Today in History
1776 After crossing the Delaware River into New Jersey,
George Washington leads an attack on Hessian
mercenaries at Trenton, and takes 900 men
1786 Daniel Shay leads a rebellion in Massachusetts to
protest the seizure of property for the non-payment
1806 Napoleon’s army is checked by the Russians at the
Battle of Pultusk.
1862 38 Santee Sioux are hanged in Mankato, Minnesota
for their part in the Sioux Uprising in Minnesota.
Little Crow has fled the state.
1866 Brig. Gen. Philip St. George Cooke, head of the
Department of the Platte, receives word of the
Fetterman Fight in Powder River County in the
1917 As a wartime measure, President Woodrow Wilson
places railroads under government control, with
Secretary of War William McAdoo as director
1925 Six U.S. destroyers are ordered from Manila to
China to protect interests in the civil war that is
being waged there.
1932 Over 70,000 people are killed in a massive
earthquake in China.
1941 General Douglas MacArthur declares Manila an
open city in the face of the onrushing Japanese
1943 The German battleship Scharnhorst is sunk by
British ships in an Arctic fight.
1944 Advancing Soviet troops complete their
encirclement of Budapest in Hungary.
1945 The United States, Soviet Union and Great Britain,
end a 10-day meeting, seeking an atomic rule by the
1953 The United States announces the withdrawal of two
divisions from Korea.
1962 Eight East Berliners escape to West Berlin, crashing
through gates in an armor-plated bus.
1966 Dr. Maulana Karenga celebrates the first Kwanza, a
seven-day African-American celebration of family
1979 The Soviet Union flies 5,000 troops to intervene in
the Afghanistan conflict.
1982 Time magazine chooses a personal computer as it
“Man of the Year,” the first non-human ever to
receive th honor.
1991 The Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union formally
dissolves the Soviet Union.
1996 JonBenet Ramsey, a six-year-old beauty queen, is
found beaten and strangled to death in the
basement of her family’s home in Boulder,
Colorado, one of the most high-profile crimes of the
late 20th century in the US.
1996 Workers in South Korea’s automotive and
shipbuilding industries begin the largest labor strike
in that country’s history, protesting a new law that
made firing employees easier and would curtail the
rights of labor groups to organize.
1999 Lothar, a violent, 36-hour windstorm begins; it kills
137 and causes $1.3 billion (US dollars) damage in
2004 A tsunami caused by a 9.3-magnitude earthquake
kills more than 230,000 along the rim of the Indian
2006 Former U.S. President Gerald R. Ford dies at age
93. Ford was the only unelected president in
Born on December 26
1716 Thomas Gray, English poet.
1792 Charles Babbage, English mathematician who
perfected the calculating machine.
1891 Henry Miller, American writer.
1893 Mao Tse-tung, founding father of the People’s
Republic of China.
1894 Jean Toomer, poet and novelist who figured
prominently in the Harlem Renaissance (Cane ).
1905 William Loeb III, publisher of the Manchester Union
Leader (later The New Hampshire Union Leader),
one of the best-known small town newspapers in
1907 Albert Gore Sr., US Senator from Tennessee who
was instrumental in sponsoring and pushing
through legislation that created America’s Interstate
1914 Richard Widmark, actor ( Kiss of Death ); member of
Western Performers Hall of Fame.
1921 Steve Allen, radio and TV personality, actor,
musician, comedian, writer; hosted The Steve Allen
Show and I’ve Got a Secret ; won a Grammy for his
jazz composition “The Gravy Waltz” (1963).
1924 Frank Broyles, college football player and coach;
member of College Football Hall of Fame.
1927 Alan King, comedian, actor, producer, author (How
to Pick Up Girls, Night and the CIty).
1939 Phil Spector, record producer; creator of the “Wall of
Sound” production method; convicted in 2009 of
murdering actress Lana Clarkson, he was
sentenced to 19 years to life in prison.
1942 Dan Massey, social activist, author; co-founder and
CEO of VenusPlusX.
1945 John Walsh, TV personality, victims rights
advocate; created of America’s Most Wanted TV
series after the murder of his son Adam in 1981.
1947 USMC General James T. Conway, commandant of
the Marine Corps (2006-10); commanded 1st
Marine Expeditionary Force during the Second Gulf
2000 Samuel Sevian, chess prodigy; at age 12 became
youngest-ever United States International Master.
Today in History