On December 24, 1818, the first performance of “Silent Night” took place in the church of St. Nikolaus in Oberndorf, Austria. Father Joseph Mohr had written the lyrics some time earlier, commissioning nearby schoolteacher and organist, Franz Xavier Gruber, to compose a melody appropriate for guitar accompaniment. It is one of the world’s
On December 23, 1783, George Washington resigned as commander-in-chief of the Continental Army> at the Maryland State House in Annapolis, Maryland.
On December 22, 1989, Communist President of Romania Nicolae Ceaușescu was overthrown by Ion Iliescu after days of bloody confrontations. The deposed dictator and his wife fled Bucharest with a helicopter as protesters erupted in cheers.
On December 21, 1826, American settlers in Nacogdoches, Mexican Texas, declared their independence, starting the Fredonian Rebellion.
On December 20, 1740, Arthur Lee — Revolutionary Era diplomat, spy, and Virginia delegate to the Continental Congress — was born. He practiced law in London from 1770 to 1776, where he wrote polemics against slavery and in defense of the American colonies’ resistance to the Townshend acts and other tyrannical
On December 19, 1776, Tom Paine published one of a series of pamphlets in the Pennsylvania Journal titled The American Crisis. Exactly one year later, George Washington’s Continental Army went into winter quarters at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. On December 19, 1828, Vice President of the United States John C. Calhoun
On December 18, 1777, the United States celebrated its first official Thanksgiving, marking the recent October victory by the Americans over General John Burgoyne in the Battle of Saratoga.
On December 17, 1777, France formally recognized the United States of America. The 17th of December, 1819, was the day Simon Bolivar declared the independence of the Republic of Gran Colombia in Angostura.
On December 16, 1689, the Convention Parliament began, not only transfering power from one king to another, but establishing procedures and rights into the British Constitution, both of which were copied in the United States of America a century later, with the Constitution’s Bill of Rights. December 16 birthdays include
On December 15, 1791, the United States Bill of Rights became federal law when ratified by the Virginia General Assembly. On December 15 in 1933 , the Twenty-first Amendment to the United States Constitution officially became effective, repealing the Eighteenth Amendment (and the enabling Volstead Act) that had prohibited the
On December 13, 1920, American economist, statesman, and 60th United States Secretary of State George Shultz was born.
On December 12, 1939, Finnish forces defeated those of the Soviet Union in the first major victory of what became known as the Winter War, the Battle of Tolvajärvi. December 12th birthdays include: * Erasmus Darwin (1731) – English physician, slave trade abolitionist, inventor and poet * John Jay (1745)