1989—Romania celebrates Christmas and freedom by putting former President Nicolae Ceauşescu and his wife Elena before a firing squad.
1956—In Birmingham, Ala., civil rights activist Fred Shuttlesworth survives the bombing of his home.
1951—In Mims, Fla., a bomb explodes under the home of NAACP leaders Harry T. and Harriette Moore on the night of their 25th anniversary. Both die; no one is indicted; the state concludes 55 years later that four long-dead Klansmen did it.
1946—Demonstrators at the White House demand the release of jailed conscientious objectors.
1914—German and British troops leave trenches, sing Christmas carols, shake hands, and share smokes.
1868—President Andy Johnson unconditionally pardons all those involved in the “Southern Rebellion.”
1837—At Lake Okeechobee, Seminoles under Billy Bowlegs trounce Zachary Taylor’s regulars.
1826—One-third of the Cadets at West Point stage a drunken “Egg Nog Riot;” 20 end up court martialled.
1802—In Portsmouth, N.H., 132 buildings are destroyed by fire.
1793—After gathering the scattered bones of hundreds of soldiers massacred two years earlier by Indians and burying them in a massive pit, troops under General “Mad Anthony” Wayne build Fort Recovery, Ohio, atop the mass grave.