"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. Muir's activism helped to preserve the Yosemite Valley, Sequoia National Park and other wilderness areas.
Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for MPTF
SRI International via Wikimedia Commons
Rankin Bass via Wikimedia Commons
Bill Ingalls/NASA via Getty Images
Joe Raedle/Getty Images
Rabbani and Solimene Photography, Chris Jackson/Getty Images
U.S. National Archives
Dutch National Archives
Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for TIME Inc.
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