Sunday, December 29

December 22, 2013, 12:07 am

By The Associated Press

Today is Sunday, Dec. 29, the 363rd day of 2013. There are 2 days left in the year.

Highlights in history on this date:

1170 - Archbishop Thomas Becket is slain at the altar in Cathedral of Canterbury, England.

1721 - French occupy Mauritius and rename it Ile de France.

1789 - Tippoo of Mysore attacks Rajah of Travancore, India.

1797 - French capture Mayence, France, from Holy Roman Empire forces.

1857 - British and French forces take Canton in China.

1890 - U.S. troops massacre 200 Sioux men, women, and children at Wounded Knee, South Dakota.

1895 - L. Starr Jameson stages raid into Transvaal from Bechuanaland in South Africa.

1901 - Commonwealth of Australia is inaugurated after being constituted by an Act of the Imperial Parliament the previous year.

1921 - United States, Britain, France, Italy and Japan sign Washington treaty to limit naval armaments.

1933 - Romanian Premier Ion Duca is slain by Iron Guard, and George Tartarescu succeeds him.

1934 - Japan renounces Washington naval treaty limiting naval armaments.

1940 - German bombers inflict greatest damage on London since Great Fire of 1666.

1962 - United Nations troops occupy Elizabethville, Katanga.

1965 - Independence is announced for Bechuanaland, which becomes Botswana.

1973 - Philippines President Ferdinand Marcos ends his elected term and begins to rule on basis of a takeover decree.

1989 - Czechoslovak parliament elects dissident playwright Vaclav Havel as its president without opposition.

1990 - Johan Kraag is sworn in as president of Suriname after bloodless military coup on Dec. 24 ousts former president.

1992 - Premier Milan Panic, the Serb-born American who pushed for peace in fragmented Yugoslavia, is ousted by Parliament in a vote that strengthens Serbia's hard-line President Slobodan Milosevic.

1993 - A dozen packed buses ride across rural Bosnian battlegrounds, taking about 900 Sarajevans to a new life as refugees in Croatia.

1994 - A Turkish Airlines jet crashes in Turkey with 76 people aboard. Twenty-three people survive.

1995 - Russian President Boris Yeltsin returns to the Kremlin after a hospital stay.

1996 - Guatemalan government and guerrilla leaders sign an accord ending 36 years of civil conflict, bringing Central America's last and longest civil war to an official close.

1998 - In Yemen, troops surround and fire on a band of Islamic extremists holding 16 tourists hostage, ending a kidnapping that leaves six of the hostages dead.

1999 - The charismatic leader of the Aum Shinrikyo cult is freed from prison and vows to resume his place in the doomsday-preaching group that five years ago released nerve gas on Tokyo's subways.

2001 - A series of fireworks explosions spark a massive fire in downtown Lima, Peru, killing 291 people. The blaze, fueled by dozens of sidewalk stands selling illegal fireworks, quickly spreads throughout the crowded commercial district.

2002 - Election commission officials in Serbia, say the five-year term of Serbian President Milan Milutinovic expires at midnight, opening the possibility of his extradition to the U.N. International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in The Hague, Netherlands.

2003 - International Atomic Energy Agency Director General Mohammed ElBaradei says that Libya's attempts to build a nuclear weapon were in very early stages, and that many components of the nuclear program are in storage.

2004 - Paramedics spray Indian beaches with bleach and vaccinate tsunami survivors, as Indonesian authorities bulldoze mass graves for thousands of corpses lining the streets and lawns of Banda Aceh.

2005 - Two suspected Taliban die when explosives they are strapping to their bodies explode prematurely, days after a top rebel commander says hundreds of insurgents are willing to kill themselves in attacks on U.S. forces and their allies.

2006 - Turkish Cypriots begin dismantling a bridge that blocked plans to relink war-divided Nicosia's commercial center and was seen as the strongest symbol of the island's partition. The bridge is gone 11 days later, but no breakthrough in reunification talks is evident.

2007 - Thousands of Kenyans enraged over delays in announcing the country's next president after Dec. 27 elections burn down homes and attack political rivals with sticks and machetes.

2008 - An estimated 47 million people visited New York City in 2008, beating last year by 1 million visitors, Mayor Michael Bloomberg announces.

2009 - North Korea acknowledges it has detained an American for illegally entering the reclusive country, news welcomed by relatives of a missionary who feared they would never hear from him again after he sneaked across the border.

2010 - Police in Denmark and Sweden say they thwarted a terrorist attack possibly hours before it was to begin, arresting five men they say planned to shoot as many people as possible in a Copenhagen building housing the newsroom of a paper that published cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad.

2011 - The presence of Arab League monitors in Syria re-energizes the anti-government protest movement, with tens of thousands turning out over the past three days in cities and neighborhoods where the observers are expected to visit.

2012 — Russia's forieng minister says that Syrian President Bashar Assad has no intention of stepping down and it would be impossible to try to persuade him otherwise. i

Today's Birthdays:

Jeanne d'Etoiles, Marquise de Pompadour, mistress of France's King Louis XV (1721-1764); Pablo Casals, Spanish cellist (1876-1973); Viveca Lindfors, Swedish-born actress (1920-1995); Mary Tyler Moore, U.S. actress (1937--); Gelsey Kirkland, U.S. ballet dancer (1952--); Ted Danson, U.S. actor (1947--); Jude Law, British actor (1972--).

Thought For Today:

The time will come when Winter will ask us: What were you doing all the Summer? — Bohemian proverb.

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