William Bradford

December 25th, 1621: Governor William Bradford of Plymouth Colony forbids game playing on Christmas.

William Bradford was a separatist, on the left wing of the Puritan movement and one of the organizers of the Mayflower voyage in 1620 of 100 pilgrims to the New World. On board the Mayflower he was one of the forces behind the Mayflower Compact that became the basis for the government of the Plymouth colony.

In 1621 he was elected Governor of Plymouth serving almost all expect 5 years until 1656. Bradford is also the author of “Of Plymouth Plantation, 1620–47” a history of the pilgrims including the Mayflower voyage, hardships and their early years in the New World.

Born: March 19, 1589
Birthplace: Austerfield, Yorkshire, England

Died: May 9, 1657 (aged 68)

Paul McCartney

December 25th, 1967: Singer Paul McCartney & actress Jane Asher get engaged.

Paul McCartney (born 18 June 1942) is an English singer, songwriter, musician, and record and film producer who gained worldwide fame as co-lead vocalist, co-songwriter, and bassist for the Beatles. One of the most successful composers and performers of all time, he is known for his melodic approach to bass-playing, his versatile and wide tenor vocal range, and his musical eclecticism, exploring styles ranging from pre-rock ‘n’ roll pop to classical and electronica. His songwriting partnership with John Lennon remains the most successful in history.

Born in Liverpool, McCartney taught himself piano, guitar and songwriting as a teenager, having been influenced by his father, a jazz player, and rock ‘n’ roll performers such as Little Richard and Buddy Holly. He began his career as a member of the Quarrymen in 1957, which evolved into the Beatles in 1960. Sometimes called “the cute Beatle”, McCartney later involved himself with the London avant-garde and spearheaded the incorporation of such experimental aesthetics into the Beatles’ studio productions. Starting with the 1967 album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, he gradually became the band’s de facto leader, providing the creative impetus for most of their music and film projects. Many of his Beatles songs, including “And I Love Her”, “Yesterday”, “Eleanor Rigby” and “Blackbird”, rank among the most covered songs in history.

After the Beatles disbanded, he debuted as a solo artist with the 1970 album McCartney and formed the band Wings with his first wife, Linda, and Denny Laine. Led by McCartney, Wings was one of the most successful bands of the 1970s, with more than a dozen international top 10 singles and albums. He resumed his solo career in 1980 and has toured as a solo artist since 1989. Without Wings, his UK or US number-one hits have included “Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey” (with Linda), “Coming Up”, “Pipes of Peace”, “Ebony and Ivory” (with Stevie Wonder) and “Say Say Say” (with Michael Jackson). Beyond music, he has taken part in projects to promote international charities related to such subjects as animal rights, seal hunting, land mines, vegetarianism, poverty, and music education.

Gordie Howe

December 25th, 1956: Detroit’s future Hockey Hall of Fame right wing Gordie Howe picks up a Xmas hat-trick & 3 assists in Red Wings’ 8-1 win over NY Rangers.
Most points he scores in a single game in entire 26-year NHL career

Gordon Howe (March 31, 1928 – June 10, 2016) was a Canadian professional ice hockey player. From 1946 to 1980, he played 26 seasons in the National Hockey League (NHL) and six seasons in the World Hockey Association (WHA); his first 25 seasons were spent with the Detroit Red Wings. Nicknamed “Mr. Hockey“, Howe is often considered the most complete player to ever play the game and one of the greatest of all time. At his retirement, his 801 goals, 1049 assists, and 1850 total points were all NHL records that stood until they were broken by Wayne Gretzky, who himself has been a major champion of Howe’s legacy. A 23-time NHL All-Star, he still holds the NHL record for seasons played, and his all-time NHL games played record of 1,767 was only surpassed in 2021 by Patrick Marleau. In 2017, Howe was named one of the “100 Greatest NHL Players”.

Howe made his NHL debut with the Red Wings in 1946. He won the Art Ross Trophy for leading the league in points each year from 1950–51 to 1953–54, then again in 1956–57 and 1962–63, for a total of six times, which is the second most in NHL history. He led the NHL in goal scoring four times. He ranked among the top ten in NHL scoring for 21 consecutive years and set an NHL record for points in a season (95) in 1953, a record which was broken six years later. He won the Stanley Cup with the Red Wings four times and won six Hart Trophies as the NHL’s most valuable player. He also led the NHL in playoff points six times.

