#December26: Today In History

1135 – Coronation of King Stephen of England. 1481 – Battle of Westbroek: Holland defeats troops of Utrecht. 1489 – The forces of the Catholic Monarchs, Fernando and Isabel, take control of Almería from the Nasrid ruler of Granada, Muhammad XIII. 1559 – Pope Pius IV is elected. 1776 – American Revolutionary War: In the Battle of Trenton, the Continental Army attacks and successfully defeats a garrison of Hessian mercenaries. 1790 – Louis XVI of France gives his public assent to Civil Constitution of the Clergy during the French Revolution. 1793 – Second Battle of Wissembourg: France defeat Austria. 1793 – The wedding of Prince Friedrich Ludwig of Prussia and Frederica of Mecklenburg-Strelitz takes place. 1799 – Four thousand people attend George Washington's funeral where Henry Lee III declares him as "first in war, first in peace and first in the hearts of his countrymen." 1805 – Austria and France sign the Treaty of Pressburg. 1806 – Battles of Pultusk and Golymin: Russian forces hold French forces under Napoleon. 1811 – A theater fire in Richmond, Virginia kills the Governor of Virginia George William Smith and the president of the First National Bank of Virginia Abraham B. Venable. 1825 – Advocates of liberalism in Russia rise up against Czar Nicholas I and are put down in the Decembrist revolt in Saint Petersburg. 1846 – Trapped in snow in the Sierra Nevadas and without food, members of the Donner Party resort to cannibalism. 1860 – The first ever inter-club association football match takes place between Hallam F.C. and Sheffield F.C. at the Sandygate Road ground in Sheffield, England, United Kingdom. 1861 – American Civil War: The Trent Affair: Confederate diplomatic envoys James M. Mason and John Slidell are freed by the United States government, thus heading off a possible war between the United States and United Kingdom. 1862 – American Civil War: The Battle of Chickasaw Bayou begins. 1862 – Four nuns serving as volunteer nurses on board USS Red Rover are the first female nurses on a U.S. Navy hospital ship. 1862 – The largest mass-hanging in U.S. history took place in Mankato, Minnesota, 38 Native Americans died. 1870 – The 12.8-km long Fréjus Rail Tunnel through the Alps is completed. 1871 – Gilbert and Sullivan collaborate for the first time, on their lost opera, Thespis. It does modestly well, but the two would not collaborate again for four years. 1883 – The Harbour Grace Affray between Irish Catholics and Protestant Orangemen causes five deaths in Newfoundland. 1895 – New Empire Theatre, in Southend-on-Sea, Essex, England was destroyed by fire 1898 – Marie and Pierre Curie announce the isolation of radium. 1900 – A relief crew arrives at the lighthouse on the Flannan Isles of Scotland, UK, only to find the previous crew has disappeared without a trace. 1919 – Babe Ruth of the Boston Red Sox is sold to the New York Yankees by owner Harry Frazee, allegedly establishing the Curse of the Bambino superstition. 1925 – Turkey adopts the Gregorian calendar. 1941 – U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs a bill establishing the fourth Thursday in November as Thanksgiving Day in the United States. 1943 – World War II: German warship Scharnhorst is sunk off of Norway's North Cape after a battle against major Royal Navy forces. 1944 – World War II: George S. Patton's Third Army breaks the encirclement of surrounded U.S. forces at Bastogne, Belgium. 1948 – Cardinal József Mindszenty is arrested in Hungary and accused of treason and conspiracy. 1963 – The Beatles' "I Want to Hold Your Hand" and "I Saw Her Standing There" are released in the United States, marking the beginning of Beatlemania on an international level. 1966 – The first Kwanzaa is celebrated by Maulana Karenga, the chair of Black Studies at California State University, Long Beach. 1972 – Vietnam War: As part of Operation Linebacker II, 120 American B-52 Stratofortress bombers attacked Hanoi, including 78 launched from Andersen Air Force Base in Guam, the largest single combat launch in Strategic Air Command history. 1976 – The Communist Party of Nepal (Marxist–Leninist) is founded. 1982 – Time's Man of the Year is for the first time a non-human, the personal computer. 1991 – The Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union meets and formally dissolves the Soviet Union. 1994 – Four Armed Islamic Group hijackers seize control of Air France Flight 8969. When the plane lands at Marseille, a French Gendarmerie assault team boards the aircraft and kills the hijackers. 1996 – Six-year-old beauty queen JonBenét Ramsey is found beaten and strangled in the basement of her family's home in Boulder, Colorado. 1996 – Start of the largest strike in South Korean history. 1997 – The Soufrière Hills volcano on the island of Montserrat explodes, creating a small tsunami offshore. 1998 – Iraq announces its intention to fire upon U.S. and British warplanes that patrol the northern and southern no-fly zones. 1999 – The storm Lothar sweeps across Central Europe, killing 137 and causing US$1.3 billion in damage. 2003 – A magnitude 6.6 earthquake devastates southeast Iranian city of Bam, killing tens of thousands and destroying the citadel of Arg-é Bam. 2004 – A 9.3 magnitude earthquake creates a tsunami causing devastation in Sri Lanka, India, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, the Maldives and many other areas around the rim of the Indian Ocean, killing over 230,000. 2004 – Orange Revolution: The final run-off election in Ukraine is held under heavy international scrutiny. 2006 – An oil pipeline in Lagos, Nigeria explodes, killing at least 260. 2009 – China opens the world's longest high-speed rail route, which links Beijing and Guangzhou.

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