Noteworthy Events That Happened On Christmas Day

Scroll down for a colorful, detailed list of Christmas Dates In History. It's like a mini world history, as told through tales of Christmases past. 

This page features Chapter 9 of Yule Log. Additional chapters are linked below. 

For related links and and other free printable items, scroll further down the page. 


by Judee Shipman


1934 – Birth of R&B singer McKinley Mitchell. 

1935 – Many future famous babies are born on this day. Among them are 

Sadiq al-Mahdi, Prime Minister of Sudan 

Stephen Barnett, American scholar 

Jeanne Hopkins Lucas, American politician 

Al Jackson, American baseball player, 

Anne Riophe, American author and activist.

1936 – The world record for long distance phone calls in a single day is broken once again. Phone records showed 672 overseas calls made on Christmas this year.

1937 – Birth of O'Kelley Isley Jr., American singer-songwriter, and a member of the band called The Isley Brothers.

1938 – Hong Kong falls to Japanese forces.

George Cukor announces that Vivien Leigh will play Scarlett O'Hara in Gone With the Wind.

Famous people born on this day include 

David Borden, American composer; 

Noel Picard, a Canadian ice hockey player; 

Duane Armstrong, an American landscape painter.

ABOVE: A painting by Duane Armstrong      

image credit: 

1939 – Charles Dickens A Christmas Carol is recited via radio for the very first time.

Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer makes his debut in retail stores.

Born on this day are Ghulam Ahmad Bilour, a Pakistani businessman, and Bob James, American songwriter and keyboard player.

1940 – Birth of Pete Brown, English poet and songwriter.

Also, German cruiser Admiral Hipper attacks a British convoy 700 miles west of Cape Finisterre.

1941 – The British surrender Hong Kong.

Meanwhile, Bing Crosby debuts the hit song White Christmas, which becomes the most popular song of all time.

1942 – Birth of Francoise Durr, a French tennis player, and Enrique Morente, a Spanish singer-songwriter.

1943 – Birth of Wilson Fittipaldi Jr., a Brazilian race car driver, and Hannah Schygulla, a German actress.

1944 – Winston Churchill attempts to end a Civil War in Greece. Meanwhile, the USAF accidentally bombs Switzerland.

1945 – Births of

Rick Berman, American TV producer;

Noel Redding, English singer, songwriter and bass player;

Gary Sandy, an American actor;

Ken Stabler, an American football player; and

Mike Pringle, a Scottish politician. 

The post WWII Baby Boom is responsible for the preponderance of future famous babies born this year.

1946 – Three famous Americans born on this day are

singer-songwriter Jimmy Buffet;

football player Larry Csonka; and

baseball manager Gene Lamont, former catcher for the Chicago White Sox.

Also on this day, writer, actor and comedian W.C. Fields dies at 67. 

ABOVE: WC Fields     

Image credit:

1947 – Taiwan passes Human Rights laws (a.k.a. Day of Earth Law). Also on this day, American actress Twink Caplan is born.

1948 – Births of Alia al-Hussein, the Egyptian wife of Hussein of Jordan; Barbara Mandrell, American singer-songwriter; and Joel Santana, Brazilian football player and acclaimed coach.

1949 – Actress Sissy Spacek is born in Quitman, Texas.

Other births on this day include

Simone Bittencourt de Oliveira, Brazilian singer;

Joe Louis Walker, American singer, songwriter, guitarist, producer; and

Nawaz Sharif, 12th Prime Minister of Pakistan.

On a fictional note, after 18 years of dating, comic strip hero Dick Tracy finally marries his girlfriend, Tess Trueheart, on Christmas day this year. 

ABOVE: Dick Tracy and Tess Trueheart

Image credit:

1950 – Xavier Villarrutia, the Mexican poet who wrote Nostalgia de la Muerte (Remembering the Dead) dies on Christmas day this year at the age of 47.

Famous people born on this day include

Peter Boardman, English mountaineer and author;

Yehuda Poliker, Israeli singer and songwriter;

Karl Rove, an American journalist; and

Manny Trillo, a professional baseball player from Venezuela.

Meanwhile, in Scotland, on this 1950 Christmas day, a gang of (probably) drunk Scottish nationalist students decided to reclaim the Stone of Destiny, which had been used as the coronation stone of Scottish kings from the 9th century to 1296, until it was plundered by English King Edward I, and taken to London to serve as England's coronation stone.

So the students broke into Westminster Abby on Christmas eve, and sneaked out with the prized and precious stone. The stone cracked into two pieces during the heist.

Authorities discovered the stone at Arbroath Abby in Scotland on April 11th, 1951. The stone was returned to England. 

1951 – Death of Harry Tyson Moore, civil rights leader and founder of the NAACP in Florida. He and his wife were both killed when members of the Ku Klux Klan blew up their house on Christmas night.

