Although Christmas is observed as a time for church services, family gathering and gift giving, a few crucial historical events also happened to fall on the same date. According to the records, this time, considered as the most wonderful one in the year, has been also known for interruptions by the coronation of kings, scientific breakthroughs, legendary battles and others. However, a few of the well-known historical events observed on the day of the Christmas are discussed as below.
Crowning of Charlemagne as the Holy Roman Emperor in 800
Charlemagne, a Frankish warrior king, also known as the Father of Europe is known to unite a huge part of the European continent under the Carolingian Empire’s banner. A catholic devotee, Charlemagne created a huge kingdom in the late part of the 700s with the help of his extensive military campaigns executed against the Avars, the Lombards and the Saxons, where he also converted all his subjects to Christianity along with strict religious reforms.
On the day of Christmas in 800, Charlemagne was crowned by Pope Leo III as the emperor of the Romans, which restored the name of the Western Roman Empire along with the establishment of Charlemagne as a delightfully appointed leader of most part of the Europe.
After the legendary victory of William over King Harold II with British Isles’ invasion at the Battle of Hastings, ending in October 1066 led to the coronation of William the Conqueror as England’s King during the holiday season of the same year. This event altered the European history’s course permanently, after he was crowned at Westminster Abbey in London.
Delaware River, crossed by the Continental Army with George Washington in 1776
The Revolutionary War was observed as a defeat for the colonial forces at the 1776’s end, where morale was depleted by losses in a row and the desertion of the Continental Army by many soldiers. General George Washington was desperate to strike a victory, for which, he led 2400 troops and crossed the icy Delaware river at a daring nighttime on the day of Christmas and entered New Jersey stealthily the next day. With a surprise attack help by the Hessians, German soldiers on Trenton led George and his troop to the decisive win.
End to the War of 1812 by the Treaty of Ghent in 1814
On 24th of December in 1814, Great Britain and the US signed an eminent peace agreement to put an end to the War of 1812, when the rest of the western world was celebrating Christmas. Negotiations for the treaty started in Ghent, Belgium in August, the month when the US Capitol and the White House were burned by the British forces. After a long debate, the war ended in a draw with the return of captured vessels, soldiers and territories.
Apollo 8 Orbited the Moon in 1968
In 1968, astronauts William Anders, Jim Lovell and Frank Borman entered the moon’s orbit on the night before Christmas with the Apollo 8 which is best renowned mission today.
Discussed above are a few of the crucial historical events that took place on the eve of Christmas, adding more historical significance to the day.