On December 26:
1620 Pilgrim Fathers landed at what became New Plymouth in Massachusetts.
1716 Thomas Gray, English writer, was born.
1780 Mary Fairfax Somerville, British mathematician, was born.
1791 Charles Babbage, English mathematician and inventor, was born.
1862 Four nuns serving as volunteer nurses on board USS Red Rover were the first female nurses on a U.S. Navy hospital ship.
1870 The 12.8-km long Fréjus Rail Tunnel through the Alps was completed.
A contemporary illustration of Thespis from The Illustrated London News.
1879 In Christchurch, 30 Catholic Irishmen attacked an Orange (Protestant) procession with pick-handles, while in Timaru 150 men from Thomas O’Driscoll’s Hibernian Hotel surrounded Orangemen and prevented their procession taking place.
1891 Henry Miller, American writer, was born.
1893 Mao Zedong, Chinese military leader and politician, was born.
1933 FM radio was patented.
1935 Abdul “Duke” Fakir, American singer (The Four Tops), was born.
1940 Phil Spector, American music producer, was born.
1942 Marco Vinicio Cerezo Arévalo, Guatemalan president, was born.
2004 A 9.0 magnitude earthquake created a tsunami causing devastation in Sri Lanka, India, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, the Maldives and many other areas around the rim of the Indian Ocean, killing 230,000 people.
2006 The 2006 Hengchun earthquake with 7.1 magnitude hit Taiwan.
Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.