On This Day … 24 December

Events

  • 1144 – The capital of the crusader County of Edessa falls to Imad ad-Din Zengi, the atabeg of Mosul and Aleppo.
  • 1500 – A joint Venetian-Spanish fleet captures the Castle of St. George on the island of Cephalonia.
  • 1737 – The Marathas defeat the combined forces of the Mughal Empire, Rajputs of Jaipur, Nizam of Hyderabad, Nawab of Awadh and Nawab of Bengal in the Battle of Bhopal.
  • 1777 – Kiritimati, also called Christmas Island, is discovered by James Cook.
  • 1800 – The Plot of the rue Saint-Nicaise fails to kill Napoleon Bonaparte.
  • 1814 – Representatives of the United Kingdom and the United States sign the Treaty of Ghent, ending the War of 1812.
  • 1826 – The Eggnog Riot at the United States Military Academy begins that night, wrapping up the following morning.
  • 1846 – British acquired Labuan from the Sultanate of Brunei for Great Britain.
  • 1868 – The Greek Presidential Guard is established as the royal escort by King George I.
  • 1914 – World War I: The “Christmas truce” begins.
  • 1918 – Region of Međimurje is captured by the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes from Hungary.
  • 1920 – Gabriele D’Annunzio surrendered the Italian Regency of Carnaro in the city of Fiume to Italian armed forces.
  • 1924 – Albania becomes a republic.
  • 1939 – World War II: Pope Pius XII makes a Christmas Eve appeal for peace.
  • 1941 – World War II: Kuching is conquered by Japanese forces.
  • 1941 – World War II: Benghazi is conquered by the British Eighth Army.
  • 1942 – World War II: French monarchist, Fernand Bonnier de La Chapelle, assassinates Vichy French Admiral François Darlan in Algiers, Algeria.
  • 1943 – World War II: US General Dwight D. Eisenhower is named Supreme Allied Commander for the Invasion of Normandy.
  • 1944 – World War II: The Belgian Troopship Leopoldville was torpedoed and sank with the loss of 763 soldiers and 56 crew.
  • 1951 – Libya becomes independent.
    • Idris I is proclaimed King of Libya.
  • 1952 – First flight of Britain’s Handley Page Victor strategic bomber.
  • 1964 – Vietnam War: Viet Cong operatives bomb the Brinks Hotel in Saigon, South Vietnam to demonstrate they can strike an American installation in the heavily guarded capital.
  • 1966 – A Canadair CL-44 chartered by the United States military crashes into a small village in South Vietnam, killing 129.
  • 1969 – Nigerian troops capture Umuahia, the Biafran capital.
  • 2005 – Chad–Sudan relations: Chad declares a state of war against Sudan following a 18 December attack on Adré, which left about 100 people dead.
  • 2008 – The Lord’s Resistance Army, a Ugandan rebel group, begins a series of attacks against civilians in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, massacring more than 400.
  • Day of Military Honour – Siege of Ismail (Russia).

People (Births)

  • 1875 – Émile Wegelin, French rower (died 1962).
  • 1894 – Georges Guynemer, French captain and pilot (died 1917).
  • 1897 – Väinö Sipilä, Finnish runner (died 1987).
  • 1920 – Yevgeniya Rudneva, Ukrainian-Russian lieutenant and navigator (died 1944).
  • 1923 – George Patton IV, American general (died 2004).
  • 1924 – Abdirizak Haji Hussein, Somalian soldier and politician, 4th Prime Minister of Somalia (died 2014).
  • 1930 – John J. Kelley, American runner (died 2011).
  • 1938 – Valentim Loureiro, Portuguese soldier and politician.
  • 1950 – Tommy Turtle, British soldier.
  • 1954 – Yves Debay, Congolese-French commander and journalist (died 2013).
  • 1967 – Mikhail Shchennikov, Russian race walker.
  • 1968 – Marleen Renders, Belgian runner.
  • 1973 – Liu Dong, Chinese-Spanish runner.
  • 1986 – Tim Elliott, American mixed martial artist.

People (Deaths)

  • 950 – Shi Hongzhao, Chinese general.
  • 1867 – José Mariano Salas, Mexican general and politician. President of Mexico (1846, 1859) and regent of the Second Mexican Empire (born 1797).
  • 1931 – Flying Hawk, American warrior, educator and historian (born 1854).
  • 1942 – François Darlan, French admiral and politician, 122nd Prime Minister of France (born 1881).
  • 1980 – Karl Dönitz, German admiral and politician, President of Germany (born 1891).
  • 1999 – Bill Bowerman, American runner, coach, and businessman, co-founded Nike, Inc. (born 1911).
  • 1999 – Maurice Couve de Murville, French soldier and politician, 152nd Prime Minister of France (born 1907).
  • 1999 – João Figueiredo, Brazilian general and politician, 30th President of Brazil (born 1918).
  • 2012 – Charles Durning, American soldier and actor (born 1923).
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