This Day in History — September 30


2005: A white farmer in South Africa is sentenced to life in prison for the murder of a former black worker who was attacked with machetes, then tied up and thrown into a lion enclosure.


1399: King Richard II of England abdicates in favour of Henry Bolingbroke, who led a rebellion of noblemen against him.

1568: John III is proclaimed king of Sweden by the nobility after the deposition of Eric XIV.

1787: Sailing ship Columbia leaves Boston on its first voyage around the world by an American vessel.

1791: Mozart’s opera The Magic Flute premieres in Vienna, Austria.

1846: American Dentist William Morton uses ether as an anaesthetic for the first time on a patient, in his Boston office, while extracting a tooth.

1868: Spain’s Queen Isabella flees to France and is declared deposed.

1934: Babe Ruth’s final game as a Yankee goes zero for three.

1938: Britain, France, Germany and Italy agree at the Munich conference — through the Treaty of Munich signed by Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini, Édouard Daladier and Neville Chamberlain — to force Czechoslovakia to give territory to Germany via the transfer of Czech Sudetenland to that country, while the remaining frontiers of Czechoslovakia are guaranteed. Chamberlain infamously declares, “Peace for our time” on his return to London. Jazz musician Louis Armstrong, at age 37, divorces pianist Lil Armstrong, aged 40, after more than 14 years of marriage.

1942: The Nazis advance in Stalingrad, Russia. Some 990 Russian planes are destroyed against 77 German losses.

1946: Twenty-two Nazi leaders, including Joachim von Ribbentrop and Hermann Goering, are found guilty of war crimes and sentenced to death or prison at the Nuremberg war trials.

1949: The Berlin Airlift, which delivered two million metric tons (2.3 million tons) of food and fuel to West Berliners while circumventing a Soviet blockade, comes to an end.

1950: Radio’s Grand Ole Opry is broadcast on TV for the first time.

1954: The first atomic-powered vessel, the submarine Nautilus, is commissioned by the US Navy.

1955: American actor James Dean dies in a car accident today at the age of 24.

1958: The Soviet Union resumes nuclear testing.

1960: The Flintstones, the first animated sitcom created by Hanna-Barbera, premieres on ABC in the US.

1962: Black American student James Meredith succeeds on his fourth try to register for classes at the University of Mississippi.

1966: The Republic of Botswana gains independence from Britain.

1971: The United States and the Soviet Union sign pacts designed to avoid accidental nuclear war.

1978: Scores of people, mostly civilians, are reported killed around Beirut in renewed fighting between Lebanese Christians and Syrian peacekeeping troops.

1984: An Egyptian court sentences 107 Muslim extremists to prison for attempting to set up an Islamic regime after the 1981 assassination of President Anwar Sadat.

1989: Non-communist Cambodian guerrillas claim the capture of three towns and 10 other positions from government forces.

1990: The Soviet Union and South Korea open full diplomatic relations.

1991: Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide is ousted by the army.

1992: Moscow banks distribute privatisation vouchers as part of a reform programme to turn millions of Russians into capitalists.

1994: Saudi Arabia and five smaller Arab countries announce a partial lifting of their economic boycott of Israel.

1995: Blind Egyptian cleric Sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman and nine other Islamic militants are convicted in New York for a plot to blow up New York City landmarks, including the United Nations.

2000: In his first news conference, Britain’s Prince William criticises a new book about his mother, Diana, Princess of Wales, written by her former private secretary.

2002: The 15 foreign ministers of the European Union vote to allow member nations to sign individual agreements with the United States, giving US soldiers and officials protection from the UN International Criminal Court.

2003: The US Justice Department announces it has begun a criminal investigation into allegations that President George W Bush’s Administration leaked the name of a covert Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) operative to columnist Robert Novak in July.

2004: The Government of Brazil lashes out at reports that it has denied UN inspectors full access to its uranium-enrichment facilities because it wants to hide technology purchased on the nuclear black market.

2005: The Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten prints satiric cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad, provoking violent protests by Muslims worldwide.

2006: A Kurdish guerrilla group, the Kurdistan Workers Party, or PKK, declares a unilateral ceasefire in its more than 20-year fight for autonomy in Turkey’s south-east, but does not immediately give up its weapons.

2008: At least 168 people are killed in a stampede of pilgrims at a Hindu temple in Jodhpur, India.

2009: A powerful earthquake strikes western Indonesia, triggering landslides and trapping thousands under collapsed buildings, including two hospitals.

2010: The Government of Ecuador declares a state of siege after rebellious police, angered by a law that cut their benefits, plunge the small South American nation into chaos, roughing up the president, shutting down airports, and blocking highways in a nationwide strike.

2011: President Barack Obama steers the US military machine into uncharted territory when a US drone attacks a convoy in Yemen and kills two American citizens who had become central figures in al-Qaeda.

2012: A firefight breaks out between US forces and their Afghan army allies in eastern Afghanistan, killing two Americans and three Afghan soldiers and pushing the number of US troops killed in the long-running war to 2,000.

2013: Fourteen car bombs targeting Shiite neighbourhoods in Baghdad leave 54 people dead.

2014: Hong Kong’s leader refuses to meet with pro-democracy demonstrators despite their threats to expand street protests that have posed the stiffest challenge to Beijing’s authority since China took control of the former British colony in 1997.


Jean Perrin, French Nobel Prize-winning physicist (1870-1942); Hans Geiger, German physicist (1882-1945); Deborah Kerr, Scottish actress (1921-2007); Allan Rae, Jamaican former batsman, cricket administrator and attorney-at-law (1922-2005); Truman Capote, US author (1924-1984); Elie Wiesel, Romanian writer (1928-2016); Martina Hingis, Swiss tennis player (1980- ); Eric Stolz, US actor (1961- ); Jenna Elfman, US actress (1971- ); Marion Cotillard, French actress (1975- )

– AP/Jamaica Observer

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