The Courier-Mail

ON THIS DAY

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To­day is Satur­day, Septem­ber 5, the 248th day of 2015. High­lights in history: 1590 - The Duke of Parma, ad­vanc­ing from the Nether­lands, forces France’s King Henry IV to lift the siege of Paris in Catholic League War. 1698 - New East In­dia Com­pany is granted char­ter by King Wil­liam III of Eng­land; Peter the Great ex­e­cutes the Streltzy rebels in Rus­sia and im­poses a tax on beards. 1699 - Sea ex­plorer Wil­liam Dampier de­parts New Hol­land af­ter sail­ing along the western coast­line for five days. 1793 - The gov­ern­ment in France starts the 10-month Reign of Terror, dur­ing which 17,000 peo­ple are ex­e­cuted. 1864 - Com­bined Bri­tish, French and Dutch fleets at­tack Ja­pan in Shi­monoseko Straits in reprisal for clos­ing ports and ex­pelling for­eign­ers. 1880 - The first Sal­va­tion Army meet­ing in Aus­tralia is held in Ade­laide. 1905 - Treaty of Portsmouth, me­di­ated by US pres­i­dent Theodore Roo­sevelt in New Hamp­shire, ends Russo-Ja­panese War. 1958 - The novel Doc­tor Zhivago by Rus­sian au­thor Boris Paster­nak is pub­lished in the US for the first time. 1966 - Chi­nese news agency claims US planes sunk a Com­mu­nist Chi­nese mer­chant ship and dam­aged another in the Gulf of Tonkin, killing nine Chi­nese sea­men and wound­ing seven oth­ers. 1972 - Eleven Is­raeli Olympic ath­letes, four Pales­tinian guer­ril­las and a West Ger­man po­lice­man are killed in a gun bat­tle at Mu­nich air­port. 1986 - Four gun­men hold­ing a hi­jacked Pan Am jet in Pak­istan open fire on pas­sen­gers, killing 20 and wound­ing more than 100 oth­ers. 1989 - Hun­dreds of thou­sands of blacks be­gin a two-day strike in South Africa on the eve of seg­re­gated elec­tions. 1994 - Aus­tralia’s first po­lit­i­cal as­sas­si­na­tion oc­curs. John New­man (pic­tured) rep­re­sented Fair­field in 1977 as deputy mayor. Af­ter a by-elec­tion in the seat of Cabra­matta, he was elected to the Leg­isla­tive Assem­bly of NSW in 1986. In an elec­torate pop­u­lated by south­east Asians, and in which there were un­der­ly­ing racial ten­sions, New­man un­der­took a pro­tracted cam­paign to fight Asian or­gan­ised crime and cor­rup­tion: a fight for which he would pay the ul­ti­mate price. Lo­cal club owner, Phuong Ngo, who had a history of con­flict with New­man, was con­victed of the as­sas­si­na­tion. 1996 - Ramzi Yousef, a Mus­lim ex­trem­ist who al­legedly mas­ter­minded the 1993 World Trade Cen­tre bomb­ing, is con­victed with two other men of plan­ning to blow up a dozen US com­mer­cial air­lin­ers. 1998 - North Korea’s par­lia­ment elects Kim Jong Il to the pres­i­dency – the com­mu­nist world’s first hered­i­tary suc­ces­sion. 2000 - Fierce fight­ing dev­as­tates ar­eas of Jaffna Penin­sula, Sri Lanka for a sec­ond day, leav­ing at least 344 peo­ple dead, as the gov­ern­ment or­ders a ma­jor mil­i­tary of­fen­sive ahead of key elec­tions. 2001 - Peru’s at­tor­ney gen­eral files homi­cide charges against ex-pres­i­dent Al­berto Fu­ji­mori, link­ing him to two mas­sacres in the early 1990s. 2005 - Sec­onds af­ter take­off, an In­done­sian air­liner shakes vi­o­lently and slams into a bustling neigh­bour­hood, burst­ing into flames and killing more than 140 peo­ple – many on the ground. 2006 - Felipe Calderon be­comes pres­i­dent-elect of Mexico when the na­tion’s top elec­toral court votes unan­i­mously to re­ject al­le­ga­tions of fraud and cer­tify his nar­row vic­tory. 2008 - Europe’s Rosetta space probe makes a suc­cess­ful fly-by of the Steins as­ter­oid 402 mil­lion/km from Earth. 2012 - A ma­jor in­ter­na­tional ef­fort yields the first com­pre­hen­sive look at how DNA works, an en­cy­clo­pe­dia of in­for­ma­tion that will re­write text­books and of­fer new in­sights into the bi­ol­ogy of dis­ease.

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