MPSHome Alumni Calendar Contact
This Day in History: December 25


1492 – The carrack Santa María, commanded by Christopher Columbus, runs onto a reef off Haiti due to an improper watch.

1776 – George Washington and the Continental Army cross the Delaware River at night to attack Hessian forces serving Great Britain at Trenton, New Jersey, the next day.

1837 – Second Seminole War: American general Zachary Taylor leads 1100 troops against the Seminoles at the Battle of Lake Okeechobee.

1868 – United States President Andrew Johnson grants an unconditional pardon to all Confederate veterans.

1941 – Admiral Chester W. Nimitz arrives at Pearl Harbor to assume command of the U.S. Pacific Fleet

1968 – Apollo program: Apollo 8 performs the very first successful Trans-Earth injection (TEI) maneuver, sending the crew and spacecraft on a trajectory back to Earth from Lunar orbit.

1974 – Marshall Fields drives a vehicle through the gates of the White House, resulting in a four-hour standoff.

2003 – The ill-fated Beagle 2 probe, released from the Mars Express spacecraft on December 19, stops transmitting shortly before its scheduled landing.

2004 – The Cassini orbiter releases Huygens probe which successfully landed on Saturn's moon Titan on January 14, 2005.

2009 – Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab unsuccessfully attempts a terrorist attack against the US while on board a flight to Detroit Metro Airport Northwest Airlines Flight 253


1821 – Clara Barton, American nurse and humanitarian, founded the American Red Cross (d. 1912)

1878 – Louis Chevrolet, Swiss-American race car driver and businessman, co-founded Chevrolet (d. 1941)

1886 – Kid Ory, American trombonist and bandleader (d. 1973)

1887 – Conrad Hilton, American businessman, founded the Hilton Hotels & Resorts (d. 1979)

1889 – Lila Bell Wallace, American publisher and philanthropist, co-founded Reader's Digest (d. 1984)

1890 – Robert Ripley, American anthropologist and publisher, founded Ripley's Believe It or Not! (d. 1949)

1899 – Humphrey Bogart, American actor and singer (d. 1957)

1907 – Cab Calloway, American singer-songwriter and bandleader (The Cab Calloway Orchestra) (d. 1994)

1911 – Louise Bourgeois, French-American sculptor and painter (d. 2010)

1922 – William Demby, American author (d. 2013)

1924 – Rod Serling, American screenwriter and producer, created The Twilight Zone (d. 1975)

1946 – Jimmy Buffett, American singer-songwriter, guitarist, producer, and actor

1948 – Barbara Mandrell, American singer-songwriter and actress


1868 – Linus Yale, Jr., American engineer and businessman (b. 1821)

1946 – W. C. Fields, American actor, juggler, and screenwriter (b. 1880)

1949 – Leon Schlesinger, American animator and producer, founded Warner Bros. Cartoons (b. 1884)

1989 – Benny Binion, American poker player and businessman (b. 1904)

1989 – Billy Martin, American baseball player and manager (b. 1928)

1995 – Dean Martin, American singer and actor (b. 1917)

2006 – James Brown, American singer-songwriter, producer, and actor (b. 1933)

2015 – Robert Spitzer, American psychiatrist and academic (b. 1932)