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On this day: December 24

POSTED: 10:13 PM PST Dec 21, 2012    UPDATED: 11:00 PM PST Dec 23, 2013 

"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.

OTD December 24 - Vasco da Gama
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Public domain

1524: Vasco da Gama, the Portuguese explorer who in 1498 became the first European to reach India by sea, dies of malaria in Cochin, India.

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