"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.
1851: A fire devastates the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., destroying about 35,000 volumes, about two–thirds of the library's 55,000 book collection, including two–thirds of the personal library Thomas Jefferson's had donated.
Wisconsin Dept. of Natural Resources
Enrique Castro-Mendivil / Reuters
Gene Blevins / Reuters
Patrick T. Fallon/Reuters
Larry Downing / Reuters
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