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.
Births On This Day,
1984 Alastair Cook
1924 Rod Serling
American screenwriter, producer, created The Twilight Zone
1899 Humphrey Bogart
1876 Muhammad Ali Jinnah
Indian/Pakistani lawyer, politician, founder of Pakistan
1642 Isaac Newton
English physicist, mathematician, astronomer, philosopher, theologian
Deaths On This Day,
2006 James Brown
American singer-songwriter, producer, actor
1989 Nicolae Ceaușescu
Romanian politician, 11th President of Romania
1983 Joan Miró
1977 Charlie Chaplin
English actor, director, producer, screenwriter, composer
1963 Tristan Tzara
Romanian/French poet, critic