TODAY IN HISTORY


Today is Saturday, Dec. 25, the 359th day of 2021. There are six days left in the year. This is Christmas Day.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Dec. 25, 1991, Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachev went on television to announce his resignation as the eighth and final leader of a communist superpower that had already gone out of existence.

On this date:

In A.D. 336, the first known commemoration of Christmas on Dec. 25 took place in Rome.

In 1066, William the Conqueror was crowned King of England.

In 1776, Gen. George Washington and his troops crossed the Delaware River for a surprise attack against Hessian forces at Trenton, New Jersey, during the American Revolutionary War.

In 1818, “Silent Night (Stille Nacht)” was publicly performed for the first time during the Christmas Midnight Mass at the Church of St. Nikolaus in Oberndorf, Austria.

In 1926, Hirohito became emperor of Japan, succeeding his father, Emperor Yoshihito.

In 1962, the movie version of “To Kill a Mockingbird,” adapted from the Harper Lee novel and starring Gregory Peck, opened in Los Angeles.

In 1995, singer Dean Martin died at his Beverly Hills home at age 78.

In 1999, space shuttle Discovery’s astronauts finished their repair job on the Hubble Space Telescope and released it back into orbit.

In 2006, James Brown, the “Godfather of Soul,” died in Atlanta at age 73.

In 2009, passengers aboard Northwest Airlines Flight 253 foiled an attempt to blow up the plane as it was landing in Detroit by seizing Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, who tried to set off explosives in his underwear. (Abdulmutallab later pleaded guilty and was sentenced to life in prison.)

Today’s Birthdays: Actor (“WKRP”) and Wilmington College grad Gary Sandy is 76. Singer Jimmy Buffett is 75. Pro and College Football Hall-of-Famer Larry Csonka is 75. Country singer Barbara Mandrell is 73. Actor Sissy Spacek is 72. Former White House adviser Karl Rove is 71. Singer Annie Lennox is 67. Country singer Steve Wariner is 67. Baseball Hall of Famer Rickey Henderson is 63. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is 50.