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Events, deaths, births, of 29 DEC
[For Dec 29 Julian go to Gregorian date: 1582~1699: Jan 081700s: Jan 091800s: Jan 101900~2099: Jan 11]
On a 29 December:
1999 The Nasdaq composite index closed above 4000 for the first time, ending the day at 4041.46.
1998 Khmer Rouge leaders apologized for the 1970s genocide in Cambodia that claimed one million lives.
1997 Hong Kong begins slaughtering all its chickens to prevent bird flu.
1996 War-weary guerrilla and government leaders in Guatemala signed an accord ending 36 years of civil conflict.
1994 Bangladesh govt of Zia resigns
1992 a suburban Chicago couple returned from a nine-day Mexican vacation and were arrested for leaving their young daughters home alone. The couple later gave their children up for adoption.
1989 Vaclav Havel becomes president of Czechoslovakia
1984 Indian PM Rajiv Gandhi claims victory in parliamentary elections
1983 US announced withdrawal from UNESCO
1981 President Ronald Reagan curtails Soviet trade in reprisal for its hash policies on Poland.
1978 Shah of Iran, asks Shapour Bahktiar to form a civilian government
1967 Turkish-Cypriot government forms in Cyprus
1966 Student-body presidents from 100 US colleges and universities sign an open letter to President Lyndon B. Johnson expressing anxiety and doubt over US involvement in Vietnam. They warn that many youths might prefer prison to participation in the war. Johnson did not respond.
1966 US government denies North Vietnamese civilians devastated by bombing
      Assistant Secretary of Defense Arthur Sylvester admits that the North Vietnamese city of Nam Dinh has been hit by US planes 64 times since mid-1965, and that the air strikes were directed only against military targets: railroad yards, a warehouse, petroleum storage depots, and a thermal power plant. He denounced New York Times correspondent Harrison Salisbury's reports on the results of the air raids in North Vietnam as "misstatements of fact.”
      Salisbury, an assistant managing editor of the Times, filed a report on December 25 from Hanoi describing US bombing destruction in several North Vietnamese cities. Salisbury stated that Nam Dinh, about 50 miles southeast of Hanoi, had been bombed repeatedly by US planes since June 28, 1965. Salisbury's report caused a stir in Washington where, it was reported, Pentagon officials expressed irritation and contended that he was exaggerating the damage to civilian areas.
1965 A Christmas truce is observed in Vietnam, while President Johnson tries to get the North Vietnamese to the bargaining table.
1962 Saigon announces success of “strategic hamlets”
      The South Vietnamese government announces that 4077 strategic hamlets have been completed out of a projected total of 11,182. The figures also stated that 39 percent of the South Vietnamese population was housed in the hamlets. US officials considered these figures questionable. The strategic hamlet program was started in 1962 and was modeled on a successful British counterinsurgency program used in Malaya from 1948 to 1960. The program aimed to bring the South Vietnamese peasants together in fortified strategic hamlets to provide security from Viet Cong attacks. Although much time and money was put into the program, it had several basic weaknesses. There was much animosity toward the program on the part of the South Vietnamese peasants, who were forcibly displaced from their ancestral lands. Also, the security afforded by the hamlets was inadequate and actually provided lucrative targets for the Viet Cong. Finally, the entire project was poorly managed. After the assassination of the program's sponsor, President Ngo Dinh Diem, in November 1963, the program fell into disfavor and was abandoned.
1956 NY Times leaks new US Middle East anti-Soviet plan
      Just days before an official announcement is to be issued by the Eisenhower administration, The New York Times leaks the news that the United States is preparing a major policy statement on the Middle East. In the wake of heightened tensions in the area caused by the French-British-Israeli invasion of Egypt in November, the announcement was greeted with caution both at home and abroad.
      According to the newspaper, Secretary of State John Foster Dulles was set to appear before Congress and ask for two things. First, Congressional support of a declaration by the Eisenhower administration that the United States would oppose any Soviet military intervention in the Middle East. Since the outbreak of hostilities between Egypt and the alliance of France, Britain, and Israel in November, the Soviets had been threatening the use of military force in support of Egypt.
      Second, Dulles would ask Congress to establish a major economic assistance plan for the Middle East. This was largely in response to reports that the Soviets were making tremendous economic inroads into the area. The newspaper editorialized that the United States wanted "the Middle Eastern powers to know that they have not been abandoned by the West and that they can count on economic help and, if they want it, military help in opposing any Soviet aggression.”
      Congressional reaction to the story was somewhat cool. Some congressmen feared that the United States was heading toward armed confrontation with the Soviets in the Middle East. The British and French were glad to hear that the United States would oppose communist expansion in the region, but were also wary of expanding problems in the Middle East into an arena for a military East-West collision. The response from Egypt was decidedly negative, with the Egyptian government declaring that it wanted no outside interference in the region's problems. Despite these less than enthusiastic responses to the proposed policy, it was evident that the United States was determined to take a much expanded and more active role in the Middle East. The NYT story was validated when the actual policy statement came in January 1957-it was almost exactly as the story predicted, though President Eisenhower, rather than Dulles, asked Congress for the resolutions supporting a greater US economic and military presence in the Middle East.
