History: December 29

December 29

1141 Death: Yue Fei, Chinese general, executed.

1503 Battle at Carigliano: The Spanish army defeats France.

1607 Indian chief Powhatan spares the life of John Smith, after the pleas of his daughter Pocahontas.

1675 The British Parliament orders coffee houses to be closed, believing they originate malicious rumors about the government. (Bradley)

1689 Death: Olfert Dapper, Amsterdam historian, geographer.

1721 Birth: Madam Jeanne Poisson de Pompadour, influential mistress of Louis XV; will be blamed for France's defeat in the Seven Years' War.

1731 Death: J. Brook Taylor, English mathematician, at 46.

1778 US Revolutionary War: British troops, attempting a new strategy to defeat the colonials in America, capture Savannah.

1782 The first nautical almanac in the US is published by Samuel Stearns, in Boston.

1792 Birth: Archibald Alison, Scottish historian; History of Europe.

1800 Birth: Charles Goodyear, inventor of vulcanized rubber for automobile tires.

1808 Birth: Andrew Johnson, in Raleigh, North Carolina, 17th US President [1865-1869], succeeded to the presidency upon the death of Abraham Lincoln (15 April 1865). "...By 1834, the twenty-two-year-old tailor had served as town alderman and mayor of Greeneville and was fast making a name for himself as an aspiring politician. Johnson considered himself a Jacksonian Democrat, and he gained the support of local mechanics, artisans, and rural folk with his common-man tell-it-like-it-is style. He quickly moved up to serve in his state's legislature, the US House of Representatives, and as governor of Tennessee. When the Civil War broke out, Johnson was a first-term US senator aligned with the states' rights and proslavery wing of the Democratic Party. However closely he identified with his fellow Southerners' views on slavery, Johnson disagreed strongly with their calls to break up the Union over the issue. When Tennessee left the Union after the election of Abraham Lincoln, Johnson broke with his home state, becoming the only Southern senator to retain his seat in the US Senate. In the South, Johnson was deemed a traitor; his property was confiscated and his wife and two daughters were driven from the state. In the North, however, Johnson's stand made him an overnight hero. Though Johnson was deeply committed to saving the Union, he did not believe in the emancipation of slaves. After Lincoln made him the military governor of Tennessee, Johnson convinced the President to exempt Tennessee from the Emancipation Proclamation. By the summer of 1863, however, he began to favor emancipation as a war measure. Concerned about his chances for reelection, Lincoln felt that he needed a man like Johnson as his vice president to help balance the ticket in 1864. Lincoln's enemies could not easily depict him as a tool of the abolitionists with Johnson as his running mate. Together, the two won sweeping victory..."

1809 Birth: William Ewart Gladstone, British Prime Minister (Liberal) (1868-74, 1880-86, 1892-94), author, luggage named after him: the Gladstone bag.

1813 War of 1812: The British burn Buffalo, New York.

1825 Death: Jacques-Louis David, French painter.

1837 Canadian militia destroy the Caroline, a US steamboat docked at Buffalo, New York.

1846 Exactly one year and one day after the 28th state entered the Union, the United States of America grows one state larger by adding Iowa. The 29th states name is derived from an American Indian word meaning ‘the beautiful land.’ It is widely thought that Iowa’s nickname, the Hawkeye State, is in honor of Black Hawk, the famous Indian chief who led the Sauk and Fox tribes against the Iowa area settlers in the Black Hawk War of 1832. Iowa City is the first capital of Iowa. 11 years later, Des Moines, the states largest city, will become the permanent capital. The Iowa State motto: “Our liberties we prize and our rights we will maintain.” (Bradley)

1848 President James Polk turns on the first gas light at the White House.

1852 Emma Snodgrass is arrested in Boston, Massachusetts for wearing pants.

1856 Birth: Thomas J. Stieltjes, mathematician; Stieltjes integral.

1878 Birth: Felix M. Abel, French bible scholar; Jerusalem Nouvelle.

1879 Birth: Billy Mitchell, aviation pioneer, US General. "...the most famous and controversial figure in American airpower history. The son of a wealthy Wisconsin senator, he enlisted as a private during the Spanish/American War. Quickly gaining a commission due to the intervention of his father, he joined the Signal Corps. He was an outstanding junior officer, displaying a rare degree of initiative, courage, and leadership. After challenging tours in the Philippines and Alaska, Mitchell was assigned to the General Staff-at the time its youngest member. He slowly became excited about aviation-which was then assigned to the Signal Corps-and its possibilities, and in 1916 at age 38, he took private flying lessons. Arriving in France in April 1917, only a few days after the United States had entered the war, Lieutenant Colonel Mitchell met extensively with British and French air leaders and studied their operations. He quickly took charge and began preparations for the American air units that were to follow. The story of American aviation mobilization in World War I was not a glorious one. It took months before pilots arrived in France and even longer for any aircraft. Nonetheless, Mitchell rapidly earned a reputation as a daring, flamboyant, and tireless leader. He eventually was elevated to the rank of brigadier general and commanded all American combat units in France. In September 1918 he planned and led nearly 1,500 allied aircraft in the air phase of the Saint Mihiel offensive.

Recognized as the top American combat airman of the war (he was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, the Distinguished Service Medal, and several foreign decorations), Mitchell, nevertheless, managed to alienate most of his superiors-both flying and nonflying-during his 18 months in France..."

