On This Day December 26
1999 – Soul, R&B and funk singer-songwriter Curtis Mayfield, best known for his acclaimed 1972 “Super Fly” soundtrack,” dies at the age of 57. Mayfield — a two-time Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee — was a member of The Impressions before embarking on a solo career.
1898 – In a landmark moment for chemistry and physics, French scientists Pierre and Marie Curie publish a paper announcing their discovery of the element of radium (Ra). The groundbreaking discovery later garners the husband and wife team the Nobel Prize.
1966 – Kwanzaa is observed for the first time. The seven-day holiday with strong African roots was designed by Dr. Maulana Karenga, the chair of Black Studies at California State University at Long Beach, as a celebration of African American family, community and culture.
1973 – “The Exorcist” opens in movie theaters across the U.S., terrifying audiences and establishing a new standard for the horror genre. Based on William Peter Blatty’s 1971 novel of the same name, the Oscar- and Golden Globe-winning movie is about a girl, played by Linda Blair, that is possessed by an evil spirit.
1996 – Six-year-old beauty queen JonBenét Ramsey is found beaten and strangled in the basement of her family’s home in Boulder, Colorado. Her murder — which is still unsolved — became one of the decade’s most famous police investigations.
Own a Piece of This Day
Starring Linda Blair, Max von Sydow and Ellen Burstyn, and directed by William Friedkin