1954 Kingdom of the Netherlands, with Netherlands & Netherlands Antilles as autonomous parts, comes into being.
1950 Anti-trust law is passed by the US Congress
      Trusts and would-be monopolies were put on notice on this day in 1950, as the Celler-Kefauver Anti-merger Act, a potent piece of anti-trust legislation, made its way into the law books. Drafted by Senate stalwart Estes Kefauver and Emanuel Celler, a trust-busting Congressman from Brooklyn, the legislation was designed to expand and enhance the landmark Clayton Anti-Trust Act and help staunch monopolistic mergers and acquisitions, as well as reign in super-sized corporations that threaten competition. Along with barring corporations from monopolizing other company's land, equipment and/or property, Celler-Kefauver extended the Clayton Act to cover competition-killing, cross-industry mergers. While the Celler-Kefauver Act no doubt warmed the hearts of anti-trust advocates, it represented the last major anti-monopoly legislation meted out during the century.
1949 Hungary nationalized its industries
1948 Tito declares that Yugoslavia will follow its own path to Communism. .
1947 Ship carrying Jewish immigrants chased away from Palestine
1944 Belgian nazi Léon Degrelle at default sentenced to death.
1940 Germany begins dropping incendiary bombs on London (WW II)
1940 In a radio interview, President Roosevelt proclaims the United States to be the "arsenal of democracy.”
1937 Pan Am starts San Francisco-to-Auckland, New Zealand service
1937 2nd Irish constitution goes into effect; Irish Free State renamed Eire
1934 Japan formally denounces Washington Naval Treaty of 1922 and London Naval Treaty of 1930.
1952 Sonotone Corporation offered the first transistorized hearing aid for sale.
1931 Identification of heavy water is publicly announced by Harold Clayton Urey (1893–1981)
1930 Fred P Newton completes longest swim ever (2939 km), in the Mississippi River from Ford Dam, Minn, to New Orleans
1929 Police arrest Sukarno & 100s PNI-leaders
1927 Krakatoa starts erupting again.
     The volcano had been quiet since its catastrophic 1883 eruption, the most violent eruption in historical times. Now a new eruption begins on the seafloor along the same line as the previous cones. By January 26, 1928, a growing cone would reached sea level and form a small island called Anak Krakatoa (Child of Krakatoa). Sporadic activity continued until, by 1973, the island had reached a height of 190 m above sea level. It was still in eruption in the early 1980s.
1926 Germany and Italy sign an arbitration treaty.
1926 Vatican puts French fascist Charles Maurras' work on the index
1921 William Lyon Mackenzie King succeeded Arthur Meighen as Canadian PM
1921 Sears Roebuck president Julius Rosenwald pledges $20 million of his personal fortune to help Sears through hard times.
1920 Yugoslav govt bans communist party
1914 The publication of Belgian newspapers is halted to protest German censorship.
1903 French Equatorial Africa separates into Gabon, Chad & Ubangi-Shari In 1903, in Middle-Congo
1891 Edison patents "transmission of signals electrically"(radio)
1867 1st telegraph ticker used by a brokerage house, Groesbeck & Co, New York
1862 Union General William T. Sherman's troops try to gain the north side of Vicksburg in the Battle of Chicksaw Bayou, Mississippi .
1852 Emma Snodgrass arrested in Boston for wearing pants
1851 1st Young Men's Christian Association chapter opened (Boston)
1848 US President James Polk turned on the first gas light at the White House.
1845 “Admission Day” of Texas (comprised of the present state of Texas and part of New Mexico, Colorado, and Wyoming: 1'007'935 square kilometers) as the 28th state. including this special provision: New states, of convenient size, not exceeding four in number, in addition to said state of Texas, and having sufficient population, may hereafter, by the consent of said state, be formed out of the territory thereof, which shall be entitled to admission under the provisions of the federal constitution.
     Six months after the congress of the Republic of Texas accepted US annexation of the territory, Texas is admitted into the United States as the twenty-eighth state. After gaining independence from Spain in the 1820s, Mexico welcomed foreign settlers to sparsely populated Texas, and a large group of Americans led by Stephen F. Austin settled along the Brazos River. The Americans soon outnumbered the resident Mexicans, and by the 1830s attempts by the Mexican government to regulate these semi-autonomous American communities led to rebellion. In March of 1836, in the midst of armed conflict with the Mexican government, Texas declared its independence from Mexico.
      The Texas volunteers initially suffered defeat against the forces of Mexican General Santa Anna--the Alamo fell and Sam Houston's troops were forced into an eastward retreat. However, in late April, Houston's troops surprised a Mexican force at San Jacinto and Santa Anna was captured, bringing an end to Mexico's effort to subdue Texas.
