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Today in History - December 28

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Posted: December 22, 2007 1:16 p.m.
Updated: January 12, 2008 5:00 a.m.
    Today is Friday, Dec. 28, the 362nd day of 2007. There are three days left in the year.
    Today’s Highlight in History:
    On Dec. 28, 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. (For example, Mencken ‘‘claimed’’ the first American bathtub made its debut in the Cincinnati home of grain dealer Adam Thompson on Dec. 20, 1842, and that the first White House bathtub was installed in 1851 at the order of President Millard Fillmore.)
    On this date:
    In 1694, Queen Mary II of England died after more than five years of joint rule with her husband, King William III.
    In 1832, John C. Calhoun became the first vice president of the United States to resign, stepping down over differences with President Jackson.
    In 1846, Iowa became the 29th state to be admitted to the Union.
    In 1856, the 28th president of the United States, Thomas Woodrow Wilson, was born in Staunton, Va.
    In 1897, the play ‘‘Cyrano de Bergerac,’’ by Edmond Rostand, premiered in Paris.
    In 1937, composer Maurice Ravel died in Paris at age 62.
    In 1945, Congress officially recognized the Pledge of Allegiance.
    In 1973, Alexander Solzhenitsyn published ‘‘Gulag Archipelago,’’ an expose of the Soviet prison system.
    In 1982, Nevell Johnson Jr., a black man, was mortally wounded by a police officer in a Miami video arcade, setting off three days of race-related disturbances that left another man dead.
    In 1987, the bodies of 14 relatives of Ronald Gene Simmons were found at his home near Dover, Ark., following a shooting rampage by Simmons in Russellville that claimed two other lives. (Simmons was later executed.)
    Ten years ago: One woman was killed, more than 100 other people hurt, when a United Airlines jumbo jet en route from Narita, Japan, to Honolulu encountered severe turbulence over the Pacific.
    Five years ago: The U.N. nuclear watchdog decided to pull its inspectors out of North Korea by New Year’s Eve, a step demanded by the North. Mwai Kibaki and his opposition alliance won a landslide victory in Kenyan elections, breaking the ruling party’s 39-year grip on power.
    One year ago: President Bush worked nearly three hours at his Texas ranch to design 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.
    Today’s Birthdays: Actor Lou Jacobi is 94. Bandleader Johnny Otis is 86. Comic book creator Stan Lee is 85. Former United Auto Workers union president Owen Bieber is 78. Actor Martin Milner is 76. Actress Dame Maggie Smith is 73. Rock singer-musician Charles Neville is 69. Rock singer-musician Edgar Winter is 61. Rock singer-musician Alex Chilton (The Box Tops; Big Star) is 57. Actor Denzel Washington is 53. Country singer Joe Diffie is 49. Country musician Mike McGuire (Shenandoah) is 49. Actor Chad McQueen is 47. Country singer-musician Marty Roe (Diamond Rio) is 47. Actor Malcolm Gets is 43. Actor Mauricio Mendoza is 38. Comedian Seth Meyers is 34. Rhythm-and-blues singer John Legend is 29. Actress Sienna Miller is 26. Actor Thomas Dekker is 20. Actress Mackenzie Rosman is 18.
    Thought for Today: ‘‘When you are right, no one remembers; when you are wrong, no one forgets.’’ — Irish proverb.

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