Teaching - there can be no finer calling requiring the clearest demonstration of moral and ethical behavior.
Ira Shull, For the Love of Teaching
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Catholicism: St. Stephen's Day
(Traditional Catholic feast day observed annually on December 26 to celebrate the life of St. Stephen, the first Christian martyr)
Catholic Saints Catholic Encyclopedia
British Commonwealth: Boxing Day
(Traditional British holiday observed the first week day following Christmas)
Boxing Day British Commonwealth
Children's Authors & Illustrators
1937 Jean Van Leeuwen (New Jersey-born Children's Author) New Jersey Authors and Illustrators Young-Adult Authors Official Web Site Houghton-Mifflin
Authors, Poets and Journalists
1716 Thomas Gray (English Poet) British Authors Poetry The Thoams Gray Archive Writer's Alamanc
1820 Dion Boucicault (Irish-American Playwright, Actor) Irish Authors Stage Plays
1891 Henry Miller (New York City-born Author) New York City Authors Henry Miller Library Writer's Alamanc
1894 Nathaniel Jean Toomer (Washington, D.C.-born African-American Poet, Novelist) Washington, D.C. Authors Poetry African American Authors University of Illinois New Georgia Encycloepdia Writer's Alamanc African American Registry University of Georgia
1926 Doris Lilly (California-born Columnist) California Authors Journalism Writer's Alamanc
1956 David Sedaris (New York-born Humorist) New York Authors National Public Radio Writer's Alamanc
Artists, Architects and Designers
1893 Robert Ripley (California-born Newspaper Cartoonist; Founder of "Ripley's Believe It or Not!") California Artists American Artists Journalism Ripley's Believe It or Not!
Songwriters, Classical Composers, Conductors and Performing Artists
1926 Earle Brown (Massachusetts-born Composer, Conductor) Massachusetts Composers American Composers
Scientists, Mathematicians and Inventors
1792 Charles Babbage (English Mathematician Who Designed and Built the First Forerunners to the Modern Digital Computer) Charles Babbage Mathematics Inventors and Inventions Computer History
1861 Emil Wiechert (German Pioneer in the Science of Seismology) German Scientists & Mathematicians) Earthquakes USGS
1926 Martin Cooper (Chicago-born Inventor of the Cell Phone) Martin Cooper) Cell Phone Inventiors & Inventions
Military Leaders
1837 George Dewey (Vermont-born Admiral in the United States Navy) Vermont Military Leaders Naval Military History Spanish American War Library of Congress
Political and Social Leaders
1813 Andrew Hunter (Irish-American Preacher; President of the Arkansas State Senate) Irish Political and Social Leaders Arkansas Political and Social Leaders Arkansas History Commission
1873 Norman Angell (English Economist; 1933 Nobel Laureate for Peace) English Political and Social Leaders Economics League of Nations 1933 Nobel Laureate for Peace
1893 Mao Zedong (Leader of the Chinese Communist Revolution) Mao Tse-tung Cold War
1945 John Walsh (New York-born Creator and Host of America's Most Wanted Television Show) New York Political and Social Leaders Television Crime Notorious Americans Official Web Site
Performing Artists
1914 Richard Widmark (Minnesota-born Actor) Minnesota Performing  Artists American Performing Artists Television Film
1915 Una Mae Carlisle (Ohio-born African-American Jazz Singer, Pianist, Songwriter) Ohio Performing Artists Jazz African American Performing Artists Internet Movie Database African American Registry
1921 Steve Allen (New York City-born Television Entertainer, Songwriter, Creator of the Tonight Show) New York City Performing  Artists Television American Songwriters
1940 Phil Spector (New York City-born Record Producer, Songwriter) New York City Performing  Artists Popular Music
Sports Figures
1954 Susan Butcher (Massachusetts-born Dogsled Racer; 4-time Winner of the Alaska Iditarod) Susan Butcher Alaska Sports Figures Dogsledding The Iditarod
Icon Persons of Historic Significance Who Have Died on This Date
