Correna Bourgeois

Written by Correna Bourgeois

Modified & Updated: 31 May 2024

Sherman Smith

Reviewed by Sherman Smith


Welcome to our daily recap of historical events that occurred on December 29th. This date has witnessed significant moments throughout history, shaping the world we know today. From groundbreaking achievements to notable births and deaths, the pages of history have been filled with remarkable occurrences on this day. Join us as we take a journey back in time and explore the fascinating facts and events that took place on December 29th. From scientific breakthroughs and cultural milestones to political developments and sporting achievements, this article will provide you with an insightful glimpse into the past. So, let’s embark on this historical adventure and discover the notable events that unfolded on December 29th!

Key Takeaways:

  • December 29th witnessed the first European landing in Hawaii, the Wounded Knee Massacre, and the birth of Cristiano Ronaldo, making it a day of diverse historical significance.
  • From the discovery of palladium to the release of “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” December 29th marks a day of scientific breakthroughs and cultural milestones.
Table of Contents


  • 1778: James Cook becomes the first known European to land on the Hawaiian Islands.
  • 1890: The Wounded Knee Massacre takes place in South Dakota, marking the end of Native American resistance in the West.
  • 1975: A bomb explodes at LaGuardia Airport in New York City, killing 11 people and injuring 74.
  • 1997: Hong Kong begins killing all its poultry (1.6 million birds) to prevent the spread of avian flu.
  • 2013: Portuguese footballer Cristiano Ronaldo is awarded the FIFA Ballon d’Or, becoming the first Portuguese player to win the prestigious award.


  • 1809: English chemist William Hyde Wollaston discovers the element palladium.
  • 1911: Austrian physicist Victor Franz Hess conducts a balloon flight and discovers cosmic rays.
  • 1945: A group of scientists led by John Mauchly and J. Presper Eckert successfully runs the first program on the ENIAC, the world’s first general-purpose electronic computer.
  • 1983: The Internet’s predecessor ARPANET officially switches to the TCP/IP protocol, marking the beginning of the modern internet.
  • 2010: Scientists at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider announce the creation of a new state of matter called the quark-gluon plasma.


  • 1170: Thomas Becket, the Archbishop of Canterbury, is assassinated in Canterbury Cathedral by knights loyal to King Henry II.
  • 1845: Texas is admitted as the 28th state of the United States.
  • 1937: The Irish Free State officially changes its name to “Ireland” and becomes a fully sovereign state.
  • 1972: Eastern Air Lines Flight 401 crashes in the Florida Everglades, resulting in 101 fatalities.
  • 2014: The Central African Republic experiences a coup d’état as rebel groups overthrow President Michel Djotodia.


  • 1891: Author and playwright Thomas Hardy publishes his novel “Tess of the d’Urbervilles.
  • 1911: Opera “Lohengrin” by Richard Wagner is first performed at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City.
  • 1937: Walt Disney’s first full-length animated feature film, “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” is released in the United States.
  • 1998: The film “Shakespeare in Love” directed by John Madden and starring Gwyneth Paltrow and Joseph Fiennes is released in the United States.
  • 2015: American rapper Kendrick Lamar releases his critically acclaimed album “To Pimp a Butterfly.


  • 1800: Charles Goodyear, American inventor known for the vulcanization of rubber.
  • 1936: Mary Tyler Moore, American actress and television producer.
  • 1972: Jude Law, English actor known for his roles in “The Talented Mr. Ripley” and “Cold Mountain.”
  • 1984: Alison Brie, American actress known for her roles in “Community” and “GLOW.
  • 1990: Dylan Minnette, American actor known for his role in the Netflix series “13 Reasons Why.


  • 1170: Thomas Becket, English archbishop and saint.
  • 1890: Big Foot, Lakota Sioux chief who died in the Wounded Knee Massacre.
  • 1952: Henri Becquerel, French physicist and Nobel laureate for his discovery of radioactivity.
  • 2001: Nigel Hawthorne, English actor known for his role as Sir Humphrey Appleby in the TV series “Yes Minister.
  • 2013: Jerry Coleman, American Major League Baseball player and broadcaster.


The events that took place on December 29th throughout history showcase a diverse range of significant moments. From major historical events like the landing of James Cook on the Hawaiian Islands, to scientific breakthroughs such as the discovery of palladium by William Hyde Wollaston, this date has witnessed noteworthy occurrences across various fields.

Politically, December 29th marks milestones such as the assassination of Thomas Becket and the admission of Texas as a state in the United States. In terms of culture, this date has witnessed the release of iconic works like Walt Disney’s “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” and the publication of Thomas Hardy’s novel “Tess of the d’Urbervilles.

Births of notable individuals like Charles Goodyear and Jude Law, along with the deaths of influential figures such as Henri Becquerel and Jerry Coleman, further contribute to the significance of December 29th in history.


Q: Are there any other significant events that happened on December 29th?

A: Yes, there are many other significant events that took place on December 29th throughout history. The ones mentioned above are just a few examples.

Q: How can I learn more about the historical events that occurred on December 29th?

A: You can explore history books, online archives, or visit museums that specialize in the specific time periods mentioned to gain a deeper understanding of the events that transpired on December 29th.

Q: Are there any famous people born on December 29th?

A: Yes, some notable individuals born on December 29th include Charles Goodyear, Mary Tyler Moore, Jude Law, Alison Brie, and Dylan Minnette.

Q: What are some scientific breakthroughs that occurred on December 29th?

A: Some scientific breakthroughs on December 29th include the discovery of the element palladium by William Hyde Wollaston and the discovery of cosmic rays by Victor Franz Hess.

Q: Are there any political milestones associated with December 29th?

A: Yes, political milestones on December 29th include the assassination of Thomas Becket and the admission of Texas as a state in the United States.

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