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Events, deaths, births, of APR 28
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[For Apr 28 Julian go to Gregorian date: 1583~1699: May 081700s: May 091800s: May 101900~2099: May 11]
• Mussolini killed... • Mutiny on the Bounty... • Amerindians “agree” to loose their land... • Condamnés à mort par la Révolution... • Cars manufacturers organize... • De Gaulle resigns... • Nixon approves Cambodian incursion... • North Vietnamese offensive... • US invades Dominican Republic... • Crosley minicar... • Ike quits NATO to run for President... • Baader~Meingoff gang leaders sentenced... • Battle of Eluthumadduval... • T. S. Eliot gets job at publisher... • Jim Baker is born... • Tiny processors announced... . • PC Theater... • Slate syndicates for print... • Prominent Argentines die in plane crash... • Racist murders 5 non~Whites...
^  On a 28 April:
NOVN price chart2003 Noven Pharmaceuticals (NOVN) announces that it has received notification from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that the New Drug Application (NDA) for its methylphenidate (the active ingredient in Ritalin) transdermal system (to treat the symptoms of ADHD, attention deficiency hyperactivity disorder) is not approvable at this time. On the NASDAQ, 9 million of the 22.6 million NOVN shares are traded, dropping from their previous close of $14.45 to an intraday low of $8.10 and closing at $8.97. They had traded as low as $7.30 on 31 January 2003, but then, when Noven licensed its anti-ADS patch for world-wide distribution to the British firm Shire, the NOVN shares, from an intraday low of $7.75 on 26 February 2003 had risen to an intraday high of $14.69 on 28 March 2003. Prior to that, they had traded as high as $27.51 on 11 June 2002, and $60.25 on 23 October 2000. [5~year price chart >]

2002 Gross crimes are remembered at the Vienna ceremony of burial of the last remains of at least 789 deformed or mentally handicapped children experimented upon and then killed with large doses of barbiturates from 1940 to 1945 at the Am Spiegelgrund children's clinic, under the Nazis' program to rid the society of "lebensunwertes Leben". Their brains were kept and used for research as late as 1998, helping to make the postwar reputation of a former doctor at the clinic, neurologist Heinrich Gross, now 86, on whom justice has not been done, though the director of the clinic, Dr. Ernst Illing, was hanged as a war criminal in 1946. Two of the children killed (these two at age 4) were Leonhard Opdenberg (in September 1943) and Annemarie Tanner. One rare survivor is Alois Kaufmann who spent three terrifying years at the clinic after being brought there, in 1942 at age 9, by his foster mother who thought he needed mental treatment just because misbehaved at school. Few of the Spiegelgrund children were Jewish (most Austrian Jews who did not flee were sent to death camps). About 4300 handicapped adults and children were killed at the clinic, 3200 others were sent to the death camps.

2001 The US Navy conducts its second day of dummy ammunition practice on its firing range on the Puertorican island of Vieques, with some delays to remove from the range protestors, including personalities, who say that the health of the Vieques inhabitants is endangered. Puertoricans in New York City also demonstrate against the Navy.
1999 The US House of Reprensentatives rejects on a tie vote of 213-213 a measure expressing support for NATO's five-week-old air campaign against Yugoslavia. The House also votes to limit the president's authority to use ground forces in Yugoslavia.
1998 Slate syndicates for print       ^top^
      Slate, Microsoft's online current events magazine, announced it would syndicate its articles to print publications through The New York Times Syndicate. While online publications frequently licensed content to each other, it was unusual to syndicate to print. Slate had started charging readers for content in February 1998, at the same time that Microsoft drastically cut back on its other online content offerings. The magazine had gained twenty thousand subscribers by April.
1997 Tiny processors announced       ^top^
      A San Jose chip-maker announced a major innovation in its semiconductor manufacturing process, the latest example of a trend toward rapidly shrinking microchip circuits. VLSI Technology announced it would begin making chips with circuits just over .2 microns wide. (A micron is one-hundredth the width of a human hair.) The innovation would allow more transistors per chip, making more advanced chips possible for cell phones and other portable electronics.
1997 PC Theater unveiled       ^top^
      Thomas Consumer Electronics and Compaq announce a modified Compaq PC with a 36-inch computer monitor. The new product, called PC Theater, was lauded as a step toward all-digital home electronics. The previous year, Gateway 2000 had introduced the Destination TV, a computer and television with a 31-inch monitor. Despite hype about the convergence of home electronics, "combination devices" showed little sign of taking the market by storm in the late '90s.
1996 US President Clinton gives 4 1/2 hours of videotaped testimony as a defense witness in the criminal trial of his former Whitewater business partners.
1994 Former CIA official Aldrich Ames, who had betrayed US secrets to the Soviet Union and then Russia, pleads guilty to espionage and tax evasion, and is sentenced to life in prison without parole.
1980 US President Carter accepts the resignation of Secretary of State Cyrus Vance, who had opposed the failed rescue mission aimed at freeing American hostages in Iran.
1977 Baader-Meinhof Gang leaders are sentenced       ^top^
      In Stuggart, West Germany, the lengthy trial of the leaders of the Baader-Meinhof Gang, also known as the "Red Army Faction," ended with Andreas Baader and over twenty others being sentenced to life imprisonment for their terrorist activities.
      The Red Army Faction was founded by ultra-left revolutionaries Andreas Baader and Ulrike Meinhof in 1970. Advocating Communist revolution in West Germany, the group employed terrorist tactics against government, military, and corporate leaders in an effort to topple capitalism in their homeland.
      By 1975, most RAF [not Royal Air Force] members, including Andreas Baader and Ulrike Meinhof, were in custody. The same year, Meinhof killed herself and the lengthy trial of Baader and his RAF associates began. During the two-year trial, RAF members still at large continued the Meinhof-Baader Gang’s program of violence and assassination.
      Six months after Baader and the others were sentence to life in prison, Palestinian terrorists, who had close ties with the RAF, hijacked a Lufthansa airliner to Somalia, and called for the release of eleven imprisoned RAF members. On 17 October 1977, after the pilot was killed, a German special forces team stormed the plane in Mogadishu, releasing the captives and killing the hijackers.
      Andreas Baader and other imprisoned leaders responded to the news by immediately committing suicide in their jail cell at Stammheim. Despite the death of its leader, scattered violence committed by Red Army Faction members continued into the 1990s.
1974 Last Americans evacuated from Saigon
^ 1972 North Vietnamese press South Vietnamese at Hue and Kontum.
      The North Vietnamese offensive continues as Fire Base Bastogne, 30 km west of Hue, falls to the communists. Fire Base Birmingham, 4 miles to the east, was also under heavy attack. As fighting intensified all across the northern province of South Vietnam, much of Hue's civilian population tried to escape south to Da Nang. Farther south in the Central Highlands, 20'000 North Vietnamese troops converged on Kontum, encircling it and cutting it off. Only 100 km north of Saigon, An Loc lay under siege and continued to take a pummeling from North Vietnamese artillery, rockets, and ground attacks. To the American command in Saigon, it appeared that South Vietnam was on the verge of total defeat by the North Vietnamese, but the South Vietnamese were able to hold out.
^ 1970 Nixon approves Cambodian incursion.
      President Richard Nixon gives his formal authorization to commit US combat troops, in cooperation with South Vietnamese units, against communist troop sanctuaries in Cambodia. Secretary of State William Rogers and Secretary of Defense Melvin Laird, who had continually argued for a downsizing of the US effort in Vietnam, were excluded from the decision to use US troops in Cambodia. Gen. Earle Wheeler, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, cabled Gen. Creighton Abrams, senior US commander in Saigon, informing him of the decision that a "higher authority has authorized certain military actions to protect US forces operating in South Vietnam." Nixon believed that the operation was necessary as a pre-emptive strike to forestall North Vietnamese attacks from Cambodia into South Vietnam as the US forces withdrew and the South Vietnamese assumed more responsibility for the fighting. Nevertheless, three National Security Council staff members and key aides to presidential assistant Henry Kissinger resigned in protest over what amounted to an invasion of Cambodia. When Nixon publicly announced the Cambodian incursion on 30 April, it set off a wave of antiwar demonstrations. A protest at Kent State University resulted in the killing of four students by Army National Guard troops. Another student rally at Jackson State College in Mississippi resulted in the death of two students and 12 wounded when police opened fire on a women's dormitory. The incursion angered many in Congress, who felt that Nixon was illegally widening the war; this resulted in a series of congressional resolutions and legislative initiatives that would severely limit the executive power of the president.
1969 De Gaulle resigns French presidency.       ^top^
      Following the defeat of his proposals for constitutional reform in a national referendum, Charles de Gaulle resigned as president of France.
      A veteran of World War I, de Gaulle unsuccessfully petitioned his country to modernize its armed forces between the wars. After Philippe Petain and other French leaders signed an armistice with Nazi Germany in June 1940, he fled to London, where he organized the Free French forces and rallied French colonies to the Allied cause. His forces fought successfully in North Africa, and in June 1944, he was named head of the French government in exile.
      On 26 August 1944, following the Allied invasion of France, de Gaulle entered Paris in triumph and in November was unanimously elected provisional president of France. However, he resigned two months later, claiming he lacked sufficient governing power. He formed a new political party that had only moderate electoral success, and in 1953, he retired.
      However, five years later, a military and civilian revolt in Algeria created a political crisis in France, and he was called out of retirement to lead the nation. A new constitution was passed, and in late December, he was elected president of the Fifth Republic. Over the next decade, President de Gaulle granted independence to Algeria and attempted to restore France to its former international stature by withdrawing from the US-dominated NATO alliance and promoting the development of French atomic weapons.
      However, student demonstrations and workers’ strikes in 1968 eroded his popular support, and in 1969, his proposals for further constitutional reform were defeated in a national vote. On 28 April 1969, Charles de Gaulle, seventy-nine years old, retired for good. He died the following year.
1965 US marines invade Dominican Republic, stay until October 1966
^ 1965 US invades Dominican Republic.
      In an effort to forestall what he claims will be a "communist dictatorship" in the Dominican Republic, President Lyndon B. Johnson sends more than 22'000 US troops to restore order on the island nation. They would stay until October 1966. Johnson's action provoked loud protests in Latin America and skepticism among many in the US.
      Troubles in the Dominican Republic began in 1961, when long-time dictator Rafael Trujillo was assassinated. Trujillo had been a brutal leader, but his strong anticommunist stance helped him retain the support of the United States. His death led to the rise of a reformist government headed by Juan Bosch, who was elected president in 1962. The Dominican military, however, despised Bosch and his liberal policies. Bosch was overthrown in 1963. Political chaos gripped the Dominican Republic as various groups, including the increasingly splintered military, struggled for power. By 1965, forces demanding the reinstatement of Bosch began attacks against the military-controlled government.
      In the United States government, fear spread that "another Cuba" was in the making in the Dominican Republic; in fact, many officials strongly suspected that Cuban leader Fidel Castro was behind the violence. On 28 April, more than 22,000 US troops, supported by forces provided by some of the member states of the Organization of American States (a United Nations-like institution for the Western Hemisphere, dominated by the United States) landed in the Dominican Republic. Over the next few weeks they brought an end to the fighting and helped install a conservative, non-military government. President Johnson declared that he had taken action to forestall the establishment of a "communist dictatorship" in the Dominican Republic. As evidence, he provided American reporters with lists of suspected communists in that nation. Even cursory reviews of the list revealed that the evidence was extremely flimsy--some of the people on the list were dead and others could not be considered communists by any stretch of the imagination.
      Many Latin American governments and private individuals and organizations condemned the US invasion of the Dominican Republic as a return to the "gunboat diplomacy" of the early-20th century, when US Marines invaded and occupied a number of Latin American nations on the slightest pretexts. In the United States, politicians and citizens who were already skeptical of Johnson's policy in Vietnam heaped scorn on Johnson's statements about the "communist danger" in the Dominican Republic. Such criticism would become more and more familiar to the Johnson administration as the US became more deeply involved in the war in Vietnam.
