updated 12/28/2006 12:12:52 AM ET 2006-12-28T05:12:52

Today is Thursday, Dec. 28, the 362nd day of 2006. There are three days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:
One hundred and fifty years ago, on Dec. 28, 1856, the 28th president of the United States, Thomas Woodrow Wilson, was born in Staunton, Va.

On this date:
In 1694, Queen Mary II of England died after 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 1897, the play “Cyrano de Bergerac,” by Edmond Rostand, premiered in Paris.

In 1917, the New York Evening Mail published a facetious essay by H.L. Mencken on the history of bathtubs in America.

In 1937, composer Maurice Ravel died in Paris.

In 1944, the musical “On the Town,” with music by Leonard Bernstein and book and lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green, opened on Broadway.

In 1945, Congress officially recognized the Pledge of Allegiance.

In 1973, Alexander Solzhenitsyn published “Gulag Archipelago,” an expose of the Soviet prison system.

In 1981, Elizabeth Jordan Carr, the first American “test-tube” baby, was born in Norfolk, Va.

Ten years ago: Leftist rebels in Peru released 20 more hostages, including two ambassadors, from Japan’s embassy residence, following the first face-to-face talks between guerrillas and the government’s negotiator.

Five years ago: The National Guard was called out to help Buffalo, New York, dig out from a paralyzing, five-day storm that had unloaded nearly seven feet of snow. Lawrence Singleton, a rapist and killer whose most notorious crime was chopping off a teen-age hitchhiker’s forearms in California in 1978, died at a prison in Starke, Fla., at age 74.

One year ago: Former top Enron Corp. accountant Richard Causey pleaded guilty to securities fraud and agreed to help pursue convictions against Enron founder Kenneth Lay and former CEO Jeffrey Skilling. A U.S. immigration judge ordered retired auto worker John Demjanjuk, accused of being a Nazi concentration camp guard, deported to his native Ukraine. (Demjanjuk is appealing the deportation order.)

Today’s Birthdays: Actor Lou Jacobi is 93. Bandleader Johnny Otis is 85. Comic book creator Stan Lee is 84. Former United Auto Workers union president Owen Bieber is 77. Actor Martin Milner is 75. Actress Dame Maggie Smith is 72. Rock singer-musician Charles Neville is 68. Rock singer-musician Edgar Winter is 60. Rock singer-musician Alex Chilton (The Box Tops; Big Star) is 56. Actor Denzel Washington is 52. Country singer Joe Diffie is 48. Country musician Mike McGuire (Shenandoah) is 48. Actor Chad McQueen is 46. Country singer-musician Marty Roe (Diamond Rio) is 46. Actor Malcolm Gets is 42. Actor Mauricio Mendoza is 37. Comedian Seth Meyers is 33. Rhythm-and-blues singer John Legend is 28. Actress Sienna Miller is 25. Actress Mackenzie Rosman is 17.

Thought for Today: “More persons, on the whole, are humbugged by believing nothing, than by believing too much.” — Phineas T. Barnum, American showman (1810-1891).

Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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