On December 29th in:

 

1170, Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, is assassinated inside Canterbury Cathedralby followers of King Henry II;  he subsequently becomes a saint and martyr in the Anglican and Catholic Churches;

 

1851, the first American YMCA opens in Boston, Massachusetts;

 

1890, Wounded Knee Massacre on Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, 300 Lakota killed by the U.S. Army;

 

1914, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, the first novel by James Joyce, is serialized in The Egoist

 

1940, World War II:  In the Second Great Fire of London, the Luftwaffe fire-bombs London, England, killing almost 200 civilians;  and in

 

2003, the last known speaker of Akkala Sami dies, rendering the language extinct.