Famous birthdays, deaths and events of December 24
1475 - Thomas Murner, German writer (d.c. 1537) 1508 - Pietro Carnesecchi, Italian humanist (d. 1567) 1588 - Constance of Austria, queen of Poland (d. 1631) 1754 - George Crabbe, British poet and naturalist (d. 1832) 1784 - Grand Duchess Elena Pavlovna of Russia, (d. 1803) 1798 - Adam Mickiewicz, Polish poet (d. 1855) 1809 - Kit Carson, American frontiersman (d. 1868) 1822 - Matthew Arnold, British poet (d. 1888) 1837 - Elisabeth of Bavaria a.k.a Sissi, Empress of Austria (d. 1898) 1843 - Lydia Koidula, Estonian poet (d. 1886) 1868 - Emanuel Lasker, German chess player (d. 1941) 1879 - Queen Alexandrine of Denmark, Queen Consort to Christian X (d. 1952) 1879 - Émile Nelligan, Quebec poet (d. 1941) 1881 - Juan Ramón Jiménez, Spanish writer 1886 - Michael Curtiz, Hungarian-born director (d. 1962) 1887 - Louis Jouvet, French actor and producer (d. 1951) 1893 - Harry Warren, American composer and lyricist (Chattanooga Choo Choo 1895 - E. Roland Harriman, American financier (d. 1978) 1898 - Héctor Scarone, Uruguayan footballer (d. 1967) 1898 - Baby Dodds, American jazz drummer (d. 1959) 1906 - Franz Waxman, German film composer (d. 1967) 1910 - Fritz Leiber, American writer (d. 1992) 1914 - Herbert Reinecker, German writer 1920 - Evgeniya Rudneva, Russian World War II heroine (d. 1944) 1922 - Ava Gardner, American actress (d. 1990) 1923 - Michael DiBiase, American wrestler (d. 1969) 1924 - Lee Dorsey, American singer (d. 1986) 1924 - Grigory Kriss, Russian Olympic champion fencer 1925 - Mohd. Rafi, Indian actor and playback singer (d. 1980) 1926 - Paul Buissonneau, French-born Quebec theatre director 1927 - Mary Higgins Clark, American author 1931 - Mauricio Kagel, Argentine composer 1931 - Ray Bryant, American jazz pianist and composer 1937 - Félix Miéli Venerando, Brazilian football player 1938 - Bobby Henrich, American baseball player 1941 - John Levene, British actor 1944 - Daniel Johnson, Jr. 1944 - Mike Curb, American musician 1944 - Barry Chuckle, British comedian 1945 - Lemmy, British singer 1945 - Nicholas Meyer, American author 1945 - Steve Smith, Canadian Comedian 1947 - Kevin Sheedy, coach of Australian Football League club Essendon FC 1948 - Frank Oliver, New Zealand rugby player 1949 - Warwick Brown, Australian racing driver 1950 - Dana Gioia, American poet 1951 - John D'Acquisto, baseball player 1955 - Grand L. Bush, American actor 1955 - Clarence Gilyard, American actor 1957 - Diane Tell, Quebec singer 1958 - Munetaka Higuchi, Japanese drummer 1959 - Keith Deller, British darts player 1959 - Anil Kapoor, Indian actor 1960 - Glenn McQueen, American animator (d. 2002) 1960 - Carol Vorderman, British television presenter 1963 - Jay Bilas, American basketball analyst 1963 - Mary Ramsey, American singer (10,000 Maniacs) 1963 - Caroline Aherne, British comedienne 1964 - Mark Valley, American actor 1965 - Millard Powers, American musician and songwriter 1966 - Diedrich Bader, American actor 1967 - Mikhail Shchennikov, Russian race walker 1968 - Choi Jin-sil, South Korean actress and model 1968 - Doyle Bramhall II, American guitarist 1968 - Marleen Renders, Belgian athlete 1969 - Mark Millar, Scottish comic book writer 1970 - Amaury Nolasco, American actor 1970 - Will Oldham, American singer and songwriter 1971 - Christopher Daniels, American professional wrestler 1971 - Ricky Martin, Puerto Rican singer 1971 - Giorgos Alkaios, Greek singer 1971 - Oro, Mexican professional wrestler (d. 1993) 1972 - Alvaro Mesen, Costa Rican footballer 1973 - Eddie Pope, American soccer player 1973 - Stephenie Meyer, Author 1974 - Marcelo Salas, Chilean footballer 1974 - Ryan Seacrest, American television host 1978 - Yıldıray Baştürk, Turkish footballer 1979 - Chris Hero, American professional wrestler 1980 - Tomas Kalnoky, American musician (Streetlight Manifesto) 1982 - Aiba Masaki, Japanese singer and actor 1982 - Robert Carmine, American singer 1985 - David Ragan, American race car driver 1986 - Riyo Mori, Miss Universe 2007 from Japan 1992 - Melissa Suffield, English actress
