December 24 - 1659: Puritans outlaw Christmas

1659: Christmas called a "profane and superstitious custom". 1927: Three aviation pioneers vanish after flying over Cape Cod. 1906: First music broadcast. 1946: First Solar-Heated home
Aviatrix Mrs. Frances Grayson.

1659: Fine levied on anyone caught "observing any such day as Christmas"

Christmas called a "profane and superstitious custom"

Mass Moments reports that on this day in 1659, a law was passed by the General Court of Massachusetts Bay Colony requiring a five-shilling fine from anyone caught "observing any such day as Christmas or the like, either by forbearing of labor, feasting, or any other way."

Read more at Mass Moments here.

Editor's Note: H.L. Mencken once said, "Puritans live in fear that someone, somewhere, was having a good time."

1927: Woman pioneer pilot last seen over Cape Cod

On Christmas Day in 1927, The Havre (Mont.) Daily News-Promoter reported:

Woman Flier and her Companions Hours Overdue at Harbor Grace, Dawn Last Seen Over Sea Where S-4 Disappeared Beneath Waves

Mrs. Frances Wilson Grayson, who had hoped to spend this Christmas eve in Harbor Grace, N.F. (Newfoundland), preparatory to attempting the first winter flight over the Atlantic, was hours overdue tonight and hope for her and her three male companions was fading fast.

The men (who) started with her for Newfoundland in her amphibian Sikorsky were Oskar Omdal, who flew over the North Pole with Amundsen, her pilot; Brice Goldsborough, her radio operator and navigator; and Fred Kohler, an engine expert who had expected to leave the expedition before it left for Newfoundland, on the main lap of the projected flight to England.

At 5:07 o'clock yesterday afternoon (Dec. 23)  those four took off from Roosevelt field (in New York) for Harbor Grace. They had gasoline enough for 20 hours, or until one o'clock this afternoon, and they were expected to make the flight in 14 hours.

The Dawn (Wilson Grayson's plane) was seen some two and a half hours after leaving Roosevelt field flying over Cape Cod, up above the waters that so recently swallowed the crippled submarine S-4 and its 40 men.

After that, nothing ...

An extensive search of the winter seas between Cape Cod and Newfoundland followed, but no trace of the four aviators and their plane was ever found.

1906: First Radio Music broadcast. 1946: First Solar-heated home

Read about "Everything Else Which Happened Today" including in 1906 when Reginald A Fessenden became the 1st to broadcast music over radio (from Brant Point, Mass.) and in 1948 the first US house completely sun-heated is occupied (in Dover, Mass.) here.

On the right is a Postcard from around 1910 showing Fessenden's the 420-foot-tall Brant Rock radio tower.

What he broadcast

On the evening of December 24, 1906 (Christmas Eve), Fessenden used the alternator-transmitter to send out a short program from Brant Rock. It included a phonograph record of Ombra mai fu (Largo) by George Frideric Handel, followed by Fessenden himself playing on the violin Adolphe Adam's carol O Holy Night, singing Gounod's Adore and be Still, and finishing with reading a passage from the Bible: 'Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to men of good will' (Gospel of Luke 2:14)

Image courtesy of Wiki Commons.


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