Today in History
1580 – Francis Drake brings the Golden Hind, laden with gold and spices, into Plymouth harbour, England, becoming the first captain to circumnavigate the globe.
1687 – Venetian troops trying to eject Turks from Athens attack the Acropolis, damaging the Parthenon.
1777 – British troops occupy Philadelphia during the American Revolution.
1789 – Thomas Jefferson is appointed the United States’ first Secretary of State.
1865 – New Zealand passes the Native Rights Act, declaring all Ma¯ori to be ‘‘natural-born’’ British subjects. 1907 – New Zealand becomes a selfgoverning dominion within the British Empire.
1918 – Allies launch the offensive that eventually breaks Germany’s Hindenburg Line in World War I.
1944 – Operation Market Garden, an Allied plan to seize a series of bridges in the Dutch town of Arnhem, fails. Thousands of British and Polish troops are killed, wounded, or taken prisoner.
1950 – United Nations forces recapture Seoul, South Korea.
1957 – West Side Story, composed by
Leonard Bernstein, opens on Broadway.
1960 – US presidential hopefuls John F Kennedy and Richard Nixon square off in Chicago in the first televised presidential debate.
1983 – Australia II wins the America’s Cup in the first US loss for 132 years.
1984 – Britain and China initial an agreement to return Hong Kong to Chinese rule in 1997.
1989 – Soviet Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze tells the UN that Moscow will join in reducing or destroying all chemical weapons.
2003 – The Katsina State Sharia Court of
Appeals in northern Nigeria overturns the conviction of Amina Lawal, who had been sentenced to death by stoning after she was accused of having a child out of wedlock. 2005 – The Irish Republican Army announces it has fully disarmed, a move verified by international weapons inspectors who say they watched the secret disarmament.
2007 – Mounting pro-democracy protests against Myanmar’s military government erupt into bloodshed, as security forces shoot dead at least one man and wound more in chaotic confrontations. 2010 – Downton Abbey premieres on British television.
2017 – Saudi Arabia announces it will overturn its ban on women driving.
TS Eliot, US-born poet (1888-1965); Martin Heidegger, German philosopher (1889-1976); Sir Alexander Gillies, NZ surgeon (1891-1982); George Gershwin, US songwriter (1898-1937); Bryan Ferry, UK musician (1945-); Olivia Newton-John, Australian singer (1948-); Will Self, UK author (1961-); Serena Williams, left, US tennis player (1981-).