Scroll down for an easy, breezy, image-packed History Of The World, as told through tales of Christmases past.
This page features Chapter 8. Additional chapters are linked below.
For related links and and other free printable items, scroll further down the page.
by Judee Shipman
1900 – A raging smallpox epidemic kills hundreds of people in Kentucky.
1901 – Birth of Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester. She dies in 2004 at the impressive age of 102.
1902 – Birth of Barton MacLane, an American actor.
1903 – Hanukkah begins at sunset.
1904 – Birth of Gerhard Herzberg, a German-Canadian physicist and chemist who wins a Nobel Prize.
Also born on this day is Philip Vera Cruz, a farm worker, labor leader, and Asian-American civil rights activist.
ABOVE: A young Gerhard Herzberg
image credit: TUdarmstadt.com
1905 – Last day of artist Joseph Linden Smith's Chicago exhibit.
Meanwhile, a musical called Mlle Modiste premiers in New York City.
Elsewhere, a printing company issues a novelty certificate from the “Bank of Good Fortune.”
1906 – A group of suffragettes (females who fought for the right to vote) refuse Christmas dinner in prison.
Born on this day are Lew Grade, a Ukrainian-English film producer, and Ernst Ruska, a Nobel Prize winning German chemist.
1907 – Births of Cab Calloway, American singer-songwriter-band leader,
Mike Mazurki, a Ukrainian-American actor, and
Glenn McCarthy, American businessman who founded the Shamrock Hotel.
1908 – Born on this day are Quentin Crisp, an English author,
Ernest L. Massad, an American General, and
Jo-Jo Moore, an American baseball player.
ABOVE: The Quintessential Queen of Quotable Quips, Quentin Crisp
Image credit: pinterest.com
1909 – Birth of Zora Arkus Duntov, Belgian-American engineer.
1911 – This Christmas Day sees the birth of Louise Bourgeois, a well known French-American sculpture artist, who died in 2010 at the age of 98.
ABOVE: A sculpture by Louise Borgeois
Image credit: totokaelo.com
1912 – Born on this day is Italian singer Natalino Otto.
In London, 50 major daily newspapers, including the London Times, which hadn't missed a day of press since 1785, decide not to release issues to the general public on Christmas day.
1913 – Birth of Tony Martin, an American singer and actor, and
Henri Nannen, a German journalist.
1914 – Born on this day is James Muir Cameron Fletcher, a businessman from New Zealand.
Meanwhile, the legendary, unofficial “Christmas Truce” takes place between the Brits and the Germans during WWI.
1915 – Birth of Italian composer Pete Rugolo.
1916 – Four shipwrecks occur on this day: two from France, one from Russia, and one from Denmark.
Born on this day is Ahmed Ben Bella, a soldier and politician who becomes Algeria's first President.
1917 – Why Marry? By Jesse Lynch Williams premiers at New York's Astor theater, and becomes the first dramatic play to win a Pulitzer prize.
Birth of Lincoln Verduga Loor, an Ecuadorian journalist and politician.
1918 – Birth of Egyptian President Anwar el-Sadat.
In America, 50,000 WWI servicemen are entertained with dinner, dances, and theater parties, complements of the New York War Camp community Service. Children accompany the servicemen during the festivities.
1919 – The opening of Cliftonhill Stadium in Coatbridge, Scotland.
Born on this day are Naushad Ali, Indian composer and director; Paul David, Canadian cardiologist and politician who founded the Montreal Heart Institute; and Noele Gordon, an English actress.
1920 – Born on this day is Artur Agostinho, a Portuguese journalist. Also, the dedication of the spiritual healing temple of the Rosicrucian Fellowship in Oceanside, California.
1921 – On arriving in India, the Prince of Wales is greeted with a mass boycott.
Born on this day are Zaib-un Nissa Hamidullah, a Pakistani journalist, and Steve Otto, a Canadian politician.
1922 – Birth of William Demby, an American author.
1923 – Grand opening of New York City's Imperial Theater. Also, the birth of Rene Girard, historian, critic, and philosopher.
1924 – Eight hundred people are shot dead in China.
This same day sees the birth of
Atal Bihari Vajpayee, India's 10th Prime Minister, and
Rod Serling, an American actor, writer and producer best known for creating, hosting, and narrating The Twilight Zone.
Above: The familiar face of Rod Serling from Your Next Stop - The Twilight Zone!
image credit: amazon.com
1925 – The Postmaster General ceases mail delivery on Christmas day. Also, Sergei Jessenin, a writer, dies at the age of 30.
Born on this day are Castenada, a Peruvian author,
Ned Garver, an American baseball player, and
Sam Pollock, a Canadian businessman.
1926 – Born this day are Febo Conti, an Italian actor, and
Enrique Jorrin, a Cuban composer and violinist
Also, Hirohito becomes emperor of Japan, and will hold the title for 63 years.
ABOVE: Emperor Hirohito of Japan, as a baby.
image credit: pinterest.co.uk
1927 – Born on this day are
Nellie Fox, an American baseball player,
Leo Kubiak, an American basketball player, and
Ram Narayan, a musician in India famous for playing a stringed instrument called a sarangi.
Also on this day, sixteen Indian sailors revolted and quit their posts when they learned that their ship was going to America. They were convinced that they would freeze to death. The rebellious sailors were thrown in prison.
1928 – In England, nearly 15,000 people attend a cricket match.
In America, Dick Miller, an actor, is born.
1929 – Birth of
James Stuart Hall, British radio and television host;
Christine Jones, an American politician;
Chris Kenner, an American singer-songwriter.
1930 – The world record for long distance phone calls in a single day was broken when 207 overseas conversations took place on Christmas of this year.
Born on this day are
Salah Jahin, Egyptian poet and cartoonist, and
Emmanuel Agassi, Iranian boxer and father of tennis player Andre Agassi.
1931 – The New York Metropolitan Opera broadcasts an entire opera via radio for the very first time.
Above: An Atwater Kent "Cathedral" radio from 1931.
image credit: pinterest.com
1932 – An earthquake with a magnitude of 7.6 hits Qansu, China, killing 275 people.
In America, an actress named Mable King is born.
1933 – French air force pilots, having flown 16,000 miles over North Africa, returned on this Christmas day.
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.
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