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25th December

1066 William the Conqueror's coronation was held at Westminster Abbey.

1642 * Sir Isaac Newton, English mathematician who published his theory on gravitation in 1685.

1800 The first Christmas tree in Britain erected at Queen's Lodge, Windsor by Queen Charlotte.

1887 * Conrad Hilton, US hotelier who founded one of the largest hotel groups in the world.

1899 * Humphrey Bogart, legendary US actor who starred in the film Casablanca (1942).

1914 A one day truce was agreed between British and German troops on the western front.

1926 Hirohito acceded to the throne on the death of his father Yoshihito.

1932 King George V made the first Royal broadcast to the Empire.

1949 * Sissy Spacek, US actress who starred in the film Carrie (1976).

1950 The Scottish coronation stone, "the Stone of Scone" was stolen from Westminster Abbey by Scottish nationalists.

1952 British and Commonwealth listeners heard the Queen's first Christmas broadcast since her accession to the throne.

1977 Charlie Chaplin, the comic genius of silent films, died at his home in Switzerland at the age of 88.

1989 Dictator of Romania, Nicolae Ceaucescu and his wife Elena, were executed.

1991 Mikhail Gorbachev, leader of the Soviet Union for almost seven years and executive president for nearly two resigned.

2003 Scientists failed to make contact with British-built Mars probe Beagle 2, which should have landed on the Red Planet earlier today.

xxxx * = Date of birth

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