Persons of Historic Significance Who Have Died on This Date
1800 John Patten (Delaware-born Veteran of the Revolutionary War; Member of the U.S. Congress) Delaware Political and Social Leaders Revolutionary War U.S. Congress State of Delaware
1890 Pete French (Eastern Oregon Cattle Baron: Shot and Killed) Oregon Business Leaders Farming & Agrciulture Gun Control
1908 Claus Spreckels (German-American Sugar Magnate) German Business Leaders California Business Leaders Food and Nutrition Business LearnCalifornia
1970 Lillian Board (22-year-old English Track and Field Champion) English Sports Figures Cancer Track & Field 1968 Summer Olympics BBC
1972 Harry Truman (Missouri-born 33rd President of the United States) Missouri Political and Social Leaders President Harry Truman American Presidents Nuclear Weapons World War II Cold War
1974 Jack Benny (Illinois-born Comedian) Jack Benny American Performing Artists Television
1987 Pauline G. Fiore (Madison Wisconsin Business Leader) Madison Wisconsin American Business Leaders Wisconsin Historical Society
1990 Sister Mary Giovanni Gourhan (Founder of the Guadalupe Alternative Programs (GAP) in St. Paul, Minnesota) St. Paul, Minnesota Catholicism Educators of Note Latin-American Heritage Guadalupe Alternative Programs Minnesota Historical Society
1999 Curtis Mayfield (Chicago-born African-American Member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame) Chicago Performing Artists Rock and Roll Hall of Fame African-American Performing Artists Internet Movie Database
2000 Jason Robards (Chicago-born Actor) Chicago Performing Artists American Performing Artists Film Internet Movie Database History Channel
Historic Events of the 1600s that Occurred on this Date
1604 William Shakespeare's Play Measure for Measure Is Performed at the Court of King James I of England England King James I William Shakespeare Measure for Measure Theatre History
1606 William Shakespeare's Play King Lear Is Performed at the Court of King James I of England England King James I William Shakespeare King Lear History Channel
1662 Molière's The School for Wives Premieres in the Theatre of the Palais-Royal. Molière Plays Theatre History
Historic Events of the 1700s that Occurred on this Date
1723 J.S. Bach's Sacred Cantata No. 40 and "Magnificat" in E-flat Are Performed As the Second Day of Bach's First Annual Sacred Cantata Cycle Johann Sebastian Bach Composers Religious Music Christmas Music American Public Media
1724 J.S. Bach's "Sacred Cantata No. 121" Is Performed As Bach's Second Annual Sacred Cantata Cycle in Leipzig, Germany Johann Sebastian Bach Composers Religious Music Christmas Music American Public Media
1725 J.S. Bach's "Sacred Cantata No. 57" Is Performed As Bach's Third Annual Sacred Cantata Cycle in Leipzig, Germany Johann Sebastian Bach Composers Religious Music Christmas Music American Public Media
1728 J.S. Bach's "Sacred Cantata No. 197a" Is Performed As Bach's Fourth Sacred Cantata Cycle in Leipzig, Germany Johann Sebastian Bach Composers Religious Music Christmas Music American Public Media
1776 Washington Achieves First Major U.S. Victory by Surprising Hessian Forces at Trenton, New Jersey Trenton, New Jersey George Washington American Revolution Historic Firsts History Channel Writer's Alamanc
1799 George Washington Is Eulogized by Colonel Henry Lee as "first in war, first in peace and first in the hearts of his countrymen." George Washington American Presidents American Revolution New York Times
Historic Events of the 1800s that Occurred on this Date
1811 68 of Richmond's Most Prominent Citizens, Including the Governor of Virginia, Perish in a Theater Fire Richmond Virginia Fire Death Virginia Historical Society
1820 Moses Austin Meets Spanish Authorities in San Antonio Asking Permission to Settle 300 Anglo-American Families in Texas Spain San Antonio, Texas History Channel
1827 Madison and Hamilton Counties Are Established as Florida's 14th & 15th Counties Florida Florida Historical Society
