"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.
1818: The first performance of "Silent Night" takes place in the church of St. Nikolaus in Oberndorf, Austria. The words were written two years earlier by young priest Father Joseph Mohr, who brought the lyrics to schoolmaster and organist Franz Xaver Gruber and asked him to compose a melody and guitar accompaniment. Both performed the carol during the Christmas Eve mass. Pictured is a autographed copy of the carol signed by Gruber.