"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.
1984: British actor Peter Lawford, a member of the "Rat Pack" best known for movies such as "The White Cliffs of Dover," "The Picture of Dorian Gray" and "Ocean's 11," dies of cardiac arrest at the age of 61 in Los Angeles, Calif. Lawford had also suffered from kidney and liver failure after years of substance abuse, which also contributed to his death.
Jessica Rinaldi / Reuters
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