1831 Cherokee and Sumter Counties Are Created as Georgia's 79th & 80th Counties Georgia University of Georgia
1833 Opposing President Andrew Jackson, Kentucky Senator Henry Clay Speaks Out in Favor of the Bank of the United States Kentucky Political and Social Leaders Henry Clay U.S. Senate President Andrew Jackson Economics History Channel
1834 The Orphaned Edgar Allan Poe Is Taken Into the Home of John and Frances Allan of Richmond, Virginia Edgar Allan Poe American Authors American Collection
1835 The State of Georgia Prohibits the Use of Slaves in the Mixing and Dispensing of Any Drug or Medicine Georgia Government Slavery Medicine Law & Legal Resources University of Georgia
1848 Husband and Wife Slaves, Ellen and William Craft, Begin Their Escape to Freedom from Georgia to Philadelphia Georgia Philadelphia Slavery African-American Heritage University of Georgia
1850 Territorial Governor Alexander Ramsey Declares Minnesota's First Thanksgiving Day Minnesota Government Thanksgiving Day Historic Firsts Minnesota Historical Society
1853 In New York Harbor, the Clipper Ship Great Republic Burns to the Water Line a Day Before Its Maiden Voyage New York Harbor Naval History Fire Massachusetts Foundation for the Humanities
1861 President Lincoln Ends the Trent Affair by Releasing Confederate Diplomatic Envoys James Mason and John Slidell Great Britain President Abraham Lincoln The Trent Affair Lincoln Logs History Channel
1862 President Lincoln Meets with His Cabinet to Discuss the New State of West Virginia West Virginia President Abraham Lincoln American Civil War Lincoln Logs
38 Dakota Indians, Convicted of Crimes Committed During the U.S.–Dakota War, Are Hanged in Mankato, Minnesota Mankato, Minnesota Dakotas Capital Punishment Death Minnesota Historical Society
Pro-Union Tejanos Lynch Secessionist Judge in Zapata County, Texas Zapata County, Texas American Civil War Death Texas State Historical Society
1864 Union General Sherman Issues Special Field Order No. 143 to the Residents of Savannah, Georgia Savannah, Georgia General Sherman American Civil War University of Georgia
President Lincoln Telegraphs Congratulations to General Sherman on His Capture of Savannah, Georgia Savannah, Georgia General Sherman President Abraham Lincoln Telegraph American Civil War Lincoln Logs
1865 James H. Nason of Franklin, Massachusetts Receives a Patent for a Coffee Percolator Massachusetts Scientists & Inventors Inventors & Inventions Patents & Trademarks New York Times
1870 In Canada, a 6.5 Magnitude Earthquake Has Its Epicenter Between Montreal and Quebec Canada Earthquake USGS
1874 Joseph McComb Leads a Party Out From Fort Griffin on the First Commercial Buffalo Hunt in Texas Texas Business Buffalo Business Historic Firsts Texas State Historical Society
1886 Tacoma Light and Water Co. Illuminates the City's Streets for the First Time Tacoma, Washington Electricity Historic Firsts HistoryLink
1892 Meeting in Augusta, 34 African-American Editors and Publishers Form the Negro Press Association of Georgia Augusta, Georgia Journalism African American Authors University of Georgia
Historic Events that occurred 1900-1949 on this date
1908 Jack Johnson Is the First African American to Win the World Heavyweight Boxing Title Knocking Out Canadian Tommy Burns Texas Sports Figures Boxing Hall of Fame Historic Firsts African-American Sports Figures History Channel New York TimesAfrican American Registry
1917 Woodrow Wilson Announces the Nationalization of Most U.S. Railroads under the Federal Possession and Control Act President Woodrow Wilson American Presidents Railroads World War I History Channel
1926 English Major C Court Treatt Completes the First Overland Crossing of Africa from Cape Town to Cairo (27months, 13,000 miles) Africa Cape Town, South Africa Cairo, Egypt English Explorers & Pioneers Automotives Historic Firsts History Channel
1929 The City of Independence Heights Is Formally Annexed by Houston Houston,  Texas Texas State Historical Society
