1607   Indian chief Powhatan spares John Smith's life after the pleas of his daughter Pocahontas.
  1778   British troops, attempting a new strategy to defeat the colonials in America, capture Savannah.
  1845   Texas (comprised of the present state of Texas and part of New Mexico, Colorado, and Wyoming) is admitted as the 28th state of the Union, with the provision that the area (389,166 square miles) should be divided into no more than five states "of convenient size."
  1849   Gas lighting is installed in the White House.
  1862   Union General William T. Sherman's troops try to gain the north side of Vicksburg in the Battle of Chickasaw Bluffs.
  1890   The last major conflict of the Indian wars takes place at Wounded Knee Creek in South Dakota after Colonel James W. Forsyth of the 7th Cavalry tries to disarm Chief Big Foot and his followers.
  1914   The production of Belgian newspapers is halted to protest German censorship.
  1921   Sears Roebuck president Julius Rosenwald pledges $20 million of his personal fortune to help Sears through hard times.
  1926   Germany and Italy sign an arbitration treaty.
  1934   Japan formally denounces Washington Naval Treaty of 1922.
  1940   In a radio interview, President Roosevelt proclaims the United States to be the "arsenal of democracy."
  1940   London suffers its most devastating air raid when Germans firebomb the city on the evening of December 29.
  1948   Tito declares Yugoslavia will follow its own path to Communism.
  1956   President Dwight Eisenhower asks Congress for the authority to oppose Soviet aggression in the Middle East.
  1965   A Christmas truce is observed in Vietnam, while President Johnson tries to get the North Vietnamese to the bargaining table.
  1981   President Ronald Reagan curtails Soviet trade in reprisal for its harsh policies on Poland.
Born on December 29
  1721   Madam Jeanne Poisson de Pompadour, influential mistress of Louis XV, who was later blamed for France's defeat in the Seven Years' War.
  1800   Charles Goodyear, inventor of vulcanized rubber for tires.
  1808   Andrew Johnson, American vice president who succeeded Lincoln after the April 15, 1865, assassination.
  1809   William E. Gladstone, British prime minister.
  1907   Robert C. Weaver, the first African American to serve on a president's cabinet. He was Lyndon Baines Johnson's secretary of Housing and Urban Development, the first man ever to hold that post.
mistral logo