0 (or 1 AD)ish – Jesus was born.
33 – Roman Emperor Constantine the Great elevated his youngest son Constans to the rank of Caesar.
496 – Clovis I, king of the Franks, was baptized into the Catholic faith at Reims, by Saint Remigius.
597 – Augustine of Canterbury and his fellow-labourers baptised more than 10,000 Anglo-Saxons in Kent.
800 Coronation of Charlemagne as Holy Roman Emperor, in Rome.
1000 Hungary was established as a Christian kingdom by Stephen I of Hungary.
1066 William the Conqueror was crowned as king of England, at Westminster Abbey.
1000 Baldwin of Boulogne was crowned as the first King of Jerusalem in the Church of the Nativity.
1130 Count Roger II of Sicily was crowned as the first King of Sicily.
1643 Christmas Island was founded and named by Captain William Mynors of the East India Ship Company vessel, the Royal Mary.
1771 – Dorothy Wordsworth, English author and poet (d. 1855)
1814 At Oihi Beach in the Bay of Islands, Samuel Marsden preached in English to a largely Maori gathering, launching the Christian missionary phase of New Zealand history. Marsden’s service was translated by the Nga Puhi leader Ruatara.
1818 The first performance of “Silent Night” took place in the church of St. Nikolaus in Oberndorf, Austria.
1821 Clara Barton, founder of the American Red Cross, was born (d. 1912).
1865 Evangeline Booth, the 4th General of The Salvation Army, was born (d. 1950).
1870 Helena Rubinstein, Polish-born American cosmetics industrialist, was born (d. 1965).
1887 Conrad Hilton, American hotelier, was born (d. 1979).
1890 Robert Ripley, collector of odd facts, was born (d. 1949).
1894 – At 1.30 on the afternoon of Christmas Day 1894, Jack Clarke, Tom Fyfe and George Graham became the first to stand atop Aoraki/Mt Cook.
1899 Humphrey Bogart, American actor, was born (d. 1957).
1908 Quentin Crisp, English author, was born (d. 1999).
1913 Tony Martin, American singer and actor, was born .
1914 Sir James Muir Cameron Fletcher, New Zealand industrialist, was born (d. 2007).
1916 Ahmed Ben Bella, first President of Algeria, was born (d. 2012).
1918 Anwar Sadat, President of Egypt, Nobel laureate, was born (d. 1981).
1932 A magnitude 7.6 earthquake in Gansu, China killed ~70,000 people.
1941 Battle of Hong Kong ended, beginning the Japanese Occupation of Hong Kong.
1944 Kenny Everett, British entertainer, was born (d. 1995).
1947 The Constitution of the Republic of China went into effect.
1949 Nawaz Sharif, Prime Minister of Pakistan was born.
1949 Sissy Spacek, American actress, was born.
1950 The Stone of Scone, traditional coronation stone of British monarchs, was taken from Westminster Abbey by Scottish nationalist students.
1950 Karl Rove, former American presidential advisor, was born.
1954 Annie Lennox, Scottish singer, was born.
1963 Turkish Cypriot Bayrak Radio began transmitting in Cyprus after Turkish Cypriots were forcibly excluded from Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation.
2003 – The ill-fated Beagle 2 probe, released from the Mars Express Spacecraft on December 19, disappeared shortly before its scheduled landing.
2004 – Cassini orbiter released Huygens probe which successfully landed on Saturn’s moon Titan on January 14, 2005.
2012 – An Antonov An-72 plane crashed close to the city of Shymkent, killing 27 people.
2016 – A Russian Defence Ministry Tupolev Tu-154 carrying members of the Alexandrov Ensemble crashed into the Black Sea shortly after takeoff, killing all 92 people on board.
Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.