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Events, deaths, births, of 24 DEC

[For Dec 24 Julian go to Gregorian date: 1582~1699: Jan 031700s: Jan 041800s: Jan 051900~2099: Jan 06]
On a December 24:
2002 Entravision Communications Corporation (EVC) announces that it has entered into a definitive asset purchase agreement to acquire the assets of three FM radio stations serving the greater Los Angeles market from Big City Radio (YFM) for $100 million in cash and 3.77 million shares of Entravision's Class A Common Stock. This represents a total purchase price of approximately $137 million (based on Entravision's average closing stock price for the previous five trading days). The stations include KLYY-FM, KVYY-FM and KSYY-FM, serving the greater Los Angeles market. The acquisition, which is subject to regulatory approvals, is expected to close in the first quarter of 2003. The sale is in accordance with Big City Radio's auction of all of its radio stations, announced on 04 November 2002.
     Big City Radio did not make the 15 September 2002 semi-annual interest payment on its 11 1/4% Senior Discount Notes due 2005 because it did not have sufficient cash to make the payment, thereby giving rise on 15 October 2002 to an event of default under the indenture governing the Notes. An event of default also exists under the indenture governing the Notes because Big City Radio did not make an offer to repurchase Notes with the net cash proceeds from the 31 October 2001 sale of its Phoenix radio stations within the one year period following such sale (because it did not have sufficient cash). On 16 October 2002 the Noteholders that have entered into the forbearance agreement with the Big City Radio declareh the outstanding principal and accrued and unpaid interest on the Notes to be immediately due and payable. On 14 November 2002, more than two-thirds of the Noteholders agreed not to demand payment before 01 February 2003.
     Entravision currently owns three FM stations in Los Angeles (KSSC-FM, KSSD-FM and KSSE-FM), the largest Spanish-language media market in the United States. The acquisition will give the company an opportunity to strengthen its market position through the consolidation of its Super Estrella format on 107.1 FM. Super Estrella is a music-driven, pop and alternative Spanish rock format targeting Hispanic males and females ages 18-34. Entravision expects to begin managing the three Big City FM stations under an interim time brokerage agreement during the beginning of 2003.
      Entravision Communications Corporation is a diversified Spanish-language media company utilizing a combination of television, radio, outdoor and publishing operations to reach approximately 80% of Hispanic consumers across the US, as well as the border markets of Mexico. Entravision is the largest affiliate group of both the top-ranked Univision television network and Univision's Telefutura network, with stations in 21 of the nation's top-50 Hispanic markets. The company also operates one of the nation's largest centrally programmed Spanish-language radio networks, which serves 25 markets via 55 owned and/or operated radio stations. The company's outdoor operations consist of approximately 11'400 advertising faces concentrated primarily in Los Angeles and New York, and the company's publishing operations consist of El Diario/la Prensa in New York, the US's oldest major Spanish-language daily newspaper.
      On the American Stock Exchange, 275'000 of the 14.5 million YFM shares are traded, surging from their previous close of 32 cents to an intraday high of $2.25 and closing at $1.53. They had traded as low as 10 cents on 10 October 2002, and as high as $13.13 on 06 April 1998. [YFM 5~year price chart >]
     On the New York Stock Exchange, EVC shares close at $10.00, not much down from their previous close of $10.35They had traded as low as $8.55 on 05 August 2002, and as high as $20.38 on 21 August 2000, after starting at $19.00 on 31 July 2000..[< EVC 3~year price chart]
1998 El presidente yugoslavo, Slobodan Milosevic, incumple su compromiso de alto el fuego e inicia un ataque contra las localidades de Glamnik, Obranca, Burince y Lapastica, considerados bastiones de la guerrilla independentista.
1998 US objects to European Union communication standards
      The White House asks the European Union to refrain from adopting a proposed technology standard for the next generation of wireless communications services. The administration wrote the E.U. and urged them to let the market, not the government, set technology standards. The United States feared that the E.U.'s standard, backed by Swedish concern Ericsson, might undermine the ability of US technology companies to compete abroad. 1946 First religious service to be televised in a church Christmas Eve,
1998 Priceline files for IPO Priceline.com, a Web site allowing users to name their own price for airline and hotel reservations, files for an IPO. The company, which had attracted attention for creating a virtual marketplace for travelers, said it would offer $115 million worth of common stock.
1997 Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, the aging revolutionary known as ''Carlos the Jackal,'' is sentenced by a French court to life in prison for the 1975 murders of two French investigators and a Lebanese national.
1997 El G-7 (el grupo de los siete países más ricos del mundo), el Fondo Monetario Internacional y otros seis países más, deciden otorgar a Corea del Sur un préstamo por valor de 10'000 millones de dólares.
1994 Boris Nikolaievich Yeltsin es elegido presidente de la CEI durante el primer semestre.
1994 Islamic terrorists hijack a French plane
      Four Islamic extremists hijack Air France Flight 8969 in Algiers. Both the Algerian and French governments allowed the terrorists to fly the plane to Marseilles, in part because they knew that French special forces would be on hand to aid in a rescue mission. Fifty-four hours after the terrorists had taken control of the plane, during which time they killed three hostages, French Prime Minister Edouard Balladur made a bold decision to send in French commandos to put an end to the hijacking. At the conclusion of this dangerous mission, all four terrorists were killed, and the remaining 171 hostages were released unharmed, despite the discovery of 20 sticks of dynamite aboard the plane. According to some of the hostages, the terrorists had discussed plans to fly the plane to Paris and blow it up.
      The hijacking came during a time of political turmoil and civil war in Algeria, when Islamic rebels were fighting to end a military dictatorship. The four Islamic terrorists were protesting France's tacit support of the dictatorship. France, as well as many other European governments, supported the military dictatorship because they feared an Islamic fundamentalist takeover. However, not all the fundamentalist groups seeking power were violent and antidemocratic, and the military dictatorship that was in power was clearly not a democracy.
      The brutal civil war, which began in 1992 when the Algerian army cancelled an election that the Islamic party was winning, continues to this day. Although the violence died down to a certain extent in 1999 when Abdelaziz Bouteflika-who promised reform and end to the war-was elected president, fighting continues to break out periodically. Yet despite the resistance of Islamic fundamentalist groups, the army has maintained power. Over 100,000 people have died in the fighting, most of them citizens who were brutally murdered by the regime.
1992 President Bush Sr. pardons Iran-Contra criminals.
      President George Bush pardons six Reagan aides involved in the Iran-Contra affair, including Caspar W. Weinberger, former secretary of defense.. The Iran-Contra affair first became public in late 1986, when it was revealed that members of the Reagan administration, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), and the armed forces were illegally selling arms to Iran for two purposes: to help secure the release of American hostages held in Lebanon by pro-Iranian groups, and to raise funds for the illicit support of the Contras in their guerrilla war against Nicaragua's Communist government. Revelations about the Iran-Contra connection caused outrage in Congress, which in 1983 had passed the Boland amendments prohibiting the Defense Department, the CIA, or any other government agency from providing military aid to the Contras. In December 1986, Lawrence E. Walsh was named special prosecutor to investigate the matter, and over the course of the investigation thirteen top White House, State Department, and intelligence officials were found guilty of charges ranging from perjury to charges of conspiracy to defraud the United States. Although President Reagan was heavily implicated in the final congressional report, neither he nor Vice President George Bush was directly indicted in the subsequent criminal trials. The pardon is suspected to be Bush's way of avoiding revelations of his guilt. In a single stroke, Mr. Bush sweeps away one conviction, three guilty pleas and two pending cases, decapitating what was left of Walsh's effort, which began in 1986. Walsh bitterly condemns the President's action, charging that 'the Iran-contra cover-up, which has continued for more than six years, has now been completed.'
     Besides Weinberger, Bush pardons Robert C. McFarlane, the former national security adviser, and Elliott Abrams, the former assistant Secretary of State for Central America. Both had pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges of withholding information from Congress about support for the Contras. He also pardoned Clair E. George, the former head of the Central Intelligence Agency's clandestine services, who was convicted earlier in December 1992, at his second trial, of two felony charges of perjury and misleading Congress about both the contras and the Iran initiative — crimes for which he faced up to five years in prison and $250'000 in fines.
      Two other intelligence officials are granted clemency. One is Duane R. Clarridge, the former head of the C.I.A.'s European division, who was awaiting trial on charges that he misled Congressional investigators about a missile shipment to Iran in 1985. The other is Alan D. Fiers Jr., once a rising star with the agency, who had pleaded guilty in 1991 to withholding from Congress information about the Contras and who later decided to cooperate with the prosecution, becoming C. E. George's chief accuser at both his trials.
1991 Mikhail Gorbachev resigns as ruler of the Soviet Union
1990 Un golpe militar en Surinam arrebata el poder al presidente Ransewak Shankar.
1990 Saddam says Israel will be Iraq's 1st target
1989 Ousted Panamanian ruler Manuel Noriega, having thus far succeeded in eluding US forces, gets asylum at the Vatican's diplomatic mission in Panama City.
