This week in our American history, we celebrate some Christmas classics along with missions to the moon.

Dec. 19


The much loved Charles Dickens’ book “A Christmas Carol,” was first published. It became an American classic.


The last lunar landing took place. During the Apollo 17 mission, astronauts Eugene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt were on the moon’s surface for a record 75 hours and returned with 243 pounds of rock and soil samples.


Los Angeles Raiders running back Bo Jackson was named to the AFC Pro Bowl.  He is the first athlete chosen for all-star games in Major League Baseball and the NFL.

DEC. 20


Elvis Presley received his draft notice for the United States Army at his home in Tennessee.  Although the Navy and Air Force wanted Presley for recruiting purposes, he chose to serve as a regular soldier.


DEC. 21


The first manned mission to the moon was launched.  Apollo 8 astronauts Frank Borman, James Lovell, Jr. and William Anders entered the moon’s orbit on Christmas Eve.  During its 10 lunar orbits, television images were sent back to Earth.  They were the first humans to view Earth in its entirety. 


The 90-year-old creator of the Curious George children’s books died December 21, 1996.  Margaret Rey and her husband George escaped wartime Europe in 1940 and fled to America. The following year the first Curious George book was published in the US.

DEC. 22


Speaking of primates, a baby gorilla named Colo enters the world. She was the first gorilla born in captivity.  


Wedding bells rang on this date for Julie Nixon and David Eisenhower. They were both progeny of U.S. Presidents.  Julie was the daughter of President Richard M. Nixon and David was the grandson of President Dwight David Eisenhower.

DEC. 24


President Calvin Coolidge lights the first national Christmas tree to grace the White House grounds.  Not only the first White House “community tree,” it was also the first one to be decorated with electric lights.


Apollo 8 crossed into the dark side of the moon where all communications were lost.  Upon their return, the astronauts took turns reading from the book of Genesis.  (You can hear their broadcast below by going to:

DEC. 25 - Christmas Day


General George Washington and 5,400 troops cross the Delaware River.  At about 11p.m., the army commenced its crossing of the half-frozen river at three locations. The 2,400 soldiers led by Washington successfully braved the icy and freezing river to reach the New Jersey side of the Delaware just before dawn.  The other two divisions failed to reach the meeting point at the appointed time.  


The beloved song “White Christmas,” was first performed by Bing Crosby.

DEC. 26


(Continuing George Washington crossing the Delaware:) About 8 a.m., Washington’s remaining army quickly overwhelmed the German Hessian forces. Although not significant from a strategic point of view, news of Washington’s victory raised the spirits of the American colonists and Continental Army.  It may have been one of the turning points in the war.


The Ocklawaha Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution would like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy Holiday season.  Chapter meetings will resume in January.  If you are interested in pursuing membership, please contact June Perry at 


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