Today in 1776, George Washington and his troops crossed the Delaware River for a surprise attack against Hessian forces at Trenton, New Jersey.
Today in 1868, President Andrew Johnson granted an unconditional pardon to all persons involved in the Southern rebellion that resulted in the Civil War.
Today in 1914, during World War I, British and German troops observed an unofficial truce and even playing football together on the Western Front.
Today in 1934, "A Christmas Carol," by Charles Dickens, was read on the radio for the first time.
Today in 1971, the longest pro-football game to date finally ended when Garo Yepremian kicked a field goal in the second quarter of sudden death overtime. The Miami Dolphins defeated Kansas City, 27-24. The total game time was 82 minutes and 40 seconds.
Today in 1987, in Lebanon, the kidnappers of Terry Anderson released a videotape in which the Associated Press correspondent told his family he was in good health, and said to President Reagan, "Surely by now you know what must be done and how you can do it." Anderson was freed nearly four years later.
Today in 1992, President Bush pardoned former Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger and five others in the Iran-Contra scandal.
Today in 1996, six-year-old beauty queen JonBenet Ramsey was strangled in the basement of her family's home in Boulder, Colorado. To date, the slaying remains unsolved.
Today in 1998, seven days into their journey, Richard Branson, Steve Fossett and Per Lindstrand of Sweden gave up their attempt to make the first nonstop round-the-world balloon flight. They ditched near Hawaii.
Today in 2003, the ill-fated Beadle 2 probe, which was released from the Mars Express Spacecraft on December 19th, disappeared shortly before its scheduled landing. The fate of the probe was unknown until January 2015, when it was spotted on the planet’s surface by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter HiRISE camera.
Today in 2009, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab unsuccessfully attempted a terrorist attack against the US while on board Northwest Airlines Flight 253