1985 Cuba's durable dictator Fidel Castro announces that he is a non-smoker [making go up in smoke the hopes that he would, as soon as possible, die of lung cancer from smoking the famous Cuban cigars, which apparently he reserves strictly for export].
1984 El partido de Rajiv Gandhi gana las elecciones parlamentarias en la India.
1984 El lobo es declarado especie totalmente protegida en España.
1974 An oil tanker's spill pollutes 4000 square kilometers of Japan's Inland Sea.
1972 Hanoi bars all peace talks with the United States until US air raids over North Vietnam stop.
1968 Three astronauts, James A. Lovell, William Anders and Frank Borman, reach the moon. They orbit the moon 10 times before coming back to Earth. They take the first pictures of an Earth-rise over the moon. Seven months later, man would first land on the moon.
1966 A Soviet research vehicle soft-lands on the moon.
1967 The Greek Junta frees ex-Premier Papandreou.
1956 Blacks defy a city law in Tallahassee, Florida, by occupying front bus seats.
1954 Laos gains its independence.
1952 Red scare immigration law goes into effect in US
      The McCarren-Walter Act takes effect and revises America's immigration laws. The law was hailed by supporters as a necessary step in preventing communist subversion in the United States, while opponents decried the legislation as being xenophobic and discriminatory.
      The act, named after Senator Pat McCarren (Democrat-Nevada) and Representative Francis Walter (Democratic-Pennsylvania), did relatively little to alter the quota system for immigration into the United States that had been established in the Immigration Act of 1924. The skewed nature of the quotas was readily apparent. Immigrants from Great Britain, Ireland, and Germany were allotted two-thirds of the 154'657 spots available each year. However, the act did specifically remove previously established racial barriers that had acted to exclude immigrants from nations such as Japan and China. These countries were now assigned very small quotas.
      The changes that were of more concern for many critics centered on the act's provision of much more strenuous screening of potential immigrants. It banned admission to anyone declared a subversive by the attorney general and indicated that members of communist and "communist-front" organizations were subject to deportation. In defending the act, Senator McCarren declared, "If this oasis of the world should be overrun, perverted, contaminated, or destroyed, then the last flickering light of humanity will be extinguished. “ President Harry S. Truman took a very different view, calling the legislation "un-American" and inhumane. When the bill was passed in June 1952, Truman vetoed the bill. Congress overrode his veto, and the act took effect in December. The McCarren-Walter Act set America's immigration standards until new legislation was passed in 1965.
1951 United Kingdom of Libya gains independence from Italy via the UN
1948 1st US house completely sunheated is occupied, Dover, Mass
1947 An estimated 20'000 communists, led by guerrilla General Markos Vafthiades proclaim the Free Greek Government in northern Greece. They issue a call to arms to establish the regime throughout the nation.
1946 4th French republic established
1943 US President F. D. Roosevelt appoints General Dwight D. Eisenhower as the Allied Supreme Commander for Operation Overlord, even though almost everyone believed that the position would go to US Chief of Staff General George C. Marshall.
1942 1st powered flight of V-1 buzz bomb, Peenemonde, Germany.
1942 El general Henri Honoré Giraud, asume el cargo de alto comisario francés en el norte de África.
1936 Federico Laredo Bru, es elegido presidente de Cuba.
1936 1st radioactive isotope medicine administered, Berkeley, Ca
1933 Codex Sinaiticus, an early Greek version of the Bible, arrives in Britain to which it has been sold by a Soviet government desperate for cash.
1932 Pope Pius XII gives the world a five-point peace plan.
1924 Albania becomes a republic.
1922 En su primera encíclica, el papa Pío XI hace un llamamiento a la paz en Italia y en el mundo.
1920 Enrico Caruso gives his last public performance (New York NY)
1919 $100 million donation by Rockefeller
      John D. Rockefeller, the world's richest man, gave away one-hundred million dollars. The donation by the Standard Oil tycoon was the largest single philanthropic gift to that day. Half of the money was set to increase teachers's salaries, while the Rockefeller Foundation would distribute the rest. Before his death at ninety-eight, Rockefeller had given away over five-hundred million dollars.
1917 The Kaiser warns Russia that he will use "iron fist" and "shining sword" if peace is spurned.
1914 An informal truce breaks out here and there on the Western Front of WW I when the Germans light candles on small Christmas trees, sing carols, which British troops on the other side of the 60-meter or so no-man's-land imitate, in the middle of which they both meet crawling, exchange gifts from the Christmas parcels they received, then on 25 December at daybreak go and bury the dead corpses, and play games of soccer. On the German side, corporal Adolf Hitler refuses to participate. On a lesser scale similar incidents occur where French or Belgian troops face the Germans. The truce continues until on 27 December the generals on both sides replace the fraternizing troops.by fresh troops who have not seen the enemy as human.
1914 In World War I, first air raid on Great Britain: a German airplane drops a bomb on the grounds of a rectory in Dover.
1909 Alberto I es coronado rey de Bélgica.
1906 The first radio program is broadcast by Professor Reginald Aubrey Fessenden of Brant Rock, Massachusetts: a poetry reading, a Georg Friedrich Haendel violin solo, and a speech. He asks listeners to contact him and let him know how clearly they receive his signal. Fessenden uses a 131-meter-high antenna and an alternator driven by a steam engine. He is eard in boats sailing near Newfoundland.
1889 Bicycle with a back-pedal brake patented
1874 Pope Pius IX proclaims a jubilee for 1875
1864 First attack on Fort Fisher, North Carolina begins
1862 On board the USS New Era artillery arrives for the Federal troops at Columbus, Kentucky.
1864 Yank Navy bombards Reb Fort Fisher.
      A Union fleet under Admiral David Dixon Porter begins a bombardment of Fort Fisher, North Carolina. Although an impressive display of firepower, the attack failed to destroy the fort; a ground attack the next day did not succeed either. Fort Fisher guarded the mouth of the Cape Fear River, the approach to Wilmington. Throughout the war, Wilmington was one of the most important ports as the Confederates tried to break the Union blockade of its coasts.
      By late 1864, Wilmington was one of the last ports open in the South. The massive wood and sand Fort Fisher was built in 1862 to withstand attack by the most powerful Federal cannon. Even though it was an important city, the Union leaders directed more attention to other targets, such as the capture of the Confederate capital of Richmond.
      Not until late 1864 did the Union turn attention to Fort Fisher. Now, 60 ships attacked the fort on Christmas Eve. Inside the stronghold, 500 Confederates hunkered down and withstood the siege. Although buildings in the fort caught fire, there were few casualties. The next day, a small Yankee force attacked on the ground, but reinforcing Confederates from Wilmington drove them away. The Union fleet sailed back to Hampton Roads, Virginia, with nothing to show for their efforts. The Union tried again to take Fort Fisher in January. After two days, a Union force overwhelmed the fort and the last major Confederate port was closed.
1851 Fire ravages the US Library of Congress
      A fire at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., destroys about two-thirds of its fifty-five thousand volumes, including two-thirds of Thomas Jefferson's personal library, sold to the institution in 1815. The Library of Congress was established in 1800 when President John Adams approved legislation that appropriated $5000 to purchase "such books as may be necessary for the use of Congress. “ The first books, ordered from London, arrived in 1801 and were stored in the US Capitol, the library's first home. The collection consisted of 740 volumes and three maps. In 1814, the British army invaded the city of Washington and burned the Capitol, including the 3000-volume Library of Congress. Former president Thomas Jefferson, who advocated the expansion of the library during his two terms in office, responded to the loss by selling his personal library, the largest and finest in the country, to Congress to "recommence" the library. The purchase of Jefferson's 6487 volumes was approved in the next year.
      After the library's second major fire in 1852, Congress responded quickly and generously, and within a few years the majority of the lost books were replaced. After the Civil War, the collection was greatly expanded, and by the twentieth century the Library of Congress had become the de facto national library of the United States and one of the finest in the world. Today, the collection, housed in three enormous buildings in Washington, contains more than seventeen million books, as well as nearly ninety-five million maps, manuscripts, photographs, films, audio and video recordings, prints and drawings, and other special collections.
1849 Having been spared the firing squad at the last minute, Dostoevsky starts for the Omsk penal settlement to which he was condemned for joining a rebel plot. There he will begin his turn to Christ.
1836 Fuerzas liberales mandadas por Baldomero Espartero derrotan a los carlistas en Luchana (Bilbao).
1827 High tariffs suffer a defeat in the US
      During the previous summer, a group of one hundred delegates gathered in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and made out a series of recommendations for protecting US goods. However, on December 24, a group of Congressmen allied with Andrew Jackson helped scuttle the Harrisburg Convention's wishes, including their call for high tariffs. Jackson and his forces didn't stop at quashing the protectionists’ legislative drive; in late January of 1828, the Jacksonians drafted a tariff bill that, with its package of preposterously high duties, was designed not only to fail, but to permanently tarnish the reputation of their arch-enemy, President John Quincy Adams. The gambit was only partially successful: as planned, the House killed the bill, prying open the door for debate that threatened to sink Adams and his fellow tariff proponents. In the short term, though, the president prevailed, as he helped push a tariff bill the into the law books. However, the legislation, dubbed the "Tariff of Abominations," was the target of considerable scorn and a handful of states challenged its constitutionality. And in 1829, Jackson had the last laugh, as the Democratic firebrand triumphed over Adams to become the nation's new president.
1818 "Silent Night"composed by Franz Joseph Gruber; 1st sung next day
