On This Day in History December 28

December 28 – Events:

  • 1065 – Westminster Abbey is consecrated.
  • 1308 – The reign of Emperor Hanazono, emperor of Japan, begins.
  • 1612 – Galileo Galilei becomes the first astronomer to observe the planet Neptune, although he mistakenly catalogued it as a fixed star.
  • 1816 – American Colonization Society organizes.
  • 1832 – John C. Calhoun becomes the first Vice President of the United States to resign.
  • 1835 – Osceola leads his Seminole warriors in Florida into the Second Seminole War against the United States Army.
  • 1836 – South Australia and Adelaide are founded.
  • 1836 – Spain recognizes the independence of Mexico.
  • 1846 – Iowa is admitted as the 29th U.S. state.
  • 1849 – M. Jolly-Bellin discovers dry cleaning.
  • 1867 – United States claims Midway Island, the first territory annexed outside Continental limits.
  • 1879 – The Tay Bridge Disaster: The central part of the Tay Rail Bridge in Dundee, Scotland collapses as a train passed over it, killing 75.
  • 1895 – The Lumière brothers have their first paying audience at the Grand Cafe in Boulevard des Capucines marking the debut of the cinema.
  • 1902 – Trans-Pacific cable links Hawaii to the USA
  • 1908 – An earthquake rocks Messina, Sicily killing over 75,000.
  • 1912 – The first municipally owned streetcars take to the streets in San Francisco, California.
  • 1935 – Pravda publishes a letter by Pavel Postyshev, who revives New Year tree tradition in the Soviet Union.
  • 1939 – First flight of the Consolidated XB-24 Liberator bomber prototype.
  • 1945 – The Congress of the United States officially recognizes the Pledge of Allegiance.
  • 1948 – The DC-3 airliner NC16002 disappears 50 miles south of Miami, Florida.
  • 1950 – The Peak District becomes the United Kingdom’s first National Park.
  • 1973 – The Endangered Species Act is passed in the United States.
  • 1974 – Senegalese marxist group Reenu-Rew founds the political movement And-Jëf at a clandestine congress.
  • 1981 – The first American test-tube baby, Elizabeth Jordan Carr, is born in Norfolk, Virginia.
  • 1989 – A magnitude 5.6 earthquake hits Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia, killing 13 people.
  • 1991 – Ted Turner is named Time Magazine Man of the Year.
  • 1999 – Saparmurat Niyazov is proclaimed President for Life in Turkmenistan.
  • 2000 – U.S. retail giant Montgomery Ward announces it is going out of business after 128 years.
  • 2005 – A U.S. immigration judge orders John Demjanjuk deported to Ukraine for crimes against humanity committed during World War II.
  • 2007 – Nepal declared a federal democratic Republic by interim parliament, abolishing the monarchy.

December 28 – Birthdays:

