Return to home1167 Dec 24,
John "Lackland" Plantagenet, King of England (1199-1216), was born.
(HN, 12/24/98)(MC, 12/24/01)
1476 Dec 24, Some 400 Burgundy
soldiers froze to death during the siege of Nancy.
1483 Dec 24, Leaders of the
English rebels swore fealty to Henry Tudor in the Cathedral of
Rennes in Brittany.
(ON, 12/06, p.1)
1492 Dec 24-1492 Dec 25, The
Santa Maria under Columbus ran aground on a reef off Espanola on
Christmas eve, and sank the next day. With the remains of the Santa
Maria, Columbus built a fort and called it La Navidad. About two
dozen crew members were left behind.
(http://tinyurl.com/dfzzk)(SFC, 10/6/14, p.A2)
1515 Dec 24, Thomas Cardinal
Wolsey was appointed English Lord Chancellor.
1524 Dec 24, Portuguese
navigator Vasco da Gama (~55), who had discovered a sea route around
Africa to India, died in Cochin, India. He had served as Viceroy in
India. Gama served under the patronage of Dom Manoel and at one time
burned alive 380 men, women and children.
(TL-MB, 1988, p.12)(AP, 12/24/97)(MC,
12/24/01)(SSFC, 3/10/02, p.M3)
1638 Dec 24, The Ottomans under
Murad IV recaptured Baghdad from Safavid Persia.
1660 Dec 24, Mary I Henriette
Stuart (29), queen of England, died.
1724 Dec 24, Benjamin Franklin
arrived in London.
1745 Dec 24, Benjamin Rush,
American medical pioneer and signer of the Declaration of
Independence, was born in Byberry, Pa.
(HN, 12/24/98)(MC, 12/24/01)
1798 Dec 24, Russia and England
signed a Second anti-French Coalition.
1799 Dec 24, A Jacobin plot
against Napoleon was uncovered.
1801 Dec 24, Richard
Trevithick, inventor of the steam locomotive, completed a road test
of his 1st "traveling engine" in Camborne, England.
(ON, 4/04, p.5)
1809 Dec 24, Kit Carson, one of
the most famous mountain men and scouts in the West, was born in
(HN, 12/24/98)(MC, 12/24/01)
1812 Dec 24, Joel Barlow, aged
58, American poet and lawyer, died from exposure near Vilna, Poland
[Lithuania], during Napoleon's retreat from Moscow. Barlow was on a
diplomatic mission to the emperor for President Madison.
1814 Dec 24, The Treaty of
Ghent between the United States and Great Britain, terminating the
War of 1812, was signed at Ghent, Belgium. The news did not reach
the United States until two weeks later (after the decisive American
victory at New Orleans). The treaty, signed by John Quincy Adams for
the US, committed the US and Britain "to use their best endeavors"
to end the Atlantic slave trade.
(AP, 12/24/97)(WSJ, 12/31/97, p.A11)(HN,
12/24/98)(SFEC, 11/21/99, p.T10)
1818 Dec 24, James Prescott
Joule, physicist , was born. He discovered the principal of the
conservation of energy.
1818 Dec 24, "Silent Night" was
composed by Franz Joseph Gruber.
(HFA, ‘96, p.44)(SI-WPC, 12/6/96)(MC, 12/24/01)
1850 Dec 24, Frederic Bastiat
(b.1801), French free-market economist, died in Rome of
1851 Dec 24, Fire devastated
the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., destroying about 35,000
1854 Dec 24, The 8.4 Ansei
Nankai Quake struck Japan. Over 10,000 people from the Tokai region
down to Kyushu were killed.
1860 Dec 24, South Carolina
issued a “Declaration of the Immediate Causes Which Induce and
Justify the Secession of South Carolina."
(Econ, 12/1/12, p.34)
1861 Dec 24, The USS Gem of the
Sea destroyed the British blockade runner Prince of Wales off the
coast at Georgetown, S.C.
1862 Dec 24, A Christmas
present arrived a day early for the Federal troops at Columbus, Ky.,
in the way of artillery on board the USS New Era.
1865 Dec 24, Several veterans
of the Confederate Army formed a private social club in Pulaski,
Tenn., called the Ku Klux Klan. In three short years the
organization had members in every former Confederate state and was
responsible for terrorist acts against Reconstruction.
(AP, 12/24/97)(HNQ, 8/4/99)
1868 Dec 24, Emanuel Lasker,
world chess champion (1894-21), was born in Germany.
1869 Dec 24, Edwin McMasters
Stanton (b.1814), US Secretary of War (1861-65), died.
1871 Dec 24, Giuseppe Verdi's
opera "Aida" had its world premiere in Cairo, Egypt. He completed it
too late to celebrate the 1869 opening of the Suez Canal.
(SFC, 7/12/96, p.A11)(AP, 12/24/97)(PCh, 1992,
1879 Dec 24, Stanislav
Pylypovych Lyudkevych, composer, was born.
1889 Dec 24, Daniel Stover and
William Hance patented a bicycle with back pedal brake.
1893 Dec 24, Henry Ford
completed his 1st useful gas motor.
1901 Dec 24, Clarence King
(b.1842), explorer and geologist, died in Arizona. He lived a double
life as James Todd, the husband of a black woman named Ada (d.1964
at 103). In 2009 Roger K. Miller authored “Passing Strange: A Gilded
Age Tale of Love and Deception Across the Color Line."
1904 Dec 24, Herbert D Riley,
US vice-admiral (WW II, Guadalcanal, Okinawa), was born.
1904 Dec 24, German SW Africa
abolished the slavery of young children. [see Namibia]
1905 Dec 24, Howard Hughes
(d.1976), American industrialist, film producer, director and
aviator, was born.
1906 Dec 24, Canadian physicist
Reginald A. Fessenden became the first person to broadcast a music
program over radio, from Brant Rock, Mass.
1907 Dec 24, I.F. Stone
(d.1989), American investigative journalist, was born in
Philadelphia. "Those who nobly set out to be their brother's keeper
sometimes end up by becoming his jailer. Every emancipation has in
it the seeds of a new slavery, and every truth easily becomes a
(AP, 10/17/99)(AP, 12/24/07)
1914 Dec 24, 577,875 Allied
soldiers spent Christmas as prisoners in Germany. World War I was
only months old on Christmas Eve 1914 when an extraordinary
unofficial truce occurred in many places along the Western Front.
"We were all moved and felt quite melancholy," wrote one German
soldier, "each of us taken up with his own thoughts of home." German
and English troops, often less than one hundred yards from each
other, set aside warfare to trade Christmas greetings and sing
familiar carols in two languages. The truce, probably observed by
two-thirds of the British and German troops, ended with the holiday,
but reasserted the basic decency of ordinary men like these British
and German soldiers caught up in war. In 2001 Stanley Weintraub
authored "Silent Night: The Remarkable 1914 Christmas Truce."
(HN, 12/24/98)(HNPD, 12/24/98)(WSJ, 12/17/01,
1914 Dec 24, John Muir (76),
naturalist, died in Martinez, Ca. He was born in Dunbar, Scotland,
(SFEC, 1/2/00, DB p.23)(SFC, 2/2/00, p.A21)(ON,
1917 Dec 24, The Kaiser warned
Russia that he would use "iron fist" and "shining sword" if peace
1919 Dec 24, Luisa Tetrazzini
sang for 100,000 people in front of Lotta's Fountain on Christmas
Eve. Some signal this as the culminating of San Francisco's
reconstruction. It was an unusually comfortable winter evenings and
the message to the world reinforced the image of wonderful weather
in San Francisco, even in winter.
(SFC, 12/25, 1910)
1920 Dec 24, Enrico Caruso gave
his last public performance, singing in Jacques Halevy's "La Juive"
at the Metropolitan Opera in New York.
1922 Dec 24, Ava Gardner,
actress (On the Beach, Night of the Iguana), was born in Grabtown,
1929 Dec 24, Mary Higgins
Clark, author (Cry in the Night, Stillwatch), was born in Bronx, NY.
1929 Dec 24, Stanford scientist
J.H.C. Smith reported success in isolating sufficient amounts of
carotene to determine its chemical structure. The plant pigment was
discovered almost 100 years ago.
(SFC, 12/24/04, p.F2)
1930 Dec 24, Eduard David (67),
German minister (constitution of Weimar), died.
1933 Dec 24, A Paris express
train derailed and killed 160. Some 300 were injured.
1936 Dec 24, The 1st
radioactive isotope medicine was administered in Berkeley, Ca.
1939 Dec 24, John Hammond
produced a 2nd Carnegie Hall Jazz concert that was a panorama of
black heritage. Selections from the 1938 & 1939 concerts were
issued in 1959, 1987 and a CD set in 1999.
(WSJ, 11/5/99, p.W11)
1941 Dec 24, The 1st ships of
Admiral Nagumo's (Pearl Harbor) fleet returned to Japan.
1942 Dec 24, Jean LXF Darlan,
French admiral and leader of the armed forces of Vichy France, was
murdered by Gaullists in Algiers.
