View of the Statue of Liberty from the Staten Island Ferry.
View of the Statue of Liberty from the Staten Island Ferry.

Today in History: October 28

Highlights in history on this date:

1492: Christopher Columbus discovers Cuba and claims it in the name of Spain.

1627: Jahangir, Mughal emperor of India, dies on his way to Lahore.

1628: After being besieged for months, the Huguenots at La Rochelle capitulate to troops of the French crown under Cardinal Richelieu.

1636: Harvard College is founded at Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Campus of Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Campus of Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts.

1708: Sweden's King Charles XII takes Mohilev, Russia, and invades Ukraine.

1746: The Peruvian cities Lima and Callao are demolished by an earthquake, killing at least 18,000.

1867: French troops land at Civita Vecchia, Italy.

1886: Statue of Liberty is dedicated in New York City harbour.

1890: German East Africa Company cedes its territorial rights to Germany.

1891: An earthquake strikes the Niphon Islands in Japan, killing 10,000 people and leaving at least 300,000 homeless.

1893: Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky conducts the first public performance of his Symphony Number Six in B minor (Pathetique) in St Petersburg, Russia, just nine days before his death.

1916: Australians vote in a plebiscite and narrowly reject Prime Minister William Morris Hughes's bid to introduce conscription.

1918: Czechoslovakia is founded by Tomas Garrigue Masaryk as part of a new Europe after World War I.

1919: The Volstead Prohibition Act is passed by the US Congress which prohibited the sale of drink containing more than one half of one per cent of alcohol.

1922: Benito Mussolini and his fascists march on Rome.

Italian dictator Benito Mussolini.
Italian dictator Benito Mussolini.

1940: Italy invades Greece during World War II.

1952: William Hughes, Australian prime minister 1915-23, dies.

1958: Cardinal Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli, Patriarch of Venice, is elected Pope and takes the title John XXIII.

1962: Cuban missile crisis effectively ends when Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev announces he has ordered the withdrawal of missiles from Cuba; US President John Kennedy immediately replies that the US will lift its blockade of Cuba.

1965: Pope Paul VI issues a decree absolving Jews of collective guilt for the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.

1971: By a vote of 356-244, the British House of Commons votes in favour of joining the European Economic Community.

1974: Arab heads of state, including Jordan's King Hussein, issue declaration calling for creation of independent Palestinian state.

1981: A Soviet Whiskey-class submarine armed with nuclear weapons runs aground in Swedish waters.

1990: Soviet special envoy fails to convince Saddam Hussein to withdraw Iraqi forces peacefully from Kuwait.

1994: Australian tourist David Wilson, held hostage in Cambodia, is confirmed dead by Australian, Cambodian and French governments.

1995: Some 289 people die and 270 are injured when a crowded underground railway train catches fire between the Ulduz and Narimanov underground stations in Azerbaijan's capital Baku.

1999: Luis Alfredo Garavito, known as "Goofy", confesses to killing some 140 children during a seven-year orgy of bloodshed in Colombia's biggest-ever serial murder case.

2003: A federal judge in Houston, Texas overturns the 1983 conviction of former spy Edwin P Wilson for selling explosives to Libya.

2005: Australian model Michelle Leslie goes on trial in Bali accused of ecstasy possession.

2008: Qantas agrees to pay a fine of $20 million under a deal reached with the competition watchdog, after owning up to price-fixing in the airfreight market.

2011: The Queen officially declares open the Commonwealth of Heads of Government Meeting in Perth.

2013: A savage coastal storm powered by hurricane-force gusts slashes its way through Britain and western Europe, with at least 13 people reported killed.

2014: Australian bus companies reveal they are struggling to operate within maximum load laws due to Australia's growing obesity problem.

2015: Father-and-son fugitives Gino and Mark Stocco, two of Australia's most wanted men, surrender to police in NSW after eight years on the run.

2016: A young Brisbane bus driver is killed after being doused in a flammable liquid and set on fire in a random attack.

2017: An art exhibition along the banks of the Murrumbidgee River turns hay bales and trees into display pieces, highlighting issues about life in regional Australia.

2018: A father and son die in a drowning incident at the Airlie Beach Lagoon in Queensland.


Evelyn Waugh, British novelist (1903-1966); Dr Jonas Salk, US scientist (1914-1995); Cleo Laine, British singer-actor (1927); Bernie Ecclestone, English motorsports figure (1930); Jane Alexander, US actor (1939); Hank Marvin, British musician (1941); Dennis Franz, US actor (1944); Caitlyn Jenner (1949); Bill Gates, Microsoft chairman (1955); Lauren Holly, US actor (1963); Julia Roberts, US actor (1967); Ben Harper, rock singer (1969); Joaquin Phoenix, US actor (1974); Gwendoline Christie, UK actor (1978).


"Life is easier to take than you'd think; all that is necessary is to accept the impossible, do without the indispensable and bear the intolerable" - Kathleen Norris, American author (1880-1960).

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