Today’s Highlight in History:
On Dec. 29, 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.
On this date:
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 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 1939, “The Hunchback of Notre Dame,” starring Charles Laughton and Maureen O’Hara, was released by RKO Radio Pictures.
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 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 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.
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.)
In 2017, Puerto Rico authorities said nearly half of the power customers in the U.S. territory still lacked electricity, more than three months after Hurricane Maria.
Ten 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.
Five years ago: Belgian authorities announced they had arrested two men and seized military-type uniforms and Islamic State group propaganda in connection with a suspected plot to unleash holiday season attacks against police and celebrated locations in Brussels. Former “Glee” star Mark Salling was arrested in Los Angeles for investigation of possessing child pornography. (Salling pleaded guilty in December 2017; he took his own life a few weeks later while awaiting sentencing.)
One year ago: A man opened fire at a church near Fort Worth, Texas, killing two people before being shot and killed by a member of the church’s volunteer security team. NBA star LeBron James was named the Associated Press male athlete of the decade. British comedy writer and actor Neil Innes, who frequently worked with members of the Monty Python comedy troupe, died at the age of 75.
Today’s Birthdays: Country singer Rose Lee Maphis is 98. Actor Inga Swenson is 88. Retired ABC newscaster Tom Jarriel is 86. Actor Barbara Steele is 83. Actor Jon Voight is 82. Country singer Ed Bruce is 81. Singer Marianne Faithfull is 74. Retired Hall of Fame Jockey Laffit Pincay Jr. is 74. Actor Ted Danson is 73. Singer-actor Yvonne Elliman is 69. The president of the International Olympic Committee, Thomas Bach, is 67. Actor Patricia Clarkson is 61. Comedian Paula Poundstone is 61.
Rock singer-musician Jim Reid (The Jesus and Mary Chain) is 59. Actor Michael Cudlitz is 56. Rock singer Dexter Holland (The Offspring) is 55. Actor-comedian Mystro Clark is 54. Actor Jason Gould is 54. News anchor Ashleigh Banfield is 53. Movie director Lilly Wachowski is 53. Actor Jennifer Ehle is 51. Actor Patrick Fischler is 51. Rock singer-musician Glen Phillips is 50. Actor Kevin Weisman is 50. Actor Jude Law is 48. Actor Maria Dizzia is 46. Actor Mekhi Phifer (mih-KY’ FY’-fuhr) is 46. Actor Shawn Hatosy is 45. Actor Katherine Moennig is 43. Actor Diego Luna is 41. Actor Alison Brie is 38. Country singer Jessica Andrews is 37. Actor Iain de Caestecker is 33. Actor Jane Levy is 31. Singer-actor-dancer Ross Lynch is 25. Rock musician Danny Wagner is 22.