      The citizens of the independent Republic of Texas elected Sam Houston as president, but also endorsed the entrance of Texas into the Union. The likelihood of Texas joining the Union as a slave state delayed any formal action by the US Congress for over a decade, however in 1844, Secretary of State John C. Calhoun orchestrated a compromise in which Texas would join the United States as a slave territory. Four months after the approval of formal annexation of Texas by the US Congress, Texas's congress accepted US statehood. In late December, Texas enters the United States as a slave state, broadening the irrepressible differences in the US over the issue of slavery and setting of the Mexican-American War.
     US Customs begins to collect revenue in the new state.
1837 Steam-powered threshing machine patented, Winthrop, Maine
1813 British burn Buffalo, New York during the War of 1812
1778 British troops, attempting a new strategy to defeat the colonials in America, capture Savannah.
1607 Indian chief Powhatan spares John Smith's life after the pleas of his daughter Pocahontas.
1558 Charles V, German emperor, buried
1223 Pope Honorius III approves the Franciscan religious order. Properly called the Order of the Friars Minor, this Catholic order was founded in 1209 by St. Francis of Assisi.
Deaths which occurred on a 29 December:
2003 Archbishop Michael Courtney, 58, papal nuncio in Burundi, after being shot in the head, shoulder, and a limb by assailants who had first shot out the tires of his car, about 50 km south of Bujumbura, Burundi. The car's driver and a hitchhiker are unhurt, the other person in the car, a priest, is slightly injured. The assailants had just shot a Burundian soldier when the nuncio's car arrived.
2002 Abdel Karim Salameh, 8, Palestinian, hit in the head by Israeli gunfire as he walked home from school, 500 meters from a group of school kids throwing stones at Israeli soldiers, in Tulkarm, West Bank. An 11-year-old Palestinian boy is wounded.
2002 Desmond Hoyte, 73, of heart failure, prime minister of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana, from 1985 when he succeeded socialist Forbes Burnham, until being defeated in the 1992 election, after which he became opposition leader.
2001 Some 600 persons in fire in downtown Lima, Peru, started by fireworks explosion in dozens of street stands, started by a fireworks seller lighting a large firecracker to show a customer, near the crowded shopping area.
2000 Laura Dzhabrailova, 24, Tamila Dzhabrailova, 27, sisters, executed in the Urus-Martan district by the Chechen Resistance, for treason (working for the local puppet admistration set up by the Russian aggressors).
2000 Wahidin bin Engkos, of injuries he suffered in a blast at a makeshift bomb factory in Bandung, Indonesia, which instantly killed another 3 persons. It is suspected that its bombs were used in the series of bombings targeting Christian churches in nine cities across Indonesia, killing 15 persons on Christmas eve, plus one teen-age boy who died in East Java province from injuries on 001228.
1992 Two Austrian tourists; by a bomb in a hotel in Aden, Yemen, where US troops had been staying while en route to a humanitarian mission in Somalia. The US soldiers had already left. Two Yemeni Muslim militants, trained in Afghanistan and injured in the blast, are later arrested. US intelligence agencies allege that this was the first terrorist attack involving Osama bin Laden and his associates
1986 Harold Macmillan, 92, former British Prime Minister, in Sussex, England
1975 Eleven persons, by bomb exploding in the main terminal of New York's LaGuardia Airport.
1972 Joseph Cornell, New York state maker of “constructions”, printmaker, film maker, and writer, born on 24 December 1903. MORE ON CORNELL AT ART “4” DECEMBER with links to images.
1972 Life magazine ceases publication
1941 Tullio Levi-Civita, of a stroke, Italian mathematician born in Padua on 29 March 1873.. He taught at the universities of Padua (1898–1919) and Rome (1919–1938, dismissed for being a Jew) and was noted for his researches in pure geometry, hydrodynamics, celestial mechanics, and tensor analysis, on which Einstein’s work depended in part. Author of Simplified Presentation of Einstein’s Unified Field Equations. Principal author of The Absolute Differential Calculus (Calculus of Tensors)
1940 Some 3600 civilians in German fire bombing of London
      German aircraft blanket incendiary bombs over London, setting both banks of the Thames ablaze and killing almost 3600 British civilians. The German targeting of the English capital had begun back in August, payback for British attacks on Berlin. In September, a horrendous firestorm broke out in London's poorest districts as German aircraft dropped 337 tons of bombs on docks, tenements, and teeming streets. The "London Blitz" killed thousands of civilians. 29 December saw the widespread destruction not just of civilians, but of great portions of London's cultural relics. Historic buildings were severely damaged or destroyed as relentless bombing set 15'000 separate fires. Among the architectural treasures that proved casualties of the German assault were the Guildhall (the administrative center of the city, dating back to 1673 but also containing a 15th-century vault) and eight Christopher Wren churches. St. Paul's Cathedral also caught fire but was saved from being burned to the ground by brave, tenacious firefighters. Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, and the Chamber of the House of Commons were also hit but suffered less extensive damage. Fighting the blazes was made all the more difficult by an unfortunate low tide, which made drawing water a problem.
