Almanac

By The Associated Press

Today in History

Today is Monday, Dec. 26, the 361st day of 2016. There are five days left in the year. The seven-day African-American holiday Kwanzaa begins today. This is Boxing Day.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Dec. 26, 1941, during World War II, Winston Churchill became the first British prime minister to address a joint meeting of the U.S. Congress. Churchill grimly warned that “many disappointments and unpleasant surprises await us,” but also expressed faith that “the British and American peoples will, for their own safety and for the good of all, walk together in majesty, in justice and in peace.”

On this date:

In 1776, British forces suffered a major defeat in the Battle of Trenton during the Revolutionary War.

In 1799, former President George Washington was eulogized by Col. Henry Lee as “first in war, first in peace and first in the hearts of his countrymen.”

In 1865, James H. Nason of Franklin, Massachusetts, received a patent for “an improved coffee percolator.”

In 1908, Jack Johnson became the first African-American boxer to win the world heavyweight championship as he defeated Canadian Tommy Burns in Sydney, Australia.

In 1944, during the World War II Battle of the Bulge, the embattled U.S. 101st Airborne Division in Bastogne, Belgium, was relieved by units of the 4th Armored Division. Tennessee Williams’ play “The Glass Menagerie” was first performed at the Civic Theatre in Chicago.

In 1966, Kwanzaa was first celebrated.

In 1972, the 33rd president of the United States, Harry S. Truman, died in Kansas City, Missouri, at age 88.

In 1980, Iranian television footage was broadcast in the United States, showing a dozen of the American hostages sending messages to their families.

In 1990, Nancy Cruzan, the young woman in an irreversible vegetative state whose case led to a U.S. Supreme Court decision on the right to die, died at a Missouri hospital.

In 1996, 6-year-old beauty queen JonBenet Ramsey was found beaten and strangled in the basement of her family’s home in Boulder, Colorado. (To date, the slaying remains unsolved.)

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Thought for Today: “The people can never understand why the President does not use his supposedly great power to make ’em behave. Well all the President is, is a glorified public relations man who spends his time flattering, kissing and kicking people to get them to do what they are supposed to do anyway.” — President Harry S. Truman (1884-1972).

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