Howe retired for the first time in 1971 and was immediately inducted into the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame that same year. He was then inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame the next year, but came back two years later to join his sons Mark and Marty on the Houston Aeros of the WHA. Although in his mid-40s, he scored over 100 points twice in six years, won two straight Avco World Trophies (1974 and 1975) and was named most valuable player in 1974. He made a brief return to the NHL in 1979–80, playing one season with the Hartford Whalers, then retired at age 52. His involvement with the WHA was central to their brief pre-NHL merger success, forcing the NHL to recruit European talent and expand to new markets.

Howe was most famous for his scoring prowess, physical strength and career longevity, and redefined the ideal qualities of a forward. He is the only player to have competed in the NHL in five different decades (1940s through 1980s); he also played a shift in a 1997 game for the Detroit Vipers of the IHL, playing professional hockey for a sixth decade. He became the namesake of the “Gordie Howe hat trick”: a goal, an assist and a fight in the same game, though he only recorded two such games in his career. He was the inaugural recipient of the NHL Lifetime Achievement Award in 2008.

Reginald Fessenden

December 24th, 1906: Reginald A Fessenden became 1st to broadcast music over radio.

Reginald Fessenden (October 6, 1866 – July 22, 1932) was a Canadian-born inventor, who did a majority of his work in the United States and also claimed U.S. citizenship through his American-born father. During his life he received hundreds of patents in various fields, most notably ones related to radio and sonar.

Fessenden is best known for his pioneering work developing radio technology, including the foundations of amplitude modulation (AM) radio. His achievements included the first transmission of speech by radio (1900), and the first two-way radiotelegraphic communication across the Atlantic Ocean (1906). In 1932 he reported that, in late 1906, he also made the first radio broadcast of entertainment and music, although a lack of verifiable details has led to some doubts about this claim.

Lou Brock

December 24th, 1974: Cardinals’ Lou Brock is named Sportsman of the Year.

Louis Brock (June 18, 1939 – September 6, 2020) was an American professional baseball outfielder. He began his 19-year Major League Baseball (MLB) career with the 1961 Chicago Cubs but spent the majority of his big league career as a left fielder for the St. Louis Cardinals. Brock was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1985 and the St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame in 2014. He was a special instructor coach for the St. Louis Cardinals.

Brock was best known for his base stealing, and he once held the major league career and single-season records for stolen bases. Brock was an All-Star for six seasons and a National League (NL) stolen base leader for eight seasons. He led the NL in doubles and triples in 1968. He also led the NL in singles in 1972, and was the runner-up for the NL Most Valuable Player Award in 1974.

Hagia Sophia

December 24th, 563: The Byzantine church Hagia Sophia in Constantinople is dedicated for the second time after being destroyed by earthquakes.

The Hagia Sophia (Holy Wisdom) is the third church to be built in this site. The Byzantine emperor Justinian I ordered its construction in 532 after riots destroyed an earlier church on its site in Istanbul. It was finished in just five years in 537 and was then the world’s largest building. It served as the Greek Orthodox cathedral and was the place where Eastern Emperors were crowned.

Regarded as the height of Byzantine architecture it is famous for its massive dome and for its mosaic decoration inside. It stood as the world’s largest church for nearly a thousand years, only surpassed by Seville’s cathedral in 1520. After the conquest of Istanbul by Mehmed the Conqueror in 1453 the church was converted into a mosque. In 1935 Mustafa Kemal Atatürk made it into a museum, which it remains.

Assassination Attempt on Lord Charles Hardinge

December 23rd, 1912: Indian revolutionary underground in Bengal and Punjab, headed by Rash Behari Bose attempt to assassinate Viceroy of India Lord Hardinge.

Lord Charles Hardinge as Viceroy of India was part of a ceremonial procession into Delhi to mark the transfer of the Indian capital from Calcutta to Delhi in 1912 when Indian nationalists made an assassination attempt on him.