1814 US-UK War of 1812 is ended, but not instantly.
      At a peace conference held in Belgium, the Treaty of Ghent is signed between Great Britain and the United States, formally ending the War of 1812. By terms of the treaty, all conquered territory is to be returned and a commission will be established to settle the boundary of the US and Canada from the St. Croix River west to Lake of the Woods. In June of 1812, the United States declared war against Great Britain in reaction to three issues: the British economic blockade of Napoleonic France, the induction of American seaman into the British Royal Navy against their will, and the British support of hostile Indian tribes along the Great Lakes frontier. A faction of Congress, known as the "War Hawks," advocated the declaration of war for several years, and also hoped that a US invasion of Canada might result in significant territorial land gains for the United States. In the months after the declaration of war, American forces launched a three-point invasion of Canada, all of which were decisively unsuccessful. In 1814, with Napoleon Bonaparte's French Empire collapsing, the British were able to allocate more military resources to the American war, and in August, Washington, D.C., fell to the British troops, who burned the White House, the Capitol, and other buildings in retaliation for the earlier burning of Canadian governmental buildings by US soldiers. However, in September, Thomas Macdonough's American naval force won an impressive victory at the Battle of Plattsburg Bay on Lake Champlain, forcing the invading British army to retreat into Canada. The American victory, coupled with the fact that the end of the war against Napoleon had nullified the problem of US neutrality, led to the conclusion of peace negotiations in Ghent, Belgium. However, British forces assailing the Gulf coast were not informed of the treaty in time, and on January 8, 1815, the US forces under Andrew Jackson achieved the greatest American victory of the war at the Battle of New Orleans. The American public heard of Jackson's great victory and the Treaty of Ghent at approximately the same time, fostering a greater sentiment of self-confidence and shared identity throughout the young republic.
      The Treaty of Peace and Amity between His Britannic Majesty and the United States of America is signed by British and American representatives at Ghent, Belgium, ending the War of 1812. By terms of the treaty, all conquered territory was to be returned, and commissions were planned to settle the boundary of the United States and Canada.
      In June 1812, the United States declared war against Great Britain in reaction to three issues: the British economic blockade of France, the induction of thousands of neutral American seamen into the British Royal Navy against their will, and the British support of hostile Indian tribes along the Great Lakes frontier. A faction of Congress, made up mostly of western and southern congressmen, had been advocating the declaration of war for several years. These "War Hawks," as they were known, hoped that war with Britain, which was preoccupied with its struggle against Napoleonic France, would result in US territorial gains in Canada and British-protected Florida.
      In the months following the US declaration of war, American forces launched a three-point invasion of Canada, all of which were repulsed. At sea, however, the United States was more successful, and the USS Constitution and other American frigates won a series of victories over British warships. In 1813, American forces won several key victories in the Great Lakes region, but Britain regained control of the sea and blockaded the eastern seaboard.
      In 1814, with the downfall of Napoleon, the British were able to allocate more military resources to the American war, and Washington, D.C., fell to the British in August. In Washington, British troops burned the White House, the Capitol, and other buildings in retaliation for the earlier burning of government buildings in Canada by US soldiers. The British soon retreated, however, and Fort McHenry in Baltimore harbor withstood a massive British bombardment and inspired Francis Scott Key to pen the "Star-Spangled Banner."
      On 11 September 1814, the tide of the war turned when Thomas Macdonough's American naval force won a decisive victory at the Battle of Plattsburg Bay on Lake Champlain. A large British army under Sir George Prevost was thus forced to abandon its invasion of the US northeast and retreat to Canada. The American victory on Lake Champlain led to the conclusion of US-British peace negotiations in Belgium, and on 24 December 1814, the Treaty of Ghent was signed, ending the war. Although the treaty said nothing about two of the key issues that started the war--the rights of neutral US vessels and the impressment of US sailors--it did open up the Great Lakes region to American expansion and was hailed as a diplomatic victory in the United States.
      News of the treaty took almost two months to cross the Atlantic, and British forces were not informed of the end of hostilities in time to end their drive against the mouth of the Mississippi River. On 08 January 1815, a large British army attacked New Orleans and was decimated by an inferior American force under General Andrew Jackson in the most spectacular US victory of the war. The American public heard of the Battle of New Orleans and the Treaty of Ghent at approximately the same time, fostering a greater sentiment of self-confidence and shared identity throughout the young republic.
1801 El emperador Francisco II prohíbe las lecciones de Franz Joseph Gall, investigador del cerebro, ya que su doctrina conduce al materialismo.
1800 Napoléon Bonaparte sale ileso de un atentado, en París.
1638 The Ottomans under Murad IV recapture Baghdad from Safavid Persia.
1591 Días después de haber ordenado la ejecución del Justicia Mayor, el Rey de España Felipe II publica un perdón general para los amotinados y respeta la esencia de los fueros aragoneses.
1568 Estalla la rebelión morisca de Las Alpujarras (Granada).
0640 John IV begins his reign as Pope.
Laci Peterson, Connor Peterson (inside)Deaths which occurred on a December 24:
2003 Two Iraqis as a roadside bomb explodes at the passage of a minibus in the Shurta traffic tunnel in Baghdad, Iraq. Two Iraqis are injured.
2003 Two policemen guarding a barricade in front of the Kurdish Interior Ministry headquarters in Arbil, Iraqi-claimed Kurdistan; an adult and a girl, 13, passing by; and a suicide car bomber, at 11:00
2003 Three US soldiers as a roadside bomb destroys their car in a convoy on a highway near Samarra, Iraq, at 09:00.
2002 Michael Ellerbe, 12, shot by Pennsylvania state troopers Juan Curry and Samuel Nassan in Uniontown, as he runs away from them after crashing the stolen car he was driving as they chased him.
2002 Laci Denise (Rocha) Peterson [< photo], born on 04 May 1975, 7-months-pregnant, disappears after being last seen at 09:30 near Dry Creek in the La Loma area of Modesto, California. Together with her son, Connor Peterson, due to be born about 10 February 2003, she is murdered by her husband, Scott Peterson, 30, who is having an extramarital affair. On 14 April 2003, the remains of Laci and Connor would be found washed ashore 5 km from where Scott said he was fishing this morning. On 18 April 2003 Scott Peterson is arrested.
2002 Rodolfo Wahab, Saudie Ampatuan, and 11 others by homemade bomb during a party at Ampatuan's home on Mindanao island, Philippines, in Datu Piang, of which Ampatuan, a Muslim man, was mayor and Wahab a town councillor. The bomb was made of two mortar shells and a timing device, typical of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front enemies of the Ampatuan family, prominent in local politics. A witness reports having seen a follower of MILF “Commander Rambo” planting the bomb.
2000 Riyanto, 25, by bomb he is removing from a Protestant church in Indonesia.
     Une bombe avait été placée dans une église protestante. Un jeune musulman, Riyanto, âgé de 25 ans, fils d'un chauffeur, faisait partie du service de sécurité chargé par le "Nadhlatul Ulama" d'assurer la surveillance et de veiller la sécurité des églises chrétiennes pendant les fêtes. Car le "Nadhlatul Ulama" est la plus importante organisation musulmane du pays, et son chef est le président de l'Indonésie, M. Wahid. Pendant la célébration, raconte Fides, alors que l'église était bondée, on a découvert un paquet suspect entre les bancs de l'église. D'après des témoins oculaires, dès qu'elles ont compris qu'il s'agissait d'une bombe, les personnes présentes se sont mis à crier et à s'enfuir. Le jeune Riyanto s'est approché courageusement, a pris le paquet et l'a porté hors de l'église pour éviter un massacre. Avant qu'il ait pu s'en défaire, le paquet a explosé, et le jeune est mort déchiqueté par l'explosion.
     In many other places throughout Indonesia, bombs explode in or near Christian churches, causing over a dozen deaths and hundreds of injuries.
2000 Aubrey Hawkins, Irving, Texas, police officer gunned down by a gang of seven escapees from a Connally, Texas, prison, when he comes upon them robbing an Oshman's sporting goods store.
1994 John James Osborne, dramaturgo británico.
1993 Pierre Victor Auger, físico e investigador francés.
1991 Walter Hudson, 46, weighs 465 kg
1985 Ferhat Abbas, Algerian independence leader.
     Born on 24 August 1899, he bcame a pharmacist in Sétif and was elected to the municipal council of Sétif and then to the general council in Constantine. In 1938 he organized the Union Populaire Algérienne. On 10 February 1943, the Manifeste du Peuple Algérien, prepared by Abbas, was proclaimed. On 26 June 1943, an addendum proposing independence was presented to the French governor general, who rejected it. Then, with Messali Hadj, Abbas formed the Amis du Manifeste et de la Liberté. After a year in prison, he founded in 1946 the Union Démocratique du Manifeste Algérien. In 1956 Abbas escaped to Cairo to join the FLN (Front de Libération Nationale). On 18 September 1958 the Gouvernement Provisoire de la République Algérienne was formed with Abbas as president. Opposing the anti-democratic practices of the FLN, he resigned and was expelled from it in 1963. Abbas is the author of La Nuit Coloniale (1962), Le Jeune Algérien: de la Colonie vers la Province (1931), and Autopsie d'une Guerre (1980).
