updated 12/29/2005 12:00:55 AM ET 2005-12-29T05:00:55

Today is Thursday, Dec. 29, the 363rd day of 2005. There are two days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:
On Dec. 29, 1845, Texas was admitted as the 28th state.

On this date:
In 1170, Archbishop Thomas Becket was murdered in Canterbury Cathedral in England.

In 1808, the 17th president of the United States, Andrew Johnson, was born in Raleigh, N.C.

In 1813, the British burned Buffalo, N.Y., during the War of 1812.

In 1851, the first American Young Men’s Christian Association was organized, in Boston.

In 1890, the Wounded Knee massacre took place in South Dakota as some 300 Sioux Indians were killed by U.S. troops sent to disarm them.

In 1913, the first movie serial, “The Adventures of Kathlyn,” premiered in Chicago.

In 1934, Japan renounced the Washington Naval Treaty of 1922 and the London Naval Treaty of 1930.

In 1940, during World War II, Germany began dropping incendiary bombs on London.

In 1975, a bomb exploded in the main terminal of New York’s LaGuardia Airport, killing 11 people.

In 1989, playwright Vaclav Havel was elected president of Czechoslovakia by the country’s Federal Assembly, becoming the first non-Communist to attain the post in more than four decades.

Ten years ago: Japan’s finance minister Masayoshi Takemura announced the resignation of the deputy finance minister Kyosuke Shinozawa over several scandals, including the ministry’s cover-up of trading losses at Daiwa Bank’s New York office.

Five years ago: President-elect Bush filled four more Cabinet slots, tapping Rod Paige to be secretary of education, Gale Norton to be secretary of the interior, Anthony J. Principi to return as secretary to the Department of Veterans Affairs and Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson to be secretary of health and human services.

One year ago: President Bush assembled a four-nation coalition to organize humanitarian relief for Asia and made clear the United States would help bankroll long-term rebuilding in the region leveled by a massive earthquake and tsunamis. Militants launched coordinated car bombings and battle security forces in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; at least 10 militants were killed in the attack. The U.S. military killed 25 insurgents as they attacked a U.S. outpost in Mosul, Iraq.

Today’s Birthdays: Actress Inga Swenson is 73. ABC newscaster Tom Jarriel is 71. Actress Mary Tyler Moore is 68. Actor Jon Voight is 67. Country singer Ed Bruce is 65. Rock musician Ray Thomas is 64. Singer Marianne Faithfull is 59. Jockey Laffit Pincay Jr. is 59. Actor Ted Danson is 58. Actor Jon Polito is 55. Singer-actress Yvonne Elliman is 54. Actress Patricia Clarkson is 46. Comedian Paula Poundstone is 46. Rock singer-musician Jim Reid (The Jesus and Mary Chain) is 44. Actor-comedian Mystro Clark is 39. Actor Jason Gould is 39. Movie director Andy Wachowski is 38. Actress Jennifer Ehle is 36. Rock singer-musician Glen Phillips is 35. Actor Kevin Weisman is 35. Actor Jude Law is 33. Rapper Pimp C is 32. Actor Mekhi Phifer is 31. Actor Shawn Hatosy is 30. Actor Diego Luna is 26. Country singer Jessica Andrews is 22.

Thought for Today: “The wise man must be wise before, not after.” — Epicharmus, Sicilian Greek comic poet (? - c.450 B.C.)

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