The Star Democrat



Today is Friday, Dec. 24, the 358th day of 2021. There are seven days left in the year.This is Christmas Eve. Today’s Highlight in History: On Dec. 24, 1943, President Franklin D. Roosevelt appointed Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower supreme commander of Allied forces in Europe as part of Operation Overlord.

On this date:

In 1524, Portuguese navigator Vasco da Gama — who had discovered a sea route around Africa to India — died in Cochin, India.

In 1809, legendary American frontiersm­an Christophe­r “Kit” Carson was born in Madison County, Kentucky.

In 1814, the United States and Britain signed the Treaty of Ghent, which ended the War of 1812 following ratificati­on by both the British Parliament and the U.S. Senate.

In 1851, fire devastated the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., destroying about 35,000 volumes.

In 1865, several veterans of the Confederat­e Army formed a private social club in Pulaski,Tennessee, that was the original version of the Ku Klux Klan.

In 1906, Canadian physicist Reginald A. Fessenden became the first person to transmit the human voice (his own) as well as music over radio, from Brant Rock, Massachuse­tts.

In 1913, 73 people, most of them children, died in a crush of panic after a false cry of “Fire!” during a Christmas party for striking miners and their families at the Italian Hall in Calumet, Michigan.

In 1968, the Apollo 8 astronauts, orbiting the moon, read passages from the Old Testament Book of Genesis during a Christmas Eve telecast.

In 1980, Americans remembered the U.S. hostages in Iran by burning candles or shining lights for 417 seconds — one second for each day of captivity.

In 1992, President Bush pardoned former Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger and five others in the IranContra scandal.

In 1993, the Rev. Norman Vincent Peale, who blended Christian and psychiatri­c principles into a message of “positive thinking,” died in Pawling, NewYork, at age 95.

In 2013, Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II granted a posthumous pardon to codebreake­r AlanTuring, who was convicted of homosexual behavior in the 1950s.

Ten years ago: In a setback, Republican presidenti­al hopefuls Newt Gingrich and Texas Gov. Rick Perry failed to qualify for Virginia’s Super Tuesday primary ballot by falling short of the 10,000 signatures required. Troops commanded by relatives of Yemen’s outgoing president, Ali Abdullah Saleh (AH’-lee ahb-DUH’-luh sah-LEH’), attacked a crowd of more than 100,000 peaceful protesters, killing at least nine and driving Saleh to promise to leave the country.

Five years ago: President-elect Donald Trump said he would dissolve his charitable foundation before taking office to avoid conflicts of interest; the Democratic Party said that wasn’t enough and called for the businessma­n to put his assets in a blind trust. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused President Barack Obama of a “shameful ambush” at the United Nations and said he was looking forward to working with his “friend” Donald Trump; Netanyahu’s comments came a day after the U.S. broke with past practice and allowed the Security Council to condemn Israeli settlement­s in the West Bank and east Jerusalem.

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