  • 1164 – Emperor Rokujo of Japan (d. 1176)
  • 1522 – Margaret of Austria, regent of the Netherlands (d. 1583)
  • 1619 – Antoine Furetière, French writer (d. 1688)
  • 1635 – Princess Elizabeth of England (d. 1650)
  • 1655 – Charles Cornwallis, 3rd Baron Cornwallis, First Lord of the British Admiralty (d. 1698)
  • 1665 – George FitzRoy, 1st Duke of Northumberland, British general (d. 1716)
  • 1763 – John Molson, English-born Canadian brewer (d. 1836)
  • 1778 – Franciszek Ksawery Drucki-Lubecki, Polish politician (d. 1846)
  • 1842 – Calixa Lavallée, French-Canadian composer (O Canada) (d. 1891)
  • 1856 – Woodrow Wilson, 28th President of the United States, Nobel laureate (d. 1924)
  • 1866 – Szymon Askenazy, Polish historian and diplomat (d. 1935)
  • 1879 – Billy Mitchell, American military aviation pioneer (d. 1936)
  • 1882 – Arthur Stanley Eddington, British astronomer (d. 1944)
  • 1888 – Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau, German film director (d. 1931)
  • 1898 – Carl-Gustaf Rossby, Swedish meteorologist (d. 1957)
  • 1898 – Shigematsu Sakaibara, Japanese admiral (d. 1947)
  • 1899 – Eugeniusz Bodo, Polish actor (d. 1943)
  • 1902 – Mortimer Adler, American philosopher (d. 2001)
  • 1902 – Shen Congwen, Chinese writer (d. 1988)
  • 1903 – Earl Hines, American musician (d. 1983)
  • 1903 – John von Neumann, Hungarian-born mathematician (d. 1957)
  • 1905 – Cliff Arquette, American actor (d. 1974)
  • 1908 – Lew Ayres, American actor (d. 1996)
  • 1910 – Billy Williams, American singer (d. 1972)
  • 1913 – Lou Jacobi, Canadian actor
  • 1914 – Bernard Youens, English actor (d. 1984)
  • 1915 – Pops Staples, American musician (The Staple Singers) (d. 2000)
  • 1922 – Stan Lee, American comic book writer
  • 1924 – Milton Obote, President of Uganda (d. 2005)
  • 1925 – Hildegard Knef, German actress (d. 2002)
  • 1928 – Moe Koffman, Canadian musician (d. 2001)
  • 1929 – Brian Redhead, British journalist (d. 1994)
  • 1929 – Terry Sawchuk, Canadian hockey player (d. 1970)
  • 1931 – Guy Debord, French writer (d. 1994)
  • 1932 – Dhirubhai Ambani, Indian businessman (d. 2002)
  • 1932 – Dorsey Burnette, American singer (d. 1979)
  • 1932 – Roy Hattersley, British politician
  • 1932 – Harry Howell, Canadian hockey player
  • 1932 – Nichelle Nichols, American actress and singer
  • 1932 – Manuel Puig, Argentine writer (d. 1990)
  • 1933 – John Y. Brown, Jr., American politician
  • 1934 – Dame Maggie Smith, British actress
  • 1934 – Yujiro Ishihara, Japanese actor (d. 1987)
  • 1936 – Jacques Mesrine, French criminal (d. 1979)
  • 1936 – Lawrence Schiller, American journalist
  • 1937 – Ratan Tata, Indian industrialist
  • 1938 – Dick Sudhalter, American jazz musician
  • 1939 – Philip Anschutz, American businessman
  • 1940 – Don Francisco, Chilean television host
  • 1943 – Richard Whiteley, British television presenter (d. 2005)
  • 1943 – David Peterson, Canadian politician
  • 1944 – Johnny Isakson, American politician
  • 1944 – Kary Mullis, American chemist, Nobel laureate
  • 1946 – Edgar Winter, American musician
  • 1946 – Pierre Falardeau, Quebec film director
  • 1947 – Aurelio Rodríguez, Mexican baseball player (d. 2000)
  • 1950 – Alex Chilton, American musician (Box Tops)
  • 1950 – Øivind Blunck, Norwegian comedian and actor
  • 1951 – Ian Buruma, Anglo-Dutch scholar and writer on Japan and the Far East.
  • 1952 – Arun Jaitley, Indian Politician
  • 1953 – Richard Clayderman, French pianist
  • 1954 – Denzel Washington, American actor
  • 1956 – Nigel Kennedy, British violinist
  • 1957 – Anne Sargeant, Australian netballer
  • 1959 – Ana Torroja, Spanish singer (Mecano)
  • 1959 – Phil Abrams, American actor
  • 1960 – Raymond Bourque, Canadian hockey player
  • 1961 – Kent Nielsen, Danish footballer and football coach
  • 1962 – Rachel Z, American pianist
  • 1962 – Michel Petrucciani, French pianist (d. 1999)
  • 1962 – Melissa R. Kelly, former Maryland politician
  • 1964 – Maite Zúñiga, Spanish athlete
  • 1967 – Chris Ware, American cartoonist
  • 1969 – Linus Torvalds, Finnish computer programmer
  • 1970 – Francesca Le, American porn star
  • 1971 – Frank Sepe, American bodybuilder
  • 1971 – Benny Agbayani, American baseball player
  • 1972 – Patrick Rafter, Australian tennis player
  • 1972 – Roberto Palacios, Peruvian footballer
  • 1972 – Adam Vinatieri, American football player
  • 1972 – Kevin Walker, American soccer player
  • 1973 – Alex Dimitriades, Australian actor
  • 1973 – Herborg Kråkevik, Norwegian singer and actress
  • 1973 – Seth Meyers, American actor
  • 1974 – Jason Ridge, American porn actor
  • 1975 – B.J. Ryan, American baseball player
  • 1977 – Shane Elford, Australian rugby league player
  • 1978 – Chris Coyne, Australian footballer
  • 1978 – John Legend, American musician
  • 1979 – James Blake, American tennis player
  • 1979 – Bill Hall, American baseball player
  • 1980 – Lomana LuaLua, Congo footballer
  • 1980 – Vanessa Ferlito, American actress
  • 1981 – Elizabeth Jordan Carr, American Test-Tube Baby
  • 1981 – Sienna Miller, British actress
  • 1981 – Mika Väyrynen, Finnish footballer
  • 1982 – Cedric Benson, American footballer
  • 1982 – Kevin Pereira, American television host
  • 1982 – Quinton Porter, American footballer
  • 1983 – Mike He, Taiwanese actor
  • 1984 – Leroy Lita, English footballer
  • 1984 – Alex Lloyd, British racing driver
  • 1985 – Kamani Hill, American footballer
  • 1986 – Tom Huddlestone, English footballer
  • 1987 – Thomas Dekker, American actor
  • 1989 – Mackenzie Rosman, American actress
  • 1990 – David Archuleta, favored American Idol contestant

December 28 – Deaths:

