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5 Fun Facts About December 25 In District Of Columbia History

---Learn Every Day: DC Today In History Facts Texted Each Day - Text: history dc To: 618-270-4005---

1. The first recorded Christmas celebration in Washington, D.C. took place on December 25, 1777 during the Revolutionary War. George Washington and his troops crossed the Delaware River on Christmas night and attacked Hessian mercenaries in Trenton, New Jersey.

2. On December 25, 1814, during the War of 1812, British troops marched into Washington, D.C. and burned down the White House and other government buildings. This event is known as the Burning of Washington or the White House Burning.

3. December 25, 1851 marked the opening of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. The institution was founded by British scientist James Smithson who left his estate to the United States to establish an institution "for the increase and diffusion of knowledge."

4. In 1862, President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, freeing slaves in the Confederacy, on December 25. Although the proclamation did not actually free any slaves immediately, it was an important step toward the abolition of slavery in the United States.

5. On December 25, 1989, President George H.W. Bush ordered the invasion of Panama, known as Operation Just Cause. The operation aimed to capture Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega and bring him to the United States to face drug trafficking charges. Noriega surrendered on January 3, 1990 and was eventually sentenced to 40 years in prison.
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