This Day in History - May 29
On May 29, 1999 Olusegun Obasanjo becomes Nigeria's first civilian president in 15 years, ending a string of disastrous military regimes. (Photo: Michael Gordon)

Today is the 149th day of 2023. There are 216 days left in the year.


1999: Olusegun Obasanjo becomes Nigeria's first civilian president in 15 years, ending a string of disastrous military regimes.


1453: Turks capture Constantinople, capital of Byzantine Empire. Some historians list date as end of Middle Ages.

1692: British fleet defeats French Navy at La Hogue, ending attempted invasion of England.

1765: Peter II, grandson of Peter I and son of Alexis, becomes czar of Russia.

1903: King Aleksander Obrenovic of Serbia and his wife Draga Masin are assassinated by his officers and guards. Karadjordjevic dynasty takes over the throne.

1932: World War I veterans begin arriving in Washington to demand cash bonuses they weren't scheduled to receive for another 13 years.

1942: Bing Crosby, the Ken Darby Singers, and the John Scott Trotter Orchestra record Irving Berlin's White Christmas in Los Angeles for Decca Records.

1943: Americans defeat Japanese in Battle of Attu in Aleutian Islands in World War II.

1947: Constituent Assembly in India outlaws "untouchability", a system of social ostracism practised against people of lower classes.

1953: Edmund Hillary of New Zealand and Tensing Norgay of Nepal become first to reach top of Mount Everest, the world's highest mountain.

1966: Buddhist nun burns herself to death outside a pagoda in the South Vietnamese city of Hue, to protest country's military Government.

1972: US President Richard Nixon and Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev sign declaration pledging era of peaceful coexistence between the United States and Soviet Union.

1973: Tom Bradley is elected the first black mayor of Los Angeles, defeating incumbent Sam Yorty.

1985: Thirty-eight people are killed and 375 others injured at a Brussels stadium in riots before a European Cup soccer match.

1988: US President Ronald Reagan begins his first visit to the Soviet Union as he arrives in Moscow for a superpower summit with Soviet leader Mikhail S Gorbachev.

1990: Boris Yeltsin is elected president of Russia, largest of Soviet Union's 15 republics.

1991: The Yugoslav republic of Croatia declares itself "an independent state" and formally secedes from Yugoslavia a month later.

1994: The former Communist party wins a majority in the second free Hungarian elections since the Communist government fell in 1989.

1995: Bosnian Serbs upgrade their arsenal with armoured vehicles from the UN troops they took hostage after the first major North Atlantic Treaty Organization air strike against them.

1996: Benjamin Netanyahu, leader of the right-wing Likud Party, is elected Israeli prime minister by a slim margin.

1997: Angolan authorities announce that government troops have overrun large parts of northern Angola, previously controlled by the rebel movement Unita.

1998: President Boris Yeltsin's announces a crackdown on Russia's millions of tax cheaters as part of a strategy to fill the government's empty coffers.

2000: Ethiopia's warplanes bomb a military airstrip on the outskirts of Asmara, taking its two-week-old offensive to the Eritrean capital on what was to be the opening day of peace talks.

2001: The Japanese Red Army, responsible for terrorist massacres in Israel and Italy, announces that it will disband after nearly four decades and regroup as a "legal" organisation.

2002: Pakistani intelligence officials say hundreds of members of the al-Qaeda terrorist network have moved into Pakistani cities from deposed Taliban militia and formed links with Pakistani Islamic militant groups.

2005: French voters reject the European Union's proposed constitution, dealing a staggering blow to efforts to further unify the 25-nation bloc by giving it a common charter and more power on the global stage.

2006: Violent anti-foreigner protests rage across Kabul, Afghanistan after a US military truck crashed into traffic, touching off the worst rioting since the Taliban's ouster. At least eight people die and 107 are injured.

2007: President George W Bush chooses Robert Zoellick, a one-time US trade representative and former No 2 official at the State Department, to lead the World Bank.

2008: The Vatican firmly rejects attempts by women to become priests in the Roman Catholic Church, reiterating in a decree that anyone involved in ordination ceremonies is automatically excommunicated.

2010: The Vatican prosecutor of clerical sex abuse warns perpetrators that they would suffer damnation in hell that would be worse than the death penalty.

2012: The biggest scandal to rock the Vatican in decades widens with the Pope's butler — arrested for allegedly having confidential documents in his home — agreeing to cooperate with investigators.

2013: Syria's foreign minister lays out a hard line, saying Bashar Assad will remain president at least until elections in 2014 and might seek another term.

2014: A new study says species of plants and animals are becoming extinct 1,000 times faster than they did before humans arrived.


G K Chesterton, English author (1874-1936); John F Kennedy, US president (1917-1963); Bob Hope, US comedian-actor (1903-2003); Andre Brink, South African writer (1935-2015); Anthony Geary, US actor (1947- ); LaToya Jackson, US singer (1956- ); Rupert Everett, actor (1959- ); Annette Bening, US actress (1958- ); Melissa Etheridge, US rock singer (1961- )

— AP

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