On this day: December 24

Published: Dec 22 2012 01:13:40 AM EST   Updated On: Dec 24 2014 02:00:00 AM EST

"Silent Night" is first performed, the Library of Congress burns, NORAD begins tracking Santa, and man orbits the Moon for the first time, all on this day.

OTD December 24 - Charles Durning
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Michael N. Todaro/Getty Images

2012: Actor Charles Durning, best known for his roles in movies such as "The Sting," "Dog Day Afternoon," "Tootsie," "To Be or Not to Be" and "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas," dies at the age of 89 in New York City. Durning earned Academy Award nominations for Best Supporting Actor for his roles in "To Be or Not to Be" and "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas."

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On this Day

  • Howdy Doody museum display

    Volkan Yuksel/Wikimedia Commons

    On this day: December 27

    Charles Darwin embarks on the HMS Beagle, "Howdy Doody" makes its TV debut, Apollo 8 splashes down after orbiting the Moon, and the Soviet Union occupies Afghanistan, all on this day.