What Else Happened on Dec. 25?

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Gen. George Washington crossed the Delware River on Dec. 25.

Mansell/Time Life Pictures

When we think of Dec. 25, we obviously think of Christmas Day. But a remarkable number of historical events happened, too.

Besides the day’s designation as the symbolic birth date of Jesus Christ, the day has witnessed many significant moments. One of the most famous is the crossing of the Delaware River led by General George Washington, which was the first surprise attack led by Washington on the British. Some 150 years later, British and German troops called a truce from fighting each other in World War I and instead chose to sing Christmas carols together.

In 1868, three years after the devastating Civil War, President Andrew Johnson pardoned soldiers who fought with the South, giving them a perhaps life-saving Christmas present.

In cinema, one of film’s pioneers died. In science, the Apollo 8 was broadcast live from space during its journey around the moon. In the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev resigned, leading to the dissolution of the Soviet Union days later. Even the Internet got its beginnings on Dec. 25.

(View TIME’s photo gallery of The Rise and Fall of Mikhail Gorbachev.)

What else happened? For more, go to TIME’s photo gallery, It Happened on Christmas Day.

(Read about TIME naming the astronauts of Apollo 8 Persons of the Year.)