December 25 – Some important events on this day
1 👉🏼 1st Christmas, according to calendar-maker Dionysus Exiguus
274 👉🏼 Roman Emperor Aurelian dedicates a temple to Sol Invictus on the supposed day of the winter solstice and day of rebirth of the Sun.
337 👉🏼 Earliest possible date that Christmas was celebrated on Dec 25th
352 👉🏼 1st definite date Christmas was celebrated on Dec 25th
597 👉🏼 England adopts Julian calendar
800 👉🏼 Pope Leo III crowns Charles the Great (Charlemagne), Roman Emperor
1066 👉🏼 William the Conqueror is crowned King of England at Westminster Abbey, completing the Norman conquest of England.
In 1066 the course of British history changed forever when William, the Duke of Normandy, landed on the southern coast of England and seized the country from its Anglo-Saxon king Harold Godwinson. The French had a long history of claims in England, and in 1002 the English king Aethelred the Unready married the sister of Richard II, the Norman duke.
The Normans weren’t the only ones keen on the English throne – the Norwegians, led by King Harald Hardrada, invaded northern England but Harold defeated them at the Battle of Stamford Bridge on September 25, but at the cost of severely weakening his army immediately prior to William the Conqueror’s invasion.
William invaded with around 7,000-12,000 men, and constructed a castle in the area of Hastings. This is where the famous Battle of Hastings would happen, on October 14, 1066. King Harold was killed (by an arrow to the eye according to legend – though this is debated among historians) and William marched on London, eventually receiving the capitulation of the English barons and Harold’s uncrowned successor Edgar Aetheling.
William was crowned on this day, and reigned until 1087. The conquest introduced the Norman language to England, eliminated the English elite, changes to governance and the formal elimination of slavery.
1223 👉🏼 St Francis of Assisi assembles 1st Nativity scene (Greccio, Italy)
1492 👉🏼 Christopher Columbus’ flagship the Santa María runs aground and sinks on the north coast of Hispaniola. The crew are left to found a colony as Columbus returns to Spain
1741 👉🏼 Astronomer Anders Celsius introduces Centigrade temperature scale
1818 👉🏼 1st known Christmas carol (“Silent Night, Holy Night” – “Stille Nacht, Heilige Nacht) sung (Austria)
1868 👉🏼 Despite bitter opposition, US President Andrew Johnson grants unconditional pardon to all persons involved in Southern rebellion (Civil War)
1902 👉🏼 Pope Leo XIII, at his annual Christmas reception, endorses the Christian Democratic movement now emerging in Europe as an attempt to offer an alternative to more radical movements
1989 👉🏼 Japanese scientist achieve -271.8°C, coldest temperature ever recorded
1914 👉🏼 Legendary “Christmas Truce” takes place on the battlefields of WWI between British and German troops. Instead of fighting, soldiers exchange gifts and play football.
Just after midnight on Christmas morning, the majority of German troops engaged in World War I cease firing their guns and artillery and commence to sing Christmas carols. At certain points along the eastern and western fronts, the soldiers of Russia, France, and Britain even heard brass bands joining the Germans in their joyous singing. At the first light of dawn, many of the German soldiers emerged from their trenches and approached the Allied lines across no-man’s-land, calling out “Merry Christmas” in their enemies’ native tongues. At first, the Allied soldiers feared it was a trick, but seeing the Germans unarmed they climbed out of their trenches and shook hands with the enemy soldiers. The men exchanged presents of cigarettes and plum puddings and sang carols and songs. There was even a documented case of soldiers from opposing sides playing a good-natured game of soccer.
In 1915, the bloody conflict of World War I erupted in all its fury, and the concept of another Christmas Truce became unthinkable….
1991 👉🏼 Mikhail Gorbachev formally resigns as President of USSR in a televised speech
2013 👉🏼 “The Wolf of Wall Street”, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill, is released