^ 1952 Eisenhower leaves NATO to run for President.
      At his own request, General Dwight D. Eisenhower, one of the most highly regarded American generals of World War II, was relieved of his post as supreme commander of the combined land and air forces of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). In 1942, General Eisenhower commanded American forces in Great Britain, in 1943, led the invasions of North Africa and Italy, and in 1944, was appointed supreme commander of the Allied invasion of Western Europe. After the war, he briefly served as president of Columbia University, before returning to military service in 1951 as supreme commander of NATO--a permanent military alliance established in 1949 by the democracies of Western Europe and North America as a safeguard against the threat of Soviet aggression. However, pressure on Eisenhower to run for the US presidency was great, and in April of 1952, he relinquished his NATO command to campaign on the Republican ticket. In November 1952, "Ike" won a resounding victory in the presidential elections, and in 1956, he was reelected by a landslide.
1952 War with Japan officially ends as a treaty that had been signed by the US and 47 other nations takes effect.
1947 A six-man expedition led by Thor Heyerdahl sails from Peru aboard a balsa wood raft, the Kon-Tiki, on a 101-day journey to Polynesia.
1952, war with Japan officially ended as a treaty that had been signed by the United States and 47 other nations took effect.
1944 allocution radiodiffusée de Pétain : "La prétendue libération est le plus trompeur des mirages auxquels vous pourriez être tentés de céder... Grâce à la défense du continent par l'Allemagne..., notre civilisation sera définitivement à l'abri du danger que fait peser sur elle le bolchevisme"
1942 Wartime nightly "dim-out" begins along the US East Coast
1937 first commercial flight across the Pacific, Pan Am
1932 Yellow fever vaccine for humans announced
1925 T.S. Eliot accepts a job at Faber and Faber publishers.
      Poet T.S. Eliot accepts a position as editor at Faber and Faber publishers. The job allows Eliot, who is already recognized as a major poet, to quit his job as a bank clerk at Lloyd's Bank in London. He holds the publishing position until his death, in 1965. Eliot was born in St. Louis, Missouri, to a well-established family. His grandfather had founded Washington University in St. Louis, his father was a businessman, and his mother was involved in local charities. Eliot took an undergraduate degree at Harvard, studied at the Sorbonne, returned to Harvard to study Sanskrit, and then studied at Oxford. After meeting poet and lifelong friend Ezra Pound, Eliot moved permanently to England. In 1915, he married Vivian Haigh-Wood, but the marriage was unhappy, partly due to her mental instability. She died in an institution in 1947.
      Eliot began working at Lloyd's Bank in 1917, writing reviews and essays on the side. He founded a critical quarterly, Criterion, and quietly developed a new brand of poetry. His first major work, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, was published in 1917 and was hailed as the invention of a new kind of poetry. His long, fragmented images and use of blank verse influenced nearly all future poets, as did his masterpiece The Waste Land, published in Criterion and the American review Dial in 1922. While Eliot is best known for revolutionizing modern poetry, his literary criticism and plays were also successful. Eliot lectured in the US frequently in the 1930s and '40s, a time when his own worldview was undergoing rapid change as he converted to Christianity. In 1957, he married his assistant Valerie Fletcher. The couple lived happily until his death, in 1965.
T. S. ELIOT ONLINE: PoemsPoemsPrufrock, and Other ObservationsPrufrock, and Other ObservationsThe Sacred Wood: Essays on Poetry and CriticismThe Waste LandThe Waste Land
^ 1903 Car manufacturers organize
      A group of ten automobile manufacturers, including Cadillac, Northern, Thomas, and Pope, joined the Association of Licensed Automobile Manufacturers (ALAM). Eighteen other firms, including Winton, Pierce-Arrow, and Packard, signed on 05 March. The addition of the ten new companies made the ALAM a nearly comprehensive list of automobile producers intent on protecting their own patent rights and standardizing the industry's production systems. ALAM formed in response to the suits resulting from US Patent No. 549'160, granted to George Selden and referring to his possession of the right to royalties on any hydrocarbon gas engine built for the purpose of propelling road cars and horseless carriages. The patent was seen as ridiculous by some, as Selden never produced a car, but its legitimacy was upheld in federal court, most notably against the likes of the Duryea brothers, Alexander Winton, and Ransom Olds. ALAM was an attempt to organize negotiations with the Electric Vehicle Company, which had purchased the partial rights to Selden's patent.
      On 05 March, thirty automobile manufacturers met to consider Electric Vehicle President George Day's proposal that they form an association of manufacturers licensed to use the Selden patent. The parties eventually agreed that each member of the association would pay 1.25% on each car's catalogue price. One-fifth of the money went directly to Selden, two-fifths to Electric Vehicle, and the remaining two-fifths were paid to the association. After 28 April there were twenty-eight members of ALAM. The Association used its revenue to standardize the production of nuts, bolts, screw threads, spark plugs, etc. The branch also maintained a research laboratory in Hartford, Connecticut. ALAM only lasted until a court ruled in 1911 that Selden's patent applied only to the out-of-date 2-cycle engine that was no longer in use. In spite of its relatively short lifetime, ALAM was the first organization of car manufacturers. It was greatly responsible for the standardization of automobile parts that allowed the industry to grow so quickly and to produce so heavily in the following decades.
1920 Azerbaijan SSR joins the USSR (first time)
1910 first night air flight (Claude Grahame-White, England)
1899 Cameraman G.W. "Billy" Bitzer films Professor Leonidas and his troupe of dogs and cats in the film short Stealing a Dinner, at the Biograph studio at 841 Broadway in New York City. Here is a summary of the film: A man sits at the dinner table, with a row of dogs behind him and a black dog sitting near the table in the foreground. When the master rings a bell for service, a dog enters on her hind legs dressed in a servant's cap and apron. As she hops toward the table, however, a cat jumps upon the surface. The master tosses the cat off the table as the serving dog exits. The man rings the bell again but gets no response, so he takes off his dinner napkin and leaves the stage. Seeing this, the black dog turns and jumps on the table, where he promptly eats his master's dinner. The black dog then grabs the cat in his mouth and places it on the table. As the man returns to the table, he sees his empty plate and the cat crouched nearby. Thus blaming the cat for the stolen dinner, the man first scolds the feline and then draws a pistol aimed at the "thief." When the black dog sees the gun, however, he jumps on the table between the pistol and the cat, begging on his hind legs for the master to spare its life. The man grabs the dog by the collar, dragging him to the floor, and instead shoots the unlucky dog. A large dog--perhaps a Great Dane--in a policeman's uniform enters on his hind legs, grabs the man by the shoulders from behind, and chases him offstage. The other dogs follow in an excited pack.
^ 1897 Whites trick Amerindians out of their land and heritage.
      The Chickasaw and Choctaw, two of the so-called Five Civilized Tribes, become the first to “agree” to abolish tribal government and communal ownership of land. The other tribes soon followed, finally throwing open all of Indian Territory to white settlement. Representatives of the Chickasaw and Choctaw tribes had been negotiating the future of their people with the Dawes Commission since 1893. President Grover Cleveland created the Dawes Commission to realize the goals of the 1887 Dawes Severalty Act. Backers of the Dawes Severalty Act believed Indians would be better able to integrate into mainstream society if they abandoned tribal governments and ownership of land. Instead, every male Indian received a plot of land to own privately. Any tribal land that remained-which in most cases was a substantial amount-would be open to settlement by Anglo-Americans. Most Amerindian tribes were forced to abide by the Dawes Severalty Act regardless of their wishes. However, a treaty from 1830 promised the Five Civilized Tribes living in Oklahoma Indian Territory their land for "as long as the grass grows and water runs," and the Dawes Act did not apply to them. Instead, the Dawes Commission was formed to convince them to adopt its principles voluntarily. At the same time, Congress also threatened to make it harder for the Five Civilized Tribes to maintain their traditional ways of life. The Curtis Act, for example, invalidated the authority of all tribal courts. Recognizing that they had little hope of maintaining their old ways, in 1897, the Choctaws and Chickasaws became the first to agree voluntarily to abandon tribal government and land ownership. By 1902, the other three tribes-the Cherokees, Seminoles, and Creeks-had followed suit. Despite the sincere humanitarian goals of the Dawes Act and Commission, the ultimate effect was to deprive Indians of most of their landholdings. Fraud was rampant, and some Indians either did not know they needed to apply for their private acreage or refused to do so in protest. From 1887 to 1934, Indian landholdings declined from 138 million to 47 million acres. Since the Dawes Act was rescinded in 1934, however, tribal ownership and government have again become legal.
1865 Skirmishes at Princeton, Arkansas on Steele's Camden Expedition.
1863 Siege of Suffolk, Virginia by Confederates continues.
1862 Siege of Yorktown, Virginia continues.
H.M.S. Bounty^ 1789 Mutiny on the H.M.S. Bounty
      In the Pacific Ocean, Fletcher Christian, the first mate on the H.M.S. Bounty, leads a successful mutiny against Captain William Bligh [drawing; right -->] and his supporters.
      The British naval vessel was transporting breadfruit saplings from Tahiti for planting on British colonies in the Caribbean. The voyage was difficult, and ill feelings were rampant, although probably no more than on other long sea voyages of the period.
      However, Captain Bligh’s famous temper pushed his men over the edge, and on 28 April, mutineers under Fletcher Christian capture the vessel, and the captain and eighteen of his crew are set adrift in a small open boat. By remarkable seamanship, they would traveled 5100 km and reached Timor in June, and then be transported back to England.
      Meanwhile, Christian and his men traveled back to Tahiti on the Bounty, and, fearing the British authorities, most elected to flee to a remoter Pacific location. Six Tahitian men and twelve women decided to go with them. The dozen or so mutineers who stayed on Tahiti were eventually captured and court-martialed in England. Three of these men were executed.
      In 1790, the Bounty settled at unpopulated Pitcairn Island, and the mutineers and Tahitians burned the ship and founded a colony. However, the colony suffered through a decade of turmoil and violence, and, by 1800, all the Tahitian and European men were dead, except one, Englishman John Adams.
      Nevertheless, the men had reproduced prolifically with the Tahitian women before their demise by murder and disease, and Pitcairn’s population soon reached a healthy level. John Adams served as leader of the colony until his death in 1829.
      The population of the English-speaking community peaked in 1937, with 233 people living on Pitcairn Island, which became a British possession in 1839. Descendants of the Bounty mutineers and the Tahitians still live on the island today.
William Bligh's Log entry for 28 April 1789 reads... “Just before Sunrise Mr Christian and the Master at Arms... came into my cabin while I was fast asleep, and seizing me tyed my hands with a Cord & threatened instant death if I made the least noise. I however called sufficiently loud to alarm the Officers, who found themselves equally secured by centinels at their doors.- There were three men at my cabin door & two[?] inside. Mr Christian had a Cutlass & the others were armed with Musquets & bayonets. I was now carried on deck in my Shirt, in torture with a severe bandage round my wrists behind my back, where I found no man to rescue me...”
     Three weeks into a journey from Tahiti to the West Indies, the HMS Bounty is seized in a mutiny led by Fletcher Christian, the master's mate. Captain William Bligh and 18 of his loyal supporters were set adrift in a small, open boat, and the Bounty set course for Tubuai south of Tahiti.
Bligh log for 28 April 1789      In December 1787, the Bounty left England for Tahiti in the South Pacific, where it was to collect a cargo of breadfruit saplings to transport to the West Indies. There, the breadfruit would serve as food for slaves. After a 10-month journey, the Bounty arrived in Tahiti in October 1788 and remained there for more than five months. On Tahiti, the crew enjoyed an idyllic life, reveling in the comfortable climate, lush surroundings, and the famous hospitality of the Tahitians. Fletcher Christian fell in love with a Tahitian woman named Mauatua.