(HN, 7/5/98)(MC, 12/24/01)
1943 Dec 24, President
Roosevelt appointed Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower supreme commander of
Allied forces as part of Operation Overlord. Almost everyone had
believed the position would go to American Chief of Staff George C.
(AP, 12/24/97)(HN, 12/24/00)
1944 Dec 24, Adolf Eichmann
fled Hungary to Austria as Soviet troops encircled Budapest. He left
orders for German forces to massacre all the Jews in Budapest.
German Gen. August Schmidthuber, assigned to oversee the mass
execution, cancelled the operation after receiving word from Swedish
diplomat Raoul Wallenberg that the impending carnage would mark him
as a war criminal.
(ON, 10/20/11, p.4)
1946 Dec 24, The 4th French
republic was established.
1946 Dec 24, US General
MacNarney gave 800,000 "minor Nazis" amnesty.
1947 Dec 24, An estimated
20,000 communists, led by guerrilla General Markos Vafthiades
proclaimed the Free Greek Government in northern Greece. They issue
a call to arms to establish the regime throughout the nation.
1951 Dec 24, Gian Carlo
Menotti's "Amahl and the Night Visitors," the first opera written
specifically for television, was first broadcast by NBC.
1952 Dec 24, The Public Health
Service reported that US births approached 4 million for the year,
setting a new record.
(SFC, 12/20/02, p.E5)
1953 Dec 24, Pierre Salinger,
SF Chronicle reporter, won the 1953 McQuade Memorial Award for his
articles on poor conditions in California county jails. He had
himself arrested under an alias in Bakersfield and Stockton for an
(SFC, 12/19/03, p.E3)
1953 Dec 24, 2 speeding express
trains crashed head-on killing 103 in Czechoslovakia.
1956 Dec 24, African Americans
defied a city law in Tallahassee, Fla., and occupied front bus
1963 Dec 24, New York’s
Idlewild Airport was renamed JFK Airport in honor of the murdered
1963 Dec 24, Greeks and Turks
rioted in Cyprus.
1964 Dec 24, The U.S.
headquarters in Saigon was hit by a bomb. Two officers were killed.
1965 Dec 24, US troops in
Vietnam reached 184,300. Gen. Westmoreland wanted 210,000 by the end
of the year.
(SSFC, 6/9/02, p.F5)(Econ, 7/11/09, p.88)
1966 Dec 24, Soviet research
station Luna 13 soft-landed on the moon.
(HN, 12/24/98)(MC, 12/24/01)
1967 Dec 24, Burt Baskin
(b.1913) co-founder of the Baskins-Robbins ice cream chain, died. He
and Irvine Robbins (1917-2008) had become partners in 1948.
1967 Dec 24, Greek Junta freed
1968 Dec 24, The 3 Apollo 8
astronauts (James A. Lovell, William Anders and Frank Borman),
orbiting the moon, read passages from the Old Testament Book of
Genesis during a Christmas Eve television broadcast. The first
pictures of an Earth-rise over the Moon are seen as the crew of
Apollo 8 orbits the moon.
(TL, 1988, p.117)(AP, 12/24/97)(HN, 12/24/99)
1970 Dec 24, Nine GIs were
killed and nine wounded by friendly fire in Vietnam.
1971 Dec 24, Jimmy Hoffa
(1913-1975) was released from prison after President Nixon commuted
his jail term.
1971 Dec 24, LANSA Flight 508,
a LANSA Lockheed Electra OB-R-941 commercial airliner, crashed in
the Peruvian rainforest. Juliane Diller Kopcke (17) of Lima, Peru,
was the sole survivor of 92 passengers. She and her mother, famed
ornithologist Maria Kopcke, were traveling to meet with her father,
biologist Hans-Wilhelm Kopcke. Juliane traveled for 9 days in the
jungle before she found help. Her experience became the subject of
two films: the 1974 Giuseppe Maria Scotese film Miracoli accadono
ancora, I (Miracles Still Happen), and the 2000 film “Wings of Hope"
by Werner Herzog film.
1972 Dec 24, Hanoi barred all
peace talks with the U.S. until the air raids are stopped
1973 Dec 24, The US Congress
passed the Home rule Act, which allowed residents of Washington DC
to elect a mayor. Walter Washington was elected in 1974.
(WSJ, 10/28/03, p.A1)(Econ, 9/16/06,
1973 Dec 24, The MGM Grand in
Las Vegas opened to the public.
1974 Dec 24, An oil spill
polluted 1,600 square miles of scenic Inland Sea in Japan.
1980 Dec 24, Americans
remembered the U.S. hostages in Iran by burning candles or shining
lights for 417 seconds -- one second for each day of captivity.
1987 Dec 24, M.G. Ramachandran
(b.1917), leading Tamil film actor and Chief Minister of the Tamil
Nadu state from 1977, died. He was the first film actor to be a
Chief Minister in India.
1987 Dec 24, In Lebanon, the
kidnappers of Terry Anderson released a videotape in which The
Associated Press correspondent told his family he was in good
health, and said to President Reagan, "Surely by now you know what
must be done and how you can do it." Anderson was freed nearly four
1988 Dec 24, President-elect
Bush nominated Elizabeth H. Dole, onetime transportation secretary,
to be his secretary of labor.
1989 Dec 24, Charles Taylor, a
former cabinet minister under Samuel Doe, led a small group of
fighters across the border from the Ivory Coast into Liberia. Within
a few months he had looted and terrorized much of the countryside
and reached the capital. Taylor led the NPFL or National Patriotic
Front. The NPFL was composed mainly of the Mano and Gio tribes from
northern Nimba County.
1989 Dec 24, Ousted Panamanian
ruler Manuel Noriega, who had succeeded in eluding US forces, took
refuge at the Vatican's diplomatic mission in Panama City. It took
weeks of negotiation and loud rock music played incessantly outside
the embassy by American forces before Noriega agreed to give himself
1990 Dec 24, In Lebanon Omar
Karami (1934-2014) began serving his first term as prime minister
and continued to May 15, 1992.
1991 Dec 24, Walter Hudson
(46), a 1,025 lb. man, died.
1991 Dec 24, In North Korea Kim
Jong Il (b.1942) became head of the armed forces under his ruling
father, Kim Il Sung.
(Econ, 9/13/08, p.49)(AP, 12/28/11)
1991 Dec 24, A day before
resigning, Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachev briefed Russian
President Boris Yeltsin on nuclear weapons-firing procedures.
Gorbachev also held a farewell meeting with staff members.
1992 Dec 24, Pres. Bush had the
US Embassy in Belgrade read to Pres. Milosevic the "Christmas
Warning" cable: "In the event of conflict in Kosovo caused by
Serbian action, the US will be prepared to employ military force
against Serbians in Kosovo and in Serbia proper.
(SFC, 1/19/02, p.A19)
1992 Dec 24, President Bush
pardoned former Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger and five others
in the Iran-Contra scandal.
1992 Dec 24, President-elect
Clinton appointed Bruce Babbitt interior secretary, Mike Espy
agriculture secretary and Federico Pena transportation secretary;
Clinton also chose Zoe Baird to be attorney general, but the
nomination fell apart over Baird's hiring of illegal aliens as
1992 Dec 24, In Ohio Marvallous
Keene and three accomplices began a three-day binge of murder and
robbery in Dayton that left 6 people dead. On July 21, 2009, Keene
(36) was executed at a Lucasville prison, the 1000th person to die
by lethal injection in the US since the death penalty was reinstated
1993 Dec 24, The Rev. Norman
Vincent Peale, who had blended Christian and psychiatric principles
into a message of "positive thinking," died in Pawling, N.Y., at age
1994 Dec 24, John Osborne
(b.1929), British playwright, died. His plays included “Look Back in
Anger" (1956) and “Inadmissible Evidence" (1964). In 2007 John
Heilpern authored “John Osborn: The Many Lives of the Angry Young
(AP, 12/24/99)(WSJ, 1/26/06, p.W6)
1994 Dec 24, Armed Islamic
fundamentalists hijacked an Air France Airbus A-300 carrying 227
passengers at the Algiers airport; three passengers were killed
before the hijackers were killed by French commandos in Marseilles
two days later.
(SFC, 9/27/97, p.A10)(AP, 12/24/99)
1995 Dec 24, In a Christmas
message to U.S. troops in Bosnia, President Clinton praised their
peace mission to a land exhausted by war.
1995 Dec 24, Fire broke out at
the Philadelphia Zoo, killing 23 rare gorillas, orangutans, gibbons
1995 Dec 24, Armed Islamic
fundamentalists hijacked an Air France Airbus A-300 carrying 227
passengers at the Algiers airport; three passengers were killed
during the siege before the hijackers were killed by French
commandos in Marseille two days later.
1995 Dec 24, British playwright
John Osborne ("Look Back in Anger") died at age 65.
1996 Dec 24, In Bogota,
Columbia, at least 37 people were killed. Mayor Antanas Mockus
blamed the violence on alcohol consumption.
(SFC, 12/26/96, p.B4)
1996 Dec 24, In Frankfurt,
Germany, a women blew herself up and 2 others were killed at
Lutheran Church Singlingen South.
