On this Day in History: December 24

1980 – Witnesses report the first of several sightings of unexplained lights near RAF Woodbridge, in Rendlesham Forest, Suffolk, England, United Kingdom, an incident called “Britain’s Roswell.”
1969 – Charles Manson is allowed to defend himself at the Tate–LaBianca murder trial.
1968 – WATU (now WAGT) TV channel 26 – part of CBS – in Augusta, Georgia, begins broadcasting.
1968 – Apollo program: The crew of Apollo 8 enters into orbit around the Moon, becoming the first humans to do so. They performed ten lunar orbits and broadcast live TV pictures.
1964 – Shooting begins on the pilot episode of Star Trek, titled “The Cage.”
1955 – NORAD Tracks Santa for the first time in what will become an annual Christmas Eve tradition.
1953 – KOA (now KCNC) TV channel 4 in Denver, Colorado (an NBC affiliate), begins broadcasting.
1922 – BBC broadcasts first British radio play “The Truth about Father Christmas.”
1906 – Radio: Reginald Fessenden transmits the first radio broadcast; consisting of a poetry reading, a violin solo, and a speech.
1818 – The first performance of “Silent Night” takes place in the church of St. Nikolaus in Oberndorf, Austria.