Abbas en 1931En 1931 Ferhat Abbas apparaît. Il fut le premier chef d’Etat algérien en 1958, mais il est sans doute, jusqu’à aujourd’hui, le leader le plus regretté par tous, par les Algériens qui ne l’ont pas suffisamment écouté, par les anciens colons qui ne l’ont pas assez écouté, par ses compagnons de lutte qui ne l’ont pas assez écouté. Bref, personne n’a suffisamment écouté Ferhat Abbas, la figure de légende du nationalisme algérien, qui prônait des idées sans doute trop en avance, mais qui a marqué le mouvement libérateur de l’Algérie par ses idées, à la différence de Messali Hadj qui s’est illustré par un activisme débordant. Le Président Bouteflika lui a rendu publiquement un hommage appuyé en l’été 1998 pour exprimer l’indispensable regard critique que les Algériens se doivent d’avoir sur leur histoire. Jean Daniel, directeur du Nouvel Observateur, a exprimé, lui, le regret qu’éprouvent les Français d’avoir eu du mépris pour les thèses de ce visionnaire : « J’ai toujours eu du respect pour ce pacifiste qui n’a opté pour la violence qu’en dernier recours et la mort dans l’âme. » Image fausse ? Pas du tout. Farhat Abbas lui-même la défend. Il écrit lui-même : « Les Algériens ont tout tenté pour éviter ce drame parce que la France leur a beaucoup appris et ne nourrissaient contre elle aucune haine. Hélas ! ils se sont heurtés — l’Histoire portera témoignage — à un mur d’argent et à une barrière d’orgueil racial qui se croyaient infranchissables. Ainsi, l’immobilisme colonial a-t-il fini par provoquer l’incendie» (Ferhat Abbas, Autopsie d’une guerre). Cette ligne à la fois nationaliste, modérée et légale qui tranchait avec les positions du PPA de l’époque, Ferhat Abbas, jeune pharmacien né à Taher, a commencé dès 1931 à l’exprimer dans Le Jeune Algérien, livre-programme d’une démarche pacifiste qui aboutirait au respect du peuple sans violence. Il cherche ensuite à inculquer cette idée aux masses et crée l’UPA (Union populaire algérienne ) en 1938. Trop étroit pour ses idées. En 1944, il crée avec les Oulémas et le PPA les Amis du manifeste de la liberté (AML), qui défendra l’idée d’un Parlement autonme associé à la France. Ses idées avancent, mais pas trop vite à son goût, et se considère incompris. En mars 1946, il se sépare du PPA et fonde l’UDMA, un parti ouvert sur les libertés et la démocratie. Il reste l’incompris. Le mouvement armé le dépasse. Il se rallie au FLN en 1955, présidera le GPRA (gouvernement provisoire en exil), présidera la première Assemblée nationale avant d’être assigné deux fois à résidence et de se retirer de la politique. Il mourra le 24 décembre 1985 après s’être exprimé pour la dernière fois en 1976 et qualifié le régime de Boumediène de «dictature».
1977 Juan Velasco Alvarado, político y militar peruano.
1973 Some 200 aboard ferryboat which capsizes off the coast of Ecuador
1971 All but one aboard Peruvian Airlines Electra as it crashes at headwaters of Amazon. Lone survivor Juliane Margaret Koepcke would be found 10 days later
1970 Nine US soldiers, by "friendly fire" in Vietnam, another nine are wounded.
1966: 129 aboard USAF C144 military plane, which crashes near Binh Thai, Vietnam
1964 Two US officers in Saigon's Brinks Hotel bombed by Viet Cong.
      Two Viet Cong agents disguised as South Vietnamese soldiers leave a car filled with explosives parked at the Brinks Hotel in Saigon. The hotel was housing US officers. Two Americans were killed in the blast and 65 Americans and Vietnamese were injured. Ambassador Maxwell Taylor, Gen. William Westmoreland, and other senior US officials tried to persuade President Lyndon B. Johnson to respond with retaliatory raids on North Vietnam, but Johnson refused. In his cable to Taylor explaining his decision, he indicated for the first time that he was considering a commitment of US combat troops.
1963 Tristán Tzara, escritor rumano.
1957 Arturo Barea, escritor español.
1962 Ackermann, mathematician.
1953: 166 persons on Wellington-Auckland (NZ) express train swept away in flood.
1942 Jean Darlan, French Admiral, assassinated
     A pro-Free French assassin in Algeria kills Jean Francois Darlan, French admiral and collaborator in the Vichy government. He was 61. Born on August 7, 1881, in Nerac, France, Darlan graduated from the French naval academy in 1902, and advanced quickly through the ranks, reaching the position of admiral of the fleet in June 1939. He was made commander in chief of the French navy two months later.
      Upon the surrender of France to the German invaders in June of 1940, Darlan let it be known that he was inclined to sail the fleet to Great Britain, to keep it out of German hands. British Prime Minister Winston Churchill conceded, "…I would cheerfully crawl on my hands and knees for a mile if by doing so I could get him to bring that fleet of his into the circle of Allied forces. “
      But it was not to happen. Darlan was quickly "bought off" by a power position: He was made navy minister and then supreme commander of all Vichy French military forces under Philippe Petain's government. He became a collaborator with the German puppeteers (even passing on to the Germans sensitive US military information that had landed in the French embassy in Washington, D.C.), and, to add insult to injury, ordering most of the French fleet to North Africa to avoid Allied capture. (The Royal Navy at Oran would nevertheless attack it shortly thereafter.)
      In November 1942, when Anglo-American forces launched its North African campaign, Operation Torch, Darlan was in Algiers, Algeria, visiting his seriously ill son. General Dwight Eisenhower took advantage of Darlan's proximity by ordering American diplomat Robert Murphy and Major General Mark Clark to convince Darlan to aid the Allies in their invasion (Darlan had hinted that he might switch his allegiance again in exchange for heavy financial aid for France from the United States). Darlan vacillated, in part because he still distrusted and disliked the British because of the attack on his fleet at Oran, but in light of the German invasion of France, which the Vichy government's concessions were supposed to prevent, he eventually acquiesced. He ordered a Vichy-force ceasefire to permit the Allied landings in North Africa to move forward unopposed. Darlan finally signed an armistice with the Allies, folding his Vichy forces into the Free French military.
      Nevertheless, Darlan was never fully trusted by the Free French; he was deemed too much of an opportunist. On Christmas Eve, 1942, he is shot dead by Bonnier de la Chapelle, a Charles de Gaulle follower who was training to be a British agent. Despite the help Darlan ultimately provided, the Allies rejoiced. “Darlan's murder, however criminal, relieved the Allies of their embarrassment at working with him," admitted Churchill.
1939 Day 25 of Winter War: USSR aggression against Finland. [Talvisodan 25. päivä]
More deaths due to Stalin's desire to grab Finnish territory.
  • Gulf of Finland: the Russian battleship Marat shells Koivisto Fortress.
  • Ladoga Karelia: at Tolvajärvi the enemy is pushed back across the River Aittojoki, where the front becomes stabilized for the remainder of the war.
  • The enemy launches another offensive at Kollaa.
  • Northern Karelia: in the Inari-Lieksa sector the enemy is pushed back across the border.
  • The war at sea: Finland mines the Soviet naval bases in the Baltic States.
  • Northern Finland: Group Ilomäki advances from Jyrkänkoski to strike at the Rasti crossroads in Kuhmo, but has to withdraw to its original positions after 16 are killed and 37 wounded.
  • In Suomussalmi the enemy launches fierce counterattacks in the parish village, at Hulkonniemi and also along the Raate road.
  • President Kyösti Kallio tours the military hospitals to greet soldiers wounded at the front.
  • Swedish border: the first group of Finnish American volunteers arrives in Tornio.
  • Abroad: in a speech at the Vatican, Pope Pius XII condemns the Soviet attack on Finland.
  • 1933 Paris express train derails & kills 160, injures 300 (France).
    Muir1838 John Muir, US naturalist, of pneumania, originator of the Yosemite National Park, geologist, explorer, discoverer of the Muir Glacier in Alaska, philosopher, artist, author.       ^top^
          John Muir, a dedicated advocate for the protection of the US's wild lands, was born in Dunbar, Scotland, on 21 April 1838. . When he was still a boy, Muir's parents immigrated to the United States. He grew up on a farm in central Wisconsin in the 1850s, a time when the region was still a relatively wild western frontier. When he was 23, Muir left the family farm and traveled around the Midwest working in a variety of industrial jobs. A talented mechanic and inventor, he seemed to be headed for a successful career in the rapidly expanding industrial economy-but an accident changed Muir's direction in life. While working in an Indianapolis factory for wagon parts, Muir's hand slipped, and a file he was using cut the cornea of his left eye. Not long after, his right eye also temporarily failed in a sympathetic reaction. Muir's experience of being blind for several weeks led him to rethink his life plans. When he recovered his sight, he abandoned his career as a skilled mechanic and opted instead to embark on a 1600-km walking tour of the US West.
    [< at the bottom of this cover were these words of Muir: “Brought into right relationship with the wilderness, man would see that he is not a separate entity endowed with a divine right to subdue his fellow creatures and destroy the common heritage, but rather an integral part of a harmonious whole.”]
          During his western ramblings, the beautiful Sierra Nevada range in California especially moved Muir. Drawing on the ideas of US transcendentalists like Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau, Muir argued that wild nature offered a “window opening into heaven, a mirror reflecting the Creator.” Muir developed a near-religious veneration for the Sierra Nevada territory and a passionate desire to preserve the wild state of the area. John Muir's struggle against the devestation of the subalpine meadows surrounding Yosemite Valley resulted in the creation of Yosemite National Park on 01 October 1890. In 1892, he and several other early preservationists formed the Sierra Club. Muir served as the club president for 22 years, tirelessly advocating the importance of preserving wilderness as a place where thousands of “tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people” could find spiritual and physical rejuvenation.
          It is hard to overestimate Muir's influence in fostering modern concepts of wilderness appreciation and protection. However, in practical terms, Muir and the Sierra Club lost several of their battles to protect the wilderness. From 1908 to 1913, Muir fought fervently against the proposed construction of the Hetch Hetchy dam in Yosemite National Park, which was being built to provide a reservoir of water for the city of San Francisco. Muir railed against his opponents, calling them “temple destroyers” and “devotees of raging commercialism,” [did he call it a “damn dam”?] but to no avail — the dam was built and water covers the Hetch Hetchy Valley today. Deeply discouraged, Muir died a year after the Hetch Hetchy defeat. The conservationist ideas he proposed in books like Our National Parks, The Yosemite, and some 150 articles, on the physiography of the Pacific Coast and Alaska, natural history, and such, have become an accepted part of mainstream US thought.

