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On this day in history - December 25

What Happened On This Day – December 25

  • 1989 Romanian President Nicolae Ceaușescu and wife Elena were executed

    The communist leader and his wife were deposed after a revolution. Their trial lasted for about an hour and then they were summarily executed by a firing squad.

  • 1979 USSR invades Afghanistan

    The airlift of Soviet troops into Afghanistan started a 9 year long war. The anti-Soviet insurgents, the mujahideen, received support from the United States and other western allies.

  • 1926 Hirohito becomes the 124th emperor of Japan

    Michinomiya Hirohito, known as Emporor Shōwa after his death, becomes the 124th emperor of Japan after the death of his father, Emperor Yoshihito. Hirohito was the Emperor of Japan for 62 years, making him the longest reigning Emperor of Japan.

  • 1809 First abdominal surgery performed

    American physician Ephraim McDowell became the first person in recorded history to successfully remove an ovarian tumor. He is known as the father of ovariotomy and abdominal surgery. The procedure took about 30 minutes and was performed without any anesthesia.

  • 1643 Christmas Island discovered

    Captain William Mynors on the East India Company ship Royal Mary did not stop at the Australian island, which owes its name to the date of its discovery by Europeans. It was not until 44 years later that the first Europeans stepped on the Island. Sparsely populated, the Indian Ocean island is rich in phosphate, which is mined from the guano – bird droppings.

Illustration of stork, signifying birth

Births On This Day,
December 25

  • 1984 Alastair Cook

    English cricketer

  • 1924 Rod Serling

    American screenwriter, producer, created The Twilight Zone

  • 1899 Humphrey Bogart

    American actor

  • 1876 Muhammad Ali Jinnah

    Indian/Pakistani lawyer, politician, founder of Pakistan

  • 1642 Isaac Newton

    English physicist, mathematician, astronomer, philosopher, theologian

Illustration of tombstone, signifying death

Deaths On This Day,
December 25

  • 2006 James Brown

    American singer-songwriter, producer, actor

  • 1989 Nicolae Ceaușescu

    Romanian politician, 11th President of Romania

  • 1983 Joan Miró

    Spanish painter

  • 1977 Charlie Chaplin

    English actor, director, producer, screenwriter, composer

  • 1963 Tristan Tzara

    Romanian/French poet, critic