Noteworthy Events That Happened On Christmas Day

For a uniquely colorful Christmas History Timeline, scroll down to read a contemporary Christmas classic that details Christmas days throughout history. 

This page contains Chapter 4 of YULE LOG. Additional chapters are linked below.

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


by Judee Shipman


Christmas History Timeline 1700-1800

1700 – Birth of Prussian General Leopold II of Anhalt-Dessan.

1705 – In Munich, about 1,100 militia men are killed following a failed attempt to break through gates and seize enemy weapons.

1709 – Ten ships leave from the docks of London, carrying more than 4,000 passengers headed for the New York Colony.

1711 – Birth of Jean Joseph Mondonville, a French composer.

1716 – Birth of German scholar and physician Johann Jacob Reiske.

1717 – Floods ravage Dutch coast provinces, claiming many thousand lives.

In England, George Augustus Elliot, 1 st Baron of Heathfield, is born.

1725 – Birth of Esteban Salas y Castro, Cuban composer of religious music.

1728 – Birth of Johann Adam Hiller, a renowned German composer and conductor. 1730 – Birth of Philip Mazzei, an Italian physician who befriended Thomas Jefferson.

1741 – An astronomer named Anders Celsius introduces the Centigrade temperature scale, a predecessor of the Celsius scale. 

ABOVE: A portrait of Anders Celsius     

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1742 – Birth of Charlotte von Stein, an intellectual and muse of German artist Goethe.

1745 – The Treaty of Dresden gives Prussia control over Silesia. Also on this day, Caribbean-French composer Chevalier de Saint George is born. 

1749 – Birth of Samuel Jackson Pratt, a British writer, poet and actor, publicly known as “Courtney Melmoth.”

1753 – Death of Godolphin Arabian, an award winning thoroughbred stallion, at the age of 28.

This day also welcomes the birth of Lieutenant-Colonel George Rodney, a British soldier and politician.

1757 – Birth of American politician Benjamin Pierce.

1758 – Birth of James Hervey, an English clergyman and writer.

Elsewhere, Halley's comet is sighted by Johann George Palitzsch, during its first return appearance after Halley discovers it. 

ABOVE: Halley's Comet    

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1760 – A New York slave named Jupiter Hammon writes poetry, and soon becomes America's first published African American writer. 

1763 – Birth of Claude Chappe, a French telecommunications pioneer. Also on this day, the death of Suraj Mal, Indian ruler of Bharaptur.

1765 – Death of Vaclav Prokop Divis, a Czech scientist.

1771 – Birth of Dorothy Wordsworth, English author and poet. Her famous brother, William Wordsworth, was born about a year earlier.

1775 – This day welcomed the births of Peter Reesor (a Mennonite), Antun Sorkocevic (Croatian composer, writer, and diplomat), and John Fitzgerald, a member of the British Parliament.

1776 – Washington crosses the Delaware to surprise and defeat 1,400 Hessians in the battle of Trenton (New Jersey).

This day also witnesses the births of American businessman John Slater, and Irish author Lady Morgan Sydney. 

1777 – An Island is discovered by Captain James Cook. He names it Christmas Island.

ABOVE: The famed Red Crabs of Christmas Island.

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1778 – British Revolutionary War troops push through Young's House, New York, on their way to capture Savannah, Georgia.

1779 – James Robertson founds Fort Nashborough, later known as Nashville, Tennessee.

1780 – Vice President John Adams gets a 5-page letter from his wife.

1781 – Birth of Indiana judge and politician Williamson Dunn.

1782 – Birth of Nathaniel Fish Moore, an attorney who becomes the President of Columbia College.

1783 – Ben Franklin writes a letter to Robert Morris about taxes.

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1784 – The United States Methodist Episcopal Church is formed at the “Christmas Conference,” led by Thomas Coke and Francis Ashbury.

Also on this day is the death of Yosa Buson, a Japanese poet and painter. 

1785 – A devoutly Christian lady named Martha Ballard writes in her diary that she attended divine services all day long.

1786 – A London newspaper called The Public Advertiser distributes a Christmas issue.

1787 – Birth of Eleutheros Cooke, an Ohio lawyer and member of the House of Representatives.

1788 – Birth of Bishop George Shupe in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

Also, the death of John Logan, a Scottish conductor.

1789 – Congress was in session on the first Christmas held under America's new Constitution.

Also on this day, Elizabeth Jesser Reid is born in England. She later becomes a social reformer and founder of Bedford College. 

1790 – Birth of Thomas Beighton, an English Protestant.

Death of Edward Lardner, a soldier in the Indian wars.

1792 – Birth of Antonio Adamini, a Swiss-born Russian architect. 

1793 – Birth of Edward Thompson Taylor, an American Methodist Clergyman.

1794 – Reverend Habakkuk Crabb dies at 45.

1796 – Birth of Frederick Augustus Ross, a Presbyterian Clergyman from Virginia.

Also born on this day is Spanish novelist Fernan Caballero. 

1797 – Thomas Thacher preaches an Episcopal Christmas sermon in Dedham.

1798 – A long-winded letter from George Washington to Lafayette begins with the following excerpt:

You have expressed a wish, worthy of that benevolence of your heart, that I would exert all my endeavors to avert the calamitous effects of a rupture between our Countries. Believe me my dear man that no man can deprecate an event of this sort with more horror than I should and that no one, during the whole of my administration labored more incessantly and with more sincerity and zeal than I did to avoid this, and to render every justice, nay favor to France, consistently with the neutrality which had been proclaimed to these sanctioned by Congress and approved by the State legislatures, and the people at large in their Town and Country meetings.

1799 – Napoleon Bonaparte proclaims his intention of rendering the Republic “dear to its citizens, respectable to foreigners, and formidable to enemies.” 

ABOVE: Napoleon Bonaparte on horseback, painted in 1800 by Jacques-Louis David.

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YULE LOG: Additional Chapters

Yule log - Introduction

Yule Log - Chapter One

Yule Log - Chapter Two

Yule Log - Chapter Three

Yule Log - Chapter Four

Yule Log - Chapter Five

Yule Log - Chapter Six

Yule Log - Chapter Seven

Yule Log - Chapter Eight

Yule Log - Chapter Nine

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! 

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