      On 04 April 1789, the Bounty departed Tahiti with its store of breadfruit saplings. On 28 April, near the island of Tonga, Christian and 25 petty officers and seamen seized the ship. Bligh, who eventually would fall prey to a total of three mutinies in his career, was an oppressive commander and insulted those under him. By setting him adrift in an overcrowded 7-meter-long boat in the middle of the Pacific, Christian and his conspirators had apparently handed him a death sentence. By remarkable seamanship, however, Bligh and his men reached Timor in the East Indies on 14 June 1789, after a voyage of about 5800 km. Bligh returned to England and soon sailed again to Tahiti, from where he successfully transported breadfruit trees to the West Indies.
      Meanwhile, Christian and his men attempted to establish themselves on the island of Tubuai. Unsuccessful in their colonizing effort, they sailed the Bounty north to Tahiti, and 16 crewmen decided to stay there, despite the risk of capture by British authorities. Christian and eight others, together with six Tahitian men, a dozen Tahitian women, and a child, decided to search the South Pacific for a safe haven. In January 1790, the Bounty settled on Pitcairn Island, an isolated and uninhabited volcanic island more than 1600 km east of Tahiti. The mutineers who remained on Tahiti were captured and taken back to England where three were hanged. A British ship searched for Christian and the others but did not find them.
      In 1808, an American whaling vessel was drawn to Pitcairn by smoke from a cooking fire. The Americans discovered a community of children and women led by John Adams, the sole survivor of the original nine mutineers. According to Adams, after settling on Pitcairn the colonists had stripped and burned the Bounty, and internal strife and sickness had led to the death of Fletcher and all the men but him. In 1825, a British ship arrived and formally granted Adams amnesty, and he served as patriarch of the Pitcairn community until his death in 1829.
      In 1831, the Pitcairn islanders were resettled on Tahiti, but unsatisfied with life there they soon returned to their native island. In 1838, the Pitcairn Islands, which includes three nearby uninhabited islands, was incorporated into the British Empire. By 1855, Pitcairn's population had grown to nearly 200, and the five-square-kilometer island could not sustain its residents. In 1856, the islanders were removed to Norfolk Island, a formal penal colony 6000 km to the west. However, less than two years later, 17 of the islanders returned to Pitcairn, followed by more families in 1864. Today, about 40 persons live on Pitcairn Island, and all but a few are descendants of the Bounty mutineers. About a thousand residents of Norfolk Island (half its population) trace their lineage from Fletcher Christian and the eight other Englishmen.
1788 Maryland becomes the 7th state to ratify the US constitution.
1686 First volume of Isaac Newton's Principia is published.
1635 Virginia Governor John Harvey accused of treason and removed from office.
< 27 Apr 29 Apr >
^  Deaths which occurred on a 28 April:

2007 Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker [28 Jun 1912–], German physicist and philosopher, last survivor of the research team which tried and failed to develop a nuclear weapon in Nazi Germany during WW II. He the son of the German diplomat Ernst von Weizsäcker [25 May 1882 – 04 Aug 1951], and the elder brother of the German President (01 Jul 1984 - 30 Jun 1994) Richard von Weizsäcker [15 Apr 1920~], and father of the physicist and politician Ernst Ulrich von Weizsäcker [25 Jun 1939~], and father-in-law of Konrad Raiser [25 Jan 1938~], General Secretary of the World Council of Churches (1992-2004). —(070504)
2006 Some 400 bottlenose dolphins wash up dead along a 4km stretch of the touristic coast between Kendwa and Nungwi in the north of Tanzania.. — (060429)
2005 Mario Giovanni Centobie, 39, by lethal injection in Alabama, for the 27 June 1998 murder of Moody policeman Keith Turner, 29, during a two-state crime spree that followed Centobie's escape from a prison in his native Mississippi. .
2005 A US soldier, by a roadside bomb in Hawija, Iraq, late in the evening. Four US soldiers are wounded. This bring to 1572 the AP's body count of US soldiers killed in the Iraq war started in March 2003. The body count of Iraqis, whether pro or anti US or merely innocent bystanders, is not given any publicity.
2005 At least 37 people, by floods in western areas of Jeddah and Assir, Saudi Arabia.
2004 Three policemen, two soldiers, and some 120 attackers of security posts in Pattani, Yala, and Narathiwat, Thailand's only Muslim majority provinces. The attackers, organized in groups of up to 20, are mostly teenagers armed with no more than machetes, intent on stealing weapons, as was done successfully on 04 January 2004 by the Pattani Islamic Mujahedeen at a military camp in Narathiwat province, where four soldiers were killed and nearly 400 guns stolen. But this time the authorities had been tipped off. The attacks start before dawn and the fighting continues during 8 hours, and ended when, at one site in Pattani, police fires tear gas and rocket-propelled grenades into a mosque, killing 32 militants who had fled there. In all, 17 attackers are arrested. Muslims in the region have long complained that Thailand's Buddhist majority subjects them to discrimination in jobs and education, and that the state schools teach in Thai language instead of the Muslims' Yawi, a dialect of Malay. The decades-old separatist struggle subsided after an amnesty in the late 1980s but is resuming now. The Thai military also crushed unrelated pro-democracy uprisings in 1973, 1976 and 1991, killing dozens.
2003 Walter Reid Morrill, 78, of arsenic poisoning, having drunk coffee the previous day at a church council meeting at the Gustaf Adolph Lutheran Church in New Sweden, Maine, of which he was the caretaker. 15 other persons who drank the coffee are sick with arsenic poisoning. Another member of the church, Daniel Bondeson, 53, would commit suicide on 02 May 2003.
2002 Gordon R. Willey, 89, US archaeologist of Pre-Columbian America (SW US, Mayan Central America, Viru Valley of Peru). Author of such scholarly works as Archeology of the Florida Gulf Coast (1949), and of archeological mystery novels starting with Selena.
2002 Alexandr I. Lebed and 6 others among the 19 aboard helicopter that hits a power line and crashes south of Abakan in the Krasnoyarsk oblast of Siberia. A Cossack born on 20 April 1950, Lebed embarked on a military career in 1970, becoming a major-general in 1990. Though contemptuous of democracy, he refused to kill Russians in support of the August 1991 hard-line coup against Gorbachev. In 1995, Lebed retired from the military and was elected to the Duma in December 1995. In the 1996 presidential elections he got 15% of the vote, behind Communist Gennady Zyuganov and winner Yeltsin. Yeltsin made Lebed head of his presidential security council and fired him after 4 four months, but not before Lebed had negotiated an end to Russia's first war (1994-1996) with separatist Chechnya. Later Lebed founding the non-governmental organization Peacekeeping Mission in the North Caucasus, which negotiated freedom for hostages. In May 1998, Lebed was elected governor of Krasnoyarsk.
2002 Seven persons by a terrorist bomb in a market in Vladikavkaz, capital of North Ossetia. In November 2001 five people died in an explosion in the same city. Russian authorities, as usual, blamed separatist guerrillas from nearby Chechnya..
2002 Twelve Maoist rebels killed by Nepalese government forces, 11 in a guerilla training camp in the Banke district, and one in the village Parbat.
2002 Fourteen Christians massacred in mainly Christian village Soya on outskirts of Ambon, Indonesia, by a dozen assailants in black masks, presumably from militant Islamic group Laskar Jihad, which, on 26 April, rejected the February 2002 peace agreement meant to end three years of Muslim vs. Christian fighting in the area, which has left 9000 dead. Six of the Soya dead, including a 6-month-old baby, were stabbed, six others died in some of the 30 homes set on fire, two were shot.
^ 2001: Some 350 or 500 combatants in 3-day battle of Eluthumadduval.
     Tamil Tiger guerrillas drive Sri Lankan government troops out of newly captured territory in a battle that left hundreds dead, in Eluthumadduval, 29 km east of Jaffna city, with heavy l shelling and mortar fire. T he Sri Lankan air force's jets continue to attack the rebels.
      According to the government, three days of fighting left 157 soldiers dead and 860 wounded, 190 rebels dead and more than 400 injured. But the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam say that only 75 guerrillas died and the government lost more than 400 soldiers dead and 2000 wounded. The government bars journalists from visiting the war zone.
      On 26 April, the attacked, captured 8 square kilometers of territory and drove the rebels south toward strategic Elephant Pass.
      The rebels have been fighting since 1983 for an independent Tamil homeland in the north and east, claiming discrimination by the majority Sinhalese government. The battle was part of a major government offensive launched after the Tamil Tigers ended a four-month-old cease-fire in the evening of 24 April.
     Despite the heavy fighting, President Chandrika Kumaratunga says that she is still committed to peace talks with the LTTE to end the 17-year civil war that has claimed the lives of more than 63'000 people. But Veerasingham Anandasangaree, vice president of the Tamil United Liberation Front, says that it is stupid to consider peace talks while the government attacks.
      Norway has been trying for the previous two years to start face-to-face negotiations between the warring sides. Talks broke off more than five years ago.
2001 Eymad Karakeh, 34, shot by Israeli soldiers as he was traveling in his car in Bethlehem, West Bank. Karakeh's 5-year-old son, who was traveling with him, was shot in the eye. Karakeh, a Palestinian activist from Arafat's Fatah party, had been wanted by Israel for his alleged involvement in Palestinian attacks. This brings the al-Aqsa intifada body count to 420 Palestinians and 71 Israelis.
2001 Shlomo Almakeis, 20, Israeli sergeant, shot at the Umm al-Fahm junction as he made his way back to Netanya. The incident occured on the road connecting Afula and Hadera through Wadi Ara, at about 22:00, when the vehicle driven by Almakeis stopped at a traffic light at the Umm al-Fahm junction. A car stopped to the left of the vehicle in which Almakeis, his girl friend, Adi Mizrahi, 17, and three others were riding. The passengers of the car exchanged a number of words with Almakeis, and then he was shot. The gunmen then sped into Umm al-Fahm.
2001 Eight members of the Macedonian elite unit "Wolves," by mortars and rocket-propelled grenades fired at their patrol from the village of Vejce near the town of Tetovo, just outside Kosovo, at about 12:00, by ethnic Albanian militants.
2001 Agostino Rocca, Germán Sopena, José Luis Fonrouge with his wife and daughter, 4 other passengers, and the pilot of a Cessna plane which crashes in Argentina.
     A small plane crashed in rugged farm country in southern Argentina on Saturday, killing all 10 people aboard, including the president of the multinational Techint construction group and the managing editor of a prominent Argentine newspaper.
     The 15-seat Cessna plane, carrying nine passengers and a pilot, left an airfield north of the capital early in the day and plummeted into rugged farming and cattle-grazing terrain in Buenos Aires province at about 06:15. The plane was bound for El Calafate, about 2000 km south of Buenos Aires, near the border with Chile. The plane crashed on a ranch near the town of Roque Perez, about 200 km southwest of Buenos Aires. The group was heading to a weekend outing in Patagonia's Santa Cruz province.
     Agostino Rocca, 55, was president and chief executive officer of the Buenos Aires-based contraction and engineering group. Rocca, one of Argentina's most influential business leaders, was the eldest of three brothers whose grandfather in 1945 founded the steelmaking concern Techint, which evolved into a multinational giant with interests in Latin America, Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Techint, with roots both in Buenos Aires and Milan, Italy, employs about 50'000 persons in 100 businesses in at least 27 countries.
      Techint subsidiaries specialize in engineering and construction for industrial, petrochemical and power plants. They also supply many products and equipment for the steel, rubber, plastics and automative glassmaking industries. Among its subsidiaries is Siderar, a world leader in seamless steel tubing for industry. In Argentina, the holding group also has petroleum, gas and telecommunications concerns. Rocca, who had studied in Europe and at Cornell University in the US, assumed the presidency of Techint in 1993 and managed its many business operations.