     In the evening, London suffers its most devastating air raid when Germans firebomb the city. Hundreds of fires caused by the exploding bombs engulfed areas of London, but firefighters showed a valiant indifference to the bombs falling around them and saved much of the city from destruction. The next day, a newspaper photo of St. Paul's Cathedral standing undamaged amid the smoke and flames seemed to symbolize the capital's unconquerable spirit during the Battle of Britain.
      In May and June 1940, Holland, Belgium, Norway, and France fell one by one to the German Wehrmacht, leaving Great Britain alone in its resistance against Nazi leader Adolf Hitler's plans for world domination. The British Expeditionary Force escaped the continent with an impromptu evacuation from Dunkirk, but they left behind the tanks and artillery needed to defend their homeland against invasion. With British air and land forces outnumbered by their German counterparts, and US aid not yet begun, it seemed certain that Britain would soon follow the fate of France. However, Winston Churchill, the new British prime minister, promised his nation and the world that Britain would "never surrender," and the British people mobilized behind their defiant leader.
      On 05 June 1940 the Luftwaffe began attacks on English Channel ports and convoys, and on 30 June Nazi Germany seized control of the undefended Channel Islands. On 10 July 1940 — the first day of the Battle of Britain according to the RAF — the Luftwaffe intensified its bombing of British ports. Six days later, Hitler ordered the German army and navy to prepare for Operation Sea Lion. On 19 July 1940, the German dictator made a speech in Berlin in which he offered a conditional peace to the British government: Britain would keep its empire and be spared from invasion if its leaders accepted the German domination of the European continent. A simple radio message from Lord Halifax swept the proposal away.
      Germany needed to master the skies over Britain if it was to transport safely its superior land forces across the 35-km-wide English Channel. On 08 August 1940, the Luftwaffe intensified its raids against the ports in an attempt to draw the British air fleet out into the open. Simultaneously, the Germans began bombing Britain's sophisticated radar defense system and RAF-fighter airfields. During August, as many as 1500 German aircraft crossed the Channel daily, often blotting out the sun as they flew against their British targets. Despite the odds against them, the outnumbered RAF fliers successfully resisted the massive German air invasion, relying on radar technology, more maneuverable aircraft, and exceptional bravery. For every British plane shot down, two Luftwaffe warplanes were destroyed.
      At the end of August 1940, the RAF launched a retaliatory air raid against Berlin. Hitler was enraged and ordered the Luftwaffe to shift its attacks from RAF installations to London and other British cities. On 07 September 1940, the Blitz against London began, and after a week of almost ceaseless attacks several areas of London were in flames and the royal palace, churches, and hospitals had all been hit. However, the concentration on London allowed the RAF to recuperate elsewhere, and on 15 September 1940 the RAF launched a vigorous counterattack, downing 56 German aircraft in two dogfights that lasted less than an hour.
      The costly raid convinced the German high command that the Luftwaffe could not achieve air supremacy over Britain, and the next day daylight attacks were replaced with nighttime sorties as a concession of defeat. On 19 September 1940, Nazi leader Adolf Hitler postponed indefinitely "Operation Sea Lion"--the amphibious invasion of Britain. The Battle of Britain, however, continued.
      In October, Hitler ordered a massive bombing campaign against London and other cities to crush British morale and force an armistice. Despite significant loss of life and tremendous material damage to Britain's cities, the country's resolve remained unbroken. The ability of Londoners to maintain their composure had much to do with Britain's survival during this trying period. As US journalist Edward R. Murrow reported, "Not once have I heard a man, woman, or child suggest that Britain should throw her hand." In May 1941, the air raids essentially ceased as German forces massed near the border of the USSR.
      By denying the Germans a quick victory, depriving them of forces to be used in their invasion of the USSR, and proving to America that increased arms support for Britain was not in vain, the outcome of the Battle of Britain greatly changed the course of World War II. As Churchill said of the RAF fliers during the Battle of Britain, "Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few."
1939 Day 30 of Winter War: USSR aggression against Finland. [Talvisodan 30. päivä]
More deaths due to Stalin's desire to grab Finnish territory.
  • Karelian Isthmus: Russian reconnaissance probes are successfully repulsed both at Summa and at Kelja in the Taipale sector.
  • In the Suomussalmi sector in northern Finland, the fighting at Hulkonniemi ends in the destruction of the Soviet 163rd Division. Still in the north, there is an increasing enemy presence in the Raate sector.
  • Ladoga Karelia: troops from Detachment Pajari take Viitavaara on the River Aittojoki and enemy troops launch a counterattack.
  • Soviet aircraft bomb Käkisalmi, Jyväskylä and Vaasa killing six people.
  • Abroad: in Sweden, a nationwide collection in aid of Finland has attracted major donations totalling 800,000 krona. Altogether, almost 6 million krona was collected.
  • Stockholm's footplate men donate a day's pay from December as a New Year present for Finland.
