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.
1860 The first ever inter-club football match took place between Hallam F.C. and Sheffield F.C. at the Sandygate Road ground in Sheffield.
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.
1871 – Gilbert and Sullivan collaborated for the first time, on their lost opera, Thespis.
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.
1898 Marie and Pierre Curie announced the isolation of radium.
1919 Babe Ruth of the Boston Red Sox was sold to the New York Yankees by owner Harry Frazee.
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.
1949 José Ramos-Horta, President of East Timor, Nobel laureate, was born.
1953 Leonel Fernández, Dominican politician and current President of the Dominican Republic.
1953 Toomas Hendrik Ilves, President of Estonia, was born.
1980 Aeroflot put the Ilyushin Il-86 into service.
1986 World Population reaches 5 billion according to www.ibiblio.org
world population tracker.
2003 A magnitude 6.6 earthquake devastated southeast Iranian
city of Bam
, killing tens of thousands and destroying the citadel of Arg-é Bam
Arg-é Bam, before the 2003 earthquake.
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.