      German Sopena, 54, was the chief managing editor of La Nación, a Buenos Aires daily. Sopena was an award-winning journalist who in April 1999 was named chief managing editor of La Nación in April 1999. He previously served as chief of the newspaper's economics section and had won prizes for writings on politics and economic affairs. Like Rocca, Sopena was an avid mountain climber and enjoyed trekking in the Patagonia wilds in southern Argentina.
      José Luis Fonrouge was the director of national parks.
^ 2000 Five non-Whites, by racist Baumhammers, in a shooting rampage in suburban Pittsburgh.
      Unemployed immigration lawyer Richard Scott Baumhammers, 34, who is White, selects his victims because of their ethnic backgrounds. his Jewish neighbor, two Asian men, an Indian man and a Black man. Another man of Indian descent is critically wounded by Baumhammers as he drives from place to place in his black Jeep. Baumhammers is mentally ill but he is deliberate and selective in picking victims, avoiding attention, and eluding police. Baumhammers read racist and anti-immigration literature and saw Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh and Adolf Hitler as heroes. He wanted others to help him fight against non-white immigration and finally decided to take matters into his own hands.
     On 11 May 2001, Baumhammers would be sentenced to death by a Pennsylvania jury, becoming the 241st person on Pennsylvania's death row. As of that date, three people have been executed in Pennsylvania since 1995.
1996: 35 persons, by a man armed with a semiautomatic rifle who shoots at tourists in Tasmania. He is captured by police after a 12-hour standoff at a guest cottage.
1995: 101 in Taegu, South Korea, as a gas line explodes in the middle of an intersection crowded with morning traffic.
1988 A flight attendant, as part of the roof of an Aloha Airlines Boeing 737 peeled back during a flight from Hilo to Honolulu. 61 are injured.
1986 First victims of Chernobyl, USSR site of world's worst nuclear power plant disaster.
1975 Hans Arnold Heilbronn, Jewish German Canadian mathematician born on 08 October 1908.
1968: 4-year-old strangled by 11 year-old Mary Bell.
1962 Gianna Beretta Molla [04 Oct 1922–], Italian pediatrician, who refused both an abortion and a hysterectomy when she was pregnant with her fourth child Gianna Emanuela Molla [21 Oct 1962~], despite warnings that continuing with the pregnancy could result in her death, which it did, after the birth of the healthy baby, who would grow up to be a physician and would be present at the canonization of her mother on 16 May 2004. Gianna Beretta received a good Christian education from her excellent parents. During the years of her secondary and university education she performed apostolic service among the youth of Catholic Action and charitable work among the elderly and needy as a member of the St. Vincent de Paul Society. After earning degrees in Medicine and Surgery from the University of Pavia in 1949, she opened a medical clinic in 1950. She specialized in Pediatrics at the University of Milan in 1952 and thereafter gave special attention to mothers, babies, the elderly, and the poor. She practiced medicine as a “mission” and at the same time increased her service to Catholic Action, especially among the “very young”. Through her prayers and those of others, she got to know that her vocation was marriage. She married Pietro Molla on 24 September. In November 1956 she became the mother of Pierluigi, in December 1957 of Mariolina; in July 1959 of Laura. In September 1961 towards the end of the second month of pregnancy, she had developed a painful fibroma in her uterus. Before the required surgical operation, and conscious of the risk that her continued pregnancy brought, she pleaded with the surgeon to save the life of the child she was carrying. The life was saved. A few days before the child was due, she said “If you must decided between me and the child, do not hesitate: choose the child - I insist on it. Save him”. Gianna Emanuela was born by Caesarean section. But on 28 April 1962, amid unspeakable pain and after repeated exclamations of “Jesus, I love you.”, the mother died. —(081027)
1955 Stephanie Bryan, 14, abducted and murdered by Burton Abbott , in Berkeley, California. Abbott would be executed in the gas chamber at 11:15 on 14 March 1957.
^ 1945 Benito Amilcare Andrea Mussolini, and Clara Petacci, both shot by Italian partisans.
      On this day in 1945, "Il Duce," Benito Mussolini [29 Jul 1883–], and his mistress, Clara Petacci [28 February 1912–], are shot by Italian partisans who had captured the couple as they attempted to flee to Switzerland.
      The deposed former dictator of Italy was established by his German allies as the figurehead of a puppet government in northern Italy during the German occupation toward the close of the war. As the Allies fought their way up the Italian peninsula, defeat of the Axis powers all but certain, Mussolini considered his options. Not wanting to fall into the hands of either British or US troops, and knowing that the Communist partisans, who had been fighting the remnants of roving Italian fascist soldiers and thugs in the north, would try him as a war criminal, he settled on escape to a neutral country.
      He and his mistress made it to the Swiss border, only to discover that the guards had crossed over to the partisan side. Knowing they would not let him pass, he disguised himself in a Luftwaffe coat and helmet, hoping to slip into Austria with some German soldiers. But he and Petacci were discovered by partisans and shot, their bodies then transported by truck to Milan, where they were hung upside down and displayed publicly for revilement by the masses.
     Mussolini was the first child of the local blacksmith in Predappio, Italy. In later years he expressed pride in his humble origins and often spoke of himself as a “man of the people.” The Mussolini family was, in fact, less humble than he claimed—his father, a part-time socialist journalist as well as a blacksmith, was the son of a lieutenant in the National Guard, and his mother was a schoolteacher—but the Mussolinis were certainly poor. They lived in two crowded rooms on the second floor of a small, decrepit palazzo; and, because Mussolini's father spent much of his time discussing politics in taverns and most of his money on his mistress, the meals that his three children ate were often meager.
      A restless child, Mussolini was disobedient, unruly, and aggressive. He was a bully at school and moody at home. Because the teachers at the village school could not control him, he was sent to board with the strict Salesian order at Faenza, where he proved himself more troublesome than ever, stabbing a fellow pupil with a penknife and attacking one of the Salesians who had attempted to beat him. He was expelled and sent to the Giosuè Carducci School at Forlimpopoli, from which he was also expelled after assaulting yet another pupil with his penknife.
      He was also intelligent, and he passed his final examinations without difficulty. He obtained a teaching diploma and for a time worked as a schoolmaster but soon realized that he was totally unsuited for such work. At the age of 19, a short, pale young man with a powerful jaw and enormous, dark, piercing eyes, he left Italy for Switzerland with a nickel medallion of Karl Marx in his otherwise empty pockets. For the next few months, according to his own account, he lived from day to day, jumping from job to job.
      At the same time, however, he was gaining a reputation as a young man of strange magnetism and remarkable rhetorical talents. He read widely and voraciously, if not deeply, the writings of philosophers and theorists Immanuel Kant [22 Apr 1724 – 20 Feb 1804], Benedict de Spinoza [24 Nov 1632 – 21 Feb 1677], Peter Kropotkin [21 Dec 1842 – 08 Feb 1921], Friedrich Nietzsche [15 Oct 1744 – 25 Aug 1900], G.W.F. Hegel [27 Aug 1770 – 14 Nov 1831], Karl Kautsky [16 Oct 1854 – 17 Oct 1938], and Georges Sorel [02 Nov 1837 – 30 Aug 1922], picking out what appealed to him and discarding the rest, forming no coherent political philosophy of his own yet impressing his companions as a potential revolutionary of uncommon personality and striking presence. While earning a reputation as a political journalist and public speaker, he produced propaganda for a trade union, proposing a strike and advocating violence as a means of enforcing demands. Repeatedly, he called for a day of vengeance. More than once he was arrested and imprisoned. When he returned to Italy in 1904, even the Roman newspapers had started to mention his name.
      For some time after his return little was heard of him. He once more became a schoolmaster, this time in the Venetian Alps, north of Udine, where he lived, so he confessed, a life of “moral deterioration.” But soon tiring of so wasteful a life, he returned to trade-union work, to journalism, and to extreme politics, which led yet again to arrest and imprisonment.
      During a period of freedom in 1909, he fell in love with 16-year-old Rachele Guidi, the younger of the two daughters of his father's widowed mistress; she went to live with him in a damp, cramped apartment in Forlì and later married him. Soon after the marriage, Mussolini was imprisoned for the fifth time; but by then Comrade Mussolini had become recognized as one of the most gifted and dangerous of Italy's younger socialists. After writing in a wide variety of socialist papers, he founded a newspaper of his own, La Lotta di Classe. So successful was this paper that in 1912 he was appointed editor of the official Socialist newspaper, Avanti!, whose circulation he soon doubled; and as its antimilitarist, antinationalist, and anti-imperialist editor, he thunderously opposed Italy's intervention in World War I. Soon, however, he changed his mind about intervention. Swayed by Karl Marx's aphorism that social revolution usually follows war and persuaded that “the defeat of France would be a deathblow to liberty in Europe,” he began writing articles and making speeches as violently in favor of war as those in which he previously had condemned it. He resigned from Avanti! and was expelled from the Socialist Party. Financed by a publisher who favored war against Austria, he assumed the editorship of Il Popolo d'Italia, in which he unequivocally stated his new philosophy: “From today onward we are all Italians and nothing but Italians. Now that steel has met steel, one single cry comes from our hearts—Viva l'Italia! It was the birth cry of fascism. Mussolini went to fight in the war.
      Wounded while serving with the bersaglieri (a corps of sharpshooters), he returned home a convinced antisocialist and a man with a sense of destiny. As early as February 1918, he advocated the emergence of a dictator—“a man who is ruthless and energetic enough to make a clean sweep”—to confront the economic and political crisis then gripping Italy. Three months later, in a widely reported speech in Bologna, he hinted that he himself might prove to be such a man. The following year the nucleus of a party prepared to support his ambitious idea was formed in Milan. In an office in Piazza San Sepolcro, about 200 assorted republicans,anarchists, syndicalists, discontented socialists, restless revolutionaries, and discharged soldiers met to discuss the establishment of a new force in Italian politics. Mussolini called this force the fasci di combattimento, groups of fighters bound together by ties as close as those that secured the fasces of the lictors—the symbols of ancient Roman authority. So fascism was created and its symbol devised.
      At rallies, surrounded by supporters wearing black shirts, Mussolini caught the imagination of the crowds. His physique was impressive, and his style of oratory, staccato and repetitive, was superb. His attitudes were highly theatrical, his opinions were contradictory, his facts were often wrong, and his attacks were frequently malicious and misdirected; but his words were so dramatic, his metaphors so apt and striking, his vigorous, repetitive gestures so extraordinarily effective, that he rarely failed to impose his mood.
      Fascist squads, militias inspired by Mussolini but often created by local leaders, swept through the countryside of the Po Valley and the Puglian plains, rounded up Socialists, burned down union and party offices, and terrorized the local population. Hundreds of radicals were humiliated, beaten, or killed. In late 1920, the Black shirt squads, often with the direct help of landowners, began to attack local government institutions and prevent left-wing administrations from taking power. Mussolini encouraged the squads—although he soon tried to control them—and organized similar raids in and around Milan. By late 1921, the Fascists controlled large parts of Italy, and the left, in part because of its failures during the postwar years, had all but collapsed. The government, dominated by middle-class Liberals, did little to combat this lawlessness, both through weak political will and a desire to see the mainly working-class left defeated. As the Fascist movement built a broad base of support around the powerful ideas of nationalism and anti-Bolshevism, Mussolini began planning to seize power at the national level.
      In the summer of 1922, Mussolini's opportunity presented itself. The remnants of the trade-union movement called a general strike. Mussolini declared that unless the government prevented the strike, the Fascists would. Fascist volunteers, in fact, helped to defeat the strike and thus advanced the Fascist claim to power. At a gathering of 40'000 Fascists in Naples on 24 October 1922, Mussolini threatened, “Either the government will be given to us, or we will seize it by marching on Rome.” Responding to his oratory the assembled Fascists excitedly took up the cry, shouting in unison “Roma! Roma! Roma!” All appeared eager to march. Later that day, Mussolini and other leading Fascists decided that four days later the Fascist militia would advance on Rome in converging columns led by four leading party members later to be known as the Quadrumviri. Mussolini was not one of the four.