  • The Danish paper Berlingske Tidende publishes an article in praise of Finnish women.
  • 1928 Eilif Hjalmar Emanuel Peterssen, Norwegian artist born on 04 September 1852.
    1916 Grigori J. Rasputin, 45, Russian faith healer / intriguer, murdered
         Rasputin wrote this prophecy the day before he died. He predicted that if Nicholas' relatives were responsible for his death, then the Tsar and his children would all die "within two years.” Prince Yussoupov, a Romanov relative, murdered Rasputin; a year and a half later Bolsheviks killed the Tsar's family.
    The Spirit of Grigory Efimovich Rasputin
    of the village of Pokrovskoe
    I write and leave behind me this letter at St. Petersburg. I feel that I shall leave life before January 1...If I am killed by common assassins, and especially by my brothers the Russian peasants, you Tsar of Russia, have nothing to fear, remain on your throne and govern, and you, Russian Tsar, will have nothing to fear for your children, they will reign for hundreds of years in Russia...if it was your relations who have wrought my death, then no one in the family, that is to say, none of your children or relations, will remain alive for more than two years. They will be killed by the Russian people...You must reflect and act prudently. Think of your safety and tell your relations that I have paid for them with my blood. I shall be killed. I am no longer among the living.
    Pray, pray, be strong,
    think of your blessed family.
    1908 Herman Gustaf Sillen, Swedish artist born on 20 May 1857.
    1891 Leopold Kronecker, 68, mathematician who limited his achievements and made himself obnoxious by insisting that nothing exists in mathematics except what can be constructed with a finite number of operation from the integers, an opinion which he expounded in Über den Zahlbergriff (1887).
    1890 At least 18 children, 44 women, and 87 men, surrendering Sioux massacred by Colonel James W. Forsyth and the 7th Cavalry, at Wounded Knee, South Dakota.
         In South Dakota, the US Seventh Cavalry commanded by Colonel James W. Forsyth attacks a Sioux Indians encampment at Wounded Knee Creek, massacring some three hundred Sioux, including scores of women and children. Two years earlier, on an Indian reservation in Nevada, a Paiute named Wovoka had begun preaching that an Indian messiah would soon arrive who would restore the American continent to the Indians and reunite them with their dead families. A cult known as the "Ghost Dance" grew from his teachings, and within a year it had spread to dozens of other reservations. On December 15, on the Standing Rock Reservation in South Dakota, Sitting Bull, an influential Sioux leader was killed by Indian police while allegedly resisting arrest. Sitting Bull had become involved in the Ghost Dance movement and was planning on visiting Pine Ridge, the center of the Ghost Dance observances, when the government ordered his arrest and possibly his execution. A group of outraged Sioux Indians left the Standing Rock reservation after his death, and linked up with a Sioux group led by Big Foot traveling to Pine Ridge from the Wind River Reservation. Because of the Ghost Dance movement, thousands of US troops had descended on the area, and on the morning of 29 December Colonel James W. Forsyth of the US Seventh Cavalry caught up with Big Foot's band at Wounded Knee Creek. Forsyth ordered the Sioux to give up their rifles, and entered the Indian encampment. A soldier was fired at, leading to a skirmish in which close to thirty US troops and several dozen Indians were killed. The soldiers managed to retreat from the camp and opened fire on the encampment with their lethal Hotchkiss guns. The guns cut down over scores of the Sioux within minutes, and afterwards individual soldiers massacred any remaining survivors. Close to three hundred Sioux men, and women, and children died that day to the approximately thirty US soldiers killed. The massacre at Wounded Knee marked the end of the Ghost Dance conflict, and was also the last major military encounter between Native-Americans and the US government.
         In the tragic final chapter of America's long war against the Plains Indians, the US Cavalry kills 146 (according to probably understated official figures) Sioux Indians at Wounded Knee, South Dakota. Tensions had been running high on Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota for months because of the growing popularity of a new Indian spiritual movement known as the Ghost Dance. Many of the Sioux at Pine Ridge had only recently been confined to reservations after long years of resistance, and they were deeply disheartened by the poor living conditions and deadening tedium of reservation life. The Ghost Dance movement taught that the Indians were defeated and confined to reservations because they had angered the gods by abandoning their traditional ways. If they practiced the Ghost Dance ritual and rejected white ways, many Sioux believed the gods would create the world anew, destroy the unbelievers, and bring back murdered Indians and the giant herds of bison.
          By late 1890, Pine Ridge Indian agent James McLaughlin was alarmed by the movement's increasing influence and its prediction that all non-believers--presumably including whites--would be wiped out. McLaughlin telegraphed a warning to Washington, D.C. that: "Indians are dancing in the snow and are wild and crazy. We need protection now.” While waiting for the cavalry to arrive, McLaughlin attempted to arrest Sitting Bull, the famous Sioux chief, who he mistakenly believed was a Ghost Dance supporter. US authorities killed Sitting Bull during the arrest, increasing the tensions at Pine Ridge rather than defusing them.
