Today in History, 26/9

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Highlights in history on this date:

1087 – King William II, son of William the Conqueror, is crowned King of England.

1580 – Francis Drake arrives in Plymouth, England, after sailing The Golden Hind around the world in 33 months.

1687 – The Acropolis in Athens is attacked and badly damaged by the Venetian army trying to eject the Turks.

1820 – Death of Daniel Boone, US frontiersman.

1855 – Australia’s first railway station opens at what is to become Central Station.

1907 – New Zealand becomes self-governing dominion within British Commonwealth.

1918 – Allies launch offensive that eventually breaks Germany’s Hindenburg Line in World War I.

1934 – The British Cunard liner Queen Mary is launched in Clydebank, Scotland.

1937 – US blues singer Bessie Smith dies after a car crash.

1945 – Bela Bartok, Hungarian composer of many orchestral and piano works and the opera Bluebeard’s Castle, dies in New York.

1950 – United Nations forces recapture Seoul, capital of South Korea.

1957 – Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim’s musical West Side Story opens on Broadway.

1962 – Imam Badr is driven from power in Yemen, ending more than 1000-year dynasty.

1969 – The family comedy series The Brady Bunch premieres on ABC-TV in the US.

1978 – Karol Wojtyla, archbishop of Krakow becomes Pope John Paul II, the first non-Italian pope since 1522.

1980 – In West Germany, 13 people are killed and more than 200 injured in a terrorist bomb blast at the Munich beer festival.

1983 – Australia II wins America’s Cup yachting series off Newport, Rhode Island, the first US loss in 132 years.

1984 – Britain and China sign initial agreement that returns Hong Kong to Chinese rule in 1997.

1986 – Australian film Crocodile Dundee opens in US and takes the country by storm.

1989 – Vietnam withdraws its troops from Cambodia.

1991 – Four men and four women begin a two-year stay inside a sealed-off structure in Oracle, Arizona, called Biosphere Two.

1992 – A Nigerian military transport plane crashes soon after take-off from Lagos, killing all 163 people aboard.

1993 – Eight people emerge from the glass dome of Biosphere Two in the Arizona desert after being sealed inside for two years in an experiment dogged by setbacks and controversy.

1995 – Former prime minister Giulio Andreotti goes on trial in Italy, charged with membership of the Mafia.

1996 – US astronaut Shannon Lucid returns to earth after 188 days in orbit on the Russian space station Mir, longer than any other American and a record for a woman.

1997 – An Indonesian Airbus A300 crashes while approaching Medan Airport in north Sumatra, killing all 234 people aboard.

1999 – A series of explosions rips through a busy shopping area in the central Mexican city of Celaya, killing 61 people and injuring at least 340.

2001 – Belgium hands over Emmanuel Ndindabahizi, a former Rwandan finance minister, to the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda to face charges of involvement in genocide.

2002 – A Senegalese ferry, the Joola, capsizes off the Gambian coast killing about 1860 people with only 64 survivors.

2005 – The Irish Republican Army announces it has fully disarmed, a breakthrough verified by international weapons inspectors who say they watched the secret disarmament.

2008 – The list of products caught in China’s tainted milk scandal grows to include baby cereal in Hong Kong and snack foods in Japan.

2011 – Two thousand years after they were written and decades after they were found in desert caves, some of the world-famous Dead Sea Scrolls go online for the first time.

2015 – Three people are injured in a boat explosion on the Brisbane River at Yeronga.

2016 – US presidential hopefuls Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump go head-to-head in their first televised debate ahead of the November poll.

2017 – A Croatian court has sentenced former Serbian paramilitary commander and Australian citizen Dragan Vasiljkovic 15 years in prison for war crimes in the 1990s.

Today’s Birthdays:

Ivan Petrovich Pavlov, Russian physiologist and Nobel laureate (1849-1936); T(homas) S(tearns) Eliot, British writer and Nobel laureate (1888-1965); Martin Heidegger, German philosopher (1889-1976); George Gershwin, US songwriter (1898-1937); Leonard Teale, Australian actor (1922-1994); Ian Chappell, Australian cricketer and commentator (1943-); Bryan Ferry, British singer (1945-); Lynn Anderson, US singer (1947-2015); Olivia Newton-John, Australian singer (1948-); Linda Hamilton, US actress (1956-); Steve Moneghetti, Australian marathon runner, (1962-); James Caviezel, American actor (1968-); Serena Williams, US tennis player (1981-).

Thought For Today:

As in the physical world, so in the spiritual world, pain does not last forever – Katherine Mansfield, New Zealand-born author (1888-1923).

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