427 - Archbishop Sisinnius I of Constantinople, 1257 - John I, Count of Hainaut (b. 1218) 1453 - John Dunstaple, English composer (bc. 1390) 1813 - Empress Go-Sakuramachi of Japan, (b. 1740) 1863 - William Makepeace Thackeray, British writer (b. 1811) 1898 - Sharbel Makhluf, Lebanese monk canonized in 1977 by Pope Paul VI (b. 1828) 1914 - John Muir, British naturalist (b. 1838) 1935 - Alban Berg, Austrian composer (b. 1885) 1941 - Siegfried Alkan, German composer (b. 1858) 1957 - Norma Talmadge, American actress (b. 1893) 1972 - Melville Ruick, American actor (b. 1898) 1975 - Bernard Herrmann, American film composer (b. 1911) 1977 - Samael Aun Weor, Columbian writer (b. 1917) 1980 - Siggie Nordstrom, model 1982 - Louis Aragon, French writer (b. 1897) 1984 - Peter Lawford, British actor (b. 1923) 1985 - Robert Todd Lincoln Beckwith, Last Lincoln descendant (b. 1904) 1986 - Gardner Fox, American writer (b. 1911) 1990 - Thorbjørn Egner, Norwegian author (b. 1922) 1992 - Bobby LaKind, American musician and singer (The Doobie Brothers) (b. 1945) 1993 - Norman Vincent Peale, American writer (b. 1898) 1994 - Rossano Brazzi, Italian actor and singer (b. 1916) 1997 - Toshirō Mifune, Japanese actor (b. 1920) 2000 - Nick Massi, American singer (The Four Seasons) (b. 1935) 2002 - Kjell Aukrust, Norwegian author (b. 1920) 2005 - Michael Vale, American commercial actor (b. 1922) 2006 - "Braguinha", Brazilian songwriter (b. 1907) 2006 - Kenneth Sivertsen, Norwegian singer 2008 - Harold Pinter, English playwright (b. 1930) 2011 - Johannes Heesters, Dutch actor and singer (b. 1903)
563 - The Byzantine church Hagia Sophia in Constantinople is dedicated for the second time after being destroyed by earthquakes. 1777 - Kiritimati, also called Christmas Island, is discovered by James Cook. 1814 - The Treaty of Ghent is signed ending the War of 1812. 1851 - Library of Congress burns. 1865 - Several U.S. Civil War Confederate veterans form the Ku Klux Klan. 1906 - Radio: Reginald Fessenden transmits the first radio broadcast; consisting of a poetry reading, a violin solo, and a speech. 1914 - World War I: The "Christmas truce" begins. 1924 - Albania becomes a republic. 1929 - Assassination attempt on Argentine President Hipólito Yrigoyen. 1939 - World War II: Pope Pius XII makes a Christmas Eve appeal for peace. 1941 - World War II: Hong Kong falls to the Japanese Imperial Army. 1941 - World War II: Kuching is conquered by Japanese forces. 1942 - World War II: French monarchist, Fernand Bonnier de La Chapelle, assassinates Vichy French Admiral François Darlan in Algiers. 1946 - France's Fourth Republic is founded. 1951 - Libya becomes independent from Italy. Idris I is proclaimed King of Libya. 1953 - Tangiwai disaster: A railway bridge is destroyed by a lahar at Tangiwai, in the Central North Island of New Zealand, sending a fully loaded passenger train into the Whangaehu River, and killing 153 people. 1966 - A Canadair CL-44 chartered by the United States military crashes into a small village in South Vietnam, killing 129. 1968 - The crew of the USS Pueblo is released by North Korea after being held for 11 months on suspicion of spying. 1968 - Apollo Program: The crew of Apollo 8 enters into orbit around the Moon, becoming the first humans to do so. They performed 10 lunar orbits and broadcast live TV pictures that became the famous Christmas Eve Broadcast, one of the most watched programs in history. 1973 - District of Columbia Home Rule Act is passed, allowing residents of Washington, D.C. to elect their own local government. 1974 - Cyclone Tracy devastates Darwin, Australia. 1979 - The Soviet Union invades Afghanistan to support the country's Marxist government. 1979 - The first European Ariane rocket is launched. 1997 - The Sid El-Antri massacre (or Sidi Lamri) in Algeria kills 50-100 people. 1997 - The Dominican Republic becomes a member of the Berne Convention copyright treaty. 2000 - The Texas 7 hold up a sports store in Irving, Texas. Police officer Aubrey Hawkins is shot during the robbery. 2003 - The Spanish police thwart an attempt by ETA to detonate 50 kg of explosives at 3:55 p.m. inside Madrid's busy Chamartín Station.