By The Associated Press
Today in History
Today is Saturday, Dec. 28, the 362nd day of 2019. There are three days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
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 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 1846, Iowa became the 29th state to be admitted to the Union.
In 1879, a section of the Tay Bridge in Dundee, Scotland, collapsed as a train was traveling over it, sending an estimated 75 people to their deaths in the river below.
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 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 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.)
In 2001, the National Guard was called out to help Buffalo, New York, dig out from a paralyzing, 5-day storm that had unloaded nearly 7 feet of snow.
In 2007, Pakistani opposition leader Benazir Bhutto was laid to rest as the country’s army tried to quell a frenzy of rioting in the wake of her assassination.
Ten years ago: Al-Qaida in Yemen claimed responsibility for a Christmas Day attempt to blow up a U.S.-bound airliner. A bomb blast killed at least 44 people in a Shiite procession in the southern Pakistan city of Karachi. In Argentina, two men turned away from Buenos Aires were wed in Ushuaia (oo-SWY’-ah), the world’s southernmost city, in Latin America’s first same-sex marriage.
Five years ago: AirAsia Flight 8501, an Airbus A-320, crashed during a flight from Indonesia to Singapore, killing all 162 people on board. The war in Afghanistan, fought for 13 bloody years and still raging, came to a formal end with a quiet flag-lowering ceremony in Kabul that marked the transition of the fighting from U.S.-led combat troops to the country’s own security forces.
One year ago: President Donald Trump canceled New Yearís plans, deciding not to travel to Florida amid a partial government shutdown that was expected to continue into the new year. The Environmental Protection Agency became the latest government agency to furlough employees during the partial government shutdown, but said it would keep disaster-response teams and other essential workers on the job. — — — —