Almanac

By The Associated Press

Today in History

Today is Wednesday, Dec. 28, the 363rd day of 2016. There are three days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Dec. 28, 1846, Iowa became the 29th state to be admitted to the Union.

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 1832, John C. Calhoun became the first vice president of the United States to resign, stepping down because of differences with President Andrew Jackson.

In 1856, the 28th president of the United States, Thomas Woodrow Wilson, was born in Staunton (STAN’-tun), Virginia.

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

In 1917, the New York Evening Mail published “A Neglected Anniversary,” a facetious essay by H.L. Mencken supposedly recounting the history of bathtubs in America.

In 1937, composer Maurice Ravel died in Paris at age 62.

In 1945, Congress officially recognized the Pledge of Allegiance.

In 1961, the Tennessee Williams play “Night of the Iguana” opened on Broadway. Former first lady Edith Bolling Galt Wilson, the second wife of President Woodrow Wilson, died in Washington at age 89.

In 1973, the book “Gulag Archipelago,” Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s expose (eks-poh-SAY’) of the Soviet prison system, was first published in Paris.

In 1981, Elizabeth Jordan Carr, the first American “test-tube” baby, was born in Norfolk, Virginia. In 1989, Alexander Dubcek (DOOB’-chek), the former Czechoslovak Communist leader who was deposed in a Soviet-led Warsaw Pact invasion in 1968, was named president of the country’s parliament.

In 1991, nine people died in a crush of people trying to get into a rap celebrity basketball game at City College in New York.

Ten years ago: President George W. Bush, at his Texas ranch, worked on designing a new U.S. policy in Iraq. Saddam Hussein’s lawyer made a last-ditch effort to impede his client’s execution. In Somalia, troops of the U.N.-backed interim government rolled into Mogadishu unopposed, putting an end to six months of domination of the capital by a radical Islamic movement.

Thought for Today: “If you don’t know history, then you don’t know anything. You are a leaf that doesn’t know it is part of a tree.” — Michael Crichton (KRY’-tuhn), American author

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