Historical Political Events for December 25

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Year Event
1776 American forces under George Washington cross the ice-strewn Delaware River in a surprise raid on Christmas night, and defeat a corps of British Hessian mercenaries at the Battle of Trenton. [My ancestor, John Felkins was there.]
1831 Louisiana and Arkansas are first states to observe Christmas as holiday.
1946 The Soviet Union achieves its first nuclear chain reaction in Moscow, using an experimental graphite-moderated natural uranium pile.
1978 Khmer Rouge regime toppled from power, as Phnom Penh falls to invading Vietnamese forces. (Khmer Rouge forces retreat west, and set up base camps on the Thai border and in the Cardamon mountains to continue resistance against the Vietnamese.)
1989 The Romania president, Nicolae Ceausescu, and his wife, Elena Ceausescu, are captured, given a summary trial, and executed by the army.
1991 Gorbachev resigns as Soviet President, transfers control of nuclear arsenal to Russian President Boris Yeltsin, and the Soviet Union comes apart.
1991 President Bush (R) formally recognized Azerbaijan and eleven other former soviet republics (Georgia, Modolva, Russia, Senegal, Ukraine, and all the oil rich "stans").
-- Christmas
and . . .
Quote of
the Day
In the 4th century, the Church officially set Christmas on December 25, a date "chosen not for religious reasons but simply because it happened to mark the approximate arrival of the winter solstice, an event that was celebrated long before the advent of Christianity". . .From the beginning, the Church’s hold over Christmas was (and remains still) rather tenuous. There were always people for whom Christmas was a time of pious devotion rather than carnival, but such people were always in the minority. It may not be going too far to say that Christmas has always been an extremely difficult holiday to Christianize.
    — Stephen Nissenbaum, The Battle for Christmas, 1996
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