      He was still hoping for a political compromise, and he refused to move before King Victor Emmanuel III [11 Nov 1869 – 28 Dec 1947] summoned him in writing. Meanwhile, all over Italy the Fascists prepared for action, and the March on Rome began. Although it was far less orderly than Fascist propaganda later suggested, it was sufficiently threatening to bring down the government. And the king, prepared to accept the Fascist alternative, dispatched the telegram for which Mussolini had been waiting.
     Mussolini's obvious pride in his achievement at becoming on 31 October 1922 the youngest prime minister in Italian history was not misplaced. He had certainly been aided by a favorable combination of circumstances, both political and economic; but his remarkable and sudden success also owed something to his own personality, to native instinct and shrewd calculation, to astute opportunism, and to his unique gifts as an agitator. Anxious to demonstrate that he was not merely the leader of fascism but also the head of a united Italy, he presented to the king a list of ministers, a majority of whom were not members of his party.He made it clear, however, that he intended to govern authoritatively. He obtained full dictatorial powers for a year; and in that year he pushed through a law that enabled the Fascists to cement a majority in the parliament. The elections in 1924, though undoubtedly fraudulent, secured his personal power.
      Many Italians, especially among the middle class, welcomed his authority. They were tired of strikes and riots, responsive to the flamboyant techniques and medieval trappings of fascism, and ready to submit to dictatorship, provided the national economy was stabilized and their country restored to its dignity. Mussolini seemed to them the one man capable of bringing order out of chaos. Soon a kind of order had been restored, and the Fascists inaugurated ambitious programs of public works. The costs of this order were, however, enormous. Italy's fragile democratic system was abolished in favor of a one-party state. Opposition parties, trade unions, and the free press were outlawed. Free speech was crushed. A network of spies and secret policemen watched over the population. This repression hit moderate Liberals and Catholics as well as Socialists. Mussolini's henchmen kidnapped and murdered the Socialist deputy Giacomo Matteotti [22 May 1885 – 10 Jun 1924], who had become one of fascism's most effective critics in parliament. The Matteotti crisis shook Mussolini, but he managed to maintain his hold on power.
      Mussolini was hailed as a genius and a superman by public figures worldwide. His achievements were considered little less than miraculous. He had transformed and reinvigorated his divided and demoralized country; he had carried out his social reforms and public works without losing the support of the industrialists and landowners; he had even succeeded in coming to terms with the papacy. The reality, however, was far less rosy than the propaganda made it appear. Social divisions remained enormous, and little was done to address the deep-rooted structural problems of the Italian state and economy.
     Mussolini might have remained a hero until a natural death had not his callous xenophobia and arrogance, his misapprehension of Italy's fundamental necessities, and his dreams of empire led him to seek foreign conquests. His eye rested first upon Ethiopia, which, after 10 months of preparations, rumors, threats, and hesitations, Italy invaded in October 1935. A brutal campaign of colonial conquest followed, in which the Italians dropped tons of gas bombs upon the Ethiopian people. Europe expressed its horror; but, having done so, did no more. The League of Nations imposed sanctions but ensured that the list of prohibited exports did not include any, such as oil, that might provoke a European war. If the League had imposed oil sanctions, Mussolini said, he would have had to withdraw from Ethiopia within a week. But he faced no such problem, and on the night of 09 May 1936, he announced to an enormous, expectant crowd of about 400'000 people standing shoulder to shoulder around Piazza Venezia in Rome that “in the 14th year of the Fascist era” a great event had been accomplished: Italy had its empire. This moment probably marked the peak of public support for the regime.
      Italy had also found a new ally. Intent upon his own imperial ambitions in Austria, Adolf Hitler [20 Apr 1889 – 30 Apr 1945] had actively encouraged Mussolini's African adventure, and under Hitler's guidance Germany had been the one powerful country in western Europe that had not turned against Mussolini. The way was now open for the Pact of Steel, a Rome-Berlin Axis and a brutal alliance between Hitler and Mussolini that was to ruin them both. In 1938, following the German example, Mussolini's government passed shameful anti-Semitic laws in Italy that discriminated against Jews in all sectors of public and private life and prepared the way for the deportation of some 20% of Italy's Jews to German death camps during the war.
      While Mussolini understood that peace was essential to Italy's well-being, that a long war might prove disastrous, and that he must not “march blindly with the Germans,” he was beset by concerns that the Germans “might do good business cheaply” and that by not intervening on their side in World War II he would lose his “part of the booty.” His foreign secretary and son-in-law, Galeazzo Ciano conte di Cortellazzo [18 Mar 1903 – 11 Jan 1944], recorded that during a long, inconclusive discussion at the Palazzo Venezia, Mussolini at first agreed that Italy must not go to war, “then he said that honor compelled him to march with Germany.”
      Mussolini watched the progress of Hitler's war with bitterness and alarm, becoming more and more bellicose with each fresh German victory, while frequently expressing hope that the Germans would be slowed down or would meet with some reverse that would satisfy his personal envy and give Italy breathing space. When Germany advanced westward, however, and France seemed on the verge of collapse, Mussolini felt he could delay no longer. So, on 10 June 1940, the shameful declaration of war was made.
      From the beginning the war went badly for Italy, and Mussolini's opportunistic hopes for a quick victory soon dissolved. France surrendered before there was an opportunity for even a token Italian victory, and Mussolini left for a meeting with Hitler, sadly aware, as Ciano put it, that his opinion had “only a consultative value.” Indeed, from then on Mussolini was obliged to face the fact that he was the junior partner in the Axis alliance. The Germans kept the details of most of their military plans concealed, presenting their allies with a fait accompli for fear that prior discussion would destroy surprise. And thus the Germans made such moves as the occupation of Romania and the later invasion of the Soviet Union without any advance notice to Mussolini.
      It was to “pay back Hitler in his own coin,” as Mussolini openly admitted, that he decided to attack Greece through Albania in 1940 without informing the Germans. The result was an extensive and ignominious defeat, and the Germans were forced unwillingly to extricate him from its consequences. The 1941 campaign to support the German invasion of the Soviet Union also failed disastrously and condemned thousands of ill-equipped Italian troops to a nightmarish winter retreat. Hitler had to come to his ally's help once again in North Africa. After the Italian surrender in North Africa in 1943, the Germans began to take precautions against a likely Italian collapse. Mussolini had grossly exaggerated the extent of public support for his regime and for the war. When the Western Allies successfully invaded Sicily in July 1943, it was obvious that collapse was imminent.
      For some time Italian Fascists and non-Fascists alike had been preparing Mussolini's downfall. On 24 July 1943, at a meeting of the Fascist Grand Council—the supreme constitutional authority of the state, which had not met once since the war began—an overwhelming majority passed a resolution that in effect dismissed Mussolini from office. Disregarding the vote as a matter of little concern and refusing to admit that his minions could harm him, Mussolini appeared at his office the next morning as though nothing had happened. That afternoon, however, he was arrested by royal command on the steps of the Villa Savoia after an audience with the king.
      Imprisoned first on the island of Ponza, then on a remoter island off the coast of Sardinia, he was eventually transported to a hotel high on the Gran Sasso d'Italia in the mountains of Abruzzi, from which his rescue by the Germans was deemed impossible. Nevertheless, by crash-landing gliders on the slopes behind the hotel, German commandos on 12 September 1943, effected his escape by air to Munich.
      Rather than allow the Germans to occupy and govern Italy entirely in their own interests, Mussolini agreed to Hitler's suggestion that he establish a new Fascist government in the north and execute those members of the Grand Council, including his son-in-law, Ciano, who had dared to vote against him. But the Repubblica Sociale Italiana thus established at Salò was, as Mussolini himself grimly admitted to visitors, no more than a puppet government at the mercy of the German command. And there, living in dreams and “thinking only of history and how he would appear in it,” as one of his ministers said, Mussolini awaited the inevitable end. Meanwhile, Italian Fascists maintained their alliance with the Germans and participated in deportations, the torture of suspected partisans, and the war against the Allies.
      As German defenses in Italy collapsed and the Allies advanced rapidly northward, the Italian Communists of the partisan leadership decided to execute Mussolini. Rejecting the advice of various advisers, including the elder of his two surviving sons (his second son had been killed in the war), Mussolini refused to consider flying out of the country, and he made for the Valtellina, intending perhaps to make a final stand in the mountains; but only a handful of men could be found to follow him. He tried to cross the frontier disguised as a German soldier in a convoy of trucks retreating toward Innsbruck, in Austria. But he was recognized and, together with his mistress, Claretta Petacci, who had insisted on remaining with him to the end, he was shot and killed on 28 April 1945. Their bodies were hung, head downward, in the Piazza Loreto in Milan. Huge, jubilant crowds celebrated the fall of the dictator and the end of the war. The great mass of the Italian people greeted Mussolini's death without regret. He had lived beyond his time and had dragged his country into a disastrous war, which it was unwilling and unready to fight. Democracy was restored in the country after 20 years of dictatorship, and a neo-fascist party that carried on Mussolini's ideals won only 2% of the vote in the 1948 elections.
      Mussolini's granddaughter Alessandra Mussolini [30 Dec 1962~] would join in 1992 the neo-fascist party Movimento Sociale (which since changed its name to Alleanza Nazionale) and then be elected to the Italian parliament. But later Alleanza Nazionale changed direction. Incensed that party leader Gianfranco Fini had said that fascism was “an absolute evil”, Alessandra Mussolini would resign from that party on 28 November 2003, saying that her reason is “E' stata sancita una incompatibilità e un pregiudizio non tanto con le mie posizioni politiche, ma con il cognome che porto.”
1927 John Reinhard Weguelin, British painter of genre, classical, biblical and historical subjects, born on 23 June 1849. — MORE ON WEGUELIN AT ART “4” JUNE with links to images.
DEF is the Simson Line1915 Salvador Viniegra y Lasso, Spanish artist born on 23 November 1862. — more with link to an image.
1905 Arthur Fitzwilliam Tait, English US painter born on 05 August 1819, specialized in Animals. — MORE ON TAIT AT ART “4” APRIL with links to images.
1903 Josiah Willard Gibbs, Connecticut mathematical physicist born on 11 February 1839. He is best-known for the Gibbs Effect seen when Fourier-analyzing a discontinuous function.
1883 Jules-Adolphe Goupil, French painter born on 07 May 1839. — links to images.

1843 William Wallace, Scottish mathematician and astronomer born on 23 September 1768. He worked on geometry and in 1799 discovered the so-called Simson Line of a triangle [diagram >], which is the straight line (DEF in the diagram) on which are the feet of the perpendiculars to the three sides of a triangle from any point P on the circle circumscribed to the triangle [a proof]. Wallace invented the pantograph. He is the author of A New Book of Interest containing Aliquot Tables and Geometrical Theorems and Analytical Formulae.
1825 Gerrit Jan van Leeuwen, Dutch artist born on 29 June 1756.

1807 Jacob Philippe Hackert, German painter born on 15 September 1737, specialized in Landscapes. — MORE ON HACKERT AT ART “4” SEPTEMBER with links to images.
^ 1794 (9 floréal an II) Condamnés à mort par la Révolution:
Par le tribunal révolutionnaire de Paris, comme contre-révolutionnaires (sauf autre indication):
ANGRAN Denis François (dit d'Alleray), âgé de 69 ans, ex-noble, ci-devant lieutenant civil du Châtelet de Paris.
BRAVARD-DEISSAC Jean Louis (dit Duprat), domicilié à Bussey, canton de cusset (Allier).
