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This Day in History - September 28

September 28

48 BC – Pompey the Great is murdered on the orders of Egyptian King Ptolemy when he arrives in Egypt

855 – Emperor Lothar dies in Gaul and his kingdom is divided between his three sons

1066 – William, Duke of Normandy, soon to be known as William the Conqueror invades England

1106 – King Henry of England defeats his brother Robert at the Battle of Tinchebrai and reunites England and Normandy

1238 – Valencia, Spain is taken from the Arabs by James of Aragon

1542 – Portuguese explorer Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo sails into present-day San Diego Bay and becomes the first known European to encounter California

1607 – Samuel de Champlain and his colonists return to France from Port Royal Nova Scotia

1634 – John Milton’s masque, Comus, is performed for the Earl of Bridgewater, who had been named lord president of Wales and the Marches

1781 – During the Revolutionary War, General George Washington commanding a force of 17,000 French and Continental troops, begin the siege known as the Battle of Yorktown against British General Lord Charles Cornwallis

1794 – The Anglo-Russian-Austrian Alliance of St. Petersburg, which is directed against France, is signed

1820 – Socialist who collaborated with Karl Marx on The Communist Manifesto and Das Kapital, Friedrich Engels is born

1863 – Union General William Rosecrans blames his defeat at Chickamauga on two of his subordinate generals but they will later be exonerated by a court of inquiry

1874 – Colonel Ronald Mackenzie raids a war camp of Comanche and Kiowa Indians at the Battle of Palo Duro Canyon, Texas, and slaughters 2,000 of their horses

1891 – American writer, Herman Melville, dies

1895 – French chemist and microbiologist, Louis Pasteur, dies

1901 – Television host, Ed Sullivan, is born

1904 – A woman is arrested for smoking a cigarette on New York’s Fifth Avenue

1907 – Indian activist, Bhagat Singh, is born

1909 – Cartoonist Al Capp is born

1912 – W.C. Handy’s “Memphis Blues” is published

1913 – Ten people are killed during race riots in Harriston, Mississippi

1915 – Ethel Rosenberg, who along with her husband Julius, will become one of the first American civilians to be executed for espionage, is born

1918 – A Liberty Loan parade in Philadelphia prompts a huge outbreak of the flu epidemic in the city, which killed an estimated 30 million people

1918 – During World War I, an incident that has never been proven took place, where allegedly Private Henry Tandey, a British soldier serving near the French village of Marcoing, reportedly encounters a wounded German soldier and declines to shoot him, sparing the life of young Lance Corporal Adolf Hitler

1924 – Italian actor, Marcello Mastroianni, is born

1924 – Three US Army aircraft arrive in Seattle, Washington after completing a 22-day round-the-world flight

1928 – Sir Alexander Fleming discovers penicillin when he notices a bacteria-killing mold growing in his laboratory; it remained for Howard Florey and Ernst Chain to isolate the active ingredient, allowing the “miracle drug” to be developed in the 40’s

1934 – French actress Brigitte Bardot is born

1938 – Lead singer of The Drifters and composer, Ben E. King, is born

1938 – Blues singer Koko Taylor is born

1939 – Theoretical biologist renowned for his work studying the origin of life, Stuart Kauffman is born

1939 – Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union agree on a division of Poland; Warsaw surrenders to German troops

1941 – Boston Red Sox’s Ted Williams becomes the last player to hit .400

1942 – General Henry “Hap” Arnold gives the highest priority to the development for two unique aircraft-the B-35 Flying Wing and the B-36 Peacemaker, both intended for bombing runs from bases in the US to European targets during World War II

1943 – Three-time British Touring Car Champion, Winston “Win” Percy, is born

1947 – 10th Prime Minister of Bangladesh, Sheikh Hasina, is born

1958 – France ratifies a new constitution

1959 – Explorer VI, the US satellite, takes the first video pictures of earth

1959 – During the Cold War, after concluding their summit meeting in Washington, D.C., Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev and President Dwight Eisenhower offer their opinions as to the importance of their talks, both feeling optimistic

1960 – Singer and songwriter, Jennifer Rush, is born

1961 – Military coup in Damascus ends the Egypt-Syria union known as the United Arab Republic that had been formed in 1958

1963 – Roy Lichtenstein’s pop art Whaam!, depicting in comic-book style a US jet shooting down an enemy fighter, is exhibited for the first time and will become one of the best-known examples of pop art

1967 – Walter Washington becomes the first mayor of the District of Columbia

1967 – President Lyndon Johnson bestows the Congressional Medal of Honor on Sgt. David Dolby of the Army’s 1st Cavalry for his heroism in the Vietnam War

1968 – English and Australian actress, Naomi Watts, is born

1968 – During the Vietnam War, a battle begins for the Special Forces camp at Thuong Duc, situated between Da Nang and the Laotian border

1972 – Weekly casualty figures are released during the Vietnam War, that contains no US fatalities for the first time since March of 1965

1972 – Japan and China agree to re-establish diplomatic relations

1978 – Pope John Paul I dies

1988 – Roch Theriault, leader of one of the most bizarre and violent cults in Canadian history, who often physically abused his followers, performs crude intestinal surgery on Solange Boislard in Ontario, slicing open her abdomen and ripping out a piece of her intestine with his bare hands. He then ordered another follower to stitch up the wound with a needle and thread. The next day, in agonizing pain, Boislard died. Theriault then sawed off the top of her head, sexually assaulted her, then removed one of her ribs which he wore around his neck. Theriault was arrested and charged with murder the following year for hacking off the arm of another follower with a meat cleaver. During the trial, lots of horrific tales came to light of his torturing followers by burning them with a welding torch, cutting off their fingers with a wire cutter and more to “drive the devil out of them.” Theriault also killed a child by performing surgery after the child had been beaten by another member of the cult, an escapee from a mental hospital. When the child died, Theriault castrated the child’s abuser. Theriault pleaded guilty and was sentenced to life in prison, where he remains today

1989 – After being driven from his country by a front led by Corazon Aquino, former Philippines president Ferdinand Marcos dies in exile in Hawaii. Marcos had led a corrupt regime for 20 years, which included misuse of foreign support, political murders, and extortion

1991 – Legendary jazz trumpeter Miles Davis dies

1994 – 852 people die in one of the worst maritime disasters of the century when the German-built Estonia, a large car-and-passenger ferry sinks in the Baltic Sea off the coast of Finland after encountering 15 to 20-foot waves in a bad storm

1995 – Israel’s Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Palestinian Liberation Organization leader Yasser Arafat sign an interim agreement concerning settlement on the Gaza Strip

1996 – Mohammad Najibullah, former president of Afghanistan, is tortured and murdered by the Taliban

2000 – 15th Prime Minister of Canada, Pierre Trudeau, dies

2003 – The first black tennis player to win at Wimbledon, Althea Gibson, dies

2008 – Falcon 1, the first private spacecraft, is launched by SpaceX


Written by Crystal McCann

Crystal is the Chief Operating Officer of Lanterns Media Network and the owner of Madisons Media. She lives in Texas with her husband and dogs and is the proud mother of two adult children.


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