(SFC, 12/26/96, p.B3)
1996 Dec 24, In India a British
made Avro Air Force plane crashed in Andhra Pradesh and killed all
(SFC, 12/25/96, p.A12)
1996 Dec 24, In Peru the
Uruguay ambassador was released after his country freed 2 rebels
jailed there. Six ambassadors were left among the remaining 105
(SFC, 12/25/96, p.A12)
1996 Dec 24, In Rwanda 2,000
returning Hutu refugees were arrested for participating in the 1994
genocide. They joined 85,000 already held in prisons intended for no
more than 20,000.
(SFC, 12/25/96, p.A11)
1996 Dec 24, The streets of
Belgrade, Yugoslavia, turned violent as demonstrators traded blows
with supporters of President Slobodan Milosevic and then were
clubbed by riot police as protests continued for the 35th day.
(SFC, 12/25/96, p.A1)(AP, 12/24/97)
1996 Dec 24, Prime Minister Goh
Chok Tong said that districts that elect opposition candidates on
Jan 2, would see public-housing improvement funds cut.
(WSJ, 12/24/96, p.A1)(WSJ, 12/31/96, p.1)
1996 Dec 24, In Worcester,
South Africa, 2 pipe bombs killed 1 adult and 2 children in shopping
areas. The Boer Attack Troop claimed responsibility. in 1997 Jan van
der Westhuizen (44), Clifton Barnard (41) and Abraham Myburgh (24)
were convicted and given sentences of life in prison for the bombing
that killed 4 people.
(SFC, 12/25/96, p.A10)(SFC, 1/6/97,
1996 Dec 24, In South Korea 6
Chinese sailors were sentenced to death for murder during a mutiny
Aug 2 on their fishing vessel when their captain and 10 mates were
(WSJ, 12/26/96, p.A1)
1997 Dec 24, The world’s first
civilian spy satellite, EarlyBird I, was launched from Russia. It
was built by EarthWatch Inc. of Longmont, Colo.
1997 Dec 24, From California it
was reported that the Air Force agreed to sell McClellan Air Force
Base to Sacramento County for a maximum of $90 million. Payments
would begin in Dec 2008 and continue over 45 years.
1997 Dec 24, A fire in Detroit
killed four children of the Buchanan family.
1997 Dec 24, In Afghanistan the
Taliban launched an offensive at Kotel Toopkhana in Badakhshan
province and by the next day claimed to have driven out the soldiers
of Ahmed Shah Massood.
1997 Dec 24, In Bolivia 2 17th
century colonial paintings, titled "Saint Rose of Viterbo" and
"Saint Augustin," were stolen from the Roman Catholic Church of San
Andres de Machaca. They were recovered in 2011 after a US art dealer
reported receiving the paintings on consignment from a collector.
1997 Dec 24, Ilich Ramirez
Sanchez, the aging revolutionary known as "Carlos the Jackal," was
sentenced by a French court to life in prison for the 1975 murders
of two French investigators and a Lebanese national. [see Dec 23]
1997 Dec 24, In Indonesia the
currency hit a record low at 6,300 rupiah to the dollar and closed
at around 5,850.
(WSJ, 12/26/97, p.A6)
1997 Dec 24, It was reported
that Iraq completed a 150-mile canal to supply water to Basra.
(WSJ, 12/24/97, p.A1)
1997 Dec 24, In Japan Toshiro
Mifune (77), actor, died in Mitaka. His career included more than
130 films and television dramas.
(SFC,12/25/97, p.A25)(AP, 12/24/98)
1997 Dec 24, In Pakistan two
trains collided at Rustam Sargana in the eastern Punjab and killed
at least 35 people and injured 100.
1998 Dec 24, In New Jersey a
bus carrying New Yorkers to Atlantic City casinos skidded and
flipped on the Garden State Parkway. 8 people were killed and 15
(SFC, 12/25/98, p.A3)
1998 Dec 24, Most of
California's citrus crop was considered ruined after three
consecutive nights of freezing cold.
1998 Dec 24, In Angola a rebel
attack on Kuito killed 30 people and wounded 37. 9 of the dead,
killed by mortar fire, had sought refuge in a Catholic church.
(SFC, 12/26/98, p.A12)
1998 Dec 24, In Tbilisi,
Georgia, gunmen killed Greek diplomat Anastasius Mizitrasos.
(SFC, 12/25/98, p.A19)
1998 Dec 24, In Israel Gen'l.
Amnon Lipkin-Shahak left the armed forces and said he would help
lead new centrist political party against Prime Minister Netanyahu
in spring elections.
(SFC, 12/25/98, p.B8)
1998 Dec 24, In Podujevo,
Yugoslavia, Serb forces used tanks and armored vehicles against
separatist guerrillas breaking a 2-month cease fire. Ignoring NATO
warnings, Serb tanks and troops struck an ethnic Albanian stronghold
(SFC, 12/25/98, p.A15)(AP, 12/24/99)
1999 Dec 24, Most of
California’s citrus crop was considered ruined after three straight
nights of freezing cold.
1999 Dec 24, The Catholic
Jubilee Holy Year began Christmas eve and was scheduled to last to
Jan 6, 2001. The Church was expected to ask for forgiveness for past
errors. The bronze door to St. Peter's was opened and symbolized the
passage from sin to grace.
(SFC, 12/25/98, p.A18)(SFC, 12/25/99, p.A12)
1999 Dec 24, In Algeria Islamic
militants killed 29 people at a roadblock near Khemis Miliana, some
50 miles west of Algiers.
(SFC, 12/25/99, p.A14)
1999 Dec 24, In Ivory Coast
Gen. Robert Guei declared a military coup and an end to the rule by
Pres. Henri Konan Bedie.
(SFC, 12/25/99, p.A12)
1999 Dec 24, In Nepal 5 Sikh
men, members of the Kashmir Harakut ul-Mujahedeen, hijacked an
Indian Airlines A-300 Airbus with 189 people onboard. After 3 stops
for refueling it landed in Kandahar, Afghanistan, where it was
surrounded by Taliban militia. 26 passengers were released in Dubai.
They called for the release of Maulana Massood Azhar, a Pakistani
religious leader and other Kashmiri militants. They later raised
their demands to $200 million, the release of 35 jailed guerrillas
and the exhumation of a dead comrade buried in India. [see Dec 29]
(SFC, 12/25/99, p.A1)(WSJ, 12/27/99, p.A1)(SFC,
12/28/99, p.A9)(SFC, 12/29/99, p.A1)(WSJ, 9/14/01, p.A5)
1999 Dec 24, Ignoring NATO
warnings, Serb tanks and troops struck an ethnic Albanian stronghold
1999 Dec 24, In South Africa 7
policemen were injured after responding to a bomb threat in Cape
(WSJ, 12/27/99, p.A1)
2000 Dec 24, A group of 7
escaped convicts robbed a sporting goods store in Irving, Texas; a
police officer, Aubrey Hawkins, was killed during the robbery.
George Rivas, a recent escapee from Connally State prison, killed
the officer during a holdup at a sporting goods store. Rivas was
convicted for the murder in 2001 and was executed on Aug 14, 2008.
(SFC, 8/22/01, p.A4)(SFC, 8/30/01, p.A6)(AP,
2000 Dec 24, Susan Berman (55),
writer and Las Vegas mobster’s daughter, was found slain in her Los
Angeles home. She authored "Easy Street" in 1981.
(SFC, 1/5/01, p.A1,14)
2000 Dec 24, Nick Massi (73),
an original member of the Four Seasons, died.
2000 Dec 24, From Bahrain it
was reported that the emir, Sheikh Hamad, would allow a vote on a
new national charter that would make the country a constitutional
(SFC, 12/25/00, p.B2)
2000 Dec 24, In Indonesia at
least 19 people were killed when bombs exploded outside 24 churches
in Jakarta and 5 other cities and towns. In Aug 2001 Edi Sugiarto
was sentenced to 11 years in jail for planting the bombs that killed
at least 19 people.
(SFC, 12/25/00, p.A1)(SFC, 8/15/01, p.A7)(SSFC,
2000 Dec 24, In Sri Lanka
government forces raided a rebel camp in Navatkuli and killed 18,
including 14 girl soldiers.
(SFC, 12/25/00, p.A16)
2000 Dec 24, In Venezuela Pres.
Chavez appointed Adina Bastidas as vice president following the
recent appointment of Isaias Rodriquez as attorney general.
(SFC, 12/25/00, p.B4)
2001 Dec 24, Officials said
President Bush had created a formal line of succession at several
key federal agencies in case a Cabinet secretary were to be killed
2001 Dec 24, A West Virginia
woman kidnapped 16-month-old Jasmine Anderson from a Chicago bus
station in order to pass the child off as her own; Sheila Matthews
and Jasmine were found by FBI agents three days later in West
Virginia. Matthews was later sentenced to more than 12 years in
2001 Dec 24, In Afghanistan
Hamid Karzai and Defense Minister Mohammed Fahim named Gen. Rashid
Dostum as deputy defense minister.
