On this day, Dec. 25 …
1991: Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachev announces his resignation as the eighth and final leader of a communist superpower.
Also on this day:
A.D. 336: The first known commemoration of Christmas on Dec. 25 takes place in Rome.1066: William the Conqueror is crowned King of England.
Gen. George Washington leads his troops across the Delaware River in this painting by Emmanuel G. Leutze, Dec. 1776, during the Revolutionary War. (AP Photo)
1776: Gen. George Washington and his troops cross the Delaware River for a surprise attack against Hessian forces at Trenton, N.J. during the American Revolutionary War.1926: Hirohito becomes emperor of Japan, succeeding his father, Emperor Yoshihito.1931: New York’s Metropolitan Opera broadcasts an entire live opera over radio for the first time — “Hansel and Gretel” by Engelbert Humperdinck.1961: Pope John XXIII formally announces the upcoming convocation of the Second Vatican Council, which would open in Oct. 1962.1977: Comedian Sir Charles Chaplin dies in Switzerland at age 88.1989: Romanian President Nicolae Ceausescu and his wife, Elena, are executed following a popular uprising.1989: Former baseball manager Billy Martin dies in a traffic accident near Binghamton, N.Y. at age 61.1990: The World Wide Web, the system providing quick access to websites over the internet, is born in Geneva, Switzerland, as computer scientists Tim Berners-Lee and Robert Cailliau create the world’s first hyperlinked webpage.1995: Singer Dean Martin dies at his Beverly Hills home at age 78.2006: James Brown, the “Godfather of Soul,” dies in Atlanta at age 73.2008: Singer, dancer and actress Eartha Kitt dies in Weston, Conn. at age 81.2017: In his traditional Christmas message, Pope Francis calls for a two-state solution in the Middle East, and prays that confrontation could be overcome on the Korean Peninsula.