On This Day in History: December 26

December 26 is known as Boxing Day in the United Kingdom and Canada, but what happened in history today? It was the date a President of the United States died, among other events.

Abraham Lincoln

1610: Discovery of Elizabeth Bathory’s Crimes

You may have heard about Elizabeth Bathory’s story without realizing who she is. On this day in history her crimes were discovered. This Hungarian noblewoman was one of the world’s earliest and most sadistic serial killers in history. She was accused of torturing and murdering hundreds of innocent young women and allegedly bathed in their blood to keep her young. Many called her the first vampire in history due to the bloodthirsty crimes. She would have been discovered sooner had one of her family members not headed the local government!

1861: James Mason and John Slidell Freed

Today in history President Abraham Lincoln freed two Confederate diplomatic enjoys. It would help to prevent a possible war starting between Britain and America. The two men had been pulled over by the U.S.S. San Jacinto on November 8 while onboard the British mail steamer the Trent. The British were outraged when they heard, after previously avoiding picking a side. Lincoln decided he did not want to risk the British war and ordered the men’s release.

1941: Winston Churchill Becomes First British Prime Minister to Address Congress

On this day in history, Prime Minister Winston Churchill made history. He was the first British prime minister to address the American Congress. He needed Congress to back the proposals put forward by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, warning that the Axis powers would “stop at nothing.” The speech came just weeks after America entered World War II and Churchill did help Roosevelt and Joseph Stalin to work together to fight against the Axis powers.

1972: Death of Harry S. Truman

On this day in history, former American president, Harry S. Truman, died. He served for two terms between 1945 and 1953, before retiring in Independence, Missouri, where he died. The death came after a brief hospitalization on December 4 after suffering from heart irregularity and kidney blockages, among other symptoms. He had a very private and subdued funeral, held in according to the wishes of him and his family.

1973: Release of The Exorcist

Dubbed as one of the scariest films at the time, The Exorcist, starring Linda Blair, was released in movie theaters. The movie was based on William Peter Blatty’s novel, using the same name, set in 1940s America. It received 10 Oscar nominations, but was not received well by all. Some movie theaters chose not to show it.

Born on December 26

Poet Thomas Grey–1716

Inventor Charles Babbage–1791

American writer Henry Miller—1891

People’s Republic of China’s founding father Mao Tse-tung—1893

U.S. Tennessee Senator Albert Gore Sr.—1907

Comedian Steve Allen–1921

Author and activist Dan Massey—1942

Victims’ rights advocate John Walsh—1945

Singer Chris Daughtry–1979

Fashion designer Alexander Wang–1983



Featured image from Deposit Photos

Birthdays from HistoryNet.com and OnThisDay.com

Image of Abraham Lincoln in the public domain (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abraham_Lincoln#/media/File:Abraham_Lincoln_November_1863.jpg)

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