This Week in History

HISTORY, 25 Dec 2023

Satoshi Ashikaga – TRANSCEND Media Service

25-31 December 2023

Dear TMS Readers, thank you for reading This Week in History until this week (the last posting).  Have a Happy New Year, all of you!

Videos of the Week:

André Rieu – تبين عيني live in Bahrain (Tabeen Ayni) (6:44) – YouTube

Flash Mob – Started by one little girl – Ode to Joy (5:48) – YouTube


25 December

[1]      Why Is Christmas Celebrated on December 25? :

[2]      Historicity of Jesus :

1000  The foundation of the Kingdom of Hungary: Hungary is established as a Christian kingdom by Stephen I of Hungary.

[History of Hungary]

1758  Halley’s Comet is sighted by Johann Georg Palitzsch, confirming Edmund Halley‘s prediction of its passage. This was the first passage of a comet predicted ahead of time.

1914   A series of unofficial truces occur across the Western Front to celebrate Christmas.

[The WWI Christmas Truce of 1914 ]

1941  World War IIBattle of Hong Kong ends, beginning the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong.

1946  The first European self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction is initiated within the Soviet Union‘s F-1 nuclear reactor.

1962  The Soviet Union conducts its final above-ground nuclear weapon test, in anticipation of the 1963 Partial Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.

1963  Turkish Cypriot Bayrak Radio begins transmitting in Cyprus after Turkish Cypriots are forcibly excluded from Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation.

1977   Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin meets in Egypt with its president Anwar Sadat.

1989  Romanian Revolution: Deposed President of Romania Nicolae Ceaușescu and his wife, Elena, are condemned to death and executed after a summary trial.

1991  Mikhail Gorbachev resigns as President of the Soviet Union (the union itself is dissolved the next day). Ukraine’s referendum is finalized and Ukraine officially leaves the Soviet Union.

[1]      Resignation of Mikhail Gorbachev:

[2]      Dissolution of the Soviet Union :

[3]      Ukraine’s Independence from the Soviet Union:

[4]      Russians in Ukraine  and CIA:


26 December

1862  The largest mass-hanging in U.S. history took, Minnesota, where 38 Native Americans died.

[1]      US-Dakota War of 1862 | Holocaust and Genocide Studies :

[2]      Native Americans – History of Hate & Discrimination in America


1948  The last Soviet troops withdraw from North Korea.

1972  Vietnam War: As part of Operation Linebacker II, 120 American B-52 Stratofortress bombers attacked Hanoi, including 78 launched from Andersen Air Force Base in Guam, the largest single combat launch in Strategic Air Command history.

1980  Witnesses report the first of several sightings of unexplained lights near RAF Woodbridge, in Rendlesham ForestSuffolk, England, United Kingdom, an incident called “Britain’s Roswell“.

1991  The Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union meets and formally dissolves the Soviet Union, ending the Cold War.

[1]      Dissolution of the Soviet Union :

[2]      How and Why the Soviet Union Collapsed:

1998  Iraq announces its intention to fire upon U.S. and British warplanes that patrol the northern and southern no-fly zones.

2012  China opens the world’s longest high-speed rail route, which links Beijing and Guangzhou.


27 December

1831  Charles Darwin embarks on his journey aboard HMS Beagle, during which he will begin to formulate his theory of evolution.

1929  Soviet General Secretary Joseph Stalin orders the “liquidation of the kulaks as a class“.

1935  Regina Jonas is ordained as the first female rabbi in the history of Judaism.

1945  The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is created with the signing of an agreement by 29 nations.

[1]      IMF (Articles of Agreement of the International Monetary Fund (downloadable):

[2]      Works of IMF:

1949  Indonesian National Revolution: The Netherlands officially recognizes Indonesian independence. End of the Dutch East Indies.

[1]      History of Indonesia :

[2]      Independence of Indonesia:

Independence for Indonesia

1966  The Cave of Swallows, the largest known cave shaft in the world, is discovered in AquismónSan Luis Potosí, Mexico.

1985  Palestinian guerrillas kill eighteen people inside the airports of Rome, Italy, and Vienna, Austria.

[1]      27 December 1985: Gunmen kill 16 at two European airports:

[2]      The Palestine Guerrilla Movement :

1989  The Romanian Revolution concludes, as the last minor street confrontations and stray shootings abruptly end in the country’s capital, Bucharest.

1996  Taliban forces retake the strategic Bagram Airfield which solidifies their buffer zone around KabulAfghanistan.

2004  Radiation from an explosion on the magnetar SGR 1806-20 reaches Earth. It is the brightest extrasolar event known to have been witnessed on the planet.