          On 29 December the 7th Cavalry under Colonel James Forsyth surrounded a band of Ghost Dancers under the Sioux Chief Big Foot near Wounded Knee Creek and demanded they surrender their weapons. Big Foot and his followers had no intentions of attacking anyone, but they were distrustful of the army and feared they would be attacked if they relinquished their guns. Nonetheless, the Sioux agreed to surrender and began turning over their guns. As that was happening, a scuffle broke out between an Indian and a soldier, and a shot was fired. Though no one is certain which side fired it, the ensuing melee was quick and brutal. Without arms and outnumbered, the Sioux were reduced to hand-to-hand fighting with knives, and they were cut down in a withering rain of bullets, many coming from the army's rapid-fire repeating Hotchkiss guns. By the time the soldiers withdrew, 146 Indians were dead (including 44 women and 18 children) and 51 wounded. The 7th Cavalry had 25 dead and 39 wounded.
          Although sometimes referred to as a battle, the conflict at Wounded Knee is best seen as a tragic and avoidable massacre. Surrounded by heavily armed troops, it is highly unlikely that Big Foot's band would have deliberately sought a confrontation. Some historians speculate that the soldiers of Custer's old 7th Cavalry were deliberately taking revenge for the regiment's defeat at Little Bighorn in 1876. Whatever the motives, the army's massacre ended the Ghost Dance movement and was the final major confrontation in America's genocidal war against the Plains Indians.
    1881 Ludwig Hermann van Hoom, German artist born in April 1812. [Hoom, sweet Hoom?]
    1862 Hundreds of Yanks, fewer Rebs, at Battle of Chickasaw Bluffs
          Union General William T. Sherman is thwarted in his attempt to capture Vicksburg, Mississippi, when he orders a frontal assault on entrenched Rebels. Chickasaw Bluffs was part of Union General Ulysses S. Grant's attempt to capture Vicksburg, the last Confederate stronghold on the Mississippi River. Grant planned a two-pronged assault. He planned to take a force from northern Mississippi while Sherman moved down the west side of the great river. In December, things began to go awry for the Yankees. Devastating Confederate cavalry raids by Nathan Bedford Forrest and Earl Van Dorn on Union supply lines in western Tennessee forced Grant to cancel his part of the campaign, but he was not able to get word to Sherman.
          Sherman moved into position just a few kilometers north of Vicksburg by 27 December. He had 37'000 men and only 6000 Confederates defended Vicksburg. While Sherman moved into position, another 6000 soldiers arrived to reinforce the Confederates. The Rebels occupied strong positions on top of a river bluff with open ground in front of them. After two days of skirmishing, Sherman ordered a major attack on 29 December. The attack never had a chance of success. When one Union brigade captured Confederate rifle pits at the foot of the bluff, they came under fire from above. No other Federal force got close to the bluff.
          Union loses totaled 1776 men while the Confederates lost just 207. The attack was a mistake by Sherman, who should have never tried to attack fortified Rebels across open ground. Two years later, Sherman demonstrated that he had learned his lesson at Chickasaw Bluffs. During his campaign for Atlanta, Sherman made few frontal assaults and inflicted more casualties than he sustained, which was rare for an offensive campaign.
    1837 One US person, by Canadian incursion against gun-running ship
          A small group of Canadian and British men loyal to the Ontario government crosses the Niagara River to the American side and destroys the US steamer Caroline, a vessel transporting arms to Canadian revolutionaries led by William Lyon Mackenzie.
          Mackenzie, a Scottish-born journalist, had immigrated to Upper Canada, now known as Ontario, in 1820. Soon after his arrival, Mackenzie became a leader of Canadian opposition to the "Family Compact," an aristocratic political organization that dominated Canadian politics and was made up almost entirely of members of the Church of England. In 1826, his printing press was destroyed, and beginning in 1828 he was elected to the Legislative Assembly of Upper Canada by his constituency six times and expelled for "libel" five times. As a leader of the Reform Party of Upper Canada he went to London in 1832 to obtain redress of grievances, and in 1834 he became the first mayor of Toronto.
          In 1837, Mackenzie, enraged at the defeat of the Reform Party and the oppressive policies of the British lieutenant governor of Canada, launched a rebellion in the hope of seizing Toronto and making it independent of British rule. US citizens across the border sympathized with Mackenzie's plight, and sent a small steamer across the Niagara to supply the rebel forces with arms.
          On 29 December loyalist forces cross over to the U.S side where the Caroline is moored, take up its anchor, set it afire, and send the vessel over the Niagara Falls. One American is killed in the incident, and US General Winfield Scott is sent to the area to prevent a violent American reprisal.
          Mackenzie's rebellion was promptly put down and he fled to the US where set up a provisional government with fortified headquarters on Navy Island in the Niagara River. However, he was later arrested and imprisoned for eighteen months by US authorities for violating neutrality laws.
