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This Day in History - October 15

Friday, October 13, 2017

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Today is the 286th day of 2017. There are 79 days left in the year.

TODAY'S HIGHLIGHT

1992: The pyramids, the Sphinx and other monuments survive Cairo earthquake that kills at least 400 and injures more than 4,000.

OTHER EVENTS

1775: The US Navy is founded as the Continental Congress orders the construction of a naval fleet.

1792: The cornerstone of the Executive Mansion, later known as the White House, is laid during a ceremony in Washington, DC.

1815: British occupy South Atlantic island of Ascension to prevent Napoleon's escape from St Helena, the closest island.

1880: Transvaal declares independence from Britain.

1923: Ankara, formerly Angora, becomes new capital of Turkey.

1943: Italy, during World War II, declares war on Germany — its former Axis partner.

1957: The East German Government seals its borders and recalls all East-mark holdings for conversion into a new currency.

1969: Soviet Union sends third spacecraft into orbit in as many days, putting seven cosmonauts in space.

1981: Voters in Egypt participate in a referendum to elect Vice-President Hosni Mubarak as the new president, one week after the assassination of Anwar Sadat.

1985: Tamil guerrillas attack government troops in two ceasefire violations in Sri Lanka.

1987: Costa Rica's President Oscar Arias Sanchez wins Nobel Peace Prize for sponsoring plan to end civil wars in Central America.

1988: Egyptian author Naguib Mahfouz becomes first Arabic-language writer to win Nobel Prize for literature.

1991: Twenty-one blacks are killed in a series of attacks in South Africa's black townships.

1997: Queen Elizabeth II begins visit to India to mark the 50th anniversary of the subcontinent's independence from Britain.

1999: French lawmakers adopt a law giving unwed gay and straight couples the same rights previously limited to the married. Similar legislation already exists in several European countries.

2000: Muslim-Christian riots result in the deaths of 13 people in Lagos, Nigeria's most populous city.

2005: Islamic militants launch a major attack on police and government buildings in the provincial capital of Nalchik in Russia's volatile Caucasus region, turning the city into a war zone wracked by gunfire and explosions. At least 49 people, including 25 militants, are killed.

2006: Bangladeshi economist Muhammad Yunus and the Grameen Bank he founded win the Nobel Peace Prize for their pioneering use of tiny loans — microcredit — to lift millions out of poverty.

2010: With remarkable speed — and flawless execution — miner after miner climbs into a cramped cage deep beneath the Chilean earth, and is hoisted through 2,000 feet (600 metres) of rock to see precious sunlight after the longest underground entrapment in history.

2011: Raj Rajaratnam, the hedge fund billionaire at the centre of the biggest insider-trading case in US history, is sentenced to 11 years behind bars — the stiffest punishment ever handed out for the crime.

2012: Iran says it is ready to show flexibility at nuclear talks to ease Western concerns over its contentious nuclear programme as tensions rise in the stand-off between the Islamic Republic, Israel and the West.

2014: Gay rights groups hail a “seismic shift” by the Catholic church toward gays after bishops say homosexuals have gifts to offer the church.

2016: Donald Trump heatedly rejects the growing list of sexual assault allegations against him as “pure fiction”, hammering his female accusers as “horrible, horrible liars”. Bob Dylan was named winner of the Nobel prize in literature.

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