Friday, Dec. 28, is the 363d day of 2012. There are three days left in the year.
Today’s birthdays: Comic book creator Stan Lee is 90. Former United Auto Workers union president Owen Bieber is 83. Actor Martin Milner is 81. Actress Nichelle Nichols is 80. Actress Dame Maggie Smith is 78. Rock singer-musician Charles Neville is 74. Actor Denzel Washington is 58. Country singer Joe Diffie is 54. Comedian Seth Meyers is 39. Rhythm-and-blues singer John Legend is 34.
In 1612, Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei observed the planet Neptune, but mistook it for a star. (Neptune wasn’t officially discovered until 1846 by Johann Gottfried Galle.)
In 1846, Iowa became the 29th state to be admitted to the Union.
In 1937, composer Maurice Ravel died in Paris at age 62.
In 1945, Congress officially recognized the Pledge of Allegiance.
In 1972, Kim Il Sung, the premier of North Korea, was named the country’s president under a new constitution.