1952 – The young Queen Elizabeth gives her first Christmas broadcast on BBC radio from the study at Sandringham House.

1953 – An avalanche of lava from the Rupehu volcano kills 150 people in New Zealand. 

In a related story, a train, attempting to escape the avalanche, plunges into the Wangaehu River, killing 166 passengers. 

1954 – Johnny Ace, a Memphis R&B singer, accidentally shoots himself in the head and dies at the age of 25.

1955 – Birth of William Andrews, NFL football running back from Georgia.

1956 – Birth of Billy Martin, a professional tennis player from Evanston, Illinois.

Also born on this day is John Michael Fabrizi, future Mayor of Bridgeport, Connecticut.

1957 – Birth of Chris Robertson, professional football player from Scotland.

1958 – Birth of Mike Okot, a sprinter from Uganda; and

Ricky Henderson, American Major League baseball outfielder.

1959 – Birth of Michael P. Anderson, American shuttle astronaut from Plattsburg, New York. He will die in the Columbia shuttle disaster of 2003. 

Meanwhile, a German synagogue is desecrated with swastikas, and

Buddhist leader Dalai Lama escapes from Tibet.

1960 – An earthquake of magnitude 5.3 shakes Victoria, Australia, waking residents on Christmas morning at 2:42 am.

1961 – Born on this day are

Ingrid Betancourt, Colombian politician and anti-corruption activist;

Stefan Ruzowitzky, Austrian film director; and

David Thompson, future Prime Minister of Barbados.

Dying on this day at the age of 88 is Otto Loewi, a Nobel Prize winning pharmacologist from Germany. He discovered acetylcholine, and was the first to identify the neurotransmitter.

Elsewhere, the Maxwell House Hotel is destroyed by a fire on this Christmas night. Despite the fact that eight U.S. Presidents had stayed there, it eventually becomes a residential hotel. 

1962 – Soviets detonate a nuclear bomb at Novaya Zemlya.

On a lighter note, To Kill A Mockingbird makes its cinematic debut, and stars Gregory Peck.

1963 – Birth of Paul Edwards, pro footballer from England.

Death of Tristan Tzara, Romanian poet.

Also on this day, Walt Disney releases his 18 th feature-length, animated movie about the boyhood of King Arthur, called The Sword in the Stone.

Meanwhile, the James Bond movie called Goldfinger premieres in the United States.

Above: The 1963 Aston Martin featured in 'Goldfinger.'

Image credit:

1964 – Birth of Jonas Sjostedt, a Swedish politician, in Gothenburg, and Ian Bostridge, and English tenor, in London.

1965 – Yemeni Nasserite Unionist People's Organization is founded in Taiz.

1966 – The New York Times features an interview with Frank Zappa. 

Also, the birth of Toshi Arai, a Japanese race car driver.

ABOVE: Toshi Arai in his race car.

image credit:


YULE LOG: Additional Chapters

Christmas Dates In History: Yule Log - INTRO

Christmas Dates In History: Yule Log - Chapter One

Christmas Dates In History: Yule Log - Chapter Two

Christmas Dates In History: Yule Log - Chapter Three

Christmas Dates In History: Yule Log - Chapter Four

Christmas Dates In History: Yule Log - Chapter Five

Christmas Dates In History: Yule Log - Chapter Six

Christmas Dates In History: Yule Log - Chapter Seven

Christmas Dates In History: Yule Log - Chapter Eight

Christmas Dates In History: Yule Log - Chapter Ten

Related Links

Free Christmas Printables And Gifts 

Christmas Coloring Pages

Christmas Snow Scenes

Snow Sculpture Competition Winners

Worst Christmas Gifts Ever! 


Crazy Horse Appearing - Introduction

Crazy Horse Appearing - Chapter 1 

Crazy Horse Appearing - Chapter 2

Crazy Horse Appearing - Chapter 3

Crazy Horse Appearing - Chapter 4

Crazy Horse Appearing - Chapter 5

Crazy Horse Appearing - Chapter 6

Crazy Horse Appearing - Chapter 7

Crazy Horse Appearing - Chapter 8

Crazy Horse Appearing - Chapter 9

Crazy Horse Appearing - Chapter 10

Crazy Horse Appearing - Appendixes

What Is A Novel?

Here are some Classic Short Stories from the public domain:

Told in the Drooling Ward, by Jack London

The Ransom of Red Chief, by O. Henry

The Tale of Peter Rabbit, by Beatrix Potter

Go here for selected Moral Stories.  

See this page for Aesop's Fables, other short stories, printable poems, and more.

Click this link to learn Why Reading Is Important


Look Here Right Now To See A Long Lost Portrait Of Emily Dickinson!