DEVERYLE Paul Louis, âgé de 50 ans, natif de Chatillon-Laidan, ex noble, domicilié à Garneraux (Ain).
FARGEON Louise Ant. veuve Bussy, ex comtesse, âgée de 68 ans, née et domiciliée à Montpellier (Hérault).
GABET ou GALLET Jean Marie Angélique, âgé de 34 ans, né à Lyon (Rhône, membre du tribunal de Trévoux, domicilié à Trévoux (Ain).
GRANGIER-LAFERRIERE Charles, général de brigade, âgé de 56 ans, né et domicilié à Pont-au-Château (Loire Inférieure).
HUMBERT Charles Hyacinthe, ex sous lieutenant au 47 régiment, âgé de 28 ans, natif de Commercy (Meurthe), domicilié à Tonnoy ou Ronoy, même département.
JOCAILLE Jacques Joseph, âgé de 50 ans, fabricant de linon et de toile, né et domicilié à St Hilaire (Nord)
JORAILLE Jacques Joseph (dit St Hilaire), ex noble, domicilié à Cambray (Nord) . [le même que le précédent?]
LATOUR-DUPIN-GOUVERNAY Philippe Antoine Victor, âgé de 72 ans, natif de Fonvent dans la ci-devant Champagne, ancien lieutenant général des armées, ancien ministre de la guerre, domicilié à Auteuil.
LATOUR-DUPIN Jean Frédéric, ex ministre de la Guerre, ancien lieutenant des armées, âgé de 66 ans, natif de Grenoble (Isère) domicilié à Auteuil.
LEMELTIER Claude, chirurgien, âgé de 37 ans, né à Lyon (Rhône) domicilié à Trévoux (Ain).
MARTIN Pierre, âgé de 35 ans, cuisinier, né et domicilié à Orléans (Loiret), comme contre-révolutionnaire, rentré en France après les lois sur les émigrés, et agent de la faction de l'étranger, notamment du nommé Boyd, banquier.
PICHARD François Jean (dit Dupage), ci-devant, homme de loi, ex procureur général syndic du (Vendée), âgé de 44 ans, né à Fontenay-le-Peuple, même département, comme convaincu d'avoir été un des principaux auteurs de la guerre de la Vendée.
TOURET Magdeleine, âgée de 31 ans, née et domiciliée à Moulins (Allier), comme conspiratrice, ayant été trouvé chez elle des copies de prétendues lettres patentes du régent idéal de France et d'Artois.
JEAN Pierre Jean, tisserand, domicilié à Colmey (Moselle), comme fournisseur infidèle.
NICOLAS Jean Nicolas, cordonnier, âgé de 52 ans, né et domicilié à Calmey (Moselle), comme fournisseur infidèle.
     ... domiciliés à Paris:
DESPALIERES N. F. P., ex chanoine de Montpellier, âgé de 61 ans, né à Moulins (Allier), domicilié à Paris, depuis le 14 juillet 1791 (Orne). [ex grand-vicaire de Montpellier]
ESTAING (d’) Charles Louis, ex comte, ancien amiral et lieutenant général des armées navales, âgé de 65 ans, natif de Ravel (Puy-de-Dôme)..
FEYDEAU François Joseph, ex capitaine au régiment, ci-devant Dauphin infant, âgé de 50 ans, né à Metz (Moselle).
JARDIN Charles Marc Antoine, ex greffier au Châtelet, âgé de 71 ans, né à Saint-Cloud (Seine et Oise).
MERGOT Charles Pierre César Prosper, âgé de 50 ans, natif de Précigny (Sarthe), ex noble, garde du tyran roi.
NEUFVILLE Gabriel Louis (dit Villeroy), âgé de 63 ans, ci-devant duc et pair et capitaine de la 1er compagnie des gardes-du-corps du tyran roi.
PERNET Marie Nicole, femme Terray, âgée de 43 ans, née à Dijon (Côte-d'Or).
OLIVIER Nicolas François (dit Despalière), âgé de 61 ans, ex noble, chanoine, natif de Moulins (Allier), comme l’un des auteurs des troubles survenus dans la commune de Montpellier, au mois de novembre 1793.
ROPIQUET Alexandre Bajamin, marchand de toiles et de tabacs, âgé de 42 ans, natif de St Longy (Sarthe), comme convaincu d’avoir conspiré contre le peuple français.
GOUFFE Thomas, homme de loi, âgé de 50 ans, né à Teilles (Seine et Marne), comme ayant fait des négociations en numéraire, pour le passer aux ennemis de la République, et ayant eu des relations intimes avec le nommé Lebigne, agent du Roi de Prusse.
          ... et nés à Paris:
LAMOIGNON Catherine Louise, veuve Destourmelles, ex noble, âgée de 78 ans.
BETHUNE louis François (dit Charost), âgé de 23 ans, ex duc, comme convaincu de complots et conspiration contre la sûreté et la souveraineté du peuple français, en faisant passer des secours en hommes et en argent aux ennemis de la République.
BRAGELOGNE Marguerite Marie Louise, veuve de Pâris-Montbrun, âgée de 69 ans, comme complice de complots contre la liberté et la sûreté du peuple français, par la suite desquels des secours en hommes et en argent ont été fournis aux ennemis de la République. [belle soeur de ci-dessous]
BRAGELOGNE Marie Nicole, âgée de 67, ex noble domiciliée à Paris, comme complice de complots contre la liberté et la sûreté du peuple français, par la suite desquels des secours en hommes et en argent ont été fournis aux ennemis de la République [belle soeur de ci-dessus]
NICOLAY Aymond Charles François, ex noble, ex premier président au ci-devant grand conseil, âgé de 57 ans, comme contre-révolutionnaire, ayant émigré du territoire français pour aller à Bruxelles.
SOURCHES Marie Louise Victoire, veuve Vallièze, âgée de 54 ans, ex-noble, comme convaincue d'avoir entretenu des correspondances et intelligences avec les ennemis de la République.
TERRAY Antoine Jean, ex-noble intendant de Lyon, âgé de 44 ans, comme contre-révolutionnaire, ayant fait émigré ses enfants pour porter les armes contre la République.
THIROUX Louis (dit Crosne), âgé de 57 ans, ex lieutenant de police, et conseiller d'état, et complice de Capet, Flesselles, Berthier et autres.
BLANQUART Jacques François Antoine Pierre (dit La Barrière), âgé de 42 ans, né à Calais, demeurant à Samer, officier de maitrise, à Arras.
WIDEHEN François, âgé de 36 ans, né à St Aimery, marchand, époux de Bocquillon Marie Joseph, à Arras
MAULTROT Benoît Paul, ex avocat du tyran roi, au bureau des finances de Poitiers, domicilié à Saumur (Mayenne et Loire), par la commission révolutionnaire de Laval, comme brigand de la Vendée.
1793 BROCHEY Jacques, domicilié à Cholet (Mayenne et Loire), condamné à mort comme brigand de la Vendée, par la commission militaire de Nantes.
1793 PEROCHEAU Joseph, maçon, domicilié, à Chaume (Vendée), condamné à mort comme brigand de la Vendée, par la commission militaire séante aux Sables.
1793 GUESDON Mathurin, domicilié à Marennes (Charente Inférieure), condamné à mort comme contre-révolutionnaire, par le tribunal criminel dudit département.
1754 Giambattista Piazzetta, Venitian painter and drafstman born on 13 February (12 December?) 1682. — MORE ON PIAZZETTA AT ART “4” APRIL with links to images.
1716 Saint Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort [31 Jan 1673–], French priest, missionary in Brittany and Vendée, canonized on 20 July 1947. Author of: Traité de la Vraie Dévotion à la Sainte Vierge Le Secret admirable du très saint RosaireL'Amour de la Sagesse éternelleLettre circulaire aux amis de la CroixMaximes et leçons de la Divine SagesseLe Secret de Marie sur l'esclavage de la Sainte ViergeAux Associés de la Compagnie de MarieContrat d'alliance avec DieuLettre ouverte aux Habitants de MontbernagePrière embraséeLes RèglementsRègles des prêtres missionnaires de la Compagnie de MarieRègles des Filles de la Sagesse (ou de la Providence)Le testament de Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort –(080428)

1606 Heinrich Goedig (or Götting, Godiger, Göddeck), German artist.
< 27 Apr 29 Apr >
^  Births which occurred on a 28 April:
1939 Crosley's miniature car.
      Powell Crosley produces the US's first miniature or "bantam" car. Crosley led a remarkably scattered life which included, in his own words, fifty jobs in fifty years. A born entrepreneur blessed with family money, Crosley engaged in everything from selling novelties to owning the Cincinnati Reds. His greatest love was automobile- making, however, and he considered the production of the Crosley Miniature his greatest achievement. Mass production of the car was stalled until after World War II, but in 1948 he produced twenty-eight thousand cars. The Crosley was 30 cm shorter and 50 kg lighter than the prewar Volkswagen Bug [not to mention junkier], and far smaller than anything offered by American manufacturers. Unfortunately, Crosley was never able to lower the price of his cars to his intended sticker of $500. His $800 price tag wasn't low enough to convince consumers to purchase a miniature car when they could buy a full-size car for a few hundred dollars more. The Crosley Car Company failed badly and even the injection of Powell Crosley's personal money could not save it. Crosley sold out of his endeavor and retired to dote on his beloved Cincinnati Reds.
Saddam Hussein^ 1937 Saddam Hussein
      He would become leader of the Baath party, dictator of Iraq with the title of President since 1979 and for more than ten years before that, murderer of individuals (including two sons-in-law on 23 Feb 1996) and of masses, fomentor of international terrorism. (date celebrated with blatant cult of personality)
      — Saddam (meaning “confronter”) was born in the Tikrit region of Iraq to an impoverished farm family, abandoned by the father before Saddam's birth.
      In 1947 Saddam leaves his mother and abusive stepfather to live with uncle Khairullah Tulfah, a devout Sunni Muslim who would later be governor of Baghdad, and author of the pamphlet Three Whom God Should Not Have Created: Persians, Jews and Flies."
     When Gamal Abdel Nasser topples Egypt's British-installed monarchy in 1952, he becomes a hero and political inspiration to 15-year-old Saddam Hussein.
     Saddam joins in 1957 the Baath (“Renaissance”) Party, foes of European colonialism who hope to form a single Arab socialist state. Saddam murders a Communist activist, his brother-in-law. In 1959 he attempts to assassinate Iraqi prime minister Abdul Kassem, but fails. Wounded, he disguises himself as a donkey and flees to Syria on a woman [... wait! it's the other way around. — Don't try cracks like that at home, if your home is in Iraq. The Sturgeon General has determined that they could be hazardous to your health. — make that “the Surgeon General”, he is not a source of caviar. Cracks like that are innocuous, even in Iraq, but possibly not in Iran.]. Then, in 1962, he enrolls in a Cairo law school.
     After the first Baath regime comes into power in February 1963, Saddam returns to Baghdad to run a torture center. The Baath regime falls in November 1963, but Saddam begins to build a secret police force, Jihaz Haneen, and starts the rise to party leadership. He has an arranged marriage with his first cousin, Sajida Khayrallah. They would have five children (including the two girls whose husbands Saddam would have treacherously murdered).
     On 17 July 1968 a bloodless coup by senior Arab Nationalist officers and retired Baathist officers overthrows the regime of President Abd al-Rahman Aref. Saddam, who has escaped from brief imprisonment, is the Deputy Secretary-General of the Baath party at the time, but plays a minor role in the coup. Ahmed Hassan Al-Bakr, a relative of Saddam, becomes president and chairman of the Revolutionary Command Council.
     The 2nd Ba'th regime completes its takeover by 30 July when Saddam carries out a plot to oust the rival faction (Arab Nationalist officers) in the coup. Among others, minister of Defense Ibrahim Dawood is “sent” to Jordan and Prime Minister Abd al-Razzah Nayif is “sent” to Morocco.