(SFC, 12/25/01, p.A1)
2001 Dec 24, In Argentina Pres.
Saa planned a new works program to create a million jobs.
(SFC, 12/25/01, p.A3)
2002 Dec 24, Laci Peterson (27)
disappeared from her Modesto, Ca., neighborhood. She was 8-months
pregnant. A reward for her return soon reached $500,000. On Jan 24
Amber Frey stepped forward and admitted to an affair with Scott
Peterson, the husband of Laci. Laci’s body was found April 14 near
the SF Bay Berkeley Marina, where Scott had gone fishing on Dec 24.
[see Apr 18, 2003] Peterson convicted of 1st degree murder on Nov
(SSFC, 12/29/02, p.A23)(SFC, 1/25/03, p.A1)(AP,
2002 Dec 24, Chinese
pro-democracy activist Xu Wenli was released from a prison in
Beijing and flown to the United States.
2002 Dec 24, Suspected members
of Colombia's largest paramilitary group (AUC) killed two police
officers and wounded another in southwest Colombia.
2002 Dec 24, A brutal riot by
prisoners in a jail outside Guatemala's capital left 18 inmates dead
over two days, including one person by decapitation and 14 others
who were burned to death.
2002 Dec 24, Israeli PM Sharon
said Saddam Hussein had transferred chemical and biological weapons
(SFC, 12/25/02, p.A16)
2002 Dec 24, Israeli soldiers
killed a Palestinian teenager in the Gaza Strip.
2002 Dec 24, In India's mainly
Muslim state of Kashmir 4 civilians and 9 separatist guerrillas were
killed in the latest rebel violence.
2002 Dec 24, Saddam Hussein
said in an address read on television that Iraqis were ready to
fight a holy war against the United States.
2002 Dec 24, Israeli PM Sharon
said Saddam Hussein had transferred chemical and biological weapons
(SFC, 12/25/02, p.A16)
2002 Dec 24, North Korea
ratcheted up its standoff with Washington, starting repairs at a
long-frozen nuclear reactor and warning that U.S. policy was leading
to an "uncontrollable catastrophe" and the "brink of nuclear war."
2002 Dec 24, In the southern
Philippines a bomb believed planted by Muslim Moro rebels killed 16
people, including Mayor Saudie Ampatuan in Datu Piang.
(AP, 12/24/02)(SFC, 12/25/02, p.A16)(WSJ,
2002 Dec 24, In Somalia 3
unidentified gunmen opened fire on a school minibus in Mogadishu,
killing four students and wounding 10 others.
2003 Dec 24, A US federal
appeals court blocked the Bush administration from implementing a
major environmental rule change that would have allowed power plants
to upgrade their facilities without installing anti-pollution
(SFC, 12/25/03, p.A3)
2003 Dec 24, Several Air France
flights to Los Angeles were cancelled stranding hundreds of people
in Paris on Christmas Eve amid fears of a terrorist attack.
2003 Dec 24, It was reported
that U.S. and Russian experts recovered 37 pounds of weapons-grade
uranium, enough to develop a nuclear warhead, from a closed atomic
facility in Bulgaria.
2003 Dec 24, Caroline Weiss
Law, Texas oil heiress, died on her 85th birthday. She left 52 major
art works, valued at $60-85 million, and $25 million cash to
establish an endowment for the Houston Museum of Fine Arts.
(SFC, 2/13/04, p.D12)
2003 Dec 24, In Iraq a string
of separate bombings killed 6 civilians and 3 American soldiers.
2003 Dec 24, Madagascar's
former PM Didier Ratsiraka was sentenced to 12 years of hard labor
and ordered to pay $7.6 million in damages for his role in last
year's election crisis that led to the formation of two governments.
(AP, 12/24/03)(Econ, 1/1/05, p.34)
2003 Dec 24, Pakistan's Pres.
Gen. Pervez Musharraf agreed to step down as head of the armed
forces by the end of 2004, part of a deal with the hardline Islamic
opposition to end a long standoff that has stalled this nation's
return to democracy. Musharraf also agreed to scale back some of the
special powers he decreed himself after taking power in a 1999
2003 Dec 24, Ukraine's
parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, gave initial approval to
constitutional amendments allowing the president to be elected by
the legislature rather than by popular vote.
(AP, 12/24/03)(WPR, 3/04, p.28)
2004 Dec 24, US Defense
Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, bearing gifts of praise and
encouragement, paid a surprise Christmas Eve visit to US troops in
some of the most dangerous areas of Iraq.
2004 Dec 24, The Comair
computer system crashed after it was overwhelmed by cancellations
and delays due to winter storms in the Ohio Valley. Comair was
forced to cancel all of its 1,100 flights the next day. US AIR
cancelled numerous flights and baggage problems rippled through its
system for days.
(SFC, 12/27/04, p.A3)
2004 Dec 24, The Huygens space
probe was fired from the international Cassini spacecraft into a
successful free fall from Saturn’s orbit to its moon, Titan.
(SFC, 12/25/04, p.A1)(AP, 12/24/05)
2004 Dec 24, Afghan President
Hamid Karzai swore in a new Cabinet.
2004 Dec 24, Armenia’s
parliament voted to send 46 noncom bat troops to Iraq.
(SFC, 12/25/04, p.A10)
2004 Dec 24, The world's
biggest earthquake in almost four years, measuring 8.1 on the
Richter scale, struck off the coast of Australia's southern island
state of Tasmania, but caused no damage or injury.
2004 Dec 24, A church official
said Marxist rebels in western Colombia had killed Javier Francisco
Montoya, a Catholic priest who disappeared earlier this month on a
pastoral mission in a rebel-controlled jungle region.
2004 Dec 24, Marxist FARC
rebels abducted at least eight Colombian tourists celebrating
Christmas at a lakeside spa in the northwest.
2004 Dec 24, A suicide bomber
blew up a gas tanker in Baghdad in an attack that killed at least
2004 Dec 24, Suspected
militants hurled a grenade in a village market in Indian Kashmir,
killing one person and wounding eight others.
2004 Dec 24, A Pakistani
military spokesman said a soldier has been sentenced to death and
another soldier given 10 years imprisonment after they were
convicted in the Dec 14, 2003, attempt to assassinate President Gen.
2004 Dec 24, Russia
successfully test-fired a mobile version of the intercontinental
Topol-M ballistic missile in the last of four test-firings before
its deployment next year.
2005 Dec 23, Michael Vale (83),
the actor best known for portraying sleepy-eyed Fred the Baker in
Dunkin’ Donuts commercials, died in New York.
2005 Dec 24, A land mine
exploded on a highway in southern Afghanistan, killing four
suspected Taliban insurgents as they tried to plant the explosive on
2005 Dec 24, It was reported
that bovine TB was rising 18% a year on British farms and that the
disease was being transmitted by badgers.
(Econ, 12/24/05, p.79)
2005 Dec 24, China and North
Korea signed an agreement to jointly develop offshore oil reserves.
2005 Dec 24, Congolese and UN
troops captured a militia base in the volatile east, as referendum
results showed an overwhelming "Yes" to a new constitution intended
to help end the country's conflict. UN and Congolese soldiers
attacked militiamen in Ituri and Ugandan rebels in Kivu province
killing some 80 rebels.
(AP, 12/24/05)(Econ, 1/7/06, p.49)
2005 Dec 24, In Egypt a court
sentenced leading government opponent Ayman Nour to five years'
imprisonment for forgery at the end of a year-long judicial process
that has drawn international criticism and strained Egypt's
relations with the US. Nour was freed in 2009.
(AP, 12/24/05)(AP, 2/18/09)
2005 Dec 24, In Haiti a UN
peacekeeper from Jordan was shot to death while on patrol in Cite
Soleil, a slum that has seen almost daily violence since the ouster
of President Aristide.
2005 Dec 24, Iraq’s governing
Shiite coalition called on Iraqis to accept results showing the
religious bloc leading in parliamentary elections and moved ahead
with efforts to form a “national unity" government. The electoral
commission said it would carry out a court decision to remove 90
people who were members of Saddam's Hussein's outlawed Baath party
from the tickets of political parties and coalitions that
participated in Dec. 15 elections. Militants released a video of a
Jordanian hostage, giving Jordan 3 days to cut ties with the Baghdad
government and free a female would-be suicide bomber involved in
November attacks in Amman.
(AP, 12/24/05)(AP, 12/24/06)
2005 Dec 24, The Japanese
government said it has decided to move forward with a ballistic
missile defense program with the United States.
2005 Dec 24, Russia's Foreign
Ministry made a formal offer to Iran to move its uranium enrichment
program to Russia, raising diplomatic pressure on Tehran to accept
the Western-backed plan it has so far rejected.
2005 Dec 24, In St. Petersburg,
Russia, a Cameroonian student was stabbed to death and another
African student was seriously wounded in separate attacks Russian
prosecutors called likely hate crimes. More than 15 people in Russia
were killed in apparently racially motivated attacks this year. Last
year saw 44 such slayings, according to the Moscow Bureau of Human
Rights. The group estimates that Russia is home to some 50,000
skinheads and numerous neo-Nazi organizations.