    Muir— MUIR ONLINE: The Cruise of the Corwin (illustrated) Letters to a FriendThe Mountains of California (1894, illustrated)The Mountains of CaliforniaMy First Summer in the Sierra (1911)My First Summer in the Sierra (illustrated)Our National Parks (1901)Our National ParksSteep TrailsSteep Trails Stickeen, the Story of a Dog (1909)The Story of My Boyhood and Youth (1913, illustrated)The Story of My Boyhood and Youth Studies in the Sierra (illustrated) A Thousand-Mile Walk to the Gulf (illustrated) Travels in Alaska (illustrated) The Yosemite (1912, illustrated)

    — Yosemite in art:

    The first two by Thomas Hill::  Bridal Veil Falls, Yosemite (1884, 183x241cm) — Grand Canyon of the Sierras, Yosemite (1871)
    //— the following by Albert Bierstadt::  Bridal Veil Falls, Yosemite (1873) — The Domes of the Yosemite (1870) — Looking Down the Yosemite Valley, California (1865) — Looking Up the Yosemite Valley (1867, 91x149cm) — The Merced River in Yosemite (1868) — Mirror Lake, Yosemite Valley (1864, 55x76cm) — Sunrise, Yosemite ValleySunset in the Yosemite Valley (1868) — Valley of the Yosemite (1864) — Yosemite Falls (1870) — Yosemite Valley (1866)
    1913: 60 children of Calumet strikers and 14 adults, crushed in stampede..
          On the afternoon of Christmas Eve, 1913, strikers and their families began arriving at the Italian Hall, a two-storey brick building, just over a block from Calumet's fire station. At one end of the building a single set of double doors opened onto a straight flight of stairs to the social rooms on the upper floor. By two o'clock, over 175 adults and 500 children had crowded inside to seek relief from the stresses of the five-month-old miners' strike against the owners of the Calumet & Hecla (C & H) copper mine. They sang carols and the children queued to see Santa Claus, who had modest gifts for each of them. When, around half past four as the party began to disperse, there was a cry of `Fire!' and the panic-striker families ran desperately for the stairs.
          A few escaped, but once one fell, a wall of human bodies dammed the staircase as the terrified people continued to pour down the stairs. Those at the bottom died first, crushed to death by the weight of their brothers, sisters, friends and union comrades. When rescuers arrived, the corpses were so tightly packed that they had to lift them like rubble from the top. A temporary morgue was set up in the village hall and, having been stripped for the coroner's examination, the seventy-four bodies, sixty of them aged between two and sixteen, were laid out, as if sleeping.
          By noon the next day, the shell-shocked communities of the Keewenaw peninsula had raised $25,000 for the families, with many opponents of the strike donating to the relief fund. But there was anger as well as grief on the striking miners' side. The president of the Western Federation of Miners (WFM), Charles Moyer, declared that the union would bury its own dead and take no aid from people who so recently had denounced the strikers as `undesirables'. Fifty of the victims were Finns and the local socialist Finnish language paper, Tyomies (`The Worker'), blamed the catastrophe on an unidentified intruder from a company-sponsored vigilante group, the Citizen's Alliance, who had played a cruel hoax but had got out before the crush began. A few union members even suggested that other Alliance men had held the doors, ensuring the lethal crush on the stairs. In the desperate hours immediately after the tragedy, the awful accident was reinterpreted as cold-blooded mass murder.
          The reaction of the Citizens' Alliance was direct. An official delegation of five men went to Moyer's hotel room in Hancock that same day. They subsequently claimed that Moyer, with some reservations, agreed to accept Alliance donations to the relief funds and to dampen down the rumours surrounding the recent tragedy. Shortly thereafter, an ‘unofficial’ mob ran the union leader out of town. With a gunshot fleshwound in his back, Moyer was bundled onto a Chicago-bound train and told firmly that, if he set foot in the region again, he would be lynched. In the short term, the mob's action proved a mistake since it drew national attention to the dispute at a time when the Italian Hall disaster evoked sympathy, for the strikers. Cinemas across America showed newsreel footage of the children's mass funerals with captions spreading the rumor that a man wearing a Citizens' Alliance button had triggered the stampede.
    1904 Gustav Bauernfeind, Austrian (or German?) artist specialized in orientalism, born on 04 September 1848. MORE ON BAUERNFEIND AT ART “4” DECEMBER with links to images.
    1882 Listing, mathematician.
    1872 Rankine, mathematician.
    1870 Albert Barnes, US pastor who precipitated a split in the Presbyterian church over the issue of universal salvation, and who wrote expositions of the Bible.
    1868 Abraham Cooper, English portrait painter specialized in horses, born on 08 September 1787. MORE ON COOPER AT ART “4” DECEMBER with links to images.
    1861 Prince of Wales, British blockade runner, destroyed by USS Gem of the Sea, off the coast at Georgetown SC.
    1826 Auguste-Xavier Leprince, French painter and lithographer born on 28 August 1799. — more
    1824 John Downman, English painter born in 1750. MORE ON DOWNMAN AT ART “4” DECEMBER with links to images.
    1812 Joel Barlow, 58, American poet and lawyer, from exposure near Vilna, Poland, during Napoleon's retreat from Moscow. Barlow was on a diplomatic mission to the emperor for President Madison.
    1804 Moses Haughton, British artist born in 1734.
    1799 Tiberius Dominikus Wocher, Swiss artist born in 1728.
    1784 (17 Sep?) Giuseppe Bottani, Italian painter born in 1717. — more
    1680 (burial) Jan van Kessel III, Dutch painter and draftsman baptized as an infant on 22 Sep 1641.— more
    1670 Jan Mytens, Dutch artist born in 1614.
    1541 Damián Forment, Spanish sculptor.
    1524 Vasco da Gama, Portuguese navigator, in Cochin, India. Born in about 1460, he had discovered a sea route around Africa to India.
    Births which occurred on a December 24:
    2003 The Lawtey, Florida, Correctional Institution is re-dedicated as “the first faith-based prison” in the US, raising concerns that it might violate the separation of Church and State mandated by the US Constitution. Along with regular prayer sessions, the prison offers religious studies, choir practice, religious counseling, and other spiritual activities seven days a week. Participation is voluntary and inmates are free to transfer out.
    Karzai1957 Hamid Karzai, temporary prime minister of Afghanistan after the fall of the Taliban, having taken office on 22 December 2001. [< heading first cabinet meeting, 23 Dec 2001]
    1954 José María Figueres Olsen, político e ingeniero costarricense.
    1951 Amahl and the Night Visitors, a Christmas musical, has its TV debut. Written by composer Gian Carlo Menotti, it is the first opera written specifically for television.
    1942 Jonathan Borofsky, pintor y escultor estadounidense. — LINKS
    1940 Victoria Muñoz Mendoza, política puertorriqueña.
    1931 La zapatera prodigiosa, comedia de Federico García Lorca [1898-19 Aug 1936] , se estrena en Madrid.
    1929 Mary Higgins Clark Bronx NY, author (A Cry in the Night, Stillwatch)
    1919 Pierre Soulages, French abstract painter. MORE ON SOULAGES AT ART “4” DECEMBER with links to images.
    1918 Anwar El Sadat Egypt, President of Egypt (1970-1981)
    1913 Adolph Frederick “Ad” Reinhardt, US abstract expressionist / minimalist painter, who died in 1967. — LINKS
    1912 Ramón Carnicer, escritor y profesor español.
    1910 Fritz Leiber US, writer (Bazaar of the Bizarre)
    1907 Isidor Feinstein “I. F. Stone”, US independent, radical journalist, who died on 18 June 1989. He annoyed some people all the time and all people one time or another. Son of Russian Jewish immigrants, he visited Israel many times and favored Zionism and Israel's fight for independence. But after the Arab-Israeli war of 1967, he urged Israelis to compensate Arab refugees for their losses and to cede the occupied territories to them to create an Arab Palestine federated with Israel, with Jerusalem the joint capital. Author of Underground to Palestine (1946), This Is Israel (1948), The Hidden History of the Korean War (1952), The Killings at Kent State: How Murder Went Unpunished (1971), The Trial of Socrates (1988).

