December 25 is the 359th day of the year (360th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar, with 6 days remaining until the end of the year. On this day Christians (and also many non-Christians by tradition) celebrate Christmas Day.
333 – Emperor Constantine I appoints his youngest son Constans I Caesar (sub-emperor) of the Roman Empire.
350 - Emperor Constantius II addresses the army in Naissus (Serbia). Vetranio peacefully resigns as vice-emperor and receives a pension.
820 – Emperor Leo V ("the Armenian") is assassinated by conspiracy at the Hagia Sophia in Constantinople. He is succeeded by Michael II who ascends the throne of the Byzantine Empire.
1492 - Christopher Columbus' flagship, the Santa María, is shipwrecked in Hispaniola. He founded La Navidad, the first European settlement in America since the Vikings.
1847 - Establishment of the Polder van Berlicum water board.
1926 – Yoshihito, the 123rd Emperor of Japan, dies of a heart attack.
2009 - A 23-year-old Nigerian man tries to blow up the plane just before arrival on a flight from Amsterdam to Detroit. The attempt fails and after a number of interrogations by Homeland Security, it appears that the man was acting on behalf of Al Qaeda. He is sentenced to life in prison and has been imprisoned in ADX Florence since 2012.
2010 - The Regina Pacis Church collapses in Lutselus, Belgium.
2015 - A 6.4 magnitude earthquake hits the mountainous northern part of Afghanistan.
2016 - All 92 people on board are killed in a plane crash in the Black Sea. The Russian plane with the army choir Alexandrov Ensemble on board crashes shortly after takeoff from Sochi. Economy
2013 - Russia will lend neighboring country and ally Belarus an amount of 1.5 billion euros in 2014, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced after consultations with his Belarusian counterpart Aleksandr Lukashenko. Art and culture
1896 - John Sousa composes "The Stars and Stripes Forever".
1932 - For the first time in history, the BBC plays a magnetic sound recording in a radio broadcast.
1917 - The Turks launch the last major attack on Jerusalem. The occupiers, the British troops, win the battle.
1941 - Hong Kong surrenders to Japan.
1942 - Japanese submarine I 66 torpedoed the Dutch submarine K XVI north of Kuching, killing all 36 crew members.
800 - Charlemagne is crowned emperor.
1066 - William the Conqueror is crowned King of England.
1989 - Nicolae and Elena Ceauşescu, the Romanian dictator and his wife, are convicted and executed.
1990 - Former King of Romania, Michael, pays an unexpected visit to his country after 43 years in exile in the West. After 12 hours he is again transferred across the border.
1991 - Mikhail Gorbachev, President of the Soviet Union, announces his resignation. At the same time, the Union will cease to exist.
321 – Constantine the Great decrees that this day, formerly the Dies Natalis Solis Invicti (Birthday of the Invincible Sun), will celebrate the birth of Jesus.
390 - Emperor Theodosius I is forced by Ambrose, bishop of Milan, to pay ecclesiastical penance for the massacre in Thessaloniki (Greece), on pain of excommunication.
496 King Clovis I is ceremonially baptized with thousands of his Frankish warriors in Reims by Bishop Remigus and converts to Catholic Christianity.
1925 - The Argentina national football team wins the Copa América for the second time by drawing 2-2 in the final game against closest attacker Brazil.
Science and technology
2004 - The Huygens probe successfully splits from mothership Cassini and begins its descent to Titan's surface.
1564 - Abraham Bloemaert, Dutch painter (died 1651)
1721 - Willia