2005 Dec 24, Yemeni kidnappers
freed two Austrian tourists, three days after seizing them in an
apparent dispute over the government's arrest of fellow tribesmen.
2006 Dec 24, Frank Stanton
(98), broadcasting pioneer and CBS president for 26 years, died in
2006 Dec 24, Chad's president
and the leader of a rebel faction that tried to oust him earlier
this year signed a peace accord in Libya, but other Chadian
insurgents dismissed the deal and vowed to fight on.
2006 Dec 24, China’s state
media announced that Du Shicheng, a top Communist Party official in
the eastern province of Shandong, had been fired for misconduct.
2006 Dec 24, In southern
Colombia government troops retook control of an area where leftist
rebels ambushed and killed 15 soldiers.
2006 Dec 24, An Egyptian woman
died of bird flu, hours after tests confirmed she and two other
members of her extended family had been suffering from the highly
2006 Dec 24, Ethiopia launched
an attack on Somalia's powerful Islamic movement, sending fighter
jets across the border and bombarding several towns in a major
escalation of the violence that threatens to engulf the Horn of
Africa. Ethiopia's PM Meles Zenawi said his country had been "forced
to enter a war."
(AP, 12/24/06)(AP, 12/24/07)
2006 Dec 24, Germany said it
will not offer the Sri Lankan government new aid until the peace
process in the country advances and called on other nations to
increase the pressure on Colombo.
2006 Dec 24, In Guatemala 80
residents of a drug and alcohol treatment center escaped and 13
others were injured in a rebellion that started when patients were
told they could not leave to celebrate Christmas.
2006 Dec 24, In eastern India a
wild elephant looking for food killed three people and injured 10 in
a forest range in West Bengal state.
2006 Dec 24, Officials said at
least 94 people were killed and dozens left missing by floods in
Indonesia and Malaysia. Looting broke out in areas of Malaysia
abandoned because of rising waters.
2006 Dec 24, Iran vowed to push
forward efforts to enrich uranium and to change its relations with
the international nuclear watchdog.
2006 Dec 24, In Iraq an
American soldier and a Marine had died from combat wounds suffered
in Anbar province.
2006 Dec 24, Mario Scaramella,
who met with an ex-KGB agent Alexander Litvinenko in London the day
the Russian fell ill from radiation poisoning, was arrested in
Naples after returning from London. Rome prosecutors have accused
him of arms trafficking and slander.
2006 Dec 24, Nigerian vice
president Atiku Abubakar's new party, the Action Congress (AC),
slammed President Olusegun Obasanjo's declaration that his former
deputy's office was now vacant as unconstitutional.
2006 Dec 24, A new study was
published saying traces of cocaine can be found on 94% of banknotes
in Spain, a country that has one of the world's highest rates of
2006 Dec 24, Bo Mya (79), a
longtime leader of the Karen National Union, died in Thailand. The
KNU was Myanmar's largest guerrilla group.
2007 Dec 24, The New York Times
reported that more than five billion dollars in US aid to Pakistan
has often never reached the military units it was intended for to
fight Al-Qaeda and the Taliban, and was instead diverted to other
2007 Dec 24, Merrill Lynch
agreed to sell $5 billion of new stock to Temasek Holdings,
Singapore’s sovereign investment company and a smaller stake to a
domestic firm. Merrill said it will write down an additional $8
billion of mortgage investments in the 4th quarter.
(SFC, 12/25/07, p.E1)
2007 Dec 24, George Warrington
(b.1952), former head of New Jersey Transit (2002-2007) and former
president of Amtrak, died.
(WSJ, 12/29/07, p.A7)
2007 Dec 24, In Montreal,
Canada, Gurpeet Gaur (29) the wife of Harinder Singh Cheema, was
beaten and strangled to death. On July 2, 2015, Cheema was arrested
in Fremont, Ca., following a fingerprint match on a US immigration
(SFC, 7/10/15, p.D3)
2007 Dec 24, The international
charity Save the Children said boys and girls are being recruited in
record numbers to act as soldiers, spies and sex slaves in Congo and
children have been spotted marching in formation in the war-wracked
east of the country over the past week.
2007 Dec 24, A 12-story
building collapsed in Egypt's Mediterranean port city of Alexandria,
killing at least 35 people. Shoddy materials, illegal construction
and a culture of corruption were blamed for the deaths.
(AFP, 12/25/07)(AP, 12/30/07)
2007 Dec 24, The head of a
special unit said on German radio prosecutors are investigating
12,000 suspects in a child pornography network, the largest ever
found in Germany.
2007 Dec 24, A bomb hidden
inside a minivan exploded near the Baghdad governor's office,
killing two people and wounding six others. A train struck a minivan
at an intersection near the town of Hillah, about 60 miles south of
Baghdad, killing a couple and 11 children. 13 Shiite civilians were
abducted north of Baqouba.
(AP, 12/24/07)(SFC, 12/25/07, p.A4)
2007 Dec 24, In Indian Kashmir
5 worshippers were being held hostage inside a mosque for a second
day by Muslim rebels as security forces sought to end siege
peacefully. Indian forces killed three suspected Islamic militants
ending the two-day hostage standoff and sparking angry protests that
injured dozens of people.
(AFP, 12/24/07)(AP, 12/25/07)
2007 Dec 24, In Kyrgyzstan Igor
Chudinov, a former energy and industry minister was, named prime
2007 Dec 24, Malaysia's
government unveiled a major initiative to protect Hindu temples,
hoping to pacify ethnic Indians who complain that hundreds of their
places of worship have been demolished in this Muslim-majority
2007 Dec 24, Gunmen shot dead
four French tourists in Mauritania in West Africa. Sidi Ould Sidna,
was charged with planning and executing the killings of the French
tourists. He was extradited by Guinea-Bissau in January but later
escaped from authorities. 2 other suspected terrorists were arrested
on April 30. In May, 2010, a court sentenced 3 young men to death
for the murder of the French tourists. The men pleaded not guilty
and said their confessions were extracted under torture.
(AP, 12/24/07)(AP, 4/30/08)(SFC, 5/26/10, p.A2)
2007 Dec 24, A Nigerian court
ordered the arrests of three of the defendants in a trial over a
drug test conducted by Pfizer in 1996 which Nigerian authorities say
killed 11 children and left others disabled.
2007 Dec 24, In southwestern
Somalia gunmen threw grenades at the home of the regional police
chief, killing two of his grandchildren and a bodyguard but not
their target. Burundi deployed a 2nd contingent of 92 peacekeepers
to Mogadishu, to bolster an African Union force.
(AP, 12/24/07)(AP, 12/25/07)
2007 Dec 24, Southern army
officials said militias supported by Khartoum's army have attacked
southern Sudanese soldiers near the north-south border killing
dozens of people.
2007 Dec 24, Authorities closed
the mausoleum of Taiwan's late dictator Chiang Kai-shek as part of
the ruling party's vigorous campaign to diminish the legacy of the
2007 Dec 24, The Thai political
party allied with deposed PM Thaksin Shinawatra said that it has
recruited enough other parties to form a coalition government
following its win in the country's first election since a 2006 coup.
2008 Dec 24, US government data
showed that the number of domestic workers filing new claims for
jobless benefits jumped by 30,000 to a 26-year peak last week, as
the country's year-long recession continued to chill the labor
2008 Dec 24, The Elie Wiesel
Foundation for Humanity said it lost more than 15 million dollars,
nearly all of its assets, in the alleged fraud scheme run by Wall
Street baron Bernard Madoff.
2008 Dec 24, In Covina, Ca., a
man dressed as Santa who had been having marital problems opened
fire at a Christmas party, leaving 9 people dead in a home that then
caught fire. Hours later police found the body of the suspect, Bruce
Jeffrey Pardo (45), at the home of his brother in the Sylmar area of
Los Angeles. Police said he killed himself but would not say how.
(AP, 12/25/08)(AP, 12/26/08)(SFC, 12/27/08, p.A3)
2008 Dec 24, In Sacramento,
Ca., Wilbert Paana (72) died following a natural gas explosion at
his home. His daughter and granddaughter were critically injured. In
2011 PG&E agreed to pay $26 million for federal and state safety
violations related to the explosion.
(SFC, 6/21/11, p.A1)
2008 Dec 24, In Afghanistan a
soldier with the NATO-led force was killed in an insurgent attack in
the east of the country. A British soldier was shot dead on
Christmas Eve in Helmand province. Cannon fire from a US military
base in the northeastern province of Kunar killed four workers when
it fell short of its target and hit a road construction compound.
The US-led coalition killed two militants and detained two suspects
in operations targeting the Taliban in Kapisa province.
