12 Historical Events That Actually Happened On Christmas Day
On The First Day Of Christmas My True Love Gave To Me...
Washington Crosses the Delaware River
On Christmas Day, 1776, George Washington led the now famous crossing of the Delaware, surprising the Hessian mercenaries and achieving victory at the Battle Of Trenton. After a defeat in New York and retreat through New Jersey into Pennsylvania, this proved a pivotal victory for the Revolutionary Army's lowering morale, inspiring a new round of rebels to enlist in the Continental Army.
WWI Christmas Truce Soccer Games
Around and on Christmas Day in 1914, an unofficial truce and ceasefire was participated in by many companies and sectors along the Western Front of World War I. Soldiers even went so far as to enter No-Man's Land and hold joint funerals, fraternize, and sing Christmas carols together. During one of the darkest and most violent periods of human history, men came together and in peace and harmony, rather than hostility and bloodshed
Isaac Newton Was Born on Christmas Day
On Christmas Day 1642, one of the greatest minds to ever grace humanity was born: Sir Isaac Newton. Famous for his Laws Of Motion and his formulation for Universal Gravitation, becoming the standard for the next three centuries. Later in his life, Sir Isaac Newton began to dabble in prophecy and alchemy; demystifying the study into its true component: a science centered around the soul.
Mikhail Gorbachev Resigns as Soviet President
On Christmas Day 1989, the President of the Union Of Soviet Socialist Republics, Mikail Gorbachev, officially resigned from office. The very next day, the entire Soviet system collapsed, effectively ending the arms race historians refer to as The Cold War. This event created a marked shift in the balance of the world's major powers and contributed to the political situation we see today.
Andrew Johnson Pardons All Confederate Soldiers
The United States Civil War was one of the bloodiest conflicts the nation had ever seen, with casualties grossing the counts of both World Wars combined. On Christmas Day in 1868, President Andrew Johnson pardoned all peoples who participated in the military campaign of the Confederacy to those who swore an oath of allegiance to the United States; thus, adding a major step towards healing the broken nation.
Pope Leo III Crowns Charlemagne Roman Emperor
On Christmas Day, the year of our lord 800, AD, Pope Leo III crowned Charlemagne or Charles the Great as the First Roman Emperor since antiquity, creating the Holy Roman Empire, which would last for a thousand years. For the first time since Rome fell, Western Europe was unified into one Christian Kingdom. Charlemagne would serve as a light of hope in the European Dark Ages.
William The Conqueror Crowned King Of England
On Christmas Day in 1066, William The Conqueror was crowned King Of England after his victory at the Battle of Hastings completing his conquest of the English mainland. Being of Viking stock, he certainly had an advantage in war, achieving the first successful cross-channel assault since the Romans conquered Briton. The outcome at the Battle of Hastings is one of the most defining moments of English history.
Halley’s Comet Confirmed
On Christmas Day, 1758, Edmund Halley's prediction of the return of the comet know known as Halley's Comet was confirmed. He calculated that an object which was observed every 75-76 years was in fact the same object in an orbit around the sun. He predicted its return in 1758 and was proved right on Christmas Day!
Soviet Union Invades Pakistan
On Christmas Day, 1979, the Union Of Soviet Socialist Republics deployed its first troops, initiating the Soviet-Afghan War that would last over nine years. Many historians have called this conflict "The Soviet's Vietnam," due to the prolonged nature of the conflict and the general sense of loss that accompanied it.
Hirohito Becomes Emperor Of Japan
On Christmas Day, 1926, Emperor Hirohito was crowned the 124th Emperor of Japan. His rule would see the rise of General Tojo, would was de-facto ruler in Imperial Japan during the Second World War. His rule lasted until his death in 1989, when his son inherited the Imperial Throne.
Columbus' Santa Maria Sinks Off Hispañola
On Christmas Day of 1492, off the coast of Hispaniola, Christopher Columbus' ship the Santa Maria ran aground and was used as target practice in order to impress the native peoples before sinking into the ocean. At the time, Columbus he had reached India, but had actually reached an entire new continent.
Japan Takes Hong Kong
On Christmas Day, 1941, Japan announced the surrender of the British and Canadian garrison protecting the port of Hong Kong. This was just another defeat in the early days of the war when the Axis Powers seemed completely unstoppable and utterly invincible.
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