Today is Tuesday, Dec. 29, the 364th day of 2020. There are two days left in the year.
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.
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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 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.