(AFP, 12/24/08)(AFP, 12/25/08)
2008 Dec 24, British stores
deepened discounts, hoping to lure in last-minute shoppers on
Christmas Eve. Music and DVD seller Zavvi joined tea merchant
Whittard and menswear store The Officers Club on the growing list of
casualties of a severe downturn in consumer spending and tight
2008 Dec 24, Harold Pinter
(78), a Nobel Prize-winning British playwright, died. He was one of
theater's biggest names for nearly half a century. His 32 plays
included "The Birthday Party", "The Dumb Waiter" and "The
Homecoming". His first play, "The Room," appeared in 1957 and his
breakthrough came with "The Caretaker" in 1960. In 2010 Antonia
Fraser published “Must You Go? My Life With Harold Pinter."
(AFP, 12/25/08)(SSFC, 11/7/10, p.F4)
2008 Dec 24, In China a gas
leak at the Ganglu Iron and Steel Co. Ltd. in Hebei province killed
2008 Dec 24, In Egypt an
Australian teacher (61), who allegedly stuffed his luggage with
2,000-year old animal mummies and religious figurines wrapped as
gifts, was arrested and charged with smuggling antiquities.
2008 Dec 24, in Guinea military
officers, who have staged a coup, said they were installing Captain
Moussa Dadis Camara as president, but promised to hold elections in
2008 Dec 24, In Indian Kashmir
police fired tear gas and clashed with protesters, where tens of
thousands of soldiers were deployed for the 7th and final leg of
multi-stage state elections.
2008 Dec 24, Mexican soldiers
arrested the deputy police chief in the resort town of Zihuatanejo
and six other officers who were allegedly protecting drug cartel
members at a cock fight. Soldiers also seized 59 packets of cocaine,
40 bags of marijuana and 20 assault rifles.
2008 Dec 24, Mexico began
blocking imports of meat from at least 30 US meat processing plants
due to a new US law that required food retailers to label or display
the country of origin for meat, produce and certain kinds of nuts.
The law, effective as of Sep 30, was part of the 2008 Farm Bill.
(WSJ, 12/27/08, p.A7)
2008 Dec 24, In Pakistan a
bomb-rigged truck with government plates exploded in Lahore, killing
one person in a heavily guarded neighborhood home to many government
2008 Dec 24, Palestinian
militants in the Gaza Strip bombarded southern Israel with dozens of
mortars and rockets, sowing panic and despair there and burdening
diplomatic efforts to revive an expired truce. Hamas said two of its
fighters have been killed in a blast in the southern Gaza Strip.
2008 Dec 24, Russian energy
giant Gazprom threatened to cut gas deliveries to Ukraine on January
1 if a new contract is not signed by then for 2009 but pledged to
honor its supply obligations to Europe.
2008 Dec 24, A spokesman
said Somali President Abdullahi Yusuf has decided to resign,
in a move the African Union said would be positive for the peace
process in the Horn of Africa nation. Mohamed Mohamud Guled, named
prime minister last week, resigned, saying his controversial
appointment was preventing the feuding government from fighting a
strengthening Islamic insurgency.
(Reuters, 12/24/08)(AP, 12/24/08)
2008 Dec 24, The prime
ministers of Turkey and Iraq vowed to step up their cooperation in
the fight against Turkish Kurdish rebels whose presence in northern
Iraq has cast a shadow over relations.
2008 Dec 24, In southern
Ukraine an apartment building was destroyed in a nighttime explosion
that killed 27 people in the Crimea peninsula resort of Yevpatoria.
The explosion was likely caused by a leak from oxygen canisters in
the building's basement.
(AP, 12/25/08)(AFP, 12/26/08)
2008 Dec 24, Leading Zimbabwean
human rights campaigner Jestina Mukoko and nine other activists were
charged with plotting to overthrow President Robert Mugabe's
2009 Dec 24, Senate Democrats
passed a landmark health care bill in a climactic Christmas Eve vote
that could define President Barack Obama's legacy and usher in
near-universal medical coverage for the first time in the country's
2009 Dec 24, In Arkansas 2 men
shot and killed Philip wise, a Salvation Army major, in front of his
3 young children in North Little Rock.
(SFC, 12/26/09, p.A10)
2009 Dec 24, In Afghanistan a
suicide bomber with a horse and cart detonated himself in Kandahar,
killing 8 people and wounding 5.
2009 Dec 24, David Goldman, a
New Jersey man, and his 9-year-old son, Sean Goldman, were reunited
in Brazil after a five-year international custody battle, and
immediately headed home to spend the holidays in the US.
2009 Dec 24, In China the
Xinjiang government said five people were convicted of "extremely
serious crimes" and sentenced in separate trials on Dec 22 and Dec
23 in the regional capital of Urumqi.
2009 Dec 24, In southern India
police with bamboo batons clashed with crowds of protesters as
outrage over a delay in creating a new state (Telangana) erupted
into violent demonstrations in several cities in Andhra Pradesh.
Over 40 people were feared dead after the bridge under construction
over the Chambal river collapsed on the outskirts of Kota city in
western Rajasthan state. 12 bodies were recovered and 30 others
(AP, 12/24/09)(AFP, 12/25/09)(AP, 12/26/09)
2009 Dec 24, In Iran local
media reported that the central bank has warned people not to write
on banknotes and sought to collect defaced ones after the appearance
of opposition slogans on many.
2009 Dec 24, In Iraq explosions
killed at least 26 people across the country, most of them Shiite
pilgrims taking part in a holy mourning ceremony. Twin explosions
targeting Shiite Muslim pilgrims in Hillah killed at least 13 people
and injured 74 others. In Baghdad a bomb targeting a funeral killed
nine and wounded 33 in Sadr City. In a southern Baghdad
neighborhood, a bomb killed four Shiite pilgrims and wounded 10
others on their way to Karbala.
2009 Dec 24, About 200 Israeli
teenagers soon to be drafted sent a letter to Israel's defense
minister, saying they won't enforce any military orders to dismantle
settlements in the West Bank because that violates Jewish law. An
Israeli settler was shot dead when Palestinian gunmen opened fire on
his vehicle in the West Bank.
(AP, 12/24/09)(AFP, 12/24/09)
2009 Dec 24, Two former aides
to Japanese PM Yukio Hatoyama were charged with falsifying reports
of campaign contributions, dashing the promise of the leader who
vowed to usher in a new, cleaner era in the country's politics. Dead
and false contributors were found on the list of Hatoyama’s campaign
(AP, 12/24/09)(Econ, 10/25/14, p.44)
2009 Dec 24, In Morocco heavy
rains and gale force winds battered parts of the country, killing at
least five people and flooding large parts of the northern city of
2009 Dec 24, In Pakistan a
suicide bomber struck a neighborhood home to government buildings
and a church in Peshawar, killing four people and underscoring that
militant groups retain strength despite being under siege by the
2009 Dec 24, In Peru a bus
carrying mostly Quechua farmers and merchants home for Christmas
plunged 250 feet (80 meters) into a ravine in the southern Andes,
killing 42 people and injuring at least eight.
2009 Dec 24, In the Philippines
3 floating bodies were found as search-and-rescue teams combed the
waters of Manila Bay for at least 24 people missing after a
passenger ferry collided with a fishing boat.
2009 Dec 24, Russia’s President
Dmitry Medvedev ordered reform of the country's Interior Ministry,
saying it was a necessary response to police abuses that have
angered Russians and eroded public trust in the government.
2009 Dec 24, Witnesses in
Somalia said fighting spurred by a land dispute in Galkayo has
killed eight people.
2009 Dec 24, A delegation
headed by Chadian Foreign Minister Moussa Faki Mahamat met Sudanese
Omar al-Beshir and helped restore trust between the neighbors.
2009 Dec 24, In Suriname
rioting and attacks began against migrant workers leaving at least
seven foreign migrants dead, hundreds more homeless and a border
town in ashes. The riots in Albina began after a Brazilian allegedly
stabbed a local man to death and have made the area uninhabitable
for an estimated 300 people who fled.
2009 Dec 24, Taiwanese
prosecutors indicted former President Chen Shui-bian on new bribery
and money-laundering charges. The new indictment said Chen received
bribes worth 610 million New Taiwan Dollars ($19 million) from
bankers in connection with two merger deals. It said he shared part
of the money with his wife, Wu Shu-chen.
2009 Dec 24, Turkish police
detained 31 people, including eight Kurdish mayors, in a sweeping
dawn operation targeting Kurdish separatists.
2009 Dec 24, At the Vatican a
woman jumped a barrier and rushed at Pope Benedict XVI (82) for the
second time in two years, managing to knock him down before being
pulled away by security. The Vatican identified the woman involved
as Susanna Maiolo (25), a Swiss-Italian national with psychiatric
problems, who was immediately taken to a clinic for treatment. The
pope was unhurt but retired Vatican diplomat, French Cardinal Roger
Etchegaray (87), fractured his hip in the commotion.
2009 Dec 24, In Venezuela
Rafael Antonio Caldera (b.1916), former two-time president
(1969-1974 and 1994-1999), died. He is considered as one of the
founders of Venezuelan democracy (1958) after decades of
2009 Dec 24, Yemeni forces,
backed by US intelligence, struck a series of suspected al-Qaida
hideouts in Shabwa province, including a meeting of senior leaders,
killing at least 30 militants in the country's stepped-up campaign
against the terror network.
