8 Horrifying Tragedies That Took Place During Christmas
Christmas Eve Stampede in Michigan
Back in 1913, on Christmas Eve, a party was organized in the Italian Hall in Calumet, a small village in Michigan. Unfortunately, a shocking tragedy happened that has since become known as the 'Italian Hall Disaster.' Namely, over 400 people attended, but when someone falsely called out "fire," the guests started running for their lives and caused a deadly stampede in the packed hall. Exactly 73 miners and their family members, including even 59 children, were overrun as the guests stampeded to the exit in panic due to the false alarm. After all these years, neither the person who called out the false alarm nor the reason was ever discovered.
The Founding of the KKK
The Ku Klux Klan, the most notorious hate group in the USA, was actually established by six Confederate veterans on the 24th of December, 1865, in Tennessee. The infamous organization came into existence after the Civil War had ended, more precisely during the Reconstruction era, when the Southern states were obliged to become part of the Union again. By 1870, the KKK was operating in most states in the South, and by the 1920s, the organization had reached 4 million members. On Christmas, 1951, the KKK murdered Hariette and Harry Moore, two activists and members of the NAACP, by bombing their home. The couple was celebrating the 25th anniversary of their wedding.
Christmas Plane Hijacking
Flight 8969, an Air France flight, which was supposed to take off from Algeria to France on the 24th of December, 1994, was hijacked by four members of a radical Islamic terrorist group. The men who had taken dynamite, handmade grenades and machine guns with them, had killed three people and kept 220 more as hostages for even two days. As opposed to what authorities believed, the hijackers' intention was not to negotiate but to blow up the plane above the Eiffel Tower and kill hundreds of people. Luckily, a French tactical unit raided the plane on the 26th and eliminated the terrorists.
Indian Ocean Tsunami
In 2004, one day after Christmas, a massive underwater earthquake occurred at the bottom of the Indian Ocean near Sumatra, Indonesia. According to estimates, its power was equal to 23,000 nuclear bombs. The earthquake further caused a series of giant tsunami waves with a height of over 50 ft. The tsunami devastated entire cities, villages, and resorts near the coast of the Indian Ocean, leaving millions of people homeless, while more than 225,000 people were proclaimed either missing or dead.