Today in History – Associated Press

Today is Thursday, Dec. 28, the 362nd day of 2023. There are three days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On Dec. 28, 2014, the U.S. war in Afghanistan, fought for 13 bloody years and still raging, came to a formal end with a quiet flag-lowering ceremony in Kabul that marked the transition of the fighting from U.S.-led combat troops to the country’s own security forces.
On this date:
In 1612, Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei observed the planet Neptune, but mistook it for a star. (Neptune wasn’t officially discovered until 1846 by Johann Gottfried Galle.)
In 1895, the Lumiere brothers, Auguste and Louis, held the first public showing of their movies in Paris.
In 1908, a major earthquake followed by a tsunami devastated the Italian city of Messina, killing at least 70,000 people.
In 1912, San Francisco’s Municipal Railway began operations with Mayor James Rolph Jr. at the controls of Streetcar No. 1 as 50,000 spectators looked on.
In 1945, Congress officially recognized the Pledge of Allegiance.
In 1972, Kim Il Sung, the premier of North Korea, was named the country’s president under a new constitution.
In 1973, the Endangered Species Act was signed into law by President Richard Nixon.
In 1981, Elizabeth Jordan Carr, the first American “test-tube” baby, was born in Norfolk, Virginia.
In 1991, nine people died in a crush of people trying to get into a rap celebrity basketball game at City College in New York.
In 2007, Pakistani opposition leader Benazir Bhutto was laid to rest as the country’s army tried to quell a frenzy of rioting in the wake of her assassination.
In 2012, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin signed a law banning Americans from adopting Russian children.
In 2015, a grand jury in Cleveland declined to indict a white rookie police officer in the killing of 12-year-old Tamir Rice, a Black youth who was shot while playing with what turned out to be a pellet gun.
In 2016, film star Debbie Reynolds, who lit up the screen in “Singin’ in the Rain” and other Hollywood classics, died at age 84, a day after losing her daughter, Carrie Fisher, who was 60.
In 2017, Rose Marie, who began her career in show business as a child in the 1920s and co-starred on “The Dick Van Dyke Show” in the 1960s, died at her Los Angeles-area home at the age of 94.
In 2021, former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid died at his Nevada home of complications from pancreatic cancer; the Democrat was 82. Hall of Fame football coach and broadcaster John Madden died at 85.
In 2022, New Orleans music legend Walter “Wolfman” Washington, a cornerstone of the city’s musical nightlife for decades, died at age 79.
Today’s Birthdays: Actor Dame Maggie Smith is 89. Former Democratic Sen. Tim Johnson of South Dakota is 77. Rock singer-musician Edgar Winter is 77. Actor Denzel Washington is 69. TV personality Gayle King is 69. Actor Chad McQueen is 63. Country singer-musician Marty Roe (Diamond Rio) is 63. Actor Malcolm Gets is 60. Actor Mauricio Mendoza is 54. Actor Elaine Hendrix is 53. Political commentator Ana Navarro is 52. Talk show host Seth Meyers is 50. Actor Brendan Hines is 47. Actor Joe Manganiello is 47. Actor Vanessa Ferlito is 46. R&B singer John Legend is 45. Rapper-musician-producer Terrace Martin is 45. Actor Andre Holland is 44. Actor Sienna Miller is 42. Actor Beau Garrett (TV: “The Good Doctor”) is 41. Actor Thomas Dekker is 36. Actor Mackenzie Rosman is 34. Pop singer David Archuleta is 33. Actor Mary-Charles Jones (TV: “Kevin Can Wait”) is 22. Actor Miles Brown is 19.