Dec 25 272
First official public celebration of Dies Natalis Invicti Solis, a pagan Roman holiday that was later co-opted by Christians to celebrate the birth of their favorite Jew. Turning the holiday into “Christmas” (in 336 AD) was part of a pattern of the church stealing various pagan festivals and feast days.
Dec 25 1926
Hirohito becomes Emperor of Japan.
Dec 25 1946
W.C. Fields dead at 67, due to the cumulative effects of his drinking and lifestyle.
Dec 25 1989
An eager firing squad executes Romanian dictator Nikolai Ceaucescu and his wife Elena on live television. Ceaucescu had run Romania as his private communist fiefdom, garnering the animosity of nearly the entire population. The new government abolishes capital punishment shortly thereafter.
Dec 25 1995
Rat pack member Dean Martin dead at 78, a martini glass in his hand.