Ten years ago
Laci Peterson was reported missing from her Modesto, Calif., home, by her husband, Scott, who was later convicted of murdering her and their unborn son. Saddam Hussein said in an address read on television that Iraqis were ready to fight a holy war against the United States. Chinese pro-democracy activist Xu Wenli was released from a prison in Beijing and flown to the United States.
Five years ago
President George W. Bush made Christmas Eve calls to 10 U.S. troops serving in Iraq, Afghanistan and other spots around the world, thanking them for their sacrifice and wishing them a happy holiday. French news cameraman Gwen Le Gouil was released eight days after he had been abducted by Somali gunmen outside the town of Bossaso.
One year ago
In a setback, Republican presidential hopefuls Newt Gingrich and Texas Gov. Rick Perry failed to qualify for Virginia’s Super Tuesday primary ballot by falling short of the 10,000 signatures required to appear on the ballot. Troops commanded by relatives of Yemen’s outgoing president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, attacked a crowd of more than 100,000 peaceful protesters, killing at least nine and driving Saleh to promise to leave the country.
Pope Benedict XVI decried the increasing commercialization of Christmas as he celebrated Christmas Eve Mass.