This Day in History — September 29
Rudolf Diesel, inventor of the engine that bears his name, mysteriously disappears aboard ship in the English Channel this day, 1913, and dies.


1982: Extra-Strength Tylenol capsules laced with deadly cyanide claim the first of seven victims in the Chicago area. (To date, the case remains unsolved.)


1567: The Second War of Religion begins in France between the Huguenots and King Charles IX.

1650: France's Parliament imposes peace on Bordeaux, which virtually ends the second Fronde revolt.

1789: The US War Department establishes a regular army with the strength of several hundred men.

1829: London's reorganised police force, which becomes known as Scotland Yard, goes on duty.

1875: A rebellion in Cuba leads to the deterioration of US-Spanish relations.

1902: William Topaz McGonagall, affectionately considered Britain's possibly worst-ever poet, dies in Edinburgh, Scotland.

1910: The National Urban League has its beginnings in New York as The Committee on Urban Conditions Among Negroes.

1911: Italy declares war on Turkey, eventually conquering Libya.

1913: At the age of 55, French-German national Rudolf Diesel, inventor of the diesel engine for which he created the first prototype and gained the first patent in 1893, disappears mysteriously aboard ship in the English Channel and dies this day.

1916: American oil tycoon John D Rockefeller becomes the world's first billionaire.

1918: The Allied forces score a decisive breakthrough of the German Hindenburg line in France.

1923: Britain begins ruling Palestine under a League of Nations mandate.

1938: British, French, German and Italian leaders conclude the Munich Agreement, which is aimed at appeasing Adolf Hitler by allowing Nazi annexation of Czechoslovakia's Sudetenland.

1943: US General Dwight D Eisenhower and Italian Marshal Pietro Badoglio sign an armistice during World War II aboard the British ship Nelson off Malta.

1948: Hamlet, directed by and starring Laurence Olivier, opens at Park Avenue Cinema. It wins Best Picture in 1949.

1954: Willie Mays completes his famous over-the-shoulder catch of Vic Wertz's 460' drive during game one of the World Series.

1957: The San Francisco-bound New York Giants play their last game at the Polo Grounds, losing to the Pittsburgh Pirates, 9-1. The Brooklyn Dodgers play their last game before moving to Los Angeles, losing to the Phillies 2-1 in Philadelphia.

1963: The second session of the Second Vatican Council opens in Rome.

1965: The Soviet Union admits it is supplying arms to North Vietnam.

1967: Author Carson McCullers dies in Nyack, New York, at age 50.

1972: China and Japan normalise relations. Robert McNamara, former US Secretary of Defence, is almost thrown overboard on a ferry by an artist wanting to confront him on his role in the USA's escalating involvement in the Vietnam war. (No charges were pressed.)

1976: Syrian troops in Lebanon drive out Palestinian guerrillas from most of their key mountain positions east of Beirut.

1977: The Billy Joel album The Stranger is released by Columbia Records.

1978: Pope John Paul I is found dead in his Vatican apartment just over a month after becoming head of the Roman Catholic Church.

1987: Henry Ford II, long-time chairman of Ford Motor Co, dies in Detroit at age 70.

1988: The space shuttle Discovery blasts off from Cape Canaveral, Florida, marking America's return to manned space flight following the Challenger disaster.

1990: The United States meets with Vietnam in the first high-level meeting between the two nations since the Vietnam War.

1992: Brazilian lawmakers impeach President Fernando Collor de Mello.

1993: US President Bill Clinton announces plans to liberalise existing restrictions on exports of a wide range of computers and other high-technology equipment. An estimated US$35 billion worth of exports will be affected.

1996: Bosnia's first post-war elections are watched by international groups that certify victories by nationalist parties and the new president, Alija Izetbegovic.

1999: Israel acknowledges for the first time that its agents helped train interrogators at a southern Lebanon prison where militiamen are accused of torturing suspects.

2002: The United Nations World Food Programme says it is cutting off grain rations to three million North Koreans because of a shortfall in food aid from donor nations.

2004: The Vatican, in its first speech ever to the UN General Assembly's annual autumn session for world leaders, calls for a total ban on human cloning and criticises the war in Iraq and unilateral responses to terrorism.

2005: American John G Roberts Jr is sworn in as the nation's 17th chief justice after winning Senate confirmation.

2006: A Brazilian jetliner clips a smaller jet in mid-air and crashes into the Amazon jungle, killing all 155 on-board in the nation's worst air disaster.

2007: President George W Bush signs a Bill to prevent a Government shutdown but lambasts Democrats controlling Congress for sending him the stop-gap measure while they continued to work on more than a dozen spending Bills funding the day-to-day operations of 15 Cabinet departments. Actress Lois Maxwell, who starred as Miss Moneypenny in 14 James Bond movies, dies in Fremantle, Australia, at age 80.

2008: Egyptian and Sudanese troops, backed by European commandos, rescue a tour group that had been kidnapped in Egypt and taken on a 10-day dash across the Sahara to the frontier of Chad. The Dow Jones Industrial Average falls 777.68 points, its largest single-day point loss, following the bankruptcies of Lehman Brothers and Washington Mutual

2009: Iran's nuclear chief says the country's new uranium enrichment site is built for maximum protection from aerial attack as it is carved into a mountain and near a military compound of the powerful Revolutionary Guard.

2010: American actor Tony Curtis dies this day at age 85.

2011: Angry supporters of President Bashar Assad's regime hurl tomatoes and eggs at the US ambassador to Syria as he enters the office of a leading Opposition figure and then try to break into the building, trapping him inside for three hours. House M.D. actress Olivia Wilde divorces Italian prince Tao Ruspoli due to irreconcilable differences after eight years of marriage.

2012: Omar Khadr, the last Western detainee held at the US military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, returns to Canada after a decade in custody.

2013: The death toll from a building that collapsed in Mumbai rises to 60 as the rescue operation is called off.

2014: Afghanistan swears in Ashraf Ghani as its second elected president, embarking on a new era with a national unity government poised to confront the Taliban.

2016: A New Jersey Transit commuter train slams into the Hoboken station, killing one person and injuring more than 100 others.


Jacopo Tintoretto, Italian artist (1518-1594); Robert Clive, English soldier-statesman (1725-1774); Horatio Nelson, British admiral (1758-1805); Enrico Fermi, Italian physicist (1901-1954); Anita Ekberg, Swedish actress (1931-2015); Lech Walesa, Polish president and Nobel Peace Prize winner (1943-); Jerry Lee Lewis, singer (1935- ); Bryant Gumbel, TV personality, (1948- ); Sebastian Coe, Olympic gold medal runner (1956- )

— AP

John D Rockefeller, American oil tycoon, becomes the world's first billionaire on this day, 1916.
On this day, 1829, London's reorganised police force, which becomes known as Scotland Yard, goes on duty.

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