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Daily Trivia Facts - December 24

Births

1166 - King John of England (d. 1216)
1389 - John VI, Duke of Brittany (d. 1442)
1475 - Thomas Murner, German writer
1491 - Ignatius of Loyola, Spanish founder of the Jesuit order (d. 1556)
1508 - Pietro Carnesecchi, Italian humanist (d. 1567)
1609 - Philip Warwick, English writer and politician (d. 1683)
1698 - William Warburton, English Bishop of Gloucester (d. 1779)
1724 - Johann Conrad Ammann, Swiss physician and naturalist (d. 1811)
1761 - Jean-Louis Pons, French astronomer (d. 1831)
1798 - Adam Mickiewicz, Polish poet (d. 1855)
1809 - Kit Carson, American frontiersman (d. 1868)
1812 - Karl Eduard Zachariae, German jurist (d. 1894)
1818 - James Prescott Joule, British physicist (d. 1889)
1822 - Matthew Arnold, English poet (d. 1888)
1837 - Elisabeth of Bavaria, Empress of Austria (d. 1898)
1845 - King George I of Greece (d. 1913)
1867 - Kantaro Suzuki, 42nd Prime Minister of Japan (d. 1948)
1868 - Emanuel Lasker, German chess player (d. 1941)
1880 - Johnny Gruelle, American cartoonist, children's book writer and creator of Raggedy Ann (d. 1939)
1881 - Juan Ramón Jiménez, Spanish writer, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1958)
1886 - Michael Curtiz, Hungarian-born director (d. 1962)
1895 - E. Roland Harriman, American financier (d. 1978)
1898 - Héctor Scarone, Uruguayan footballer (d. 1967)
1898 - Baby Dodds, American jazz drummer (d. 1959)
1905 - Howard Hughes, American film producer and inventor (d. 1976)
1910 - Fritz Leiber, American writer (d. 1992)
1914 - Herbert Reinecker, German writer
1920 - Evgeniya Rudneva, Russian World War II heroine (d. 1944)
1922 - Ava Gardner, American actress (d. 1990)
1923 - George Patton IV, American general (d. 2004)
1924 - Mohd. Rafi, Indian actor and playback singer (d. 1980)
1929 - Mary Higgins Clark, American author
1931 - Mauricio Kagel, Argentine composer
1937 - Felix Miéli Venerando, Brazilian football player
1941 - John Levene, British actor
1943 - Tarja Halonen, President of Finland
1945 - Lemmy Kilmister, British singer, bassist (Motörhead)
1945 - Nicholas Meyer, American author
1946 - Brenda Howard, American bisexual activist (d. 2005)
1949 - Randy Neugebauer, American politician
1950 - Dana Gioia, American poet
1955 - Clarence Gilyard, American actor
1957 - Hamid Karzai, President of Afghanistan
1960 - Carol Vorderman, British television presenter
1963 - Mary Ramsey, American singer (10,000 Maniacs)
1966 - Diedrich Bader, American actor
1968 - Doyle Bramhall II, American guitarist
1969 - Mark Millar, Scottish comic book writer
1970 - Will Oldham, American songwriter
1971 - Ricky Martin, Puerto Rican singer
1973 - Eddie Pope, American soccer player
1974 - Marcelo Salas, Chilean footballer
1974 - Ryan Seacrest, American television host

Deaths

427 - Sisinnius, Patriarch of Constantinople
820 - Leo V, Byzantine Emperor (assassinated) (b. 775)
1257 - John I, Count of Hainaut (b. 1218)
1453 - John Dunstable, English composer
1524 - Vasco da Gama, Portuguese explorer
1660 - Mary, Princess Royal and Princess of Orange (b. 1631)
1707 - Noël Coypel, French painter (b. 1628)
1813 - Empress Go-Sakuramachi of Japan, (b.1740)
1863 - William Makepeace Thackeray, English writer (b. 1811)
1865 - Sir Charles Lock Eastlake, English painter and writer (b. 1793)
1868 - Adolphe d'Archiac, French paleontologist and geologist (b. 1802)
1873 - Johns Hopkins, Baltimore philanthropist and businessman (b. 1795)
1889 - Jan Jakob Lodewijk ten Kate, Dutch poet and clergyman (b. 1819)
1914 - John Muir, Scottish-born naturalist (b. 1838)
1935 - Alban Berg, Austrian composer (b. 1885)
1938 - Bruno Taut, German architect (b. 1880)
1941 - Siegfried Alkan, German composer (b. 1858)
1942 - François Darlan, vice-premier of Vichy France (b. 1881)
1957 - Norma Talmadge, American actress (b. 1893)
1972 - Gisela Richter, English art historian (b. 1882)
1975 - Bernard Herrmann, American film composer (b. 1911)
1977 - Samael Aun Weor, Columbian writer (b. 1917)
1980 - Karl Dönitz, President of Germany (b. 1891)
1980 - Siggie Nordstrom, model, actress, entertainer, socialite and lead singer of The Nordstrom Sisters (b. 1893)
1982 - Louis Aragon, French writer (b. 1897)
1984 - Peter Lawford, English actor (b. 1923)
1986 - Gardner Fox, American writer (b. 1911)
1987 - Joop den Uyl, Prime Minister of the Netherlands (b. 1919)
1993 - Norman Vincent Peale, American writer (b. 1898)
1994 - John Boswell, American historian (b. 1947)
1997 - Toshirô Mifune, Japanese actor (b. 1920)
1999 - João Baptista de Oliveira Figueiredo, President of Brazil (b. 1918)
2002 - Kjell Aukrust, Norwegian author (b. 1920)
2004 - Johnny Oates, baseball player and manager (b. 1946)
2005 - Michael Vale, American commercial actor (b. 1922)

