Holidays Calendar for December 24, 2016

Independence Day is celebrated in Libya on December 24. This holiday marks the anniversary of the Libyan independence declaration from British and French oversight in 1951.

Christmas Eve is the day or evening preceding Christmas Day. It falls on December 24 in Western Christianity. In some countries, the day before Christmas is observed as a public holiday.

President of Ukraine Leonid Kuchma established a number of professional days during his administration. One of them is Archivists' Day, that annually falls on December 24. This professional day is celebrated since 1998.

Pancha Ganapati is a modern Hindu festival that lasts for five days, from December 21 to December 25. It honors Ganesha, one of the most worshiped Hindu deities. Ganesha is venerated as the patron of arts and culture.

The days of military honor were established in the Russian Federation to commemorate the most glorious victories of the Russian army during the years of its existence. One of these days, Siege of Izmail Day, falls on December 24.

The National Egg Nog Day is celebrated on December 24. This food day is dedicated to a traditional Christmas beverage made with milk, whipped eggs, and sugar. Spirits such as bourbon, rum, and brandy can be added.

This Day in History

  • 2011 Died: Johannes Heesters, Dutch-born German actor and singer whose career spanned for eight decades. He was considered one of the oldest stage performers in history.
  • 2008 The so-called Christmas massacres began in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. An Ugandan rebel group attacked several villages in Haut-Uele District.
  • 2008 Died: Harold Pinter, English playwright, screenwriter, poet, actor, and theater director. Pinter was awarded the 2005 Nobel Prize in Literature for his plays.
  • 2001 Died: Robert Leckie, American writer and former U.S. marine who wrote books on United States military history, fiction, autobiography and books for children.
  • 1999 Indian Airlines Flight 814 was hijacked by Harkat-ul-Mujahideen, a Pakistan-based Islamic extremist group, en route from Kathmandu, Nepal to Delhi, India.
  • 1999 Died: Bill Bowerman, American track and field coach and businessman. In 1964, Bowerman founded Nike, Inc. (as Blue Ribbon Sport) together with Phil Knight.
  • 1997 Died: Toshiro Mifune, Japanese actor best known for his prolific collaboration with filmmaker Akira Kurosawa in such works as Seven Samurai and Throne of Blood.
  • 1992 Died: Peyo (pseudonym of Pierre Culliford), Belgian comics artist best known as the creator of The Smurfs comic strip. The first Smurf appeared in Johan and Peewit in 1958.
  • 1991 Born: Louis Tomlinson (born Louis Troy Austi), English pop singer, songwriter, musician, and actor best known as a member of the boy band One Direction.
  • 1982 Died: Louis Aragon (born Louis Andrieux), French poet, novelist, short story writer, and editor. His best known works include Le Fou d'Elsa and Le Con d'Irène.
  • 1979 European rocket Ariane 1 was launched from ELA-1, Guiana Space Centre. It was the first launch vehicle to be developed by the European Space Agency.
  • 1974 Cyclone Tracy devastated the city of Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia. It killed 71 people (49 on land and 22 at sea) and caused the substantial destruction of the city.
  • 1971 Born: Ricky Martin, Puerto Rican and American singer, songwriter, actor, and author. He rose to international prominence with his 1999 single Livin' la Vida Loca.
  • 1938 Died: Bruno Taut, German architect, urban planner, and author. His best known as the main designer of several successful large residential developments in Berlin.
  • 1937 Born: Stephenie Meyer (née Morgan), American young-adult fiction author and film producer, best known for the Twilight novels that have sold over 100 million copies.
  • 1929 President of Argentina Hipólito Yrigoyen survived an assassination attempt. A year later, he was deposed in a military coup led by General José Félix Uriburu.
  • 1922 Born: Ava Gardner, American actress, listed 25th among the American Film Institute's Greatest Female Stars. She was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress.
  • 1914 The Christmas truce began during the First World War. It was a series of of widespread but unofficial ceasefires along the Western Front that reflected a growing mood of "live and let live".
  • 1913 In Calumet, Michigan, 73 people (mainly miners and their families) were were crushed to death in a stampede when someone falsely shouted "fire" at a crowded Christmas party.
  • 1905 Born: Howard Hughes, American business magnate, investor, philanthropist, aviator, inventor, aerospace engineer, and filmmaker. He was one of the wealthiest people in the world.
  • 1901 Born: Max Miedinger, Swiss typeface designer best known for creating the Neue Haas Grotesk typeface that was subsequently renamed Helvetica and is still widely used.
  • 1868 Born: Kit Carson, American mountain man, frontiersman, wilderness guide, Indian agent, and U.S, Army officer. Carson became a frontier legend in his own lifetime.
  • 1865 Six veterans of the Confederate Army founded the first Ku Klux Klan. The first KKK sought to overthrow the Republican state governments in the South.
  • 1863 Died: William Makepeace Thackeray, English novelist famous for his satirical work. His best known novel is a Vanity Fair, considered a panoramic portrait of English society.
  • 1851 A fire destroyed two thirds of Thomas Jefferson's collection in the Library of Congress, with only 2,000 books remaining. By 2008, all but 300 of the books had been replaced.
  • 1847 Died: Finnur Magnússon, also known as Finn Magnussen, Icelandic scholar and archaeologist who worked in Denmark. He is best known for his translation of the Elder Edda.
  • 1837 Born: Cosima Wagner (born Francesca Gaetana Cosima Liszt), the daughter of the Hungarian composer Franz Liszt and the wife of the German composer Richard Wagner.
  • 1811 Born: James Prescott Joule, English physicist who studied the nature of heat, and discovered its relationship to mechanical work. This led to the law of conservation of energy.
  • 1798 Born: Adam Mickiewicz, renowned Polish poet, playwright, essayist, translator, publicist, professor, and political activist. He is regarded as national poet in Poland, Lithuania and Belarus.
  • 1777 British explorer and navigator James Cook discovered the island of Kiritimati , also known as Christmas Island, in the Pacific Ocean. It was claimed by the USA in 1856.