1933 The Nissan Motor Company Is Organized in Tokyo Under the Name Dat Jidosha Seizo Co. Tokyo, Japan Automotives Nissan History Channel
New York Radio Pioneer, Edwin Armstrong, Is Granted a Patent for a Two-Path FM Radio New York Scientists & Inventors Radio Inventoors & Inventions Patents and Trademarks USPTO
1935 West Virginia Opera Singer, Susanne Fisher, Makes Her Debut at the Metropolitan Opera West Virginia Performing Artists Opera Metropolitan Opera West Virginia State Archives
1936 The First Concert of the Palestine Symphony Orchestra Is Performed In Tel Aviv, Israel Tel Aviv, Israel Classical Music Historic Firsts American Public Media
The Ohio Legislature Enacts a Law to Provide Unemployment Insurance for the State's Workers Ohio Government Labor Great Depression Law Ohio Historical Society
1939 President Franklin Roosevelt Is Given a Private Viewing of "Gone With The Wind" at the White House The White House President Franklin Roosevelt Film Gone with the Wind University of Georgia
1941 Winston Churchill Is the First British Prime Minister to Address the U.S. Congress British Political and Social Leaders Winston Churchill U.S. Congress World War II Historic Firsts History Channel New York Times
1943 German Battle Cruiser Scharnhorst Is Sunk by British Warships in the Arctic The Arctic Great Britain Nazi Germany Naval Military History World War II History Channel Historic UK
1944 Patton's Troops Relieve Besieged Allied Defenders of Bastogne, Belgium, During the Battle of the Bulge Belgium George Patton World War II History Channel
Floyd M. Edwards of Kalamazoo Is Michigan's First World War II Veteran to Take Advantage of the "G.I. Bill of Rights" Kalamazoo, Michigan Consumer Economics Veterans World War II Historic Firsts State of Michigan
Tennessee Williams' Play The Glass Menagerie Opens in Chicago Chicago Tennessee Williams Plays Mississippi Writers Project
1947 New York City Is Buried Under 25.8" of Snow in 16 Hours; 80 People Die New York City Snow Death New York Times
Historic Events that occurred 1950-1999 on this date
1955 Porgy and Bess Opens in Leningrad Soviet Union Porgy and Bess Cold War History Channel
1960 The Philadelphia Eagles Defeat the Green Bay Packers 17-13 to Win the National Football League Championship Pennsylvania Sports Figures Wisconsin Sports Figures Football National Football League New York Times
1966 China's People's Daily Editorial Calls for the Extension of the Cultural Revolution to Rid China of Capitalists Cultural Revolution Economics Human Rights/Civil Rights Cold War Asian History
The First Day of the First Kwanzaa Is Celebrated in Los Angeles Los Angeles Holidays and Celebrations Kwanzaa Historic Firsts History Channel African American Registry
1971 Air Canada Flight 932 Is Hijacked from Toronto to Cuba Canada Cuba Aviation History Terrorism Crime CBC
1979 Patriotic Front Guerrillas Return to Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) to Help Monitor a Ceasefire and Change to Black Minority Rule Zimbabwe BBC
1986 8.3 Magnitude Earthquake Has Its Epicenter Located in New Zealand's Kermadec Islands Region New Zealand Earthquake USGS
1988 A Suitcase Is the First Clue Found in the Crash of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland Scotland Libya Crash of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland Terrorism BBC
1998 Two Top Leaders Defect from Cambodia's Khmer Rouge Rebel Organization Khmer Rouge Terrorism Asian History
1999 Alfonso Portillo Scores a Resounding Victory in Guatemala's First Peacetime Presidential Elections in Nearly 40 years Guatemalan Political and Social Leaders Elections New York Times
Historic Events of 2000-2009 that Occurred on this Date
2004 Second-most Powerful Earthquake Ever Recorded Triggers a Tsunami Leaving 230,000 Dead in 7 Countries Bangladesh India Indonesia Malaysia Maldives Sri Lanka Thailand Earthquakes 2004 Tsunami Death History Channel BBC