On This Day December 25

History Highlights

1776 – General George Washington and 2,400 of his Continental Army troops cross the icy waters of the Delaware River for a surprise attack against Hessian forces at Trenton, New Jersey.

1914 – Gunfire is replaced with the sounds of Christmas carols as German troops serving in World War I lay down their weapons and break into song on Christmas morning. Russian, French and British troops do the same and even shake hands and exchange cigarettes with enemy soldiers along the eastern and western fronts during the Christmas Truce of 1914. 

1962 – “To Kill a Mockingbird,” a film based on the 1960 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same name by Harper Lee, opens in theaters, starring Gregory Peck, who wins a Best Actor Oscar for his performance as attorney Atticus Finch.

1973 – “The Sting,” starring Paul Newman and Robert Redford as a pair of 1930s grifters, premieres.

1977 – British director, producer and comedic actor Charlie Chaplin, an icon of the silent film era, dies at the age of 88.

1989 – Ousted Romanian President Nicolae Ceausescu and his wife, Elena, are executed following a popular uprising.

1989 – Former New York Yankees manager Billy Martin dies in a traffic accident at the age of 61.

1991 – Mikhail Gorbachev resigns as president of the Soviet Union just days after 11 of the former Soviet republics establish the Commonwealth of Independent States.

1996 – Six-year-old JonBenét Ramsey is killed in her Boulder, Colorado, home. Her parents call police the following morning to report their daughter missing and discover a ransom note demanding $118,000. The girl’s body is found in the basement that afternoon. The crime becomes a national sensation that remains unsolved today.

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White Christmas

Bing Crosby

Dino The Essential Dean Martin

Dean Martin

Charlie Chaplin: A Brief Life

Peter Ackroyd

Billy Martin: Baseball's Flawed Genius

Bill Pennington

The Twilight Zone (Season 1)

Created by Rod Serling

Coal Miner's Daughter

Starring Sissy Spacek, Tommy Lee Jones and Levon Helm, and directed by Michael Apted

On This Day September 9

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The Very Best of Paul Anka

Paul Anka

Classic Masters / A Taste of Honey

A Taste of Honey

Blood in the Water: The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and Its Legacy

Heather Ann Thompson

Welcome Back, Kotter

Starring Gabe Kaplan, John Travolta, Marcia Strassman, John Sylvester White, Robert Hegyes, Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs and Ron Palillo

The Very Best of Otis Redding

Otis Redding

Reign Over Me

Starring Adam Sandler, Don Cheadle, Jada Pinkett Smith and Liv Tyler, and directed by Mike Binder

On This Day September 3

History Highlights

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Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)

Eurythmics

The Emancipation of Mimi

Mariah Carey

Flag: An American Biography

Marc Leepson

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington

Starring Jean Arthur, James Stewart and Claude Rains, and directed by Frank Capra

Private Benjamin

Starring Goldie HawnEileen BrennanArmand Assante, and directed by Howard Zieff

Wall Street

Starring Michael DouglasCharlie Sheen, and directed by Oliver Stone