Sunday Times

Mar 28 in History


● 193 — Pertinax, Roman Emperor since January 1 — the first in the tumultuous Year of the Five Emperors — is assassinat­ed by the Praetorian Guards. They auction off the throne to Didius Julianus, who is assassinat­ed by a soldier on June 1.

1842 — Composer Otto Nicolai conducts the first concert of the Vienna Philharmon­ic Orchestra.

1879 — British mounted troops under Colonel Evelyn Wood go up Hlobane Mountain to battle the Zulus, only to be surrounded by a 22,000-man impi. The Battle of Hlobane becomes the worst rout of the British cavalry, and the last Zulu victory, of the AngloZulu War (January 11-July 4 1879).

1881 — Barnum and Bailey’s Circus — “The Greatest Show on Earth” — is formed when PT Barnum and James A Bailey join forces. After another merger in 1919, it becomes known as Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. It closes its doors on May 21 2017. 1910 — French aviator Henri Fabre becomes the first to fly a seaplane, taking off from a water runway near Martigues, France, in his Fabre Hydravion.

1968 — Nasser Hussain, England cricketer (19892004) — 96 Tests, 5,764 runs, average 37.18; 88 ODIs, 2,332 runs, average 30.28 — and commentato­r, is born in Madras (now Chennai), India. 1979 — In the US’s worst commercial nuclear accident, the Unit 2 reactor (owned by FirstEnerg­y) of the Three Mile Island Nuclear Generating Station near Harrisburg, Pennsylvan­ia, comes to a partial meltdown and is decommissi­oned just three months after being commission­ed on December 30 1978. Thousands living near the plant leave the area before the 12-day crisis ends, during which time some radioactiv­e water and gases are released. Mechanical and human factors allowed Unit 2 to lose cooling water. It costs more than $1bn and takes more than a decade to remove the damaged nuclear fuel. Unit 1 (owned by Exelon), commission­ed on September 2 1974, is decommissi­oned on September 20 2019. 1982 — Armscor chairman Commandant Piet Marais announces that SA had developed (by Denel Land Systems) the G5 towed howitzer of 155mm calibre that outranges its counterpar­ts of a similar calibre by at least 50%. It is one of many military developmen­ts in response to the internatio­nal sanctions and arms embargo imposed on the country.

1990 — Jesse Owens is posthumous­ly awarded the Congressio­nal Gold Medal by President George Bush. Owens won the 100m, 200m, 4x100m relay and long jump at the Olympic Games in Berlin in 1936.

1985 — Stanislas (Stan) Wawrinka, Swiss tennis champion (Australian Open 2014, French Open 2015, US Open 2016), is born in Lausanne.

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