Ten years ago
Insurgents shot down a U.S. helicopter west of Baghdad, killing one soldier. British flights to Washington and Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, were canceled as a security precaution. The NASA spacecraft Stardust flew through the halo of the distant comet Wild 2.
Five years ago
President George W. Bush branded Hamas rocket attacks on Israel an “act of terror” and outlined his own condition for a cease-fire in Gaza. President-elect Barack Obama and his family arrived in Chicago after a holiday vacation in Hawaii. AirTran Airways apologized to nine Muslims kicked off a New Year’s Day flight to Florida. Actor John Travolta’s 16-year-old son, Jett, died at the family’s vacation home in the Bahamas. Peyton Manning won a record-tying third Associated Press NFL Most Valuable Player award. No. 7 Utah finished a perfect season with a 31-17 upset of No. 4 Alabama in the Sugar Bowl.
One year ago
The United Nations gave a grim new count of the human cost of Syria’s civil war, saying the death toll had exceeded 60,000 in 21 months. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton left a New York hospital, three days after doctors discovered a blood clot in her head. No. 22 Louisville toppled No. 4 Florida, 33-23, in the Sugar Bowl.