December 26th

2004
Massive tsunami causes damage and kills thousands in India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and Thailand. The tsunami was precipitated by a 9.1 magnitude earthquake off the coast of Sumatra, Indonesia. The earthquake was the third strongest earthquake ever measured using the Richter scale in recorded history. The other two were the Valdivia earthquake in Chile in 1960, with a magnitude of 9.5 and the Prince William Sound earthquake in Alaska in 1964, with a magnitude of 9.2. The Indian Ocean earthquake killed about 200,000 people and is considered one of the deadliest natural disasters in recent history.
2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami
1996
JonBenet Ramsey was found murdered in her Boulder, Colo., home.
Death of JonBenét Ramsey
1985
Zoologist Dian Fossey was found murdered in Rwanda.
Dian Fossey
1982
The December issue of Times magazine proclaimed the personal computer as the "Man of the Year". The Man of the Year tradition began in 1927 at Time magazine as a way to identify and showcase those that influenced the year and its events significantly. In 1999, the feature was renamed Person of the Year.
You (Time Person of the Year)
1972
The 33rd president of the United States, Harry S. Truman, died in Kansas City, Mo.
Harry S. Truman
1966
First Kwanzaa celebrations. The week-long cultural holiday is celebrated among African diaspora in the United States and was created by Maulana Karenga, a professor of Africana Studies and a key figure in the Black Power movement. The holiday is celebrated annually from December 26 to January 1, and it is a recognition of African culture and heritage.
Kwanzaa
1941
Fourth Thursday of November set as Thanksgiving Day in the US. The holiday has been celebrated officially in the United States since 1863. The first Thanksgiving is thought to have been observed by early settlers in the Massachusetts Bay Colony after their first harvest in 1621.
Thanksgiving (United States)
1898
The Curies announce the existence of Radium. The radioactive element has an atomic number of 88 and is known by the symbol Ra. In its pure form, it is a highly toxic element and is not used extensively for scientific purposes.
Marie Curie
1865
James H. Nason received a patent for a coffee percolator.
Coffee percolator
1860
First ever inter-club football match between Hallam F.C. and Sheffield F.C. at Sandygate Road ground in Sheffield, England.
Sandygate Road
1825
Decembrist uprising in Russia against Tsar Nicholas I begins [O.S. 14 December].
Decembrist revolt
1792
Trial of French King Louis XVI, court hears the kings defense brought by Raymond Desèze.
Trial of Louis XVI
1776
George Washington defeated the Hessians at Trenton.
Battle of Trenton
1492
1st Spanish settlement La Navidad (modern Môle-Saint-Nicolas) in the New World is founded by Columbus.
Hispaniola