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 1920: League of Nations Assembly holds
first meeting in Geneva. 1928: Fascist Grand Council becomes
part of Italian constitution. 1976: Syrian army takes full control of Beirut, effectively ending 18-month civil war in Lebanon. 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. 1997: China’s best known dissident Wei Jingsheng (above) is released on health grounds from a 14-year jail term and left for the United States the next day. 2009: Kosovo holds its first local election since declaring independence from Serbia. 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.