    1905 Howard Hughes.
          (US industrialist: Hughes Aircraft; pilot: the 'Spruce Goose'; movie producer: Jean Harlow's career, The Front Page, Scarface, The Outlaw; eccentric recluse; long fingernails)
          Born in Houston, Hughes entered the business world at age seventeen, taking the reigns of his family's Texas-based tool company after his father passed away. However, Hughes wasn't long for the Lone Star State: in 1926 he headed to Hollywood to become a producer of gritty classics like Hell's Angels and Scarface. In 1948, Hughes snapped up a "controlling interest" in RKO Pictures, though a few years later he relinquished his shares in the company only to buy the studio outright in 1954. However, in 1955 Hughes reversed course again and sold RKO. Along the way, the eccentric millionaire indulged his passion for aviation, establishing the Hughes Aircraft Company and later buying a majority stake in Trans World Airlines. During the 1930s, Hughes flew his own custom-made plane into the record books, breaking various speed and flight-time records. Despite his glittery achievements and hefty bankroll, Hughes was never one for publicity. As the years wore on, his reclusive tendencies increased: Hughes eventually sequestered himself away in an ever-rotating series of luxury hotels, where he would toil on end for days, surviving on a diet that leaned heavier on drugs than food. Hughes died on 14 February 1976 while on a flight back to his hometown of Houston.
    1903 First English car license plate, number A1, is issued to Earl Russel, the brother of the philosopher Bertrand Russell.
    1903 Joseph Cornell, US assemblage artist who died in 1972. — more with links to images.
    1894 Georges-Marie Guynemer, famous French World War I combat pilot, who died on 11 September 1917 when he was shot down for the 9th time. He had made his first training flight on 17 February 1915 and then joined Escadrille M.S.3 “Les Cigognes". He flew successively Morane-Saulnier two-seaters, Nieuport single seaters, and Spad fighters. Though frail and tuberculous, he was credited with 53 air victories.
    1893 Ford's first engine. Henry Ford completed his first successful gasoline engine. He and his wife tested the engine in their kitchen on Christmas Eve. Ford's first automobile would take its inaugural drive on 4 June 1896.
    1881 Juan Ramon Jimenez Spain, poet (Nobel 1956)
    1881 Juan Ramón Jiménez Mantecón, in Moguer, Spain, Nobel Prize-winning poet.
          A prolific poet, he will lead a literary revival among a group a Spanish writers known as the modernistas. Jiménez studied briefly at the University of Salamanca but wrote most of his early poetry while living in his hometown. He published his first two poetry collections, Souls of Violet and Waterlilies in 1900. His early work was deeply influenced by the German Romantic movement and the French symbolist style, but he was later so embarrassed by the sentimental character of his early work that he destroyed as many copies as he could find. After a trip to New York, where he met and married Zenobia Camprubi Aymar, he returned to Spain, where he published Diary of a Poet Recently Married (1917), developing a stripped-down style that rejected extraneous elements and formal meter. During the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939), he sided with the Republicans and later went into self-exile to Puerto Rico, where he spent most of his time in later years. His prolific output includes Distant Gardens, Spiritual Sonnets 1914-1915 (1916), Stone and Sky (1919), Voices of My Song (1945), and Animal at Bottom (1947). He won the Nobel Prize in literature in 1956 and died in 1958 in Puerto Rico.
    1877 The phonograph: Thomas Alva Edison's files for the patent for the first phonograph, a device that records sound onto tinfoil cylinders.
    1876 Josep María Sert i Badía, Barcelona Catalan artist who died in December 1945. — more
    1871 Aida, opera by Giusseppi Verdi, premieres in Cairo, at Suez canal opening
    1868 Emanuel Lasker, mathematician
    1865 Ku Klux Klan founded (another day that ought to live in infamy)
          In Pulaski, Tennessee, a group of Confederate veterans convenes to form a secret society that they christen the "Ku Klux Klan. “ Initially a social fraternity, the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) rapidly grows into a paramilitary force bent on reversing the federal government's progressive Reconstruction Era-activities in the South, especially in regard to the region's African-American population. Under a platform of philosophized white racial superiority, the group employs intimidation and violence against African Americans and Southern Republicans as a means of pushing back the radical reforms underway in the post-Civil War South.
          The name of the Ku Klux Klan is derived from the Greek word kuklos, meaning circle, and clann, a Scottish Gaelic word for the traditional tribal units of Scotland that reflects the Scottish ancestry of many of the KKK's founding members. Former Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest joins the Klan soon after its founding, helps develop the organization's guerrilla activities, and is refuted to have served as the KKK's first Grand Wizard.
          Thriving in counties where the two political parties or races are relatively balanced, the KKK engages in terrorist raids against African Americans or white political opponents at night, employing intimidation, destruction of property, assault, and murder to achieve its aims and influence upcoming elections. In a few southern states, white Republicans organize militia units to break up the Klan, while the passing of the Force Bill of 1871 by Congress authorizes the president to use Federal troops against the KKK when necessary, and the organization all but disappears.
          However, in 1915, William J. Simmons reorganizes the Ku Klux Klan on a national scope, embracing anti-Catholic, anti-Semitic, fundamentalist, and nationalist impulses in addition to the organization's original racist ideology. By the mid 1920s, the second KKK movement has grown into a formidable political movement, with several million members across the United States. However, state and federal action, along with exposure of the Klan's illegal and violent tactics, leads to a rapid decline in membership by the late 1920s.
          During the 1960s, in response to the African-American civil rights movement, there is a third and more minor manifestation of the Klan. Although dozens of African Americans and white civil rights workers are intimidated, assaulted, and killed by Klan members, the major effect of the KKK's violence during this period is to inadvertently mobilize public support for passage of the landmark civil rights legislation of the 1960s.
    1859 Eliseo Meiffren y Roig, Barcelona Catalan artist who died in 1940. — El Marne
    1838 Thiele, mathematician.
    1837 Hans von Marées, German painter, draftsman, and sculptor, who died on 05 June 1887. MORE ON VON MARÉES AT ART “4” DECEMBER with links to images.
    1822 Matthew Arnold England, poet/critic (Dover Beach)
    1822 A Visit from St. Nicholas, Christmas poem, is written by Clement Moore, 43.
    1822 Charles Hermite, French mathematician who died in 1901.
    1822 Matthew Arnold, English poet and social critic, who died on 15 April 1888.
    1821 Gabriel García Moreno, político y escritor ecuatoriano.
    1818 James Prescott Joule, English physicist (discovered conservation of energy).
    1818 “Stille Nacht, the enduring Christmas hymn.
    In St. Nicholas' Catholic Church in Oberndorf, Austria, church organist Franz Gruber, 31, composes a melody on guitar for the lyrics of "Stille Nacht," written earlier by pastor Joseph Mohr, 26. Mohr is the pastor since 25 August 1817.
         It was the Christmas season, 1818. Father Joseph Mohr was faced with the problem of a broken organ at the Church of St. Nicholas in the Alpine village of Oberndorf. His congregation would be disappointed if they did not have special music for their Christmas Eve Mass. Father Mohr and the village schoolmaster Franz Grueber had often remarked that the perfect Christmas hymn had never been written. Perhaps this was the time to write one for his parishioners.
          Father Mohr wrote out words which have now become familiar to millions -- "Silent Night, Holy Night... “. When he showed the words to his friend Franz Grueber, Grueber exclaimed, "Friend Mohr, you have found it -- the right song -- God be praised!" Soon Grueber had written a tune for the words, and the new hymn was completed in time for the Christmas Eve Mass. Mohr and Grueber sang the song to the accompaniment of Grueber's guitar.
          Neither author expected the hymn to be used outside their mountain village, but they shared it with the organ repairman, Karl Maurechan, when he came to repair the organ a few days later. With his influence, "Silent Night" soon spread throughout the Tyrol region and became a popular Tyrolean Folk Song. By 1838 "Silent Night" had found its way into a German hymnal and was described as a "hymn of unknown origin". It was first heard in the US during a tour of the Rainers, a family of Tyrolean folk singers. Today it has been translated into all the major languages and has become one of the most beloved of all Christmas carols.
    Stille Nacht

