Return Today in the History of Pioneers, Explorers, Aviators and Historic Firsts Return

DECEMBER 25

1959 Michael Anderson (New York-born African-American Astronaut; Perished 2/1/2003 in Space Shuttle Columbia) Michael Anderson Space Shuttle Columbia Disaster African-American Explorers and Astronauts
Deaths
Persons of Historic Significance Who Have Died on This Date
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1487 Portuguese Seafarer Bartolomeu Dias Enters Lüderitz Bay After Sailing 3 Weeks Along the Namib Coast of South West Africa Bartolomeu Dias Namibia Explorers Naval History South African History
1539 In Florida, Priests with Hernando de Soto's Expedition Conduct the First Christmas Service in North America Hernando de Soto Florida Christmas Historic Firsts Florida Historical Society
1660 Voyageurs, Huron Indians and Father René Menard Participate in Michigan's First Recorded Christmas Celebration Michigan Catholicism North American Explorers Huron Indians Christmas Historic Firsts State of Michigan
1818 "Silent Night" Is Performed for the First Time at the Church of St. Nikolaus in Oberndorff, Austria Oberndorff, Austria Music Christmas Music Historic Firsts American Goethe Society (pdf) New York Times American Public Media
1830 The First Regularly Scheduled U.S. Passenger Train Begins Operation Out of Charleston, South Carolina Along a 6-mile Track Charleston, South Carolina Railroads Historic Firsts Library of Congress
1838 The First Communion Service Is Conducted for Episcopalians in Texas Texas Religious Music Christmas Music Historic Firsts Texas State Historical Society
1842 The First American Flag Is Hoisted in St. Paul, Minnesota St. Paul, Minnesota American Flag Historic Firsts Minnesota Historical Society
1851 Christmas Is First Celebrated in Seattle, Washington Seattle, Washington Christmas Historic Firsts HistoryLink
1871 In Texas, the Houston and Texas Central Railroad Is the First to Reach Austin Austin, Texas Railroad Historic Firsts Texas State Historical Society
1907 The Yakima Valley Transportation Company Operates Its First Electric Trolley Over a 3-mile Line in North Yakima (Now Yakima). Yakima, Washington Transportation Historic Firsts HistoryLink
1928 The Pocahontas Theater Opens in Welch, West Virginia Welch, West Virginia Stage and Theater Christmas Historic Firsts West Virginia State Archive
1931 The First National Radio Broadcast of a Complete Opera Is Humperdinck's "Hänsel und Gretel" from the Metropolitan Opera, New York City Engelbert Humperdinck New York City Metropolitan Opera Radio Opera Christmas Historic Firsts American Public Media
1952 Queen Elizabeth II Makes Her First Christmas Speech to the British People Great Britain Queen Elizabeth II Christmas Historic Firsts BBC
2002 Katie Hnida Is the First Woman to Play in a Division I College Football Game Attempting an Extra Point for New Mexico Against UCLA New Mexico Sports Figures Football Female Sports Figures Historic Firsts University of New Mexico Football UCLA Football New York Times
2003 European Space Agency Mars Probe, Beagle 2, Disappears and Is Lost Space Exploration Mars Exploration European Space Agency BBC

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