This Day in History – March 28

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Today is the 87th day of 2019. There are 278 days left in the year.

TODAY’S HIGHLIGHT

2008: Cuban President Raul Castro issues a decree allowing ordinary Cubans to have cellphone service, a luxury previously reserved for the select few.

 

OTHER EVENTS

1800: Act of Union with England passes in Ireland’s Parliament.

1854: Britain and France declare war on Russia, joining Turkey in the Crimean War.

1898: The US Supreme Court rules a child born in the United States to Chinese immigrants is a US citizen, and therefore could not be deported under the Chinese Exclusion Act.

1930: The names of the Turkish cities of Constantinople and Angora are changed to Istanbul and Ankara.

1939: Madrid surrenders to forces of General Francisco Franco, ending Spanish Civil War.

1942: British naval forces raid the Nazi occupied French port of St Nazaire during World War II.

1945: Germany’s V-rocket attacks on Britain end during World War II; United States invades Cebu in the heart of Philippines.

1957: Britain releases Archbishop Makarios, an advocate of union between Cyprus and Greece and later president of Cyprus.

1962: Syrian army revolt fails; European secret army organisation in Algeria proclaims all-out guerrilla warfare against French forces.

1967: UN Secretary-General U Thant proposes general truce in Vietnam, followed by peace talks. The US says it will go along.

1970: Amsar sect supporters of Imam El Mahdi rebel in Sudan.

1974: Mounting civil unrest virtually paralyses foundering Government of Ethiopia’s Emperor Haile Selassie.

1979: America’s worst commercial nuclear accident occurs inside the Unit Two reactor at the Three Mile Island plant near Middletown, Pennsylvania.

1986: Nicaragua sends truckloads of troops to the area of heavy fighting with Contras rebels near border with Honduras.

1989: Syrian gunners and Christian army units duel with artillery and rockets in and around Beirut, Lebanon.

1990: Three arrested in London in plot to smuggle US-made nuclear-triggering devices to Iraq.

1991: Tens of thousands of Moscow residents defy a ban on demonstrations to rally in support of Boris Yeltsin, Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev’s chief rival.

1992: Emergency rule is imposed in Moldova after weeks of fighting between Romanian loyalists and Slavic separatists.

1993: Israel announces it is sealing off the occupied Gaza Strip following a day of Arab knife attacks on Jews and retaliatory attacks by Israelis.

1994: March by Zulu nationalists results in killings of at least 31 people in downtown Johannesburg.

1996: An earthquake shakes remote villages in central Ecuador, killing about 50 people and injuring more than 100.

1997: UN Security Council decides to send a military force to Albania to protect the humanitarian effort there and to encourage a return to order.

1998: Taiwanese authorities, plagued by a string of aviation disasters and corruption scandals, announce that they will bring to the island a 2,000-year-old tooth believed to have belonged to Buddha with the hope of promoting good luck.

1999: The North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s aircraft widen their strikes against Yugoslavia, targeting ground forces in Kosovo that are expelling tens of thousands of ethnic Albanians from their homes. Around 130 Kosovo Albanian men are massacred by Serb troops near the village of Izbica.

2002: US Attorney General John Ashcroft announces he has approved a request from federal prosecutors to seek the death penalty against Zacarias Moussaoui, an accused conspirator in the September 11 attacks.

2006: More than one million people pour into the streets across France and strikers disrupt air, rail and bus travel — even shutting down the Eiffel Tower — in the largest nationwide protest over a youth labour law.

2009: China celebrates 50 years of direct control over Tibet with a lavish international Buddhist conference featuring a rare appearance by Beijing’s hand-picked Buddhist leader.

2010: On a surprise trip, President Barack Obama demands accountability from Afghanistan’s leaders, greater vigilance against corruption and better governing as he widens America’s commitment to the eight-year-old war he inherited and then dramatically escalated.

2011: Workers discover new pools of radioactive water leaking from Japan’s crippled nuclear complex that officials believe are behind soaring levels of radiation spreading to soil and seawater.

2012: Pope Benedict XVI demands more freedom for the Roman Catholic Church in communist-run Cuba and preaches against “fanaticism” in an unusually political sermon before hundreds of thousands at Revolution Plaza, with President Raul Castro in the front row.

2013: Iran, North Korea and Syria block adoption of a UN treaty that would regulate the multi-billion-dollar international arms trade for the first time, but other countries refuse to let it die.

 

TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS

Raphael, Italian artist (1483-1520); Saint Teresa of Avila, Spanish nun and mystic (1515-1582); Aristide Briand, French statesman and Nobel Peace laureate (1862-1932); Mario Vargas Llosa, Peruvian writer and Nobel laureate (1936- ); Dianne Wiest, US actress (1948- ); Reba McEntire, US country singer/actress (1955- ); Vince Vaughn, US actor (1970- )

— AP

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