On This Day in History: December 24

On Christmas Eve, Poison ended up at the top of the charts and a fire destroyed the Jefferson Library. What else happened in history today?

Thomas Jefferson

1515: Thomas Wolsey Becomes Chancellor of England

After the resignation of William Warham, Henry VIII of England made Thomas Wolsey Chancellor of England. It looked like his life was on the up, but it wouldn’t be long before he made plenty of enemies in Henry’s court, including Henry VIII himself. Wolsey would hold the title for just over a decade, when he would be stripped of his titles and arrested for treason. Sir Thomas More would be given the title after him.

1814: Treaty of Ghent Is Signed

The War of 1812 between the Americans and the British came to an official end on this day in history. The Treaty of Ghent was signed in Ghent, Belgium, between the two countries. It was a war that was half-heartedly fought by the British, as the war against France’s Napoleon was far more important. Those in American didn’t hear about the news of the treaty for a further two weeks, and the Battle of New Orleans unnecessarily took place in January 1815.

1851: Thomas Jefferson’s Literary Collection Destroyed

On December 24, a fire spread through the library of Congress, destroying the majority of the personal literary collection of Thomas Jefferson.  He had sold his collection after the burning of the Congressional Library in 1814 by the British. A total of $23,950 was spent on the collection, helping to pay off some of the debts he had accumulated during his lifetime.

1865: The KKK Officially Founded

On this day in history, the Ku Klux Klan was officially founded in Pulaski, Tennessee. The Confederate veterans formed a secret society, which quickly grew into a paramilitary force attempting to overturn the governments progressions made centuries earlier. There were numerous unsuccessful attempts to disband the KKK until 1882, when it was deemed unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. There have been two revivals since, one of those being as recent as the 1960s.

1953: Train Swept Away by Volcanic EruptionKKK's Nathan Bedford Forrest

A New Zealand train was swept away in a flood caused by the eruption of Mount Ruapehu. More than 150 people were killed in the unlikely disaster. The volcano sat on a lake and glacier, and the eruption was only minor. However, it released lake waters, which barreled down the mountain towards Waiouri. The water hit a bridge, just before a train crossed. Many bodies were never recovered after the train plunged into the water below.

1988: Poison Makes It to Number 1

Poison topped the Billboard Hot 100 on this day in 1988 with Every Rose Has Its Thorn. It was the only number one hit from the band, often dubbed as a glam metal or hair metal band. Many still view the song as a follow-on from Bon Jovi’s success with Wanted Dead Or Alive, due to the guitar ballad style.

Famous Birthdays on December 24

King John of England—1166

American medial pioneer Benjamin Rush—1745

Frontiersman Kit Carons–1809

Actress Ava Gardner—1922

Brothel madam Cynthia Payne–1932

Empire director Lee Daniels–1959

Singer Ricky Martin—1971

Twilight author Stephanie Meyer—1973

American Idol TV host Ryan Seacrest—1974

Race car driver David Ragen–1985

Miss Universe 2007 Riyo Mori–1986

One Directioner Louis Tomlinson–1991


Featured image from Deposit Photos

Birthdays from HistoryNet.com and OnThisDay.com

Image of Thomas Jefferson in the public domain (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Jefferson#/media/File:Official_Presidential_portrait_of_Thomas_Jefferson_(by_Rembrandt_Peale,_1800).jpg)

Image of the KKK’s Nathan Bedford Forrest in the public domain (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ku_Klux_Klan#/media/File:NathanBedfordForrest.jpg)

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