     In the fall of 1968 Saddam begins to purge the government and society of all non-Baathists, non-Arabs, and other potential dissidents, by forced retirement, exile, imprisonment, torture, or execution.
     Nasir al-Hani, former Foreign Minister and co-plotter of the 17 July 1968 coup is abducted from his home in November 1968, under the pretext that President Bakr wants to consult with him. A few days later his body is discovered dumped in a ditch.
     In November 1969 President al-Bakr appoints Saddam Deputy Chairman of the Revolutionary Command Council (RCC) and Vice-President. Controling the internal security and intelligence agencies Saddam becomes the real power in the regime, Bakr having been reduced to a mere figurehead even before he suffered a non-lethal heart attack in 1976.
     In January 1969 17 alleged "spies" (including 13 Jews) are hanged in Liberation Square. On 08 August 1969 the Kurdish village of Dakan in the Mosul governorate is site of a massacre performed by the army. In October 1969, Abd al-Rahman al-Bazzaz, former prime minister, is imprisoned on charges of being a Zionist agent, he is tortured and sentenced to 15 years imprisonment. In March 1970 hundreds of Communists are arrested and tortured. On 15 October 1970, Hardan al-Tikriti, Minister of defense, Deputy Premier, and former member of the RCC, is dismissed from all his functions, he would be assassinated in Kuwait on 30 March 1971.
     On 11 March 1970 an "autonomy agreement" is concluded between the Kurds, under Mulla Mustafa Barzani, and the central Iraqi government, but it would never be implemented.
     A failed September 1971 assassination of Kurdish leader Mulla Mustapha Barzani results in the death of several others.
     Abd al-Karim al-Shaikhli, Foreign Minister and member of RCC, is dismissed on 28 September 1971 and appointed to a position at the UN. He would later be assassinated.
     The first wave of deportations (to Iran) of Iraqi Arab, Turkoman, and Kurdish families, stripped of their citizenship, takes place in 1972.
     On 08 July 1973, Chief of Internal Security Nadhim Kzar is executed along with 35 others after reports of a coup and conspiracy.
     The war against the Kurds rages again in 1974 and 1975. Phosphorus shells are used against the Kurds. In March 1974 the Kurdish towns of Zakho and Qala'at Diza are razed to the ground. 8000 Kurds disappear from the village of Barzan.
     Five Shi'a 'ulama are executed in December 1974.
     On 06 March 1975, Saddam signs the Algiers Accord with the Shah of Iran. The Accord defines the border with Iran and ends Iranian support for Iraqi Kurds. A major exodus to Iran of Kurds including leader Mulla Mustapha Barzani follows in March and April 1975.
      In February 1977 begin mass deportations to Iran of Iraqi Shi'ites, with confiscation of their property and “disappearances” of sons. By the early 1980's, 200'000 Iraqis have been stripped of nationality and property, and deported to Iran.
      In February and March 1977 eight Shi'ite dignitaries, 5 clergy and 3 laymen, are executed and there are mass purges of Shi'ites suspected of belonging to the Da'wa Party.

     Some 7000 Iraqi Communists are “eliminated” in 1978 and 1979. The Communist party offices are closed down in all the Iraqi provinces in May 1979.
     The Ayatollah Khomeini, who was living in Najaf after being exiled from Iran by the Shah, is expelled from Iraq in October 1978.
     On 16 July 1979, Saddam forces Ahmed Hasson al-Bakr to resign, places him under house arrest, and replaces him as President of the Republic of Iraq, being also Chairman of the Revolutionary Command Council, Secretary-General of the Baath Party Regional Command, Prime Minister, and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces. Not safisfied with that, Saddam makes himself also a Staff Field Marshal in the army. He names many relatives to high positions. From then until 08 August 1979 Saddam conducts a Stalin-style purge, executing five members of the RCC and hundreds of other top ranking Baathists and army officers, accused of being involved in a Syrian plot.
      In April 1980 the Revolutionary Command Council bans the Da'wa Party and makes membership in it a crime punishable by death.
     Also in April 1980, leading Shi'ite cleric Sayyid Muhammad Baqir al-Sadr and his sister Bint al-Huda are executed.
     On 17 September 1980, Saddam publicly tears up the 1975 Algiers Accord with Iran and denounces “the frequent and blatant Iranian violations of Iraqi sovereignty.”
     On 22 September 1980 the Iraqi Air Force bombs Iranian airfields and Saddam's troops invade Iran, beginning an eight-year war that would end inconclusively.
     On 07 June 1981, Israel, claiming that a nuclear reactor near Baghdad could be used to produce nuclear weapons, sends bomber planes which destroy it.
     On 04 October 1982, former President Ahmad Hassan al-Bakr, 68, dies for no apparent reason. Saddam is the prime suspect.
     In June 1982, Riyadh Ibrahim, Iraq's Minister of Health, has a serious health problem: he is executed. And so is ex-RCC member Shafiq 'Abd al-Jabbar Kamali.
     On 17 May 1987, an Iraqi plane attacks with missiles the US frigate Stark, on patrol in the Persian Gulf, killing 37 US sailors. Iraq later apologizes, saying it was a mistake.
     In 1987 and 1988 Saddam conducts the Anfal campaign against the Kurds, in which some 180'000 "disappear." 4000 villages are razed. Large areas of eastern Kurdistan are depopulated. In March 1988, some 5000 die as the Kurdish town of Halabja is gassed, 10'000 are injured. In August 1988 a number of Kurdish villages on the Turkish border are gassed resulting in thousands of casualties.
     In August 1988 a ceasefire is declared between Iraq and Iran, ending the 8-year war which caused one million casualties including 250'000 Iraqi dead.
    In the late 1980s Saddam takes as mistress Samira Shahbandar, a flight attendant then married to an Iraqi Airlines official. When Saddam Hussein's father-in-law objects, he is stripped of his property. Other dissenting friends and family members are wounded or die mysteriously.
     In May 1989 popular army officer and Defense Minister Adnan Khayrallah dies in a helicopter crash widely believed to have been engineered by his cousin and brother-in-law Saddam Hussein.
     In March 1990 British journalist Farzad Bazoft is executed in Iraq on charges of espionage, arousing international indignation.
     According to a 1990 Human Rights Watch report, in Iraq those suspected of disloyalty — for spilling coffee on a newspaper photo of Saddam, for example — are subject to arrest. On becoming president, Saddam had hundreds of high-ranking Baathists summarily executed and forced top officials to share complicity by joining him in firing squads. Then he purged his uncle and mentor, Tulfah, accused of massive corruption as governor of Baghdad.
     Saddam's Baathist rhetoric has always called for the elimination of existing Arab borders, which were drawn by British and French colonial powers. A specifically Iraqi claim long has been that Kuwait, which once was ruled together with southern Iraq under the Ottoman Turks, should have reverted to Iraq when the British left in 1961.
     Throughout spring 1990, Iraq pressed Kuwait and the other wealthy gulf states to forgive his Iran-war debt to them, estimated at $30 billion, and to cut their excessive oil production to allow Iraq more scope to sell oil and make profits. In July, Iraq's tone turned belligerent as it accused other Arab gulf states, especially Kuwait, of stealing Iraq's livelihood.
     Saddam Hussein turns Iraq into a pariah state, even among Arab countries, by invading Kuwait in two hours on 02 August 1990, and on 28 August 1990 declaring it to be Iraq's 19th province.
     This provokes the US into assembling a vast coalition of nations which for several months builds up its military forces in the area and whose planes begin an intense bombing campaign on 17 January 1991, followed on 23 February 1991 by a ground attack which in 4 days expulses the Iraqis out of Kuwait. The Iraqis suffered 85'000 casualties and 175'000 were taken prisoner.
     Despite this defeat, Saddam Hussein stays in power due to the stupid decision of US President Bush Sr. not to push on to Baghdad.
     Trying belatedly to make up for Bush's blunder, the CIA mounted an anti-Saddam operation that cost $100 million but did not achieve its goal: to help Iraqi resisters in the overthrow of the Saddam regime. The Washington Post uncovers it in September 1996.
     On 12 December 1996, Uday Hussein, 32, eldest son and heir-apparent, was gravely wounded by two gunmen, near the Iraqi intelligence headquarters. A purge followed; hundreds were executed and thousands arrested, but the identity of the gunmen remains unknown.
      In 1997 Saddam Hussein ordered the expulsion of Kurds and other minorities from the Kirkuk region. The region was resettled with ethnic Arabs. The weapons inspection program faltered once more when Iraq denied to inspectors of UNSCOM (United Nations Special Commission) the access to eight of Hussein's “presidential palaces” and ordered US-born inspectors to leave the country.
     In October 1998 Iraq completely suspends cooperation with UNSCOM. The weapons inspectors withdrew from Iraq on 16 December 1998, just hours before the US and Britain launched four days of punitive air strikes against suspected weapons facilities, “Operation Desert Fox” which continued into March 1999.
     In January 1999 news media report that some of the UNSCOM inspectors had been covertly supplying intelligence information to foreign agencies, including the CIA, Britain's M16, and Israel's Mossad.
     Shi'ite Ayatollah al Sayyid Mohammad Sadiq al Sadr is assassinated on 19 February 1999.
     In August 1999 the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) reports that child mortality in the center and south of Iraq, where Saddam Hussein's regime administers the "oil for food" program, has more than doubled since the sanctions were imposed, while in the north, where the UN administers the program, child mortality has fallen below pre-Gulf War levels.
     In December 1999 the "oil-for-food" program is expanded. On 17 December1999, the UN Security Council Resolution 1284 [PDF] replaces UNSCOM by the UN Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC), whose authority is immediately rejected by Hussein.
     During 2000 the International Committee of the Red Cross reports on the catastrophic breakdown of the health system, hygiene, and water supply in Iraq. It is reported that Hussein is using the funds generated by the "oil for food" program for personal enrichment and to shore up the support of the Iraqi elite. Hussein is alleged to have spent over $2 billion on 48 presidential palaces. Forbes magazine estimates Hussein's personal wealth at US$7 billion. Human rights abuses continue in Iraq, with 122 male prisoners being executed at Abu Ghraib prison in February-March 2000. A further 23 political prisoners, mainly Shi'ites, are executed there in October 2001.
     Following the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon in the United States and the subsequent retaliatory action against Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda network and the Taliban in Afghanistan, US usurper-President “Dubya” Bush names Iraq as one of the members of an "axis of evil" that also includes Iran and North Korea, alleging that Iraq has and is developing more WMDs (weapons of mass destruction), and declaring that there must be "regime change" in Iraq.
     In 2002 Dubya advocates preemptive, unilateral military action against the Saddam Hussein regime and receives backing from Britain and Australia, but is opposed by the Arab, and most Western and Asian nations, including France, Germany, Russia, Canada and China, which insist that any action must be sanctioned by the United Nations Security Council and that Iraq should first be given the opportunity to allow the UN weapons inspectors to return to complete their work. The Arab states also rebuff the US plan.
      On 12 September 2002 Dubya goes to the UN security council, and demands a new resolution requiring Iraq to destroy all its weapons of mass destruction, end support for terrorism, and cease the persecution of its population. On 16 September 2002, the Hussein regime tells the UN that it will allow the unconditional return of the inspectors, but later quibbles about the scope of the access it will allow them. The Dubya Bush regime continues to demand a new security council resolution containing a short-term ultimatum. a clear statement of Iraq's responsibilities, a short deadline and the prospect of military force if Hussein fails to comply. Other permanent security council members, including France and Russia, favour two resolutions - one setting out the terms for the return of the inspectors and a second on the consequences if Iraq fails to comply. Intense and protracted negotiations between the US and the other permanent members of the council over the issue follow.
