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Moments in time

 

 

On Dec. 23, 1620, one week after the Mayflower arrived at Plymouth harbor in present-day Massachusetts, construction of the first permanent European settlement in New England begins. The term “Pilgrim” was derived from a manuscript in which Gov. Bradford spoke of the “saints” who traveled to the New World as “pilgrimes.”

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On Dec. 22, 1808, Ludwig van Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 in C Minor, Op. 67 made its world premiere. The Fifth Symphony is instantly recognizable by its powerful four-note opening motif — three short Gs followed by a long E-flat.

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On Dec. 25, 1880, Layne Hall is born in Mississippi. When he died in 1990, Hall was the oldest licensed driver in the U.S. In nearly 75 years on the road, Hall never got a speeding ticket or citation of any kind.

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On Dec. 26, 1917, President Woodrow Wilson announces the nationalization of a majority of the country’s railroads under the Federal Possession and Control Act due to World War I. Two days later, the United States Railroad Administration seized control.

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On Dec. 24, 1923, President Calvin Coolidge touches a button and lights up the first national Christmas tree to grace the White House grounds. The tree was the first to be decorated with electric lights — a strand of 2,500 red, white and green bulbs.

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On Dec. 27, 1932, at the height of the Great Depression, thousands turn out for the opening of Radio City Music Hall in New York City. Designed as a place where ordinary people could see quality entertainment, it remains the largest indoor theater in the world.

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On Dec. 21, 1975, in Vienna, Austria, Carlos the Jackal leads a raid on a meeting of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, killing three people and taking 63 hostages. Carlos evaded capture until 1994, when French agents found him hiding in the Sudan.

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