On This Day in History: December 29

What happened on December 29 in history? Among some events, this was the day an English martyr was made.

1170: The Murder of Thomas Becket

Thomas Becket ShrineOn this day, four knights murdered Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas Becket at Canterbury Cathedral under orders from King Henry II of England. He was a proven diplomat and originally won henry II’s trust. However, in 1170 tensions grew due to Henry II having his son crowned co-king by the Archbishop of York. The world was shocked at the news of Becket’s death, especially the fact that it was in a place of sanctuary. It took three years for him to be canonized as a saint, and in 1220 his bones were transferred to Trinity Chapel, Canterbury Cathedral, where they still remain.

1778: Savannah, Georgia Captured By the British

Between 2,500 and 3,600 men marched under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Archibald Campbell towards Savannah, Georgia on this day in history. It was a surprise attack on the American defending forces and would lead to a British victory. Only 10 British men were captured and three killed. The Patriots had 483 men captured and 83 killed in the battle. Savannah would remain in British hands until July 11, 1782, despite attempts from both American and French forces.

1845: Texas Enters the Union

On this day in history, Texas became the 28th state to enter into the Union. The state has to accept the U.S. annexation of the territory. It took time to enter as there were some limitations that the state would need to join as a slave state; something it did not want to happen. It eventually accepted these limitations, starting the Mexican-American War.

1985: The First Murder By “The Railway Rapist”

Alison Day, 19, became the first victim of “The Railway Rapist” on December 29, 1985. This was the first murder for the British criminal, despite the perpetrator attacking and raping women over Andrew Johnsonthe three years previous. A former railway employee John Duffy was on the list of 5,000 suspects, due to his previous arrests and refusal to give a blood sample. He was linked through matching fibers from clothes. Police could only link him to the murders of Alison Day and 15-year-old Maartje Tamboezer. In 1999, he did confess to more rapes and murders.

Famous Birthdays on December 29

Tsarina Elizabeth of Russia–1709

Louis XV’s mistress Madam Jeanne Poisson de Pompadour—1721

President of the United States Andrew Johnson—1808

British Prime Minister William Ewart Gladstone–1809

First African American in the president’s cabinet, Robert C. Weaver—1907

Mayor of L.A. Tom Bradley–1917

Prince Takamado of Japan–1954

Actor Jude Law–1972

Actor Mekhi Phifer–1974

Country singer Jessica Andrews–1983

Princess Kako of Akishino of Japan–1994



Featured image from Deposit Photos

Birthdays from HistoryToday.com and OnThisDay.com

Place marker for Thomas Becket’s former shrine from Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Becket#/media/File:ThomasBecketcandle.JPG) used under the CC-3.0 Licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)

Image of Andrew Johnson in the public domain (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrew_Johnson)

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