       On 19 September 2002, dictator Hussein's words are read to the UN: “I hereby declare before you that Iraq is clear of all nuclear, chemical and biological weapons. Our country is ready to receive any scientific experts, accompanied by politicians you choose to represent any one of your countries, to tell us which places and scientific installations they would wish to see, particularly those about which the American officials have been fabricating false stories, alleging that they contain prohibited materials or activities.
       On 21 September 2002 the Dubya Bush regime announces that it wants Hussein and members of his regime prosecuted for war crimes.
       On 15 October 2002, in a referendum in Iraq, dictator Hussein's leadership. gets 11½ million votes for him having another 7-year term as president, and not a single vote against, or even abstaining, according to Hussein's minions. A few days later, a “grateful” Hussein grants "full complete and final amnesty" to all Iraqi prisoners, including political detainees, but not US or Israeli spies. Murderers are released and given a month to seek forgiveness from the families of their victims, while thieves must arrange to reimburse their takings. Exiled opponents to the regime are also encouraged to return to Iraq. Actually many of the prisoners, especially the political prisoners, are kept, then later freed from this earthly life.
      On 23 October 2002 the Bush regime presents to the UN Security Council a draft resolution with a 7-day ultimatum. On 08 November 2002, the Security Council unanimously adopts Resolution 1441 [PDF] threatening “serious consequences” but not explicitely war. After protesting, Hussein pretends to accept it “unconditionally” on 13 November 2002. An advanced inspection team of about 30, including UNMOVIC executive chairman Dr Hans Blix and International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) director general Dr Mohamed El-Baradei, arrives in Baghdad on 18 November 2002. Inspections begin on 27 November 2002.
      The US steps up the deployment of armed forces to the Persian Gulf region in preparation for an attack on Iraq. The CIA conducts an intensive and not-so-secret campaign to induce top Iraqi generals to defect.
      In a pre-recorded TV speech on 06 January 2003, dictator Hussein plausibly accuses the US: “Iraq is not the only target in this confusion, even if the noise is meant to intimidate us and to cover the aggression to be decided by the enemy whenever the devil so instructs him. The objective is rather to subject the Arab Gulf area to a full, complete and physical occupation through which to achieve many goals. These include political interference and military intervention in the countries of the region in a manner unaccustomed before, with a view to securing complete control over their resources.”
      On 09 January chief UNMOVIC inspectors Blix and ElBaradei tell the UN security council that no "smoking guns" were yet found during "ever wider sweeps" of Iraq. Blix and ElBaradei report to the Security Council on 27 January, 14 February and 7 March, that while Iraq is improving its cooperation with the weapons inspectors, some questions remain unanswered, and that more time is needed.
     The US and the UK introduce a new draft resolution to the Security Council on 24 February 2003 stating that Iraq has failed to take advantage of its "final opportunity" must now face the "serious consequences" of Resolution 1441. In the Persian Gulf region, the forces of the "coalition of the willing" continue to mount. The US contingent now includes about 250'000 soldiers, 1200 tanks, more than 1000 aircraft, five aircraft-carrier battle groups and the 5th fleet. They are joined by about 45'000 British soldiers and 2000 Australian special forces soldiers. On 16 March 2003 usurper-President Dubya Bush and British Prime Minister Tony “Lap-dog” Blair issue the UN with an ultimatum, giving it 24 hours to support their draft resolution. The next day, as it is obvious that the Security Council will not give in to this pressure, the draft is withdrawn and the weapons inspectors are advised to leave Iraq.
      On 18 March 2003 usuper-President Bush orders criminal-dictator Hussein and his sons to leave Iraq within 48 hours, adding: “Their refusal to do so will result in military conflict commenced at a time of our choosing.”. Hussein orders his commanders "to take the necessary steps to repulse and destroy any foreign aggression".
      The offensive, called 'Operation Iraqi Freedom', begins on 20 March 2003 with an attempt to "decapitate" the regime through a targeted aerial bombing raid on a bunker in Baghdad in which Hussein is though to be conducting a top-level meeting. However, taped TV appearances and announcements purported to be Hussein's cast doubt about his death or incapacitation, though the Dubya's regime insinuates that the tapes may have been pre-recorded, or made by doubles.
      US troops enter Iraq from Kuwait and rapidly advance north to Baghdad, reaching the city's outskirts by 02 April 2003, while British trooops concentrate on Basra. They encounter little opposition from Hussein's crumbling and disconsolate forces. On 07 April a bombing raid again attempts to kill Hussein, without success, it seems. The last purported public appearance of Hussein occurs on 09 April 2003, at the Adhamiya Mosque in a pro-Hussein northern Baghdad neighborheed. Hussein (or his double?) says to the cheering crowd, "I salute the Iraqi people and I ask them to defend themselves, their homes, their wives, their children, and their holy shrines. ... I am fighting alongside you in the same trenches."
     Baghdad falls that same day, a few hours later. Joyful Iraqis are videotaped attemting to topple a statue of Saddam Hussein, which is finally accomplished by the pull of a US armored vehicle. Tikrit, Hussein's home town, is occupied on 14 April 2003, effectively ending the war, except for some guerilla action. No chemical or biological weapons are used, or even discovered, during the conflict. Hussein survives in hiding, but his dictatorship is ended and he has little reason to celebrate on his 66th birthday. On 14 December 2003, Hussein is captured. On 05 November 2006, he was found guilty of crimes against humanity, for which he was hanged on 30 December 2006.
      However many Iraqis, while happy to be rid of Hussein, want also to be rid of the US occupation, which proves itself woefully unprepared to maintain order and basic services such as water and electricity, not to mention showing an apparent disregard for the life of Iraqi civilians and even of foreign reporters. Uncontrolled looting rampages by Iraqi mobs do more damage that the bombing did (or the minor looting by a few US soldiers and newsmen), and Iranian-style Sunni mullahs, and would-be warlords and caudillos, vye with each other in the power vacuum, while inflaming crowds' resentment of the suffering resulting from the manner in which the US toppled Hussein.
     As of 24 April 2003 , Reuters estimates the body count from the Hussein's last war (the only one in which he was not the aggressor) at more than 2320 Iraqi soldiers in Baghdad alone; more than 1250 Iraqi civilians up to 03 April; 132 US soldiers; and 31 British soldiers. The Iraq Body Count website estimates the number of civilian deaths at between 2050 and 2514 [day-by-day details].

1934 The heavy cruiser USS Astoria is commissioned, with Captain Edmund S. Root in command. The Astoria would be sunk, along with the Quincy [09 June 1936–] and the Vincennes, [24 Feb 1937–] during Operation Watchtower, the landing of 16'000 soldiers on Guadalcanal, on 09 August 1942.
^ 1930 James Addison Baker III, US Secretary of State.
     US secretary of state (1989-1992), political leader, and public official. He was born in Houston, Texas, and educated at Princeton University. After serving in the Marine Corps from 1952 to 1954, Baker studied law at the University of Texas. Admitted to the bar in 1957, he worked for a corporate law firm in Houston, where he became a partner and practiced until 1975.
      Baker helped manage the 1970 campaign for United States Senate of his longtime friend George Bush. In 1975 Baker was appointed the undersecretary of commerce by President Gerald Ford, and the following year he joined Ford's reelection campaign. Baker made an unsuccessful bid to become attorney general of Texas in 1978, and in 1979 he managed Bush's campaign for the Republican presidential nomination. When Bush became the party's 1980 nominee for vice president, Baker joined presidential nominee Ronald Reagan's campaign as a senior adviser. Baker's exceptional skills as a tactician and political manager were considered instrumental in the Republican victory.
      Serving as White House chief of staff from 1981 to 1985, Baker was also a member of the National Security Council and a senior foreign policy adviser. Baker was highly influential in policy formulation and legislative strategy, and was widely considered to have masterminded Reagan's 1984 reelection campaign. Exchanging jobs with Donald Reagan, Baker served as secretary of the treasury from 1985 until 1988, when he became chairman of Bush's presidential election campaign.
      Appointed secretary of state under Bush, Baker pursued the administration's long-term foreign policy goals in the Middle East, particularly during the Persian Gulf War and its aftermath. In 1991 he organized the first comprehensive Middle East peace conference. He left his position as secretary of state in 1992 to run Bush's unsuccessful reelection campaign. Baker later became a business consultant.
1929 Avigdor Arikha, Romanian-born Israeli French artist. — more with links to images.
1928 Yves Klein, French Conceptual artist who died on 06 June 1962. — more with links to images.
1926 Harper Lee, author (To Kill a Mockingbird)
1916 Ferruccio Lamborghini, Italian car manufacturer who died on 20 February 1993.
1914 Air conditioner is patented by Willis Haviland Carrier [26 Nov 1876 – 07 Oct 1950] who, to manufacture it, would found the Carrier Corporation in 1915.
1906 Bart Jan Bok, Dutch-born US astronomer; expert on the Milky Way. He died on 07 August 1983.
1906 Richard Rado, Jewish German English mathematician who died on 23 December 1989.
1906 Kurt Gödel, Austrian-born US mathematician and logician, who died on 14 January 1978. He is best known for his proof of Gödel's Incompleteness Theorems in Über formal unentscheidbare Sätze der Principia Mathematica und verwandter Systeme (1931), showing that, in any axiomatic mathematical system, there are propositions that cannot be proved or disproved within the axioms of the system. In particular “...a consistency proof for [any] system ... can be carried out only by means of modes of inference that are not formalized in the system ... itself.”
1902 Johan Borgen, Norwegian novelist, dramatist, essayist and short-story writer. He died on 16 October 1979.
1900 Maurice Thorez, coal miner, leader of French Communist Party.
1896 Gérard Schneider, Swiss French artist who died in 1986. — links to images.
1895 Ottone Rosai, Italian artist who died in 1957. — more with links to images.
1879 Edgard Tytgat, Belgian artist who died in 1957. — more with links to images.
1868 Georgy Fedoseevich Voronoy, Russian mathematician who died on 20 November 1908..
1838 Tobias Asser, Dutch jurist who won the 1911 Nobel Prize for Peace for his role in The Hague treaties. He died on 29 September 1913.
1831 Peter Guthrie Tait, Scottish mathematician who died on 04 July 1901.
1773 Robert Woodhouse, English mathematician who died on 28 December 1827.
1765 Sylvestre Lacroix, French mathematician who died on 24 May 1843. He is the author of Traité de Calcul differéntiel et intégral (3 volumes, 1797-1800) and Cours de Mathématique (10 volumes, 1797-1799).
1764 Marie-Joseph Chenier, French poet, dramatist, politician, and revolutionary, who died on 10 January 1811.
1758 James Monroe (D-R) 5th US president (1817-1825), in Westmoreland County, Virginia. He would die on 04 July 1831.
1697 Maximilian Joseph Schinagl, German artist who died on 22 March 1762.
1442 Edward IV king of England (1461-1470, 1471-1483)
Holidays Maryland : Ratification Day (1788)

Religious Observances old RC : St Paul of the Cross, confessor / RC : Saint Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort; St Peter Chanel, priest/martyr (opt)
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Thoughts for the day :
“A good man gone wrong is usually a bad man found out.”
“A bad man gone right is sometimes a bad man camouflaged.”
“There can be too much of a good thing, but never too little of a bad thing.”
“The world does not require so much to be informed as reminded.”
— Hannah More, English religious writer [1745-1833].
“The world does not require so much to be reminded as empowered.”
“The world does not require so much to be informed as dismisinformed.”
“Examine critically your convictions lest they lead to your conviction.”

updated Monday 27-Oct-2008 20:39 UT
Principal updates:
v.8.31 Monday 28-Apr-2008 23:06 UT
v.7.40 Saturday 05-May-2007 0:00 UT
v.6.30 Saturday 29-Apr-2006 14:25 UT
v.5.33 Friday 29-Apr-2005 17:16 UT
Wednesday 28-Apr-2004 16:18 UT

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