Monday, December 24, 2007

Today in History: December 24, 2007


On Dec. 24, 1814, the War of 1812 officially ended as the United States and Britain signed the Treaty of Ghent in Belgium.


In 1943, President Roosevelt appointed General Dwight D. Eisenhower supreme commander of Allied forces as part of Operation Overlord.

In 2002, Saddam Hussein said in an address read on television that Iraqis were ready to fight a holy war against the United States.

In 2006, Ethiopia sent fighter jets into Somalia and bombed several towns in a dramatic attack on Somalia's powerful Islamic movement; Ethiopia's prime minister said his country had been "forced to enter a war."


In 1865, several veterans of the Confederate Army formed a private social club in Pulaski, Tenn., called the Ku Klux Klan.

In 1980, Americans remembered the U.S. hostages in Iran by burning candles or shining lights for 417 seconds — one second for each day of captivity.

In 1997, Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, the aging revolutionary known as "Carlos the Jackal," was sentenced by a French court to life in prison for the 1975 murders of two French investigators and a Lebanese national.


In 1851, fire devastated the Library of Congress in Washington D.C., destroying about 35,000 volumes.


In 1968, the Apollo 8 astronauts, orbiting the moon, read passages from the Old Testament Book of Genesis during a Christmas Eve television broadcast.


In 2002, Laci Peterson was reported missing from her Modesto, Calif., home, by her husband, Scott, who was later convicted of murdering her and their unborn son.


In 1871, Giuseppe Verdi's opera "Aida" had its world premiere in Cairo, Egypt.

In 1920, Enrico Caruso gave his last public performance, singing Jacques Halevy's "La Juive" at the Metropolitan Opera in New York.

In 1951, Gian Carlo Menotti's "Amahl and the Night Visitors," the first opera written specifically for television, was first broadcast by NBC-TV.


In 1997, Japanese actor Toshiro Mifune died in suburban Tokyo at age 77.

In 2006, broadcasting pioneer Frank Stanton, CBS president for 26 years, died in Boston at age 98.

In 1524, Portuguese navigator Vasco da Gama — who had discovered a sea route around Africa to India — died in Cochin, India.


Songwriter-bandleader Dave Bartholomew is 87. Author Mary Higgins Clark is 80. Federal health administrator Anthony S. Fauci is 67. Recording company executive Mike Curb is 63. Rock singer-musician Lemmy (Motorhead) is 62. Actor Grand L. Bush is 52. Actor Clarence Gilyard is 52. Actress Stephanie Hodge is 51. The president of Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai, is 50. Rock musician Ian Burden (The Human League) is 50. Designer Kate Spade is 45. Rock singer Mary Ramsey (10,000 Maniacs) is 44. Actor Mark Valley is 43. Actor Diedrich Bader is 41. Singer Ricky Martin is 36. "American Idol" host Ryan Seacrest is 33.

Dec. 24, the 358th day of 2007. There are seven days left in the year. This is Christmas Eve.

compiled by Mondoreb
Source: Today in History


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