"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.
1865: Several veterans of the Confederate Army form a private social club in Pulaski, Tennessee, called the Ku Klux Klan. The name was formed by combining the Greek word "kyklos," meaning circle, with clan. Similar groups soon arose across the South and adopted the same name. Members adopted white costumes consisting of robes, masks and conical hats, designed to be outlandish and terrifying, and to hide their identities. This first wave of the group died out by the early 1870s with a second version starting in 1915.
Rankin Bass via Wikimedia Commons
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Ben A. Pruchnie/Getty Images for Walt Disney Studios
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