1890 Wounded Knee: The US Seventh Cavalry in efforts to suppress the Native Americans of South Dakota, massacre over 200 men, women and children. The massacre occurs at Wounded Knee Creek, South Dakota. It is the last major conflict of the Indian wars, with Colonel James W. Forsyth of the 7th Cavalry trying to disarm Chief Big Foot and his followers. (Bradley)

1891 Death: Leopold Kronecker, German mathematician, at 68.

1894 Death: Chris Rossetti, writer, at 64.

1895 The Jameson Raid on the Boer republic of Transvaal increases anti-British hostility. Jameson leads his raiding party of volunteers into the Transvaal hoping to join forces with discontented non-Boer Europeans (Uitlanders) to overthrow the government of President Paul Kruger. Jameson and his men are quickly captured. Cecil Rhodes, a close friend of Jameson, is clearly implicated and soon afterward is forced to resign as Prime Minister of Cape Colony. British Colonial Secretary Joseph Chamberlain is cleared of charges, but was probably aware of the conspiracy. After a prison term in Britain, Jameson serves as Prime Minister of the Cape Colony from 1904 to 1908.

1896 Birth: David Alfaro Siqueiros, in Mexico, painter, muralist.

1903 French Equatorial Africa separates into Gabon, Chad and Ubangi-Shari.

1908 Birth: Gerben Sonderman, Dutch test pilot.

1913 The Austrian Police request that the Munich Police inform them of the whereabouts of a certain Adolf Hitler. Note: Hitler had failed to register for the Austrian draft while frequently changing dwellings in Vienna.

1914 WW1: The production of Belgian newspapers is halted to protest against German censorship.

1915 Birth: Robert Ruark, US writer; Something of Value.

1915 Birth: Charles Leonard Harness, US sci-fi author; Paradox Men, Wolfhead.

1915 Birth: John P.W. Meefout, Dutch sculptor.

1920 The Yugoslav government bans the communist party.

1921 William Lyon Mackenzie King succeeds Arthur Meighen as Canadian prime minister.

1921 Birth: Dobrica Cosic, writer.

1925 Death: Félix E. Vallotton, Swiss painter, writer.

1926 Weimar: Germany and Italy sign an arbitration treaty.

1933 Death: Joh Georghe Duca, premier of Romania, murdered.

1933 Ion Duca, Romanian Prime Minister, is assassinated by three members of the Romanian Iron Guard (Legionaries).

1933 Holocaust: Hohnstein (Sachsen) concentration camp is opened.

1938 Construction begins on the Lake Washington Floating Bridge, in Seattle, Washington.

1939 Spanish Falangists publish The Protocols of the Elders of Zion as a prelude to a New Year's denunciation of Jews and Freemasons by Franco.

1940 WW2: The Luftwaffe drops 10,000 bombs on London on one of the worst nights of the Blitz. Eight Wren churches and the Guildhall are destroyed.

1940 WW2: In a 'fireside chat,' FDR proclaims the United States to be the "arsenal of democracy." "...The Nazi masters of Germany have made it clear that they intend not only to dominate all life and thought in their own country, but also to enslave the whole of Europe, and then to use the resources of Europe to dominate the rest of the world. It was only three weeks ago their leader stated this: "There are two worlds that stand opposed to each other." And then in defiant reply to his opponents, he said this: "Others are correct when they say: With this world we cannot ever reconcile ourselves .... I can beat any other power in the world." So said the leader of the Nazis. In other words, the Axis not merely admits but the Axis proclaims that there can be no ultimate peace between their philosophy of government and our philosophy of government. In view of the nature of this undeniable threat, it can be asserted, properly and categorically, that the United States has no right or reason to encourage talk of peace, until the day shall come when there is a clear intention on the part of the aggressor nations to abandon all thought of dominating or conquering the world..."

1940 Birth: Brigitte Kronauer, writer.

1941 Holocaust: German soldiers returning from the Eastern Front begin telling "horrible stories" about the fate of deported German Jews who had been shot by mobile killing detachments near Riga and at Minsk. (Herman; Lsener; Lewy)

1944 WW2: Russian emissaries attempting to negotiate with the German garrison in Budapest are killed after a misunderstanding of some kind takes place.

1944 WW2: In Greece, Prime Minister Papandreou announces he will resign as soon as a new regent is chosen.

1947 Death: Joseph Cuvelier, Belgian historian, general, at 78.

1948 Tito declares that Yugoslavia will follow its own path to Communism, sperate from that of Moscow.

1948 Canada recognizes Israel.

1949 Hungary nationalizes its industries.

1954 The Kingdom of the Netherlands, with Netherlands and Netherlands Antilles as autonomous parts, comes into being.

1956 President Dwight D. Eisenhower asks the US Congress for the authority to oppose 'Soviet aggression' in the Middle East.

1965 The Nam: A Christmas truce is observed in Vietnam, while President Johnson tries to get the North Vietnamese to the bargaining table.

1975 11 are killed, and 75 hurt by a terrorist bomb at LaGuardia Airport in New York, NY.

1978 The Shah of Iran asks Shapour Bahktiar to form a civilian government.

1981 Death: Guido Provoost, Belgian historian, at 41.

1984 Indian prime minister Rajiv Gandhi claims victory in parliamentary elections.

1985 Phil Donahue and a Soviet radio commentator host the ‘Citizens’ Summit’ via satellite TV.

1997 Hong Kong begins slaughtering all its chickens to prevent bird flu.

1997 Russia signs an agreement to build a $3billion nuclear power plant in China.

2001 American bombers attack a suspected Taliban leadership compound near Gardez, south of Kabul.

2001 US defense officials say there are 125 Taliban and al-Qaeda prisoners at a detention facility near Kandahar.

2001 The Persian Gulf island nation of Bahrain pledges its best warship to the coalition against terrorism. 

2001 A senior Afghan intelligence chief claims to have received "reliable information" that Osama bin Laden paid a "large amount" of money to an Afghan commander to be taken across the border to Pakistan.

2001 US officials are reportedly offering cash "incentives" to Afghan militia commanders to assist in the hunt for bin Laden.










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