Today in History: November 15
Highlights in history on this date:
1492: Christopher Columbus notes in journal use of tobacco among Indians: the first recorded reference to tobacco.
1791: First grapevine in colony of NSW is planted at Parramatta.
1837: Details of the first practical shorthand system, designed by Isaac Pitman, are published for the first time as "Stenographic Sound-Hand".
1920: League of Nations Assembly holds first meeting in Geneva.
1928: Fascist Grand Council becomes part of Italian constitution.
1942: After three days of sea battles around the Solomon Islands in World War II, the Japanese suffer heavy losses at Guadalcanal.
1969: An estimated two million people take part in the Vietnam War Moratorium Demonstration across the United States.
1971: Delegation from the People's Republic of China is seated at the UN General Assembly for the first time.
1972: Miloslav Hrabinec shoots himself dead after a shootout with police after failing in an attempt to hijack an Ansett aircraft at Alice Springs.
1976: Syrian army takes full control of Beirut, effectively ending 18-month civil war in Lebanon.
1977: Israel sends formal invitation to Egypt's President Anwar Sadat to visit Jerusalem and address Israeli parliament.
1979: British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher names Sir Anthony Blunt as a spy for the Russians and the "fourth man" in the Burgess-Philby-MacLean spy ring.
1985: British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and Irish Prime Minister Garret FitzGerald sign the Anglo-Irish agreement that gives the Republic a consultative role in the running of Northern Ireland for the first time.
1990: NATO and Warsaw Pact nations agree in principle on a treaty drastically slashing their stocks of conventional weapons.
1993: Gunmen in Lebanon kill a senior aide of Yasser Arafat, the fifth PLO assassination since Israeli-Palestinian accord was signed.
1996: Shine is awarded best film at the AFI awards.
1998: US President Bill Clinton announces Iraq has "backed down" and promised to co-operate unconditionally with UN weapons inspectors.
2001: US President George W Bush and Russian President Vladimir Putin fail to resolve their dispute over US missile shield plans but pledge to fight terrorism and deepen US-Russian ties as their summit, which began at the White House then shifted to Bush's Texas ranch, comes to a close.
2002: Palestinian gunmen ambush Jewish settlers at Hebron's Tomb of the Patriarchs, killing at least 12 people and wounding 15.
2006: Pakistan's parliament approves amendments to an Islamic-based law on rape, dropping the death penalty and flogging for people convicted of having consensual sex outside marriage.
2007: Cyclone Sidr roars across the southwestern coast of Bangladesh with 240km/h winds, killing at least 3100 people.
2008: Prime Minister Kevin Rudd joins 19 other world leaders at a G20 emergency summit in Washington on the global financial crisis.
2009: Kosovo holds its first local election since declaring independence from Serbia.
2010: Scientists exhume the remains of 16th-century astronomer Tycho Brahe in Prague in an effort to solve the mystery of his sudden death.
2012: Oil giant BP agrees to plead guilty to a raft of criminal charges and pay a record $US4.5 billion ($A4.87 billion) in a settlement with the US Government over the deadly 2010 disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.
2013: China's leaders announce the first significant easing of its one-child policy in 30 years and move to abolish its labour camp system.
2014: Australia hosts US president Barack Obama, Russian president Vladimir Putin, China's Xi Jinping and Germany's Angela Merkel at a two-day G20 meeting in Brisbane.
2016: Australian underworld figure Pasquale Barbaro becomes the eighth victim in the last 12 years of gangland killings in NSW after his bullet-ridden body is found on a footpath in the suburb of Earlwood.
2017: The Socceroos beat Honduras 3-1, securing Australia's ticket to the 2018 World Cup.
2018: British Prime Minister Theresa May vows to see Brexit despite two of her Cabinet ministers resigning and more than a dozen backbenchers submitting letters of no confidence.
Sam Waterston, US actor (1940); Daniel Barenboim, Argentinian-born conductor-pianist (1942); Frida Lyngstad, Swedish singer of Abba (1945); Benny Elias, Australian NRL player (1963); Rachel True, US actor (1969); Chad Kroeger, Canadian rocker (1974); Giaan Rooney, Australian swimmer (1982); Shailene Woodley, US actor (1991).
THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
"In a time of war … the task of news-writers is easy; they have nothing to do but to tell that the battle is expected and afterward that a battle has been fought in which we and our friends, whether conquering or conquered, did all, and our enemies did nothing." - Samuel Johnson, English critic (1709-1784).