"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.
1994: Air France Flight 8969 is hijacked on the ground by the Armed Islamic Group in Algiers, Algeria. Over the course of the next few days, three passengers were killed before the aircraft was forced to fly to Marseille, France, on December 26. French forces stormed the plane later that day, shooting and killing all four terrorists and successfully rescuing the 166 passengers and crew left on the flight. A former militant group leader later admitted that the hijackers had planned to detonate the aircraft over the Eiffel Tower if it had taken off again from Marseille.
Rabbani and Solimene Photography, Chris Jackson/Getty Images
U.S. National Archives
Dutch National Archives
Joe Raedle/Getty Images
Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for TIME Inc.
Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images
National Archives and Records Administration
Ethan Miller/Getty Images for BT PR; Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
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