Today in History

Today is Monday, April 28, the 118th day of 2014. There are 247 days left in the year.

Today’s highlight:

On April 28, 1789, there was a mutiny on the HMS Bounty as rebelling crew members of the British ship led by Fletcher Christian set the captain, William Bligh, and 18 sailors adrift in a launch in the South Pacific. (Bligh and most of the men with him managed to reach Timor in 47 days.)

On this date:

In 1758, the fifth president of the United States, James Monroe, was born in Westmoreland County, Va.

In 1788, Maryland became the seventh state to ratify the Constitution of the United States.

In 1817, the United States and Britain signed the Rush-Bagot Treaty, which limited the number of naval vessels allowed in the Great Lakes.

In 1918, Gavrilo Princip, the assassin of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria and the archduke’s wife, Sophie, died in prison of tuberculosis.

In 1937, former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein was born in the village of al-Oja near the desert town of Tikrit (he was executed in December 2006).

In 1945, Italian dictator Benito Mussolini and his mistress, Clara Petacci, were executed by Italian partisans as they attempted to flee the country.

In 1952, war with Japan officially ended as a treaty signed in San Francisco the year before took effect. Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower resigned as Supreme Allied commander in Europe; he was succeeded by Gen. Matthew B. Ridgway.

In 1967, heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali refused to be inducted into the Army, the same day U.S. Army Gen. William C. Westmoreland told Congress the U.S. “would prevail in Vietnam.”

In 1974, a federal jury in New York acquitted former Attorney General John Mitchell and former Commerce Secretary Maurice H. Stans of charges in connection with a secret $200,000 contribution to President Richard Nixon’s re-election campaign from financier Robert Vesco.

In 1988, a flight attendant was killed and more than 60 persons injured when part of the roof of an Aloha Airlines Boeing 737 tore off during a flight from Hilo to Honolulu.

In 1994, former CIA official Aldrich Ames, who had betrayed U.S. secrets to the Soviet Union and then Russia, pleaded guilty to espionage and tax evasion, and was sentenced to life in prison without parole.

In 1996, a man armed with a semiautomatic rifle went on a rampage on the Australian island of Tasmania, killing 35 people; Martin Bryant was captured by police after a 12-hour standoff at a guest cottage. (Bryant is serving a life prison sentence.)

Ten years ago: First photos from the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse scandal were shown on CBS’ “60 Minutes II.” A Spanish judge indicted Amer Azizi, a Moroccan fugitive, on charges of helping to plan the September 11 hijackings (Azizi remains at large). The U.N. Security Council put terrorists, black marketeers and crooked scientists on notice that they faced punishment for trafficking in weapons of mass destruction. Cable giant Comcast Corp. dropped its two-month-old unsolicited bid for The Walt Disney Co.

Five years ago: Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius won Senate confirmation, 65-31, as health and human services secretary. Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania defected from the Republican Party, joining the Democrats. Country singer Vern Gosdin (“Chiseled in Stone”) died in Nashville at age 74.

One year ago: Mohammed Sohel Rana, the fugitive owner of an illegally constructed building in Bangladesh that collapsed and killed at least 1,129 people, was captured by a commando force as he tried to flee into India.

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