Shimla, Dec. 27 Keekli Bureau

This Day in History


Today Boxing Day

Boxing Day is celebrated as a public holiday in the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand. [Sort fact from fiction in our quiz about English culture and custom.]


American politician Gerald R. Ford—who was the 38th president of the United States (1974–77) and the country’s only chief executive who was not elected as either president or vice president—died in California.


The slain body of American zoologist Dian Fossey—the world’s leading authority on the mountain gorilla—was found in Rwanda; it was widely suspected that she was killed by poachers.


The horror classic The Exorcist, an adaptation of William Peter Blatty’s book about a young girl possessed by the Devil, was released in the United States. The recipient of 10 Oscar nominations, including for director William Friedkin, it became one of the highest-grossing films of all time.


The Beatles’ single I Want to Hold Your Hand, with I Saw Her Standing There on the B-side, was first released in the United States; hugely successful, it helped launch Beatlemania.


The German battle cruiser Scharnhorst was sunk by the British battleship Duke of York during World War II.


American boxer Jack Johnson defeated Tommy Burns in Sydney to become the first black fighter to win the world heavyweight championship.


Mao Zedong, chairman of the People’s Republic of China, was born.


Napoleon enforced harsh penalties on Austria with the signing of the Treaty of Pressburg.


English mathematician and inventor Charles Babbage, who is credited with having conceived the first automatic digital computer, was born.


Charles I and the Scots reached a secret agreement whereby the Scots offered to support the king’s restoration to power in return for his acceptance of Presbyterianism in Scotland and its establishment in England for three years.


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