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Friday, December 25, 1998
It will be a truly great holy year.
Pope John Paul II, in his Christmas Eve homily
- Cuba is observing Christmas as a national holiday. It was re-established by the Cuban Communist Party 29 years after it was abolished by President Fidel Castro.
- U.S. government offices, banks, schools, post offices and financial markets will be closed for Christmas. Most foreign markets are also closed.
- Pope John Paul II will deliver the traditional Christmas "Urbi at Orbi" message at Vatican City.
- Queen Elizabeth II's annual Christmas message to Britain and the Commonwealth nations is scheduled in London.
- On Saturday, December 26, Kwanzaa, an African-American holiday, begins.
- On Sunday, December 27, today is the tentative liftoff of a joint U.S.and Australian around-the-world balloon flight at Alice Springs, Australia.
- On Monday, December 28, President Clinton is scheduled to address an event on the economy in Washington.
- On Tuesday, December 29, peace activists from 16 countries are scheduled to hold an anti-war conference in New Delhi, India.
- On Wednesday, December 30, President and Mrs. Clinton are scheduled to leave for Hilton Head, South Carolina. They intend to participate in the annual Renaissance Weekend.
Today is Christmas Day. For info on this holiday, click here.
- Singer Jimmy Buffet is 52.
- Former Dolphins running back Larry Csonka is 52.
- Baseball player Rickey Henderson is 40.
- Singer Annie Lennox is 44.
- Singer Barbara Mandrell is 50.
- Singer Little Richard is 63.
- Actor Gary Sandy is 53.
- Actress Hanna Schygulla is 55.
- Actress Sissy Spacek is 49.
- In 1642, Isaac Newton, one of the greatest thinkers in the Western pantheon of philosophers and mathematicians, was born in England.
- In 1821, American nurse and philanthropist Clara Barton was born. She founded the American Red Cross.
- In 1876, Mohammed Ali Jinnah, the founder of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, was born.
- In 1899, actor Humphrey Bogart was born. He was famous for roles in movies such as "The Maltese Falcon," "Casablanca" and "The African Queen."
- In 1943, U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt warned the American public during a fireside chat that World War II would soon turn bloody for America.
- In 1983, Dame Rebecca West, born Cicely Isabel Fairfield, died a literary hero and noted feminist in her native Britain.
- In 1989, Romanian President Nicolae Ceausescu was executed in the wake of that country's revolution.
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