Today is Tuesday, Dec. 28, the 362nd day of 2021. There are three days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On Dec. 28, 2014, the war in Afghanistan, fought for 13 bloody years and still raging, came to a formal end with a quiet flag-lowering ceremony in Kabul that marked the transition of the fighting from U.S.-led combat troops to the country’s own security forces.
On this date:
In 1612, Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei observed the planet Neptune, but mistook it for a star. (Neptune wasn’t officially discovered until 1846 by Johann Gottfried Galle.)
In 1832, John C. Calhoun became the first vice president of the United States to resign, stepping down because of differences with President Andrew Jackson.
In 1908, a major earthquake followed by a tsunami devastated the Italian city of Messina, killing at least 70,000 people.
In 1945, Congress officially recognized the Pledge of Allegiance.
In 1973, the Endangered Species Act was signed into law by President Richard Nixon.
In 1975, the “Hail Mary pass” entered the football lexicon as Dallas quarterback Roger Staubach tossed the ball to Drew Pearson for an improbable 50-yard touchdown with 24 seconds left to help the Cowboys come back to edge the Minnesota Vikings 17-14.
In 1981, Elizabeth Jordan Carr, the first American “test-tube” baby, was born in Norfolk, Virginia.
In 2015, a grand jury in Cleveland declined to indict a white rookie police officer in the killing of 12-year-old Tamir Rice, a Black youngster who was shot while playing with what turned out to be a pellet gun.
Today’s Birthdays: Actor Nichelle Nichols is 89. Actor Dame Maggie Smith is 87. Rock singer-musician Edgar Winter is 75. Actor Denzel Washington is 67. TV personality Gayle King is 67. Country singer-musician Marty Roe (Diamond Rio) is 61. Talk show host Seth Meyers is 48. R&B singer John Legend is 43.