    1. Stille Nacht! Heil'ge Nacht!
    Alles schläft; einsam wacht
    Nur das traute hoch heilige Paar.
    Holder Knab' im lockigten Haar,
    |: Schlafe in himmlischer Ruh! :|

    2. Stille Nacht! Heil'ge Nacht!
    Gottes Sohn, o wie lacht
    Lieb' aus deinem göttlichen Mund,
    Da uns schlägt die rettende Stund'.
    |: Jesus in deiner Geburt! :|

    3. Stille Nacht! Heil'ge Nacht!
    Die der Welt Heil gebracht,
    Aus des Himmels goldenen Höhn,
    Uns der Gnaden Fülle läßt sehn,
    |: Jesum in Menschengestalt! :|

    4. Stille Nacht! Heil'ge Nacht!
    Wo sich heut alle Macht
    Väterlicher Liebe ergoß,
    Und als Bruder huldvoll umschloß
    |: Jesus die Völker der Welt! :|

    5. Stille Nacht! Heil'ge Nacht!
    Lange schon uns bedacht,
    Als der Herr vom Grimme befreit
    In der Väter urgrauer Zeit
    |: Aller Welt Schonung verhieß! :|

    6. Stille Nacht! Heil'ge Nacht!
    Hirten erst kundgemacht
    Durch der Engel Alleluja,
    Tönt es laut bei Ferne und Nah:
    |: "Jesus der Retter ist da!" :|

    Silent Night.

