Today in History: September 28, penicillin is discovered

September 28, 2022 GMT

Today in History

Today is Wednesday, Sept. 28, the 271st day of 2022. There are 94 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

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

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.

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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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Today’s Birthdays: Actor Brigitte Bardot is 88. Actor Joel Higgins is 79. Singer Helen Shapiro is 76. Actor Vernee Watson is 73. Movie writer-director-actor John Sayles is 72. Rock musician George Lynch is 68. Zydeco singer-musician C.J. Chenier (sheh-NEER’) is 65. Actor Steve Hytner is 63. Actor-comedian Janeane Garofalo (juh-NEEN’ guh-RAH’-fuh-loh) is 58. Country singer Matt King is 56. Actor Mira Sorvino is 55. TV personality/singer Moon Zappa is 55. Actor-model Carre Otis is 54. Actor Naomi Watts is 54. Country singer Karen Fairchild (Little Big Town) is 53. Singer/songwriter A.J. Croce is 51. Country singer Mandy Barnett is 47. Rapper Young Jeezy is 45. World Golf Hall of Famer Se Ri Pak is 45. Actor Peter Cambor is 44. Writer-producer-director-actor Bam Margera is 43. Actor Melissa Claire Egan is 41. Actor Jerrika Hinton is 41. Neo-soul musician Luke Mossman (Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats ) is 41. Pop-rock singer St. Vincent is 40. Comedian/actor Phoebe Robinson is 38. Rock musician Daniel Platzman (Imagine Dragons) is 36. Actor Hilary Duff is 35. Actor Keir Gilchrist is 30.