Today is Friday, Dec. 29, the 363rd day of 2017. There are two days left in the year.
Today’s highlight: On Dec. 29, 1170, Thomas Becket, the Archbishop of Canterbury, was slain in Canterbury Cathedral by knights loyal to King Henry II.
On this date:
In 1808, the 17th president of the United States, Andrew Johnson, was born in Raleigh, North Carolina.
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, James Joyce’s first novel, “A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man,” was first published in book form in New York after being serialized in London.
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 (the marriage lasted until Gorme’s death in 2013).
In 1967, Hyundai Motor Co. was founded in Seoul (sohl), South Korea.
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 1986, former British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan died in Sussex, England, at age 92.
In 1992, David and Sharon Schoo of St. Charles, Illinois, were arrested at O’Hare International Airport upon their return from a Mexican vacation for leaving their 4- and 9-year-old daughters at home, alone. (The Schoos pleaded guilty to child neglect and were sentenced to probation; the children were put up for adoption.)
Ten years ago: Australian David Hicks, who’d fought alongside the Taliban in Afghanistan, was freed from prison in Adelaide after completing a nine-month sentence struck under a plea deal that followed more than five years’ detention without a trial at Guantanamo. 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.)
Five years ago: Maine’s same-sex marriage law went into effect. Shocked Indians mourned the death of a woman who’d been gang-raped and beaten on a bus in New Delhi nearly two weeks earlier; six suspects were charged with murder. (Four were later sentenced to death; one died in prison; the sixth, a juvenile at the time of the attack, was sentenced to a maximum of three years in a reform home.)
One year ago: The United States struck back at Russia for hacking the U.S. presidential campaign with a sweeping set of punishments targeting Russia’s spy agencies and diplomats; Moscow called the Obama administration “losers” and threatened retaliation. Tennis star Serena Williams announced her engagement to Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian — on Reddit. (The couple married on Nov. 16, 2017.)
Today’s birthdays: Country singer Rose Lee Maphis is 95. Actress Inga Swenson is 85. ABC newscaster Tom Jarriel is 83. Actress Barbara Steele is 80. Actor Jon Voight is 79. Country singer Ed Bruce is 78. Rock musician Ray Thomas is 76. Singer Marianne Faithfull is 71. Hall of Fame Jockey Laffit Pincay Jr. is 71. Actor Ted Danson is 70. Singer-actress Yvonne Elliman is 66. The president of the International Olympic Committee, Thomas Bach, is 64. Actress Patricia Clarkson is 58. Comedian Paula Poundstone is 58. Rock singer-musician Jim Reid (The Jesus and Mary Chain) is 56. Actor Michael Cudlitz is 53. Rock singer Dexter Holland (The Offspring) is 52. Actor-comedian Mystro Clark is 51. Actor Jason Gould is 51. News anchor Ashleigh Banfield is 50. Movie director Lilly Wachowski is 50. Actress Jennifer Ehle is 48. Actor Patrick Fischler is 48. Rock singer-musician Glen Phillips is 47. Actor Kevin Weisman is 47. Actor Jude Law is 45. Actress Maria Dizzia is 43. Actor Mekhi Phifer (mih-KY’ FY’-fuhr) is 43. Actor Shawn Hatosy is 42. Actress Katherine Moennig is 40. Actor Diego Luna is 38. Actress Alison Brie is 35. Country singer Jessica Andrews is 34. Actor Iain de Caestecker is 30. Actress Jane Levy is 28. Singer-actor-dancer Ross Lynch is 22.
Thought for today: “The wise man must be wise before, not after.” — Epicharmus, Sicilian Greek comic poet.
— Associated Press