Events

640 - John IV becomes Pope.
1294 - Pope Boniface VIII is elected Pope, replacing St. Celestine V, who had abdicated.
1515 - Thomas Wolsey is named the English Lord Chancellor.
1715 - Swedish troops occupy Norway.
1777 - Kiritimati, also called Christmas Island, was discovered by James Cook.
1800 - Assassination attempt on Napoleon Bonaparte's life.
1814 - The Treaty of Ghent was signed which ended the War of 1812.
1818 - "Silent Night" composed by Franz Xaver Gruber.
1851 - Library of Congress burns.
1865 - Several US Civil War Confederate veterans form the Ku Klux Klan.
1906 - The first radio program, consisting of a poetry reading, a violin solo, and a speech, is broadcast.
1914 - World War I: The "Christmas truce" begins.
1924 - Albania becomes a republic.
1941 - Hong Kong falls to the Japanese Imperial Army.
1941 - Wake Island is conquered by Japanese forces.
1943 - US General Dwight D. Eisenhower becomes the supreme Allied commander.
1946 - France's Fourth Republic founded.
1951 - Libya becomes independent from Italy. Idris I is proclaimed King of Libya.
1953 - Tangiwai disaster: A railway bridge collapse at Tangiwai, New Zealand sends a fully loaded passenger train into the Whangaehu River, killing 153 people.
1953 - NBC's Dragnet becomes the first network-sponsored television program.
1954 - Laos becomes independent.
1966 - A Canadair CL44 chartered by the United States military crashes into a small village in South Vietnam, killing 129.
1968 - The crew of the USS Pueblo is released by North Korea after being held for 11 months on suspicion of spying.
1968 - The crew of Apollo 8 enter into orbit around the Moon, becoming the first humans to do so.
1969 - Curt Flood writes to Bowie K. Kuhn, the Commissioner of Baseball, asking to be declared a free agent .
1974 - Cyclone Tracy devastates Darwin, Australia.
1979 - The Soviet Union invades Afghanistan to support the country's Marxist government.
1979 - The first European Ariane rocket is launched.
1985 - A black bull blocks the Cross Harbour Tunnel in Hong Kong for three hours.
1987 - Japanese legendary rock band BOØWY declares their breakup at the Shibuya Kokaido.
1997 - The Sid El-Antri massacre (or Sidi Lamri) in Algeria kills 50-100 people.
1997 - The Dominican Republic becomes a member of the Berne Convention copyright treaty.
2000 - The Texas 7 holds up a sports store in Irving, Texas. Police officer Aubrey Hawkins is shot during the robbery.
2002 - The New Delhi Metro opens.
2003 - The Spanish police thwarts an attempt by ETA to detonate 50 kg of explosives at 3:55 p.m. inside Madrid's busy Chamartín Station.
2004 - The 2004 Christmas Eve Snowstorm delivers an extremely unusual snowfall to the southern United States.

Holidays

December 24 is celebrated as the day before Christmas, thus called Christmas Eve.
It is the day when food is traditionally set out for Santa Claus and his reindeer. Children around the world are urged to go to bed early so they are not awake when he arrives.
In Hungary, Finland, Denmark, Sweden, Iceland, Norway, the Czech Republic and Slovakia among others, this is the day that presents are exchanged and opened.
The Declaration of Christmas Peace takes place in the Old Great Square of Turku, Finland's official Christmas City, according to old traditions dating back to the Middle Ages.
     
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