Today in history, greetings, and social banter here. (More)

Istanbul’s rebuilt Hagia Sophia basilica, destroyed by earthquakes, was dedicated today (563). Also, Pope John IV was elected (640), as was Pope Boniface VIII (1294), James Cook discovered Kiritimati, also known as Christmas Island (1777), the Treaty of Ghent ended the War of 1812 (1814), lyricist Joseph Mohr and composer Franz Gruber performed Stille Nacht for the first time (1818), West Point cadets began the Eggnog Riot (1826), a fire swept through the Library of Congress (1851), six Confederate veterans formed the Ku Klux Klan (1865), Giuseppe Verdi’s Aida premiered in Cairo (1871), Reginald Fessenden broadcast the first radio entertainment program, with poetry readings, a violin solo, and a speech (1906), the Lackawanna Cut-Off Line railway opened (1911), 73 striking miners, wives, and children were crushed to death when someone yelled “Fire!” during their Christmas Party at the Italian Hall in Calumet, Michigan (1913), soldiers on the Western Front observed the “Christmas Truce” (1914), Albania became a republic (1924), Libya gained independence (1951), NORAD began the holiday tradition of tracking Santa (1955), the crew of Apollo 8 entered orbit around the Moon and transmitted their famous Christmas Eve Broadcast (1968), Congress passed the District of Columbia Home Rule Act (1973), 71 people died as Cyclone Tracy devastated Darwin, Australia (1974), witnesses reported unexplained lights near RAF Woodbridge in England’s Rendlesham Forest (1980), and Spanish police thwarted a bomb plot at Madrid’s Chamartín Station (2003). And a Ugandan rebel group began a series of massacres that would kill 400 civilians in four days (2008).


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Today on Campus

There will be no Campus Question tonight, as it’s Christmas Eve. Happy Holidays!


Photo Credit: Geert Weggen (Mercury Press)


Good morning! ::hugggggs::