Today in history
Today is Saturday, October 13, the 286th day of 2018. There are 79 days left in the year. Highlights in history on this date:
54 — Roman emperor Claudius I dies, after being
poisoned by his wife (and niece), Agrippina.
1792 — The cornerstone of the White House is laid during a ceremony in the District of Columbia.
1815 — The British occupy the South Atlantic island of Ascension to prevent Napoleon’s escape from St Helena, the closest island.
1844 — Greenwich Mean Time is introduced. 1877 — Sir George Grey takes office as premier, becoming the first person in New Zealand to hold office as GovernorGeneral and prime minister.
1883 — The first meeting of shareholders of the Otago Meatfreezing and Produce Company is held.
1896 — The first showing of motion pictures in New Zealand, at the Auckland Opera House, comes just 10 months after the world’s first public film show in Paris.
1900 — New Zealand’s Public Health Act becomes law. A centralised department of public health follows, which is the first in the world.
1923 — Ankara, formerly Angora, becomes the
new capital of Turkey.
1943 — Italy, during World War 2, declares war
on Germany, its former Axis partner.
1952 — Egypt reaches agreement with Sudan on
Nile waters. 1965 — Congo president Joseph Kasavubu dismisses the 15monthold government of Premier Moise Tshombe, and names Evariste Kira as the new head of the Government.
1971 — Wideranging suggestions relating to the sale and display of indecent or restricted publications are submitted to Parliament by antipornography campaigner Patricia Bartlett.
1975 — The Maori land march arrives at
Parliament, led by Whina Cooper.
1978 — Rivers from the Oreti in the south to the Tokomairiro in the north breach their banks, leading to flooding of more than 12,000ha of land and the loss of over 21,000 head of livestock in the Otago and Southland districts. Coming exactly 100 years after similar flooding in 1878, the areas affected stretched from Makarora in the north to Invercargill in the south. The town of Wyndham was completely evacuated, and Balclutha, Milton and Mataura came under serious threat. The small settlement of Kelso on the banks of the Pomahaka River was completely abandoned and not rebuilt.
1987 — Costa Rica’s President Oscar Arias Sanchez wins the Nobel Peace Prize for sponsoring a plan to end civil wars in Central America.
1988 — Egyptian author Naguib Mahfouz becomes the first Arabiclanguage writer to win the Nobel Prize for literature.
1993 — A fanatical fan of tennis player
Steffi Graf is convicted of stabbing archrival
Monica Seles, but receives only a twoyear suspended sentence.
1994 — ProBritish Protestant paramilitaries in Northern Ireland announce a ceasefire, matching the Irish Republican Army’s sixweekold truce, voicing ‘‘true remorse’’ for the killings of many Catholics.
1997 — Queen Elizabeth II begins a controversial visit to India to mark the 50th anniversary of the subcontinent’s independence from Britain.
1998 — A gas explosion sets off a pile of gunpowder used to make illegal fireworks in Tultepec, Mexico, obliterating a twoblock area and killing at least 39 people.
2002 — The runoff vote for president of Serbia, the dominant republic of the tworepublic Yugoslav federation, is declared invalid after voter turnout reached only 45.5%, necessitating a fresh election.
Sir George Grey