2007  Former Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto is assassinated in a shooting incident.

2008  Operation Cast Lead: Israel launches three-week operation on Gaza.

[Israel’s Wars & Operations: Operation Cast Lead]


28 December

1941  World War IIOperation Anthropoid, the plot to assassinate high-ranking Nazi officer Reinhard Heydrich, commences.

1943  Soviet authorities launch Operation Ulussy, beginning the deportation of the Kalmyk nation to Siberia and Central Asia.


1967  American businesswoman Muriel Siebert becomes the first woman to own a seat on the New York Stock Exchange.

2006  War in Somalia: The militaries of Somalia‘s Transitional Federal Government and Ethiopian troops capture Mogadishu unopposed.

2009  Forty-three people die in a suicide bombing in Karachi, Pakistan, where Shia Muslims are observing the Day of Ashura.


29 December

1911  Mongolia gains independence from the Qing dynasty, enthroning 8th Jebtsundamba Khutughtu as Khagan of Mongolia.

1934  Japan renounces the Washington Naval Treaty of 1922 and the London Naval Treaty of 1930.

1937  The Irish Free State is replaced by a new state called Ireland with the adoption of a new constitution.

1989  Czech writer, philosopher and dissident Václav Havel is elected the first post-communist President of Czechoslovakia.

[1]      Velvet Revolution :

[2]      Vaclav Havel :

1989  The Nikkei 225 for the Tokyo Stock Exchange hits its all-time intra-day high of 38,957.44 and closing high at 38,915.87, serving as the apex of the Japanese asset price bubble.

1996  Guatemala and leaders of Guatemalan National Revolutionary Unity sign a peace accord ending a 36-year civil war.

2006  The UK settles its Anglo-American loan, post-WWII loan debt.


30 December

1916  The last coronation in Hungary is performed for King Charles IV and Queen Zita.

[Modern History of Hungary]

1922  The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) is formed.

[Soviet Union: History, leaders and legacy]:

1972  Vietnam War: Operation Linebacker II ends.

1993  Israel establishes diplomatic relations with Vatican City and also upgrades to full diplomatic relations with Ireland.

[Holy See–Israel relations]

2006  Former President of Iraq Saddam Hussein is executed.

[1]      G.W.Bush, Saddam Hussein, Revenge?

[2]      Trial of Saddam Hussein :

[3]      Execution of Saddam Hussein:

2013  More than 100 people are killed when anti-government forces attack key buildings in KinshasaDemocratic Republic of the Congo.


31 December

1946  President Harry S. Truman officially proclaims the end of hostilities in World War II.

1963  The Central African Federation officially collapses, subsequently becoming ZambiaMalawi and Rhodesia.

1981  A coup d’état in Ghana removes President Hilla Limann‘s PNP government and replaces it with the Provisional National Defence Council led by Flight lieutenant Jerry Rawlings.

1983  In Nigeria, a coup d’état led by Major General Muhammadu Buhari ends the Second Nigerian Republic.

1991  All official Soviet Union institutions have ceased operations by this date, five days after the Soviet Union is officially dissolved.

[Dissolution of the Soviet Union]

1992  Czechoslovakia is peacefully dissolved in what is dubbed by media as the Velvet Divorce, resulting in the creation of the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic.

1994  This date is skipped altogether in Kiribati as the Phoenix Islands and Line Islands change time zones from UTC−11:00 to UTC+13:00 and UTC−10:00 to UTC+14:00, respectively.

1999  The first President of RussiaBoris Yeltsin, resigns from office, leaving Prime Minister Vladimir Putin as the acting President and successor.

[1]      From Yeltsin to Putin :

[2]      NATO Expansion:

1999  The U.S. government hands control of the Panama Canal (as well all the adjacent land to the canal known as the Panama Canal Zone) to Panama. This act complied with the signing of the 1977 Torrijos–Carter Treaties.

[1]      History of the Panama Canal :

[2]      Transfer to Panama:

2000  The last day of the 20th Century and 2nd Millennium.

2009  Both a blue moon and a lunar eclipse occur.

2019  The World Health Organization is informed of cases of pneumonia with an unknown cause, detected in Wuhan.[17] This later turned out to be COVID-19, the cause of the COVID-19 pandemic

2020  The World Health Organization issues its first emergency use validation for a COVID-19 vaccine.


Satoshi Ashikaga is a member of the TRANSCEND Network for Peace Development Environment. Having worked as researcher, development program/project officer, legal protection/humanitarian assistance officer, human rights monitor-negotiator, managing-editor, and more, he prefers a peaceful and prudent life.  His previous work experiences, including those in war zones and war-torn zones, constantly remind him of the invaluableness of peace.

Disclaimer: The author and TMS take no responsibility for–and do not necessarily subscribe to–contents of websites hyperlinked as sources.


This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 25 Dec 2023.

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