Today in History


By the Associated Press

Today is Tuesday, Dec. 29, the 363rd day of 2015. There are two days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Dec. 29, 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).

On this date:

In 1170, Thomas Becket, the Archbishop of Canterbury, was slain in Canterbury Cathedral by knights loyal to King Henry II.

In 1808, the 17th president of the United States, Andrew Johnson, was born in Raleigh, North Carolina.

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 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 1916, Grigory Rasputin, the so-called “Mad Monk” who’d wielded great influence with Czar Nicholas II, was killed by a group of Russian noblemen in St. Petersburg.

In 1934, Japan formally renounced the Washington Naval Treaty of 1922.

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 1957, singers Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme were married in Las Vegas.

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 1989, dissident and playwright Vaclav Havel (VAHTS’-lahv HAH’-vel) assumed the presidency of Czechoslovakia.

In 1992, the United States and Russia announced agreement on a nuclear arms reduction treaty.

Ten years ago: International monitors said they would review Iraq’s parliamentary elections in response to fraud complaints by Sunni Arab and secular Shiite groups.

Five years ago: The Obama administration expelled Venezuela’s ambassador to the United States, a day after Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said he would not allow diplomat Larry Palmer to become the U.S. ambassador to his country. Suicide bombers succeeded in killing Iraqi police commander Lt. Col. Shamil al-Jabouri, who was renowned in the tense northern city of Mosul for his relentless pursuit of al-Qaida. Character actor Bill Erwin, 96, whose nearly seven-decade career included his memorable role as the grumpy old man on television’s “Seinfeld,” died in suburban Los Angeles.

One year 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.

Today’s Birthdays: Country singer Rose Lee Maphis is 93. Actress Dina Merrill is 92. Actress Inga Swenson is 83. ABC newscaster Tom Jarriel is 81. Actress Mary Tyler Moore is 79. Actress Barbara Steele is 78. Actor Jon Voight is 77. Country singer Ed Bruce is 76. Rock musician Ray Thomas is 74. Singer Marianne Faithfull is 69. Jockey Laffit Pincay, Jr. is 69. Actor Ted Danson is 68. Actor Jon Polito is 65. Singer-actress Yvonne Elliman is 64. Actress Patricia Clarkson is 56. Comedian Paula Poundstone is 56. Rock singer-musician Jim Reid (The Jesus and Mary Chain) is 54. Actor Michael Cudlitz is 51. Rock singer Dexter Holland (The Offspring) is 50. Actor-comedian Mystro Clark is 49. Actor Jason Gould is 49. CNN anchor Ashleigh Banfield is 48. Movie director Andy Wachowski is 48. Actress Jennifer Ehle is 46. Actor Patrick Fischler is 46. Rock singer-musician Glen Phillips is 45. Actor Kevin Weisman is 45. Actor Jude Law is 43. Actress Maria Dizzia (TV: “Orange is the New Black”) is 41. Actor Mekhi Phifer (mih-KY’ FY’-fuhr) is 41. Actor Shawn Hatosy is 40. Actress Katherine Moennig is 38. Actor Diego Luna is 36. Country singer Jessica Andrews is 32. Actress Jane Levy is 26. Singer-actor-dancer Ross Lynch is 20.

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