(AP, 12/24/09)(Econ, 1/2/10, p.35)
2010 Dec 24, In Afghanistan 2
Afghan security guards were killed after coalition forces raided the
compound of Tiger International, an Afghan private security company,
in Kabul over an alleged plot to attack the United States embassy. A
policeman and one civilian were killed by a mine near Khost. A
policeman was killed and another injured when their vehicle struck a
roadside bomb near the main road between Jalalabad and Torkham in
(AFP, 12/24/10)(AP, 12/26/10)
2010 Dec 24, The leaders of
Afghanistan and Pakistan met in Istanbul for a new round of talks
aimed at building trust between the two neighbors. Turkey’s Pres.
Gul said a railroad between Turkey and Pakistan should be extended
to Afghanistan and flights between the three countries should be
expanded for better cooperation.
2010 Dec 24, The Bangladesh
government announced it was planning a “high-level" investigation
into the operations of Grameen Bank, a microlender founded by
Muhammad Yunus, winner of the 2006 Nobel peace prize.
(Econ, 1/8/11, p.75)
2010 Dec 24, Belarus President
Alexander Lukashenko was officially declared the winner of a fourth
term in office in a vote that both his challengers and international
monitors say was tainted by fraud.
2010 Dec 24, Colombia’s police
and air force began an anti-drug operation in Meta state.
2010 Dec 24, The Ecuadorean
government recognized Palestine as a sovereign state.
2010 Dec 24, In Ecuador an
overcrowded bus plunged into a 1,100-foot (350m) ravine leaving 38
people dead and 46 injured.
2010 Dec 24, Heavy snow
stranded thousands of Christmas travelers in Europe, with Belgium's
main airport closed for landing and icy roads in Sweden choked with
2010 Dec 24, Guinea's President
Alpha Conde named Mohamed Said Fofana, a former director of economic
research, as the nation's new prime minister.
2010 Dec 24, In India Dr.
Binayak Sen (60), a physician, outspoken government critic and human
rights activist, was convicted along with 2 others of aiding
communist rebels in eastern India. All three were sentenced to life
2010 Dec 24, In Iraq a Shiite
militia leader, his wife and three children were killed in a bomb
attack on their home in Haswa, south of Baghdad.
2010 Dec 24, In Israel hundreds
of Israelis and African migrants marched down Tel Aviv's main
boulevard to protest a government plan to build a detention facility
to hold those who enter the country illegally.
2010 Dec 24, In Ivory Coast
Laurent Gbagbo, who refused to concede defeat after presidential
elections, faced two major setbacks as officials cut off his access
to the state funds used to pay soldiers and state television
remained off the air in much of the country. The UN said masked
gunmen with rocket launchers were blocking access to what officials
believe may be a mass grave site. West Africa leaders from the
15-country regional bloc ECOWAS, the Economic Community of West
African States, threatened to send military intervention into Ivory
Coast if incumbent Gbagbo refuses to step down peacefully.
(AP, 12/24/10)(AP, 12/25/10)
2010 Dec 24, Macedonia
police arrested Vellija Ramkovski and 14 employees of his private A1
television channel. The channel has often critical of PM Gruevski’s
2010 Dec 24, In Mexico 11 of
the murder victims were shot in Ciudad Juarez.
2010 Dec 24, Dutch police
arrested 12 Somali men in the key port city of Rotterdam on
suspicion of preparing a terrorist attack. Dutch authorities on Dec
26 cleared five of the 12 Somali men who were detained Christmas Eve
on suspicion of preparing a terrorist attack. By Dec 30 the
remaining Somalis were released but 3 were still considered suspect.
(AP, 12/25/10)(AP, 12/27/10)(AP, 12/30/10)
2010 Dec 24, In central and
northern Nigeria a series of unprecedented Christmas Eve bomb blasts
and attacks on churches left 32 people dead in Jos. 6 people were
killed when petrol bombs were thrown at churches in the northeastern
city of Maiduguri, in Borno state.
(AFP, 12/25/10)(Reuters, 12/28/10)
2010 Dec 24, In northwestern
Pakistan Taliban insurgents launched coordinated attacks on five
paramilitary checkpoints, leaving at least 11 soldiers and 24
militants dead. A bomb fitted with a timer exploded in a private
boys' primary school in Peshawar's Pelosi neighborhood, wounding
four children. The US embassy in Islamabad said Washington
transferred more than 600 million dollars to the Pakistani
government this week to pay for its efforts in the fight against
2010 Dec 24, Russia's
parliament gave preliminary approval to a landmark nuclear arms
reduction treaty with the United States, supporting ratification of
the new START pact in the first of three required votes.
2010 Dec 24, Russia's central
bank raised interest rates on its deposit operations to contain
surging inflation, its first step away from the loose policy
implemented after the financial crisis hammered the Russian economy.
2010 Dec 24, Russia announced a
deal to buy at least two of France’s advanced Mistral-class
amphibious warships. This was the first time in modern history that
Russia has made a major defense acquisition abroad.
(SFC, 12/25/10, p.A2)
2010 Dec 24, In Saudi Arabia
police shot dead a man, disguised as a woman, at a checkpoint south
of Riyadh after he opened fire on them. Police later identified the
man as Mohammed Issam Tahir al-Baghdadi, an al-Qaida operative
wanted for terrorist activities.
2010 Dec 24, South Africa's
minister of international relations and cooperation said South
Africa has been invited by China to join the four-member "BRIC"
grouping of fast-growing emerging markets. South Africa is the
world's 31st-largest economy, according to World Bank data for 2009
and is less than a quarter the size of the smallest BRIC economy,
2010 Dec 24, Sudanese
government troops killed at least 40 rebels and wounded many more in
a new offensive in the country's troubled Darfur region. 3 soldiers
also died and 13 were wounded when army forces attacked joint
positions of two rebel groups: the Justice and Equality Movement and
the Sudan Liberation Movement.
2010 Dec 24, Thailand film
director Tanwarin Sukkhapisit said she plans to appeal a decision by
the National Film Board that her film, "Insects in the Backyard,"
cannot not be shown in Thailand because it is immoral and
pornographic. The movie was about a transgender father struggling to
raise two children.
2011 Dec 24, In Ohio a
single-engine plane crashed 50 miles southeast of Columbus killing 2
women on board. The pilot died of his injuries a day later.
(SFC, 12/26/11, p.A7)
2011 Dec 24, A gunman wearing
an Afghan soldier’s uniform was killed in a gunfight with US troops
at an outpost in Bala Boluk district in southwestern Farah province.
(AFP, 12/25/11)(AP, 12/26/11)
2011 Dec 24, A boat carrying
Haitian migrants sank off Cuba's eastern coast. 38 migrants were
killed and 87 others rescued by Cuban civil defense forces.
2011 Dec 24, In Egypt Islamist
parties consolidated earlier gains in the multistage parliamentary
elections, winning nearly 70 percent of the seats determined so far.
The Muslim Brotherhood said it won around 86 of estimated 180 seats
up for grabs in the round, or 47%..
2011 Dec 24, The French
national insurance agency said it will file a criminal complaint
against Poly Implant Prothese, the maker of faulty breast implants
after authorities agreed to pay women for the removal of tens of
thousands of potentially faulty breast implants.
(SSFC, 12/25/11, p.A6)
2011 Dec 24, In eastern
Indonesia 2 people were killed and 10 others injured during a
violent protest as some 1,000 people protested to stop a gold mining
project by Australia's Arc Exploration Ltd. and Indonesian partner,
PT Sumber Mineral Nusantara. Villagers feared the project will
destroy their land and threaten forests and water resources.
2011 Dec 24, In Indonesia a
rampaging wild elephant trampled a farmer to death on Sumatra
island. Only 3,000 Sumatran elephants are believed to remain in the
2011 Dec 24, In southern Italy
Ettore Bruscella (77) shot and killed three members of a family who
owned a laundromat, apparently incensed by a years-long battle over
the smoke and fumes emitted by the washing machines in the tiny town
of Genzano Di Lucania.
2011 Dec 24, In Kashmir Bashir
Ahmed, a shopkeeper and member of the ruling pro-India National
Conference, was shot in the head at close range in Srinagar. A group
of paramilitary soldiers opened fire on each other inside a camp in
Indian Kashmir, killing three soldiers.
(AP, 12/24/11)(AP, 12/25/11)
2011 Dec 24, Liberian
police overnight arrested CDC secretary general Acarous Gray,
a top official of the main opposition Congress for Democratic
Change, as the capital was under curfew after rioting by unpaid
2011 Dec 24, In western Mexico
the body of a US teenager, identified as Alexis Uriel Marron (18),
was found in the trunk of a burned-out car along with the bodies of
two other youths near the village of Quiringuicharo, Michoacan
2011 Dec 24, Nigerian police
and a local rights group said the death toll from 2 days of attacks
in the north attributed to the Islamist Boko Haram sect could reach
2011 Dec 24, A Pakistani
Taliban suicide bomber rammed a car filled with explosives into a
paramilitary camp in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa's Bannu town killing six
2011 Dec 24, In Russia an
estimated 80,000 demonstrators cheered opposition leaders and jeered
the Kremlin in the biggest show of outrage yet against PM Vladimir
Putin's 12-year rule.