          Another Canadian, who boasted of how he took part in the Caroline attack, was arrested during a trip to the United States, although he was later acquitted. The Caroline Affair added to the tense relations between the US and Great Britain in the years before the Webster-Ashburton Treaty of 1842.
          In 1849, Mackenzie was allowed to return to Canada under a general amnesty proclamation, and in 1851 he was elected to the Legislative Assembly of United Canada. His grandson, William Lyon Mackenzie King, became a Canadian prime minister in the twentieth century.
    1825 Jacques~Louis David, French painter born on 30 August 1748.MORE ON DAVID AT ART “4” DECEMBER with links to images.
    1778 Hundreds of Georgian patriots, as they are defeated by the British
          As the fifth year of the American Revolution opened, hopes for colonial independence were growing dim. By 1779 British forces still occupied major American cities. Divisions plagued the Continental Congress and the rebel army. In the South, bitter civil war raged between Patriot and Loyalist Americans. Georgia, the only American colony to be reconquered by the British, was just 42 years old when the war started. Georgia's population was small, with barely 3000 men of military age. On 29 December 1778, the colonial capital fell to British troops. The rebel defenders were routed, losing 550 captured or killed. Patriot forces were swept from the state. http://www.thehistorynet.com/MilitaryHistory/articles/1997/0397_cover.htm
    1743 Hyacinthe Rigaud (Rigau y Ros), French portrait painter born on 18 July 1659. MORE ON RIGAUD AT ART “4” DECEMBER with links to images.
    1737 Saurin, mathematician.
    1731 Brook Taylor
    , mathematician.
    1661 Frans de Hulst, Flemish artist born in 1610.
    1633 Cornelis Claeszoon van Wieringen, Dutch painter specialized in seascapes, born in 1580 he first was a sailor. MORE ON VAN WIERINGEN AT ART “4” DECEMBER with links to images.
    1616 Hendrik Goltzius, Dutch artist born in February 1558. MORE ON GOLTZIUS AT ART “4” DECEMBER with links to images.
    1170 Thomas Becket, 52, the archbishop of Canterbury, is murdered in Canterbury Cathedral by four knights of Henry II.
         Archbishop Thomas Becket is brutally murdered in Canterbury Cathedral by four knights of King Henry II of England, apparently on orders of the king. In 1155, Henry II appointed Becket as chancellor, a high post in the English government. Becket proved a skilled diplomat and won the trust of Henry, who nominated him as archbishop of Canterbury in 1162. The king hoped his friend would help in his efforts to curb the growing power of the church, but soon after Becket's consecration, the new archbishop became a zealous defender of the jurisdiction of the church over its own affairs. In 1164, he was forced to flee to France.
          He was later reconciled with Henry, and in 1170 returned to Canterbury amid great public rejoicing. Soon afterward, against the objections of the pope, Henry had his son crowned by the archbishop of York, and tension again came to a head between Becket and the king. At this time, perhaps merely in a moment of frustration, the king issued to his court the following public plea: "What a parcel of fools and dastards have I nourished in my house, and not one of them will avenge me of this one upstart clerk.” A group of Henry's knight took the statement very seriously, and on 29 December Thomas Becket was murdered in Canterbury Cathedral.
          The Christian world was shocked by Becket's death, and in 1173, he was canonized as a Catholic saint. In the next year, Henry was forced to do penance at his tomb and his efforts to end the separation between church and state came to an end. In 1220, Becket's bones were transferred to the Trinity Chapel in Canterbury Cathedral, which later became a popular site of English religious pilgrimage.
    Births which occurred on a 29 December:
    1952 First transistorized hearing aid goes on sale, by the Sonotone Corporation, in Elmsford NY. The 8-cm-long device weighs about 100 grams. The first hearing aid (other than an ear trumpet) was the Audiophone, a device held against the teeth, which was patented in 1879. An electric hearing aid was produced in 1901.
    1922 William Gaddis, US novelist who died on 16 December 1998.
    1917 Tom Bradley (Mayor-D-LA) (1973- )
    1916 Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce is published in New York. It had been previously serialized in Ezra Pound's review The Egoist.
          James Joyce was born in Dublin on 2 February 1882, the eldest of 10 children of a cheerful ne'er-do-well who eventually went bankrupt. Joyce attended Catholic school and University College in Dublin, where he learned Dano-Norwegian so he could read the plays of Henrik Ibsen in the original. In college, he began a lifetime of literary rebellion, self-publishing an essay rejected by the school's literary magazine adviser.
          After graduation, Joyce moved to Paris. He resolved to study medicine to support himself while writing but soon gave it up. He returned to Dublin to visit his mother's deathbed and remained to teach school and work odd jobs. On June 16, 1904, he met Nora, whom he convinced to return to Europe with him. The couple settled in Trieste, where they had two children, and then in Zurich. Joyce struggled with serious eye problems, undergoing 25 operations for various troubles between 1917 and 1930.