    Silent Night! Holy Night!
    All is calm, all is bright
    Round yon godly tender pair.
    Holy infant with curly hair,
    Sleep in heavenly peace, :|

    Silent Night! Holy Night!
    Son of God, love's pure light
    Radiant beams from thy holy face, 
    With the dawn of redeeming grace,
    Jesus, Lord at thy birth :|

    Silent Night! Holy Night!
    Brought the world gracious light,
    Down from heaven's golden height
    Comes to us the glorious sight:
    Jesus, as one of mankind, :|

    Silent Night! Holy Night!
    By his love, by his might
    God our Father us has graced,
    As a brother gently embraced
    Jesus, all nations on earth, :|

    Silent Night! Holy Night!
    Long ago, minding our plight
    God the world from misery freed,
    In the dark age of our fathers decreed:
    All the world  redeemed, :|

    Silent Night! Holy Night!
    Shepherds first saw the sight
    Of angels singing alleluia
    Calling clearly near and far:
    Christ, the savior is born, :|

    Sainte Nuit

    Nuit de paix, Sainte nuit
    Dans le ciel L'astre luit
    Dans les champs tout repose en paix
    Mais soudain dans l'air pur et frais
    Le brillant chœur des anges
    Aux bergers apparaît

    Nuit de foi, Sainte nuit
    Les bergers sont instruits
    Confiants dans la voix des cieux
    Ils s'en vont adorer leur Dieu
    Et Jésus, en échange
    Leur sourit radieux

    Nuit d'amour, Sainte nuit
    Dans l'étable, aucun bruit
    Sur la paille, est couché l'enfant
    Que la Vierge endort en chantant
    Il repose en ses langes
    Son Jésus ravissant

    Nuit d'espoir, Sainte nuit
    L'espérance a reluit
    Le Sauveur de la terre est né
    C'est à nous que Dieu l'a donné
    Célébrons ses louanges
    Gloire au Verbe incarné

    1810 Wilhelm Nicolai Marstrand, Copenhagen Danish painter and illustrator whose strand of earthly life ended on 25 Mars 1873. — more
    1809 Christopher Houston "Kit" Carson, in Richmond, Kentucky, one of the most famous mountain men and scouts in the West, frontiersman: subject of adventure novels; fur trapper, guide, American Indian agent and brevet Union general.
          Shortly after Carson was born, his family moved west to Howard County, Missouri, an ideal spot for a future frontiersman to learn his trade. By the early 1820s, nearby Franklin, Missouri, had become the starting point for the newly opened Santa Fe Trail. As an apprentice to a Franklin saddle maker, Carson spent three years watching the covered wagons head westward for Santa Fe. Finally, the yearning to follow overwhelmed young Carson, and he ran away from home to join a trading caravan.
          Intelligent and resourceful, Carson made a new life for himself once he reached Santa Fe. He learned enough Spanish to serve as a translator, and soaked up information about frontier knowledge and skills from the many mountain men who came to town. When Carson was 22 years old, he met the famous Irish mountain man Thomas Fitzpatrick, who offered to take Carson on a trapping expedition in the northern Rockies. Carson jumped at the chance, and soon became a skilled trapper and a cunning tracker. In January 1833, when a band of Crow Indians stole his party's horses, Carson trailed the Indians for 40 miles and his party was able to recover the stolen steeds.
          Possessed of an uncanny ability to remember geography and topography, the illiterate Carson gained international fame after he served as a guide for John C. Fremont's 1842 western mapping expedition along the Oregon Trail. Fremont was so impressed with Carson's frontier and guiding skills that he rehired him to guide his 1843 exploration of the Great Salt Lake and the Sierra Nevada. When Fremont published his reports on the two expeditions, he wrote glowingly of the young scout, and Carson had his first taste of national fame.
          After serving with Fremont in the Mexican War, Carson gained even greater renown as an Indian fighter in New Mexico, and the authors of popular dime novels began featuring him in their western tales. Literally a legend in his own time, Carson had the bizarre experience of colliding with his own mythic self. Late in 1849, Carson led the pursuit of a band of Jicarilla Apache who had kidnapped Mrs. J.M. White and her child from an emigrant caravan. Carson and a company of Taos soldiers tracked down and defeated the Apache, but they were too late to save Mrs. White, who was found with an arrow through her heart. Carson discovered a dime novel lying near White's body-the novel featured Carson as the hero of a story where he single-handedly fought off eight Indians.
          Although he spent much of his life fighting Indians, Carson apparently had great sympathy and respect for them--in 1867 he became the Superintendent of Indian Affairs for Colorado Territory. Despite his failing health, Carson made a strenuous trip to Washington with delegates from the Ute tribe to argue on the Indians' behalf in treaty negotiations. On 23 May 1868, shortly after he returned to his home in Boggsville, Colorado, he died at the age of 58, but his legend continues to grow, thanks to countless novels and movies celebrating his life and adventures.
    1801 The Trevithick steam-powered vehicle
          Richard Trevithick drove a three-wheeled steam-powered vehicle up a hill in Camborne, Cornwall, England, carrying seven passengers. It was the first time the inventor had driven his steam-wagon, one of the first automobiles in history. Trevithick had invented a high-pressure steam engine which was lighter and more powerful than the low-pressure engine invented by James Watt. He adapted his improved engine to hoist loads in mines, drive locomotives and ships, and run rolling mills. Trevithick is sometimes called the "Father of the Steam Locomotive. “
    1798 Adam Mickiewicz Poland, national poet (Pan Tadeusz)
    1796 Cecilia Bohl de Faber, "Fernán Caballero", escritora española.
    1775 Manuela Cañizares y Álvarez, heroína de la independencia ecuatoriana.
    1754 George Crabbe Aldeburgh England, poet (Everlasting Mercy)
    1740 Lexell, mathematician.
    1689 Frans van Mieris II, Dutch artist who died on 22 October 1763.
    1635 Philips Brueghel, Flemish artist.
    1596 Leonaert Bramer, Dutch artist who died on 10 February 1674. MORE ON BRAMER AT ART “4” DECEMBER with links to images.
    1166 King John of England.
    0563 The Hagia Sophia, the cathedral of Constantinople, and a triumph of architecture and style, is consecrated
    --3 BC Servius Sulpicius Galba 6th Roman emperor (68-69).
    Holidays Laos: Sovereignty Day (1954) / Libya: Independence Day (1951)

    Religious Observances Christian : Christmas Eve / RC : St Sharbel Makhlouf, Lebanese monk, hermit / Santos Gregorio, Luciano y Metrobio; Bonifacio, Delfín, Eutimio, Pablo, Adela, Irmina y Társila.

    DICTIONNAIRE TICRANIEN: tapissé: ce qu'on peut dire à celui qui sort d'une vespasienne.
    Thoughts for the day : “The wise shepherd never trusts his flock to a smiling wolf.”
    “The wise wolf never trusts himself to a smiling shepherd.”
    “The smiling shepherd is never wise to a flock of wolves.”
    “The wise shepherd never smiles at a trusting wolf.”
    “The trusting shepherd never smiles at a wise wolf.”
    “The wise wolf never smiles at the flock of a trusting shepherd.”
    “The wise flock trusts its shepherd, never a smiling wolf.”

    Friday 26-Dec-2003 3:12
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