(AP, 12/24/11)(Econ, 12/31/11, p.36)
2011 Dec 24, In Syria thousands
of mourners carrying flags and pictures of the dead took part in a
mass funeral for 44 people killed in twin suicide bombings that
targeted intelligence agency compounds in Damascus. Shelling in the
city of Homs killed at least three people in the Baba Amr district
and set several homes and shops ablaze.
2011 Dec 24, Turkish
authorities released an AFP photographer, along with 12 other people
who were detained as part of an investigation into a group
prosecutors accuse of having links to Kurdish rebels. A court
ordered 35 other suspects formally arrested pending trial over their
alleged involvement in the Union of Kurdistan Communities.
2011 Dec 24, In Yemen security
forces and backers of embattled President Saleh shot dead at least 9
protesters as they approached Sanaa. Tens of thousands of protesters
who set off from the southern city of Taez on Tuesday for the 270-km
(170-mile) march to the capital had arrived in Sanaa in
mid-afternoon but were blocked in a southern suburb. Pres.
Saleh said he would leave the country for the US to help calm
(AFP, 12/24/11)(AP, 12/25/11)(SSFC, 12/25/11,
2012 Dec 24, In Massachusetts a
man from Puerto Rico was arrested after cocaine was found in his
wheelchair at Logan Int’l. Airport.
(SFC, 12/25/12, p.A8)
2012 Dec 24, In West Webster,
NY, William H. Spengler, Jr. (62) shot and killed two firefighters
and seriously injured two others as they responded to a fire at his
home. Spengler was convicted in 1981 in the death of his 92-year-old
grandmother a year earlier. He served time in prison and was
released in 1998. The death toll rose to three as police revealed
that a body believed to be the killer's sister, Cheryl Spengler
(67), was found in his home. On Dec 28 Dawn Nguyen (24) was arrested
and charged in connection with the Christmas Eve ambush.
(SFC, 12/25/12, p.A9)(AP, 12/25/12)(AP, 12/28/12)
2012 Dec 24, Charles Durning
(b.1923), Oscar-nominated character actor, died in Manhattan. His
films included "Dog Day Afternoon" (1975), "The Best Little
Whorehouse in Texas" (1982) and “To Be or Not to Be" (1983).
2012 Dec 24, Jack Klugman (90),
stage, film and TV actor, died in Los Angeles. He starred in “The
Odd Couple" TV series (1970-1975) and in “Quincy, M.E." (1976-1983).
(SFC, 12/25/12, p.A12)
2012 Dec 24, An Afghan
policewoman, identified as Sgt Nargas, walked into a high-security
compound in Kabul and killed American contractor Joseph Griffin (49)
with a single bullet to the chest, the first such shooting by a
woman in a spate of insider attacks by Afghans against their foreign
allies. Nargas moved to Afghanistan from Iran 10 years ago after her
husband obtained fake documents enabling her to live and work there.
The killing came just hours after an Afghan policeman shot five of
his colleagues at a checkpoint in Jawzjan province. The attacker
then stole his colleague's weapons and fled to join the Taliban.
(AP, 12/24/12)(AP, 12/25/12)
2012 Dec 24, In China a van
carrying 15 children to kindergarten plunged into a roadside pond
killing 11 children in Guixi city, Jiangxi province.
(SFC, 12/25/12, p.A2)
2012 Dec 24, In Israel former
chief rabbi Eliahu Bakshi-Doron was charged as part of what has
become known as the "rabbis' file" affair. He and others were
accused of falsifying rabbinical certificates for more than 1,000
soldiers and police officers so they could be eligible for salary
2012 Dec 24, Nigerian security
forces detained two journalists from a Hausa-language newspaper over
articles they published regarding alleged military abuses during the
country's fight against a radical Islamist sect.
2012 Dec 24, In Yemen a US
drone airstrike killed two al-Qaida militants in on Radda in Bayda
province. 4 tribesmen were killed in Yemeni artillery strikes on
areas in the northeastern province of Marib, where they have been
accused of attacks on oil pipelines and power generating stations.
2013 Dec 24, US postal
regulators approved a temporary two-year increase of 3 cents for the
first class stamp. The 49 cent rate will be effective as of Jan 26,
(SFC, 12/25/13, p.A7)
2013 Dec 24, California’s Gov.
Jerry Brown granted clemency to 127 convicted criminals. All the
people involved had completed their sentences.
(SFC, 12/25/13, p.D3)
2013 Dec 24, In southern
California Steven Keith (58) collapsed and died in a holding cell
after his arrest by Border Patrol agents for allegedly carrying
three pounds of marijuana.
(SFC, 12/30/13, p.A6)
2013 Dec 24, In upstate New
York 2 firefighters were killed in an ambush after William Spengler
Jr. shot his sister and set fire to his West Webster home. Spengler
wounded two other firefighters before committing suicide. In 2014
Dawn Nguyen was sentenced to eight years in prison for buying the
guns for Spengler.
(SFC, 9/18/14, p.A6)
2013 Dec 24, A US federal
appeals court ruled that same-sex marriages can continue in Utah,
denying a request from the state to halt them.
(SFC, 12/25/13, p.A10)
2013 Dec 24, NASA astronauts
wrapped up successful repairs at the International Space Station
after a rare Christmas Eve spacewalk to fix an equipment cooling
system. Rick Mastracchi (53) and Mike Hopkins (44) floated outside
the orbiting lab for seven and a half hours to replace an ammonia
pump whose internal control valve failed on December 11.
2013 Dec 24, Brazilian
President Dilma Rousseff flew over the flood-hit southeastern state
of Espirito Santo, where at least 14 people have died in days of
torrential rain. 47 cities in Espirito Santo, which borders Rio de
Janeiro state, were affected by the flooding.
2013 Dec 24, Hurricane-force
winds and torrential rain disrupted transport networks and cut power
supplies in Britain and France, one of the busiest travel days of
the year just before Christmas, pushing the death toll to at least 6
2013 Dec 24, Britain
posthumously pardoned Alan Turing (1912-1954) for a 1952 gay sex
conviction which tarnished the brilliant career of the code breaker
credited with helping win the war against Nazi Germany and laying
the foundation for the computer age.
2013 Dec 24, In Chile Nicolesa
Quintreman (73), a Mapuche Indian leader, was found floating in a
reservoir she spent a decade trying to prevent from being created.
With her sister Berta, Quintreman became a national figure in Chile
during protests against the construction of a hydroelectric dam on
tribal land in the forested mountains of southern Chile.
2013 Dec 24, China's top
legislative committee voted to abolish "re-education through labor"
camps introduced more than half a century ago, saying they had
served their purpose.
2013 Dec 24, In Egypt multiple
explosions at the security headquarters in Mansoura killed 16 and
injured more than 100.
(AP, 12/24/13)(AP, 12/25/13)
2013 Dec 24, Egyptian state
television reported the arrest of Hesham Kandil, the country's
former prime minister, to serve a one-year prison sentence. He had
served under the nation's toppled Islamist president.
2013 Dec 24, Egypt's football
league resumed following repeated suspensions for almost two years
after a deadly stadium riot and political unrest in the country.
2013 Dec 24, In Iraq a bomb
struck the acting Iraqi defense minister's convoy west of Baghdad,
wounding two of his guards.
2013 Dec 24, Israeli air and
ground forces launched a series of attacks on targets across the
Gaza Strip, killing a young girl and wounding 10 in response to the
deadly shooting of an Israeli civilian by a Palestinian sniper.
Palestinian officials reported at least 16 Israeli attacks.
2013 Dec 24, A Libyan soldier
was shot dead and a civilian wounded by a bomb under his car in
separate attacks in the eastern city of Benghazi.
2013 Dec 24, The Malian
Ministry of Defense said that Aliou Mahamar Toure, the former head
of the Islamic Police in Gao, has been captured. Toure had presided
over a 10-month reign of terror.
2013 Dec 24, Russian news
agency RIA reported that Russia is preparing to lift a suspension it
imposed on the import of Lithuanian dairy products on October 7.
2013 Dec 24, Syrian government
air raids on rebel-held areas of Aleppo killed at least 15 people,
including three children.
2013 Dec 24, Turkey’s President
Abdullah Gul sought to salve furor over a high-level corruption case
by assuring the public there would be no cover-up and that the
courts were free to investigate.
2013 Dec 24, The UN office of
the Commissioner for Human Rights said a mass grave believed to
contain the bodies of 75 ethnic Dinka soldiers has been found in
South Sudan. Later the office revised that figure to 34 bodies and
75 people feared missing. The UN mission in South Sudan said the
erroneous report was an inflation of a "skirmish" in which 15 people
were killed. The UN Security Council approved plans to increase
number of peacekeepers in South Sudan to 12,500 troops and
(AP, 12/24/13)(Reuters, 12/24/13)
2013 Dec 24, The Zambia
Wildlife Authority said it has arrested two people in possession of
more than 115 kg (250 pounds) of ivory.