          In 1914, he published The Dubliners , and his 1915 novel, Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, brought him fame and the patronage of several wealthy people, including Edith Rockefeller.
          In 1918, his revolutionary stream of consciousness novel Ulysses began to be serialized in the American journal Little Review. However, the US Post Office stopped the publication's distribution in December of that year on the grounds that the novel was obscene. Sylvia Beach, owner of bookstore Shakespeare and Co. in Paris, where Joyce moved in 1920, published the novel herself in 1922, but it was banned in the United Kingdom, and, until a 6 December 1933 court ruling, in the United States. Joyce's final novel, Finnegans Wake, was published in 1939, and Joyce died in 1941.
    more JOYCE ONLINE: Dubliners at another site, Chamber Music, Chamber Music.
    1915 Robert Ruark US writer (Something of Value)
    1911 Klaus Fuchs, German-born US physicist and spy, who died on 28 January 1988.
    1908 Four-wheel braking system is patented by Otto Zachow and William Besserdich of Clintonville, Wisconsin. It is the prototype of all modern braking systems.
    1896 David Alfaro Siqueiros Mexico, painter/muralist (Lib of Chile)
    1891 Wireless radio is patented by Edison.
          Thomas Edison is granted a patent for wireless radio. The patent is for "a means for transmitting signals electrically.” His patent indicated that signals could be transmitted between two points without a wire. By the end of his life, Edison held a record number of patents, including more than 300 for electric light and power, nearly 200 for the phonograph, 150 for the telegraph, 141 for storage batteries, and several dozen for the telephone. He also developed key components of motion picture technology.
    Andrew Johnson1879 William “Billy” Mitchell, US Army general (WW I), early advocate of a separate air force. He died on 19 February 1936.
    1876 Pablo Casals, Vendrell, Catalonia, Spain, cellist/conductor/composer.
    1868 Ludwig Ferdinand Graf, German artist who died in 1932.
    1861 Kurt Hensel, German mathematician who died on 01 June 1941. Hensel invented the p-adic numbers.
    1859 Venustiano Carranza President of Mexico (1915-20).
    1859 Elizabeth Adela Amstrong Forbes, Canadian-born English artist who died on 22 March 1912. — more with links to images.
    1856 Thomas Jan Stieltjes, Dutch mathematician who died on 31 December 1894. (Stieltjes integral)
    1851 The first US Young Men's Christian Association is organized, in Boston.
    1841 Alexander Carlovich Beggrow, Russian artist who died in 1914.
    1838 Raffaello Sernesi, Italian artist who died on 11 August 1866.
    1834 Auguste Louis Veillon, Swiss artist who died on 05 January 1890.
    1809 William Ewart Gladstone (Lib) British prime minister four times (1868-74, 1880-85, 1886, 1892-94). He died on 19 May 1898.
    1808 Andrew Johnson [< photo], Raleigh NC, (Unionist), 17th President (1865-69) succeeded Lincoln after the 15 April 1865 assassination. First American president to be impeached. He died on 31 July 1875.
    1800 Charles Goodyear
          He would become famous for the invention of vulcanized rubber. In its natural form, rubber is sticky, and gets runny when hot and stiff when cold. Goodyear discovered (accidentally) that when rubber is mixed with sulfur and heat-treated, it loses its adhesiveness but keeps its elasticity, even at extreme temperatures. He called the process "vulcanization.” The industrial use of rubber is possible only because of vulcanization. Goodyear's process made millions of dollars, but not for him. Widespread infringements on his patents, together with poor luck in business, left him deep in debt at his death on 01 July 1860.
    1776 Charles Macintosh Scotland, chemist, inventor, patented waterproof fabric.He died on 25 July 1843.
    1759 Julius-César Ibbetson, British painter who died on 13 October 1817. MORE ON IBBETSON AT ART “4” DECEMBER with links to images.
    1721 Jeanne Poisson Marquise de Pompadour, influential mistress of Louis XV, who was later blamed for France's defeat in the Seven Years' War. She died on 15 April 1764.
    1695 Jean-Baptiste Joseph Pater, French painter who died on 25 July 1736. MORE ON PATER AT ART “4” DECEMBER with links to images.
    Holidays Gabon : President's Birthday / Texas : Admission Day (1945) / World : Anti-Pent-Ultimate Day

    Religious Observances RC : St Thomas of Canterbury (Thomas Beckett), bp/martyr
    DICTIONNAIRE TICRANIEN: séparation: ce que proteste un poilu auquel on ne donne pas tout ce qu'il devrait avoir à manger.
    Thoughts for the day: “The minute a man is convinced that he is interesting, he isn`t.”
    “The minute a man is convicted, he is interesting or he isn`t.”
    [depending on whether a miscarriage of justice is suspected]
    “The minute a man is interested in being convincing, he isn`t.”
    “The minute man is convinced that he is interesting, and he is.”
    “The minute a man is convicted of interest fraud, he isn`t able to continue.”
    updated Monday 29-Dec-2003 23:56 UT
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