Today


Published Dec 25, 2012 at 04:00AM / Updated Nov 19, 2013 at 12:31AM

It's Tuesday, Dec. 25, the 360th day of 2012. There are six days left in the year.

History

Highlight: In 336, the first recorded celebration of Christmas on Dec. 25 took place in Rome.

In 1066, William the Conqueror was crowned king of England.

In 1776, Gen. George Washington and his troops crossed the Delaware River for a surprise attack against Hessian forces at Trenton, N.J.

In 1868, President Andrew Johnson granted an unconditional pardon to all persons involved in the Southern rebellion that resulted in the Civil War.

In 1887, Conrad Hilton, founder of the hotel chain bearing his name, was born in San Antonio, Territory of New Mexico.

In 1926, Hirohito became emperor of Japan, succeeding his father, Emperor Yoshihito.

In 1931, New York's Metropolitan Opera broadcast an entire live opera over radio for the first time: “Hansel and Gretel” by Engelbert Humperdinck.

In 1937, the NBC Symphony Orchestra, led for the first time by conductor Arturo Toscanini, performed a Christmas concert featuring works by Vivaldi, Mozart and Brahms.

In 1941, during World War II, Japan announced the surrender of the British-Canadian garrison at Hong Kong.

In 1962, the movie version of “To Kill a Mockingbird,” adapted from the Harper Lee novel and starring Gregory Peck, opened in Los Angeles.

In 1989, ousted Romanian President Nicolae Ceausescu and his wife, Elena, were executed following a popular uprising.

In 1991, Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachev went on television to announce his resignation as the eighth and final leader of a communist superpower that had already gone out of existence.

In 2009, passengers aboard Northwest Airlines Flight 253 foiled an attempt to blow up the plane as it was landing in Detroit by seizing a man who tried to set off explosives in his underwear.

Ten years ago: Pope John Paul II delivered a Christmas message in which he said war had to be and could be avoided even in a world made fearful by terrorism.

Five years ago: A tiger at the San Francisco Zoo escaped her enclosure and killed a park visitor; two brothers also were mauled, but survived. (The tiger was killed by police.)

One year ago: Five members of a family, including three children and their grandparents, died in a Christmas morning blaze in Stamford, Conn., that was blamed on burning embers in a trash can. A 56-year-old man dressed as Santa Claus shot and killed his estranged wife, their two teenage children and three other relatives at an apartment in Grapevine, Texas, before taking his own life.

Birthdays

Singer Jimmy Buffett is 66. Actress Sissy Spacek is 63. Former White House adviser Karl Rove is 62. Actress CCH Pounder is 60. Baseball Hall of Famer Rickey Henderson is 54. Singer Dido is 41.

— From wire reports