It happened today – this day in history – October 28

306: Maxentius is proclaimed Emperor of Rome.

969: Byzantine troops occupy Antioch.

1216: Henry III aged nine, is crowned king at Gloucester Cathedral.

1420: Beijing is declared the capital of the Ming dynasty.

1492: Christopher Columbus sights Cuba and claims it for Spain under the name “Juana”.

1726: Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift is published.

1746: The cities of Lima and Callao are demolished by an earthquake in Peru, killing 18,000.

1811: The first known purchase of Jane Austen’s novel “Sense and Sensibility” by the Prince Regent.

1831: Michael Faraday demonstrates his dynamo invention, an electrical generator.

1848: The first railroad in Spain – between Barcelona and Mataró – opens.

1886: The Statue of Liberty is dedicated by US President Grover Cleveland.

1893: Tchaikovsky conducts the first performance of his Symphony Number Six in B minor, “Pathetique”, in St. Petersburg, nine days before his death.

1894: German Emperor Wilhelm II fires chancellor Leo von Caprivi and Premier Botho zu Eulenburg.

1903: Author Evelyn Waugh is born in London.

1904: St Louis police try a new investigation method – fingerprints.

1908: The Daily Telegraph prints an interview with Germany’s Emperor Wilhelm II, who characterises himself as personally friendly to Britain, but suggests the German people are hostile, causing uproar in both countries.

1915: Alpensymfonie, by Richard Strauss, premieres in Berlin.

1918: Czechoslovakia is created as Austria-Hungary breaks up.

1919: The Volstead Act is passed by US Congress, establishing prohibition, despite President Woodrow Wilson’s veto.

1940: Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini meet in Florence.


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1948: The flag of Israel is adopted.

1951: Alfa Romeo driver Juan Manuel Fangio of Argentina wins the Formula 1 World Drivers Championship.

1954: Ernest Hemingway is awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature.

1958: Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli is elected Pope, taking the name John XXIII.

1961: Raymond Jones goes into Liverpool’s NEMS Record store trying to buy My Bonnie, a song that had been released in Germany by a band called The Beatles. Shop manager Brian Epstein promises to investigate further.

1962: The Cuban Missile Crisis ends as US President John F Kennedy welcomes Russia’s announcement that it will dismantle its missiles based on the island.

1971: John Lennon and Yoko Ono record Happy Xmas (War Is Over) in New York. On the same day, Parliament debates the European Communities principle of membership and votes 356 to 244 in favour of joining the common market.

1973: Singles chart:

  1. Daydreamer – David Cassidy
  2. Eye Level – Simon Park Orchestra
  3. Sorrow – David Bowie
  4. Let Me In – The Osmonds
  5. Caroline – Status Quo
  6. Goodbye Yellow Brick Road – Elton John
  7. Ghetto Child – The Detroit Spinners
  8. My Friend Stan – Slade
  9. Top Of The World – The Carpenters
  10. For The Good Times – Perry Como
1973: Genesis – Selling England By The Pound

Album chart:

  1. Pin Ups – David Bowie
  2. Goodbye Yellow Brick Road – Elton John
  3. Hello – Status Quo
  4. Sladest – Slade
  5. These Foolish Things – Bryan Ferry
  6. And I Love You So – Perry Como
  7. I’m A Writer Not A Fighter – Gilbert O’Sullivan
  8. Selling England By The Pound – Genesis
  9. Motown Chartbusters Vol 8 – Various Artists
  10. Aladdin Sane – David Bowie

1974: Sports Minister Denis Howell’s wife and young son survive an IRA bomb attack on their car.

1979: Chairman Hua Kuo-Feng becomes the first Chinese leader to visit Britain.

1986: 24-year old Essex man Jeremy Bamber is sentenced to life in prison for killing five members of his family.

1997: REM drummer Bill Berry announces that he is leaving the group after 17 years to become a farmer – albeit a multi millionaire one.

1998: Poet Ted Hughes dies aged 68.

2007: Country musician Porter Wagoner dies in Nashville aged 80 from lung cancer.

2017: Spain’s central government imposes direct rule on Catalonia, dismisses its government and calls for new elections in December. On the same day, Salford City goalkeeper Max Crocombe is sent off for urinating on the pitch in front of fans.

2019: The EU agrees to another Brexit extension to January 31, 2020. On the same day, musician Stephen Morris appeals for the return of his £250,000 antique violin after leaving it on a train.

2020: Comedian Bobby Ball (Harper) dies aged 76.

2021: Mark Zuckerberg announces Facebook will change its corporate name to Meta.

BIRTHDAYS: Dame Cleo Laine, jazz singer, 95; Baron Bill Rodgers of Quarry Bank, politician, 94; Bernie Ecclestone, motorsport impressario, 92; David Dimbleby, political commentator, 84; Hank Marvin (Brian Rankin), guitarist (The Shadows) 81; Caitlyn Jenner, former Olympic decathlete, 73; John McGovern, footballer/manager, 73; Peter Hitchens, journalist, 71; Annie Potts, actress, 70; Desmond Child, songwriter, 69; Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft, 67; Baron Digby Jones of Birmingham, businessan, 67; Stephen Morris, drummer (Joy Division/New Order) 65; William Reid, guitarist/songwriter (The Jesus and Mary Chain) 64; Lauren Holly, actress, 59; Julia Roberts, actress, 55; Ben Harper, singer-songwriter/musician, 53; Joaquin Phoenix, actor, 48; Gwendoline Christie, actress, 44; Alan Smith, footbaler, 42; Matt Smith, actor, 40; Joe Thomas, actor, 39; Frank Ocean (Christopher Breaux), singer-songwriter, 35; Lucy Bronze, footballer, 31.