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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