December 25 events in history

333 Roman Emperor Constantine the Great elevates his youngest son Constans to the rank of Caesar
336 First documentary sign of Christmas celebration in ancient Rome
350 Vetranio meets Constantius II at Naissus (Serbia) and is forced to abdicate his title (Caesar). Constantius allows him to live as a private citizen on a state pension
496 Clovis I, king of the Franks, is baptized into the Catholic faith at Reims, by Saint Remigius
597 Augustine of Canterbury and his fellow-labourers baptise in Kent more than 10,000 Anglo-Saxons
800 Coronation of Charlemagne as Holy Roman Emperor, in Rome
1000 The foundation of the Kingdom of Hungary: Hungary is established as a Christian kingdom by Stephen I of Hungary
1025 Coronation of Mieszko II Lambert as King of Poland
1066 William the Conqueror, Duke of Normandy is crowned king of England, at Westminster Abbey, London
1100 Baldwin of Boulogne is crowned the first King of Jerusalem in the Church of the Nativity
1130 Count Roger II of Sicily is crowned the first King of Sicily
1261 John IV Laskaris of the restored Eastern Roman Empire is deposed and blinded by orders of his co-ruler Michael VIII Palaiologos
1492 Caravel Santa Maria captained by Christopher Columbus runs onto reefs off Haiti due to a proper watch not being kept. Local natives help to save food, armory and ammunition but not the ship
1553 Battle of Tucapel: Mapuche rebels under Lautaro defeat the Spanish conquistadors and executes the governor of Chile, Pedro de Valdivia
1643 Christmas Island found and named by Captain William Mynors of the East India Company vessel, the Royal Mary
1776 George Washington and the Continental Army cross the Delaware River at night to attack Hessian forces serving Great Britain at Trenton, New Jersey, the next day
1809 Dr. Ephraim McDowell performs the first ovariotomy, removing a 22 pound tumor
1814 Rev. Samuel Marsden holds the first Christian service on land in New Zealand at Rangihoua Bay
1815 The Handel and Haydn Society, oldest continuously performing arts organization in the United States, gives its first performance
1826 The Eggnog Riot at the United States Military Academy concludes after beginning the previous evening
1837 Second Seminole War: American general Zachary Taylor leads 1100 troops against the Seminoles at the Battle of Lake Okeechobee
1868 U.S. President Andrew Johnson grants unconditional pardon to all Civil War Confederate soldiers
1926 Emperor Taishō of Japan dies. His son, Prince Hirohito, succeeds him as Emperor Shōwa
1927 The Vietnamese Nationalist Party is founded
1932 A magnitude 7.6 earthquake in Gansu, China kills 275 people
1941 Admiral Chester W. Nimitz arrives at Pearl Harbor to assume command of the U.S. Pacific Fleet
1941 World War II: Battle of Hong Kong ends, beginning the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong
1941 Admiral Émile Muselier seizes the archipelago of Saint Pierre and Miquelon, which become the first part of France to be liberated by the Free French Forces
1946 The first in Europe artificial, self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction is initiated within Soviet nuclear reactor F-1
1947 The Constitution of the Republic of China goes into effect
1950 The Stone of Scone, traditional coronation stone of British monarchs, is taken from Westminster Abbey by Scottish nationalist students. It later turns up in Scotland on April 11, 1951
1963 Turkish Cypriot Bayrak Radio begins transmitting in Cyprus after Turkish Cypriots are forcibly excluded from Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation
1965 The Yemeni Nasserist Unionist People's Organisation is founded in Ta'izz
1968 Apollo program: Apollo 8 performs the very first successful Trans-Earth injection (TEI) maneuver, sending the crew and spacecraft on a trajectory back to Earth from Lunar orbit
1968 Kilvenmani massacre, 44 Dalits (untouchables) burnt to death in Kizhavenmani village, Tamil Nadu, a retaliation for a campaign for higher wages by Dalit laborers
1974 Cyclone Tracy devastates Darwin, Northern Territory Australia
1974 Marshall Fields drives a vehicle through the gates of the White House, resulting in a four-hour standoff
1977 Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin meets in Egypt with its president Anwar Sadat
1989 Deposed President of Romania Nicolae Ceaușescu and his wife, First-Deputy Prime-Minister Elena Ceaușescu are condemned to death and executed after a summary trial
1991 Mikhail Gorbachev resigns as General Secretary of the Soviet Union (the union itself is dissolved the next day). Ukraine's referendum is finalized and Ukraine officially leaves the Soviet Union
2000 Russian President Vladimir Putin signs a bill into law that officially establishes a new National Anthem of Russia, with music adopted from the anthem of the Soviet Union that was composed by Alexander Vasilyevich Alexandrov
2003 The ill-fated Beagle 2 probe, released from the Mars Express Spacecraft on December 19, disappears shortly before its scheduled landing
2004 Cassini orbiter releases Huygens probe which successfully landed on Saturn's moon Titan on January 14, 2005
2009 Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab unsuccessfully attempts a terrorist attack against the US while on board a flight to Detroit Metro Airport Northwest Airlines Flight 253
2012 An Antonov An-72 plane crashes close to the city of Shymkent, killing 27 people