Today In History Spotlights Dec. 28, 1856, The Birth of Woodrow Wilson

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Today’s History Spotlight

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Woodrow Wilson is born in Staunton, Virginia. With much of his childhood occurring during the Civil War and Reconstruction, he was raised largely in Augusta, Georgia. In college, he attended Johns Hopkins University, where he majored in Political Science and later became President of Princeton University. From 1911-1913, he served as Governor of New Jersey. A member of the Democratic Party, Wilson served as President from 1913-1921.

During his time as Chief Executive, he established the Federal Reserve, oversaw the entry of the United States into World War I and the Treaty of Versailles that followed, and witnessed the creation of the League of Nations. Wilson officially brought racial segregation to the federal level and showcased “Birth of a Nation” – a film idolizing the Ku Klux Klan – at the White House. A leading voice of Progressivism, Wilson called for the Democratic Party to move beyond the Jeffersonian belief in a limited government, and his presidential campaign platform was named the “New Freedom.” He passed away on February 3, 1924.

What Happened On This Day – December 28

  • 2007 Nepal abolishes monarchy. The amendment to the Nepalese constitution that declared the country a federal republic was passed by the parliament. The transition was completed on May 28, 2008. Established in 1768 by Prithvi Narayan Shah, the Kingdom of Nepal lasted for over 200 years. Nepal is the world’s only country with Hinduism as the state religion.
  • 1972 Kim il Sung becomes first president of North Korea. Kim Il-sung became the first and only president of North Korea under an amended constitution. He was elected to the post by the members of the North Korean parliament, which is also known as the Supreme People’s Assembly. The post was abolished in 1998, and Kim II-sung was given the title of Eternal President of Korea.
  • 1968 Israel raid on Beirut Airport. The Israeli Defence Forces mounted a special operation, also known as Operation Gift, on Beirut Airport. The raid was in retaliation to the attack on El Al Flight 253, which was en route from Tel Aviv to New York. During its layover in Athens, Greece, two Palestinians fired at passengers and crew and killed 1 person. In retaliation, Israel destroyed several passenger and cargo planes parked at Beirut Airport. There were no fatalities during the raid.
  • 1885 Indian National Congress founded. The party is one of the two main political parties in India. Created by the members of the Theosophical Society, the party was a major player in India’s independence movement against the British. After Independence, the first Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru belonged to the INC.
  • 1836 South Australia becomes a British colony. The central southern state of Australia was first established as a province in 1834 by the British Parliament under the South Australia Act. The day was observed as Proclamation Day in the state, which was later turned into an extra holiday after Christmas Day.

Births On This Day – December 28

  • 1962 Michel Petrucciani – French/American pianist
  • 1934 Maggie Smith – English actress
  • 1903 John von Neumann – Hungarian/American mathematician
  • 1903 Earl Hines – American pianist
  • 1856 Woodrow Wilson – American politician, 28th President of the United States, Nobel Prize laureate

Deaths On This Day – December 28

  • 2015 Lemmy – English singer-songwriter, bass player, actor
  • 2004 Susan Sontag – American author
  • 1984 Sam Peckinpah – American director, screenwriter
  • 1959 Ante Pavelić – Croatian politician
  • 1937 Maurice Ravel – French composer

The sections “What Happened On This Day,” “Births On This Day,” and “Deaths On This Day” originally appeared at and is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Garrett Smith
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