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Today in History for Sept. 28, 2022

Richard Nixon

Framed between two columns of Nassau County Courthouse in Mineola, New York, Sept. 28, 1960, Vice President Richard Nixon waves to crowd gathered in front. Nixon toured Long Island and received the biggest greeting at Mineola, where a crowd of 15,000 turned out. (AP Photo/Henry Griffin)

Today’s Highlight in History

On Sept. 28, 1928: Scottish medical researcher Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin, the first effective antibiotic.

Also on this date ...

In 1781: American forces in the Revolutionary War, backed by a French fleet, began their successful siege of Yorktown, Virginia.

In 1841: Henry Wadsworth Longfellow completed his poem “Excelsior.”

In 1850: Flogging was abolished as a form of punishment in the U.S. Navy.

In 1920: Eight members of the Chicago White Sox were indicted for allegedly throwing the 1919 World Series against the Cincinnati Reds. (All were acquitted at trial, but all eight were banned from the game for life.)

In 1924: Three U.S. Army planes landed in Seattle, having completed the first round-the-world trip by air in 175 days.

In 1939: During World War II, Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union signed a treaty calling for the partitioning of Poland, which the two countries had invaded.

In 1958: Voters in the African country of Guinea overwhelmingly favored independence from France.

In 1962: A federal appeals court found Mississippi Gov. Ross Barnett in civil contempt for blocking the admission of James Meredith, a Black student, to the University of Mississippi. (Federal marshals escorted Meredith onto the campus two days later.)

In 1995: Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and PLO chairman Yasser Arafat signed an accord at the White House ending Israel’s military occupation of West Bank cities and laying the foundation for a Palestinian state.

In 2000: Capping a 12-year battle, the government approved use of the abortion pill RU-486.

In 2019: Voters in Afghanistan went to the polls to elect a president for the fourth time since a U.S.-led coalition ousted the Taliban regime in 2001; the vote was marred by violence, Taliban threats and widespread allegations of mismanagement. (After a series of delays, the country’s independent election commission announced months later that Ashraf Ghani had won a second term as president.)

In 2020: The worldwide death toll from the coronavirus pandemic topped 1 million, according to a count by Johns Hopkins University.

Ten years ago: Citing national security risks, President Barack Obama blocked a Chinese company from owning four wind farm projects in northern Oregon near a Navy base where the U.S. military flew unmanned drones and electronic-warfare planes on training missions.

Five years ago: The Trump administration said its relief efforts in Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria were succeeding, though people on the island said help was scarce and disorganized. House Majority Whip Steve Scalise returned to the House chamber for the first time since he was wounded three months earlier by a gunman who opened fire at a Republican baseball practice.

One year ago: Testifying before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, called the 20-year war in Afghanistan a “strategic failure,” and said he had favored keeping several thousand troops in the country to prevent a collapse of the U.S.-backed government and a rapid takeover by the Taliban. Barack and Michelle Obama dug shovels into the ground during a celebratory groundbreaking for the Obama Presidential Center along Lake Michigan in Chicago, near the Obama family home. A man who shot and killed five people at a newspaper in Maryland in 2018 was sentenced to more than five life sentences without the possibility of parole.

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