December 28

TODAY IN HISTORY

1065 – Westminster Abbey is consecrated.
Westminster Abbey, formally titled the Collegiate Church of St Peter at Westminster, is a large, mainly Gothic abbey church in the City of Westminster, London, located just to the west of the Palace of Westminster. It is one of the most notable religious buildings in the United Kingdom and has been the traditional place of coronation and burial site for English and, later, British monarchs. Between 1540 and 1556 the abbey had the status of a cathedral. Since 1560, however, the building is no longer an abbey nor a cathedral, having instead the status of a Church of England “Royal Peculiar”—a church responsible directly to the sovereign. The building itself is the original abbey church. The building was not completed until around 1090 but was consecrated on 28 December 1065, only a week before Edward’s death on 5 January 1066.


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1935 – Pravda publishes a letter by Pavel Postyshev, who revives New Year tree tradition in the Soviet Union.
Postyshev was removed from Ukraine and appointed first secretary of the Kuibyshev Oblast Party Committee. There during the Great Purge, he launched an extensive hunt for “enemies of the people”. He was noteworthy for promoting the practice of the New Year tree after publishing a famous letter in Pravda on 28 December 1935, in which he asked for trees to be installed in schools, children’s homes, Young Pioneer Palaces, children’s clubs, children’s theaters and cinemas.


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1973 – The Endangered Species Act is passed in the United States.
The Endangered Species Act of 1973 is one of the few dozens of United States environmental laws passed in the 1970s, and serves as the enacting legislation to carry out the provisions outlined in The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). The ESA was signed into law by President Richard Nixon on December 28, 1973, it was designed to protect critically imperiled species from extinction as a “consequence of economic growth and development untempered by adequate concern and conservation.” The U.S. Supreme Court found that “the plain intent of Congress in enacting” the ESA “was to halt and reverse the trend toward species extinction, whatever the cost.” The Act is administered by two federal agencies, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).


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BIRTHDAYS

1932 – Dhirubhai Ambani, Indian businessman, founded Reliance Industries
Dhirajlal Hirachand “Dhirubhai” Ambani born on 28 December 1932 was an Indian business tycoon who founded Reliance Industries in Bombay with his cousin. He had been figured in the The Sunday Times top 50 businessmen in Asia. Ambani took Reliance Industries public in 1977 and by 2007, the combined fortune of the family was $60 billion, making the Ambanis the third richest family in the world. Ambani died on 6 July 2002.


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1937 – Ratan Tata, Indian businessman and philanthropist
Ratan Naval Tata GBE born on 28 December 1937 is an Indian businessman, investor, philanthropist and chairman Emeritus of Tata Sons. He was the chairman of Tata Group, a Mumbai-based conglomerate from 1991–2012. He stepped down as the chairman of Tata Group, on 28 December 2012 but continues as the chairman of the Group’s charitable trusts.


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1940 – A. K. Antony, Indian lawyer and politician, Indian Minister of Defence
Arackaparambil Kurien “A. K.” Antony born on 28 December 1940 is an Indian politician currently serving as Member of Parliament (MP) from the upper house, Rajya Sabha, of Parliament. He currently serves as the Chairman of the Disciplinary Action Committee of the All India Congress Committee, Congress Working Committee. and member of the Central Election Committee. He formerly served as Defence Minister of India, and the Chief Minister of the state of Kerala.


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1952 – Arun Jaitley, Indian lawyer and politician, 9th Indian Minister of Law and Justice
Arun Jaitley born on 28 December 1952 is a member of Bharatiya Janata Party and the current Union Finance Minister of India. Jaitley previously held the cabinet portfolios of Commerce and Industry and Law and Justice in the National Democratic Alliance government (1998–2004). From 2009 to 2014 he was Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha and is also a former Minister of Defence. In the 2014 general election, Jaitley was the unsuccessful BJP candidate for the Amritsar seat in Lok Sabha, defeated by the Indian National Congress candidate Amarinder Singh. A lawyer by profession, he is a Senior Advocate of the Delhi High Court.


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HOLIDAYS AND CELEBRATIONS

King Taksin Memorial Day (Thailand)
Every year people of Thailand observe King Taksin Memorial Day on December 28. This national holiday celebrates the coronation anniversary of Taksin in 1767. King Taksin reigned Siam from December 28, 1767 to April 6, 1782. Although his reign didn’t last for too long, Taksin is remembered for his efforts of liberation of Siam from Burmese occupation and its subsequent unification. Most of Taksin’s attention was drawn to the warfare, because he had to repel new Burmese invasions and subjugate the northern Thai kingdom of Lanna, threatening Cambodia and the Laotian principalities.


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