This day in history. Read about what happened today. A short and interesting account of historical events and facts about this day as well as any other day of the year. Find historical birthdays, deaths, tragedies, war events, disasters and sports events.

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On December the 24th
The Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan in an effort to stabilize the country's Marxist government.
A severe cyclone devastated Darwin, Australia. The cyclone left almost 50 percent of the population homeless.
Puerto Rican singer, Ricky Martin, was born in San Juan.
The crew of Apollo 8 entered into orbit around the Moon the first ever in human history.
Laos gained its independence.
A railway bridge collapsed at Tangiwai, New Zealand while a fully loaded passenger train was traversing it. The accident claimed the lives of 153 people.
Libya gained its independence from Italy. Idris I was proclaimed as King of Libya.
American, Johns Hopkins, died at the age of 78. He was an important philanthropist and businessman as well as the founder of the highly prestigious, Johns Hopkins University.
King George I of Greece was born in Copenhagen. He was king from 1863 to 1913, making his the longest reign in Greece.
The 'Silent Night' Christmas carol was composed by Austrian, Franz Xaver Gruber.
Portuguese explorer, Vasco da Gama, died at the age of 55. He was one of the most successful explorers in history.
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