  • 300 – Theonas, Patriarch of Alexandria
  • 1367 – Ashikaga Yoshiakira, Japanese shogun (b. 1330)
  • 1446 – Antipope Clement VIII
  • 1503 – Piero di Lorenzo de’ Medici, ruler of Florence (b. 1471)
  • 1558 – Hermann Finck, German composer (b. 1527)
  • 1622 – Francis de Sales, Bishop of Geneva and saint (b. 1567)
  • 1663 – Francesco Maria Grimaldi, Italian mathematician and physicist (b. 1618)
  • 1671 – Johann Friedrich Gronovius, German classical scholar (b. 1611)
  • 1694 – Queen Mary II of England (b. 1662), of the famed joint monarchy William and Mary.
  • 1703 – Mustafa II, Ottoman Sultan (b. 1664)
  • 1706 – Pierre Bayle, French philosopher (b. 1647)
  • 1708 – Joseph Pitton de Tournefort, French botanist (b. 1656)
  • 1715 – William Carstares, Scottish minister (b. 1649)
  • 1734 – Robert Roy MacGregor, Scottish folk hero (b. 1671)
  • 1736 – Antonio Caldara, Italian composer (b. 1670)
  • 1795 – Eugenio Espejo, Ecuadorian scientist (b. 1747)
  • 1859 – Thomas Macaulay, British poet (b. 1800)
  • 1872 – James Van Ness, Mayor of San Francisco (1855-1856) (b. 1808)
  • 1877 – Nikolai Alekseevich Nekrasov, Russian poet (b. 1821)
  • 1897 – Rev. William Corby, American Catholic priest (b. 1833)
  • 1900 – Alexandre Alberto da Rocha de Serpa Pinto, Portuguese explorer (b. 1846)
  • 1916 – Eduard Strauss, Austrian composer (b. 1835)
  • 1917 – Alfred Edwin McKay, Canadian World War One flying ace (b. 1892)
  • 1918 – Olavo Bilac, Brazilian poet (b. 1865)
  • 1919 – Johannes Rydberg, Swedish physicist (b. 1854)
  • 1924 – Léon Bakst, Russian artist (b. 1866)
  • 1932 – Jack Blackham, Australian cricketer (b. 1854)
  • 1937 – Maurice Ravel, French composer (b. 1875)
  • 1938 – Florence Lawrence, American actress (b. 1886)
  • 1943 – Steve Evans, American baseball player (b. 1885)
  • 1945 – Theodore Dreiser, American author (b. 1871)
  • 1947 – King Victor Emmanuel III of Italy (b. 1869)
  • 1949 – Jack Lovelock, New Zealand athlete (b. 1910)
  • 1952 – Fletcher Henderson, American musician (b. 1897)
  • 1962 – Kathleen Clifford, American actress (b. 1887)
  • 1963 – Paul Hindemith, German composer (b. 1895)
  • 1967 – Katharine McCormick, American women’s rights activist (b. 1875)
  • 1967 – Otis Redding, Black American soul singer (b. 1941)
  • 1971 – Max Steiner, Austrian-born American film music composer (b. 1888)
  • 1976 – Katharine Byron, American politician (b. 1903)
  • 1976 – Freddie King, American musician (b. 1934)
  • 1981 – Allan Dwan, Canadian-born film director (b. 1885)
  • 1983 – William Demarest, American actor (b. 1892)
  • 1983 – Jimmy Demaret, American golfer (b. 1910)
  • 1983 – Dennis Wilson, American musician (The Beach Boys) (b. 1944)
  • 1984 – Sam Peckinpah, American film director (b. 1925)
  • 1986 – Andrei Tarkovsky, Russian film director (b. 1932)
  • 1989 – Hermann Oberth, German physicist (b. 1894)
  • 1991 – Cassandra Harris, Australian actress (b. 1952)
  • 1992 – Sal Maglie, American baseball player (b. 1917)
  • 1993 – William L. Shirer, American journalist (b. 1904)
  • 1994 – Jean-Louis Lévesque, French Canadian entrepreneur (b. 1911)
  • 1999 – Clayton Moore, American actor (b. 1914)
  • 2001 – Samuel A. Goldblith, American food scientist (b. 1919)
  • 2001 – William X. Kienzle, American novelist (b. 1928)
  • 2003 – Benjamin Hacker, American admiral (b. 1935)
  • 2004 – Jerry Orbach, American actor (b. 1935)
  • 2004 – Susan Sontag, American writer (b. 1933)
  • 2006 – Jamal Karimi-Rad, Iranian Minister of Justice (b. 1956)
  • 2007 – Benazir Bhutto, Pakistani Prime Minister (b. 1953)

December 28 – Holidays:

  • The third day of Christmas in Western Christianity.
  • Proclamation Day in South Australia
  • C. Saints – Feast of the Holy Innocents, also known as Childermas, commemorating the Massacre of the Innocents on order of King Herod the Great. In Spain and Latin American countries the festival is celebrated in a manner similar to April Fool’s Day.
  • Abel is commemorated on this day in the Coptic Church
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