On this day: December 24

Published On: Dec 22 2012 01:13:40 AM EST   Updated On: Dec 24 2013 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.

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Public domain

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.

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