Today in history, December 28

Today is Saturday, Dec. 28, the 362nd day of 2019. There are three days left in the year.

Today’s highlight: On Dec. 28, 1945, Congress officially recognized the Pledge of Allegiance.

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 1846, Iowa became the 29th state to be admitted to the Union.

In 1895, the Lumiere brothers, Auguste and Louis, held the first public showing of their movies in Paris.

In 1908, a major earthquake followed by a tsunami devastated the Italian city of Messina, killing at least 70,000 people.

In 1972, Kim Il Sung, the premier of North Korea, was named the country’s president under a new constitution.

In 1981, Elizabeth Jordan Carr, the first American “test-tube” baby, was born in Norfolk, Virginia.

In 1987, the bodies of 14 relatives of Ronald Gene Simmons were found at his home near Dover, Arkansas, after Simmons shot and killed two other people in Russellville. (Simmons, who never explained his motives, was executed in 1990.)

Today’s Birthdays: Former United Auto Workers union president Owen Bieber is 90. Actress Nichelle Nichols is 87. Actress Dame Maggie Smith is 85. Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., is 75. Former Sen. Tim Johnson, D-S.D., is 73. Rock singer-musician Edgar Winter is 73. Actor Denzel Washington is 65. TV personality Gayle King is 65. Country singer Joe Diffie is 61.

Thought for Today: “There is no luck except where there is discipline.” — Irish proverb.

—The Associated Press

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