"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.
1524: Vasco da Gama, the Portuguese explorer who in 1498 became the first European to reach India by sea, dies of malaria in Cochin, India.
Courtesy Dan Shakal
Library of Congress
Jason Reed / Reuters
U.S. Army/Sgt. Kimberly Johnson
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