Today is Wednesday, Dec. 29, the 363rd day of 2021. There are two days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On Dec. 29, 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.”
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 1845, Texas was admitted as the 28th state.
In 1851, the first Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) in the United States was founded in Boston.
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 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 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.
In 2007, the New England Patriots ended their regular season with a remarkable 16-0 record following a 38-35 comeback victory over the New York Giants. (New England became the first NFL team since the 1972 Dolphins to win every game on the schedule.)
Today’s Birthdays: Actor Inga Swenson is 89. Retired ABC newscaster Tom Jarriel is 87. Actor Jon Voight is 83. Singer Marianne Faithfull is 75. Retired Hall of Fame Jockey Laffit Pincay Jr. is 75. Actor Ted Danson is 74. Singer-actor Yvonne Elliman is 70. News anchor Ashleigh Banfield is 54. Actor Jude Law is 49.