Mohammed Rafi, legendary playback singer, was born
1865 – Several veterans of the Confederate Army formed a private social club in Pulaski, TN, called the Ku Klux Klan.
1906 – Reginald A. Fessenden became the first person to broadcast a music program over radio, from Brant Rock, MA.
1914 – In World War I, the first air raid on Britain was made when a German airplane dropped a bomb on the grounds of a rectory in Dover.
1923 – Satyananda Saraswati, yoga teacher and spiritual guru, was born
1924 – Mohammed Rafi, legendary playback singer, was born
1943 – U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt appointed Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower supreme commander of Allied forces as part of Operation Overlord.
1944 – The Andrews Sisters starred in the debut of “The Andrews Sisters’ Eight-To-The-Bar-Ranch” on ABC Radio.
1944 – A German submarine torpedoed the Belgian transport ship S.S. Leopoldville with 2,235 soldiers aboard. About 800 American soldiers died. The soldiers were crossing the English Channel to be reinforcements at the battle that become known as the Battle of the Bulge.
1948 – For the first time ever, a midnight Mass was broadcast on television. It was held at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City.
1948 – The first completely solar-heated house became occupied in Dover, MA.
1951 – NBC-TV presented, “Amahl and the Night Visitors,” the first opera written for television.
1951 – Libya achieved independence as the United Kingdom of Libya, under King Idris.
1956 – Anil Kapoor, Bollywood actor and producer, was born
1973 – Periyar, leader of Dravidian Movement, passed away
1988 – Piyush Chawla, Indian cricketer, was born
1989 – Ousted Panamanian ruler Manuel Noriega took refuge at the Vatican’s diplomatic mission in Panama City.
1990 – Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman were married.
1992 – U.S. President George H.W. Bush pardoned former Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger and five others in the Iran-Contra scandal.
1997 – Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, known as “Carlos the Jackal,” was sentenced by a French court to life in prison for the 1975 murders of two French investigators and a Lebanese national.
1998 – At Disneyland in Anaheim, CA, a tourist was hit by a piece of flying metal while waiting to board a ride. The man’s wife and a Disneyland employee were also injured. Luan Phi Dawson died December 26th from his injuries.
1999 – Ivory Coast President Henri Konan Bédié was overthrown in a coup.
1999 – An Indian Airlines plane was seized during a flight from Katmandu, Nepal, to New Delhi. In Afghanistan, the 150 hostages were freed on December 31 after India released three Kashmir militants from prison. >