"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.
1914: Scottish-American naturalist John Muir, an early advocate of preservation of wilderness in the United States and the founder of the Sierra Club, dies of pneumonia at the age of 76 in Los Angeles, Calif. Muir's activism helped to preserve the Yosemite Valley, Sequoia National Park and other wilderness areas.
Ralf Manteufel/Wikimedia Commons
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