Today is Sunday, Dec. 29, the 363rd day of 2019. There are two days left in the year.
On Dec. 29, 1845, Texas was admitted as the 28th state.
On this date
In 1170, Thomas Becket, the Archbishop of Canterbury, was slain in Canterbury Cathedral by knights loyal to King Henry II.
In 1812, during the War of 1812, the American frigate USS Constitution engaged and severely damaged the British frigate HMS Java off Brazil.
In 1890, the Wounded Knee massacre took place in South Dakota as an estimated 300 Sioux Indians were killed by U.S. troops sent to disarm them.
In 1939, “The Hunchback of Notre Dame,” starring Charles Laughton and Maureen O’Hara, was released by RKO Radio Pictures.
In 1940, during World War II, Germany dropped incendiary bombs on London, setting off what came to be known as “The Second Great Fire of London.”
In 1972, Eastern Air Lines Flight 401, a Lockheed L-1011 Tristar, crashed into the Florida Everglades near Miami International Airport, killing 101 of the 176 people aboard.
In 1975, a bomb exploded in the main terminal of New York’s LaGuardia Airport, killing 11 people (it’s never been determined who was responsible).
In 1978, during the Gator Bowl, Ohio State University coach Woody Hayes punched Clemson player Charlie Bauman, who’d intercepted an Ohio State pass. (Hayes was fired by Ohio State the next day.)
In 1986, former British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan died in Sussex, England, at age 92.
In 1989, dissident and playwright Vaclav Havel assumed the presidency of Czechoslovakia.
In 1992, the United States and Russia announced agreement on a nuclear arms reduction treaty.
In 2006, word reached the United States of the execution of former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein (because of the time difference, it was the morning of Dec. 30 in Iraq when the hanging took place). In a statement, President George W. Bush called Saddam’s execution an important milestone on Iraq’s road to democracy.
Ten years ago: Brushing aside international appeals, China executed British drug smuggler Akmal Shaikh, who relatives said was mentally unstable and unwittingly lured into crime; it was China’s first execution of a European citizen in nearly 60 years. Mexico City enacted Latin America’s first law recognizing gay marriage and said it hoped to attract same-sex couples from around the world.
Five years ago: President Barack Obama, in an NPR interview, issued a warning to congressional Republicans set to take control of both houses of Congress, saying he had a veto pen, and would not be afraid to use it. A man with a lengthy criminal record killed six adults and two young children before taking his own life in Edmonton, Alberta.
One year ago: President Donald Trump said the two Guatemalan children who had died in U.S. custody had been “very sick” when they arrived; immigration authorities had said both children passed initial health checks. Top-ranked Alabama beat No. 4 Oklahoma 45-34 at the Orange Bowl in Florida, reaching the national championship game against Clemson, which beat Notre Dame 30-3 in the Cotton Bowl.
Country singer Rose Lee Maphis is 97. Actress Inga Swenson is 87. ABC newscaster Tom Jarriel is 85. Actress Barbara Steele is 82. Actor Jon Voight is 81. Country singer Ed Bruce is 80. Singer Marianne Faithfull is 73. Hall of Fame Jockey Laffit Pincay Jr. is 73. Actor Ted Danson is 72. Singer-actress Yvonne Elliman is 68. The president of the International Olympic Committee, Thomas Bach, is 66. Actress Patricia Clarkson is 60. Comedian Paula Poundstone is 60. Rock singer-musician Jim Reid (The Jesus and Mary Chain) is 58. Actor Michael Cudlitz is 55. Rock singer Dexter Holland (The Offspring) is 54. Actor-comedian Mystro Clark is 53. Actor Jason Gould is 53. News anchor Ashleigh Banfield is 52. Movie director Lilly Wachowski is 52. Actress Jennifer Ehle is 50. Actor Patrick Fischler is 50. Rock singer-musician Glen Phillips is 49. Actor Kevin Weisman is 49. Actor Jude Law is 47. Actress Maria Dizzia is 45. Actor Mekhi Phifer is 45. Actor Shawn Hatosy is 44. Actress Katherine Moennig is 42. Actor Diego Luna is 40. Actress Alison Brie is 37. Country singer Jessica Andrews is 36. Actor Iain de Caestecker is 32. Actress Jane Levy is 30. Singer-actor-dancer Ross Lynch is 24. Rock musician Danny Wagner is 21.
Thought for today
“Sin cannot be undone, only forgiven.” — Igor Stravinsky, Russian-born composer (1882-1971).