December 20th, 1957: Elvis Presley Receives his US Army Draft Notice
On this day in ’57 the loose-hipped rock ‘n’ roller Elvis Presley received his US army draft notice during his Christmas holidays at Graceland.
Although his fans protested against his involvement with the army, Presley ignored them and spent 24 months with the military, including 18 months serving with the 32nd Tank Battalion in Germany.
Frequently holding parties during the night for his fellow soldiers, Presley would meet then 14-year-old Priscilla Beaulieu at one such event. A few years later she would become his wife. After completing his service with the army Presley was praised as a role model for young American men – far cry from his controversy ridden early career.
December 21st, 1968: Apollo 8 Sets Out For the Moon
On this day in ’68 the spacecraft Apollo 8 embarked on the first ever manned mission to the moon.
Launching from Florida, astronauts James Lovell. Jr, Frank Borman and William Anders entered into orbit around the moon on December 24th. They were the first men to ever view the Earth in its entirety, with them taking photos of our planet whilst on board the spacecraft and sending them back to television stations back home. They landed back on Earth on December 27th.
A year later Apollo 11 would be the first manned spacecraft to land on the moon.
December 23rd, 1987: Motley Crue’s Nikki Sixx Comes Back from the Dead
The bastards disabled embedding on the Nikki Sixx video so you'll have to watch it on YouTube.
On this day in ’87 Motley Crue bassist Nikki Six was pronounced dead following a heroin overdose. After being injected with two adrenaline shots, however, he was literally brought back from the dead.
Following his temporary death, Sixx simply got out of the ambulance he was given the shots in, hitched a ride back to his home and proceeded to take more heroin before passing out. This incident would inspire the lyrics to Motley Crue’s “Kickstart My Heart”.
December 23rd, 1994: The Street Fighter Movie is Released, OF COURSE!
On this day in ’94 The Street Fighter Movie was released, taking the already absurd and wafer thin plot of the arcade games and somehow making it even more ridiculous.
Starring Jean-Claude Van Damme as Guile (huh?), Kylie Minogue as Cammie (wha?) and featuring Raul Julia’s last ever performance (oh God…), The Street Fighter Movie was an overwhelmingly terrible film that is still somehow not the worst Street Fighter movie. That honour goes to “The Legend of Chun Li”, which cast Taboo from the Black Eyed Peas as Vega.
Come back, Van Damme, all is forgiven!
December 25th, 1998: NINTENDO SIXTY FOOOOOOOOUR
My favourite video on the internet is undoubtedly the Nintendo 64 kid. As a guy who has always appreciated the true meaning of Christmas (hurriedly unwrapping presents and then almost defecating myself with excitement), this little tyke’s approach to expressing his happiness with his present is one that I feel I mirrored in my own childhood – except for as an only child I didn’t have an annoying little sister rubbing her drool-laden hands all over my new console whilst I was in the middle of my victory lap.
Anyway, Christmas Day 1998 was the day this YouTube star got his N64 (and the day I got my PlayStation, which garnered a similar reaction but was unfortunately not recorded).