On This Day … 28 May

Events

  • 585 BC – A solar eclipse occurs, as predicted by the Greek philosopher and scientist Thales, while Alyattes is battling Cyaxares in the Battle of Halys, leading to a truce.
    • This is one of the cardinal dates from which other dates can be calculated.
  • 621 – Battle of Hulao: Li Shimin, the son of the Chinese emperor Gaozu, defeats the numerically superior forces of Dou Jiande near the Hulao Pass (Henan).
    • This victory decides the outcome of the civil war that followed the Sui dynasty’s collapse in favour of the Tang dynasty.
  • 1588 – The Spanish Armada, with 130 ships and 30,000 men, sets sail from Lisbon, Portugal, heading for the English Channel.
    • It will take until 30 May for all ships to leave port.
  • 1644 – English Civil War: Bolton Massacre by Royalist troops under the command of James Stanley, 7th Earl of Derby.
  • 1754 – French and Indian War: In the first engagement of the war, Virginia militia under the 22-year-old Lieutenant colonel George Washington defeat a French reconnaissance party in the Battle of Jumonville Glen in what is now Fayette County in southwestern Pennsylvania.
  • 1802 – In Guadeloupe, 400 rebellious slaves, led by Louis Delgrès, blow themselves up rather than submit to Napoleon’s troops.
  • 1830 – US President Andrew Jackson signs the Indian Removal Act which denies Native Americans their land rights and forcibly relocates them.
  • 1871 – The Paris Commune falls after two months.
  • 1905 – Russo-Japanese War: The Battle of Tsushima ends with the destruction of the Russian Baltic Fleet by Admiral Tōgō Heihachirō and the Imperial Japanese Navy.
  • 1918 – The Azerbaijan Democratic Republic and the First Republic of Armenia declare their independence.
  • 1926 – The 28 May 1926 coup d’état: Ditadura Nacional is established in Portugal to suppress the unrest of the First Republic.
  • 1937 – Volkswagen, the German automobile manufacturer is founded.
  • 1940 – World War II: Belgium surrenders to Nazi Germany to end the Battle of Belgium.
  • 1940 – World War II: Norwegian, French, Polish and British forces recapture Narvik in Norway.
    • This is the first allied infantry victory of the War.
  • 1958 – Cuban Revolution: Fidel Castro’s 26th of July Movement, heavily reinforced by Frank Pais Militia, overwhelm an army post in El Uvero.
  • 1961 – Peter Benenson’s article The Forgotten Prisoners is published in several internationally read newspapers.
    • This will later be thought of as the founding of the human rights organisation Amnesty International.
  • 1987 – A West German pilot, Mathias Rust, who was 18 years old, evades Soviet Union air defences and lands a private plane in the Red Square in Moscow, Russia.
  • 1991 – The capital city of Addis Ababa falls to the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front, ending both the Derg regime in Ethiopia and the Ethiopian Civil War.
  • 1998 – Nuclear testing: Pakistan responds to a series of nuclear tests by India with five of its own codenamed Chagai-I, prompting the United States, Japan, and other nations to impose economic sanctions. Pakistan celebrates Youm-e-Takbir annually.
  • Armed Forces Day (Croatia).

People (Births)

  • 1140 – Xin Qiji, Chinese poet, general, and politician (d. 1207).
  • 1818 – P.G.T. Beauregard, American general (d. 1893).
  • 1858 – Carl Richard Nyberg, Swedish inventor and businessman, developed the blow torch (d. 1939).
  • 1908 – Ian Fleming, English journalist and author, created James Bond (d. 1964).
  • 1914 – W.G.G. Duncan Smith, English captain and pilot (d. 1996).
  • 1921 – Tom Uren, Australian soldier, boxer, and politician (d. 2015).
  • 1922 – Tuomas Gerdt, Finnish soldier (d. 2020).
  • 1924 – Edward du Cann, English naval officer and politician (d. 2017).
  • 1945 – John N. Bambacus, American military veteran (USMC) and politician.
  • 1956 – Peter Wilkinson, English admiral.
  • 1960 – Mark Sanford, American military veteran (USAF) and politician, 115th Governor of South Carolina.
  • 1972 – Michael Boogerd, Dutch cyclist and manager.
  • 1986 – Ingmar Vos, Dutch decathlete.

People (Deaths)

  • 1556 – Saitō Dōsan, Japanese samurai (b. 1494).
  • 1811 – Henry Dundas, 1st Viscount Melville, Scottish lawyer and politician, Secretary of State for War (b. 1742).
  • 1904 – Kicking Bear, Native American tribal leader (b. 1846).
  • 1968 – Fyodor Okhlopkov, Russian sergeant and sniper (b. 1908).
  • 1971 – Audie Murphy, American soldier and actor, Medal of Honour recipient (b. 1925).
  • 1982 – H. Jones, English colonel, Victoria Cross recipient (b. 1940).
  • 1983 – Erastus Corning 2nd, American soldier and politician, 72nd Mayor of Albany (b. 1909).
  • 1999 – Michael Barkai, Israeli commander (b. 1935).
  • 2013 – Viktor Kulikov, Russian commander (b. 1921).
  • 2013 – Gerd Schmückle, German general (b. 1917).
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