Today In History, 24 December: What Happened On This Day

What happened today in history (24 December): The treaty of Ghent was signed, the birth of Muhammed Rafi and Stephenie Meyer, death of Vasco da Gama, invasion of Afghanistan, hijacking of Indian Airlines Flight 814, and more.
This day in history (24 Dec): The Battle of Bhopal and the Birth of Mohammed Rafi
This day in history (24 Dec): The Battle of Bhopal and the Birth of Mohammed Rafi

Today in History: It’s Christmas eve today, and most people are almost finished with their Christmas preparations. All that remains to do now is sit back and await the annual winter festival commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ.

Today is 24 December. It is a pivotal day in history.

From the births of one of the greatest playback singers of India, one of the most popular authors of the century and a renowned American aviator and film producer to the invasion of Afghanistan by the Soviet Union and the Battle of Bhopal, Many important events took place on this day (24 Dec).

Keep reading to know what happened on this day (Dec. 24) in sports, politics and art, along with famous birthdays and deaths in world history.

Historical Events on This day

  • In 1737, the Battle of Bhopal took place in which the Marathas defeated the combined forces of the Mughal Empire, Rajputs of Jaipur, Nizam of Hyderabad, Nawab of Awadh and Nawab of Bengal.
  • In 1814, the Treaty of Ghent was signed in Belgium by representatives of the United States and the United Kingdom to end to War of 1812.
  • In 1865, the racist hate group, the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) was formed in Tennessee, US by six former Confederate army officers.
  • In 1877, Thomas Edison filed a patent for the phonograph.
  • In 1936, the first radioactive isotope medicine was administered.
  • In 1943, General Eisenhower Supreme Commander of the Allied forces by US President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
  • In 1979, the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan to fuel the communist regime and marked the beginning of the decade-long Soviet-Afghan war.
  • In 1999, the Indian Airlines Flight 814, en route from Nepal to India, was hijacked by Pakistani terrorists and flown to Kandahar, Afghanistan. The hostage crisis lasted a week and ended when India released the imprisoned Islamist terrorists Ahmed Omar, Saeed Sheikh, Masood Azhar, and Mushtaq Ahmed Zargar.

Sports Events On This Day

  • In 1889, Daniel Stover & William Hance patented the bicycle with a back pedal brake.
  • In 1996, German footballer Matthias Sammer was declared the best football player in Europe after winning the Ballon d’Or award.

Art and Culture Events Today

  • In 1818, the first performance of the Christmas carol “Silent Night” was conducted in the church of St. Nikolaus in Oberndorf, Austria.
  • In 1871, Italian composer Giuseppe Verdi’s iconic opera “Aida” premiered in Cairo, Egypt.
  • In 1970, Walt Disney’s classic animated musical “The Aristocrats,” featuring the voices of Phil Harris, Eva Gabor, Hermione Baddeley, Sterling Holloway, and Scatman Crothers, was released.

Notable Deaths On This Day

Sr No

Death Year




Vasco da Gama, Portuguese explorer who discovered the sea route from Europe to India



William Makepeace Thackeray, English novelist who wrote the acclaimed novel Vanity Fair



Erode Venkatappa Ramasamy, Indian social activist and politician who rebelled against Brahminical dominance and caste inequality in Tamil Nadu



Karl Donitz, German naval officer and creator of the World War II U-boat



Harold Pinter, English playwright who is regarded as one of the most influential British dramatists for his plays The Birthday Party and The Caretaker

Famous Birthdays On This Day

Sr No

Birth Year




King John, King of England from 1199 to 1216 who lost the Duchy of Normandy and most other French lands to King Philip II of France



Howard Hughes, American aviator, manufacturer and filmmaker known for his philanthropy and eccentric lifestyle



Ava Gardner, American actress and who starred in classic films like The Barefoot Contessa and The Killers



Muhammed Rafi, legendary Indian playback singer who recorded over 25,000 songs in his career



Anil Kapoor, Indian actor known for his youthful looks and comedic timing in films like Mr. India, Judaai and Nayak



Stephanie Meyer, American author known for writing the vampire romance novel series Twilight

Also Read | Today in History (23 December)

Also Read | Today in History (22 December)

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