improve public services at local levels. California State College was training them and the group was made up of architects, engineers, and lawyers.
While inflation was an issue in many other countries West Germany and Switzerland had managed to keep their inflation rates down to 4%.
Liberal party candidate, Jose Azcona Hoyo led three other hopefuls and won 50% of the votes. His three other opponents totaled 423,040 and Azcona won 519,394 votes.
1990 : Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has said the death sentence on writer Salman Rushdie for alleged blasphemy will remain in force. The fatwa on Salman Rushdie for publication of the The Satanic Verses considered offensive to the Islamic faith.
The wealthy and the impoverished in Canada were getting further apart despite a robust economy. Thirty-five thousand families were studied and 1/5 of the impoverished were getting poorer while 1/5 of the wealthiest were getting richer.
There's a bubbly bath, hand shower that really works and a vanity, too. Press one pump to fill the tub, another to spray the water from the hand shower. Includes tub, faucet and "mirror", 4 oz. bubble bath, soap and soap tray, towel, vanity chair, brush, comb, and more.
Hot Wheel Spiral Speedway has an elevated spiral track that climbs to a height of one and a half feet to provide excitement of vertical racing. Includes the Hot Ones Hot Bird and White Porsche, power wheels, booster, starting gate, access, even a working grease track.
Guatemala's hold it's first peacetime presidential elections in nearly 40 years and Alfonso Portillo becomes the president.
The "Queen of the Sea" train is struck by the Indian Ocean Tsunami killing an estimated 2000 passengers when it is buried under 40 ft of water. The Tsunami was created when the strongest earthquake in 40 years originates from the Indian Ocean close to Indonesia, measuring 9.3 on the Richter Scale.
Iran denied that Russia gave them a proposition to move their nuclear enrichment plants to Russian soil. However, Russia claimed that they did invite Iran to do so.
2007 : Iraq says that it may well grant amnesty to the thousands of prisoners in U.S. and Iraqi custody. These could be released if Iraqi lawmakers pass a law offering general pardons. The draft law offering amnesty to detainees was approved by the cabinet and forwarded to parliament on Wednesday, December 26th according to the Agence France-Presse. Mowaffaq al-Rubaie, Iraq's national security adviser, had said earlier in the month that the draft law was aimed at improving reconciliation between majority Shi'ite and minority Sunni Muslims.
The Taleban have ordered the closure of all girls’ schools in the Swat valley, and warned parents and teachers of the consequences if their ban is flouted. The announcement was been made in mosques and broadcast on radio. The militants have set a deadline of January 5th for its order to be obeyed, or it would blow up school buildings and attack schoolgirls. It also told women not to set foot outside their homes without being fully covered. 'Female education is against Islamic teachings and spreads vulgarity in society,' declared the leader of the group that has control over parts of the North West Frontier Province.
26th December, 2011 : Former South Korean first lady, Lee Hee-ho, was the highest profile mourner from South Korea to visit North Korea to mourn Kim Jong-il's death. Officials stated that her visit was not political in any way.
26th December, 2012 : Soul singer Fontella Bass died at the age of seventy-two after suffering complications from a heart attack. Bass was most well known for her 1965 song "Rescue Me" that had reached the top of the R&B charts in the United States.
Communist founder of the Republic of China Mao Zedong's birthday anniversary was celebrated across the country. The celebration marks the 120th birthday of the leader who died in 1976.
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