Today is Monday, Dec. 24, the 359th day of 2012. There are seven days left in the year. This is Christmas Eve.
On this date in:
1851: Fire devastates the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., destroying about 35,000 volumes.
1865: Several veterans of the Confederate Army form a private social club in Pulaski, Tenn., called the Ku Klux Klan.
1906: Canadian physicist Reginald A. Fessenden becomes the first person to transmit the human voice (his own) as well as music over radio, from Brant Rock, Mass.
1955: The Continental Air Defense Command Operations Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., fields a series of phone calls from children wanting to know the whereabouts of Santa Claus after an ad in a local newspaper mistakenly gives the Center’s number; thus begins a tradition continued by the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) of tracking Santa’s location the night before Christmas.
1968: The Apollo 8 astronauts, orbiting the moon, read passages from the Old Testament Book of Genesis during a Christmas Eve telecast.
1992: President George H.W. Bush pardons former Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger and five others in connection with the Iran-Contra scandal.
1987: John R. Delserone, football coach of the Brookfield High School Warriors, loses a valiant struggle against Lou Gehrig’s disease, dying at the age of 43 in St. Elizabeth Hospital.
House and Senate negotiators drop a proposal by U.S. Rep. James A. Traficant Jr. from a tax bill that would have discouraged American firms from moving assembly lines overseas.
The Shenango Valley Primary Care Center, a private nonprofit corporation, will open a medical dental clinic at 1350 Fifth Avenue which will have about 60 percent of its cost subsidized by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
1972: Police from several communities surround the Mahoning County jail housing some 120 prisoners for more than an hour after a power outage darkens a section of downtown Youngstown that included the jail, WFMJ-TV and the Hotel Ohio.
Five drivers are charged with drunken driving by Youngstown police after five separate accidents.
1962: Burglars carry off Savings Bonds valued at $16,460 and four guns and a TV from the home of James Reeves, 705 Jacobs Road.
Railroad officials are investigating a freak accident near Braceville in Trumbull County in which two Erie Lackawanna freight trains collided, derailing eight diesel engines and 61 cars.
1937: Mrs. Samuel Smith, 22, of Lake Milton dies of a broken neck after she leapt instinctively from the family car when a rear door opened and her 4-year-old son fell out while her husband was driving at 40 mph on Route 18 near Meander Lake. The boy, Joey, suffered only minor injuries.
U.S. Rep. Michael J. Kirwan announces that President Roosevelt has cleared the way for a $500,000 grant to Mahoning County to build 14 miles of sanitary sewers and five miles of water line in five sanitary districts.
Youngstown Rotarians serve Christmas dinner with all the trimmings to 150 crippled children at the Ohio Hotel.
Members of the United Labor Congress in Youngstown launch a boycott of anything made in Japan.