The so-called Delhi Conspiracy case was organized by revolutionary Rash Behari Bose who himself threw a handmade bomb at Lord Hardinge, seated upon an elephant. The Viceroy received flesh wounds but his servant who held a parasol over him was killed.

Bose escaped capture but the investigation and trial that followed convicted five men, four to death and one to imprisonment.

Although the assassination attempt marked a low point in the Viceroy’s term, he is remembered overall for improving relations between India and the British crown, helped by his criticism of South Africa’s policies towards Indians and by his admiration of Mahatma Gandhi.

Cat Steves

December 23rd, 1977: Singer Cat Stevens formally converts to Islam, taking the name Yusuf Islam.

English singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, humanitarian, and education philanthropist. Born Steven Georgiou, he changed his name to Cat Stevens early on in his career and released his debut album “Matthew and Son” in 1967. Stevens’ music became more folk rock and led to a series of successful albums with such worldwide hits such as “Wild World” “Peace Train” and “Moonshadow”.

Steven converted to Islam in 1977 after a near-death experience, almost drowning off the coast of California. He changed his name to Yusuf Islam and gave up his musical career, concentrating on Muslim humanitarian and peace endeavors. Stevens eventually returned to recording and performing in the 1990s. His first performance in English came in 2003 at Nelson Mandela’s 46664 AIDS benefit concert alongside Peter Gabriel in Cape Town. He was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2014.

Born: July 21, 1948
Birthplace: London, England
Age: 73 years old

Phil Jackson

December 23rd, 1997: Chicago Bulls coach Phil Jackson is quickest to reach 500 wins (682 games).

Philip Douglas Jackson (born September 17, 1945) is an American former professional basketball player, coach, and executive in the National Basketball Association (NBA). A power forward, Jackson played 12 seasons in the NBA, winning NBA championships with the New York Knicks in 1970 and 1973. Jackson was the head coach of the Chicago Bulls from 1989 to 1998, leading them to six NBA championships. He then coached the Los Angeles Lakers from 1999 to 2004 and again from 2005 to 2011; the team won five league titles under his leadership. Jackson’s 11 NBA titles as a coach surpassed the previous record of nine set by Red Auerbach. He also holds the NBA record for the most combined championships, winning a total of 13 as a player and a coach.

Jackson is known for his use of Tex Winter’s triangle offense as well as a holistic approach to coaching that was influenced by Eastern philosophy, garnering him the nickname “Zen Master”. Jackson cited Robert Pirsig’s book Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance as one of the major guiding forces in his life. He also applied Native American spiritual practices, as documented in his book Sacred Hoops. He is the author of several candid books about his teams and his basketball strategies. In 2007, Jackson was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame. In 1996, as part of celebrations for the NBA’s 50th anniversary, Jackson was named one of the 10 greatest coaches in league history.

Jackson retired from coaching in 2011 and joined the Knicks as an executive in March 2014. He was dismissed as the Knicks’ team president on June 28, 2017.

Phonograph

December 22nd, 1877: Thomas Edison’s phonograph is announced by Scientific American.

Thomas Edison was one of the great inventors and designers in the history of the world. He invented the first practical light bulb, the motion picture camera and the phonograph. Others had attempted to invent the latter but Edison’s was the first to actually reproduce the sound.

The phonograph was Edison’s first major invention and the one that earned him the moniker “the wizard of Menlo Park” as the invention was so unexpected by the public as to appear magical. His first invention recorded on tinfoil around a grooved cylinder, and although the recordings could only be played a few times due to low quality, Edison’s reputation was cemented.

He demonstrated the device on November 29, 1877, having announced its invention days before. He would patent it later that February. Recalling a demonstration in December, an employee of Scientific American magazine wrote: ” “In December, 1877, a young man came into the office of the SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN, and placed before the editors a small, simple machine about which very few preliminary remarks were offered. The visitor without any ceremony whatever turned the crank, and to the astonishment of all present the machine said: “Good morning. How do you do? How do you like the phonograph?” The machine thus spoke for itself, and made known the fact that it was the phonograph…”

Edison did not improve on his design but Alexander Graham Bell invented an improved phonograph using wax cylinders in 1880.