A Blast from the Past

By United Press International  |  April 28, 2003 at 3:00 AM
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Today is April 28.

Twenty-three years of fascist rule ended in Italy on this date in 1945 when Italian partisans shot Benito Mussolini near the lakeside village of Dongo. Leaders of the Fascist Party, several of Mussolini's friends and his mistress also were executed.

It was on this date in 1988 that an Aloha Airlines Boeing 737 lost an 18-foot chunk of its fuselage at 24,000 feet between Hilo and Honolulu, Hawaii. A woman flight attendant was killed, but the pilots were able to land the jetliner safely on Maui with the remaining 94 passengers and crew.

Thirty-six people died on this date in 1996 when a lone gunman went on a killing spree in the Australian city of Port Arthur,

It was on this date in 2001 that California businessman Dennis Tito fulfilled a lifelong dream and became the first tourist in space. Tito, chief executive of a financial consulting company, reportedly paid Russia's cash-strapped space agency as much as $20 million to give him a ride to the International Space Station. NASA had opposed the idea but later relented. Tito rode into orbit aboard a Russian rocket with two cosmonauts.

Maryland became the seventh state to ratify the U.S. Constitution on this date in 1788. The vote was 63-11.

And on this date in 1975, the last American civilians were evacuated from South Vietnam as North Vietnamese forces tightened their noose around Saigon. The South Vietnamese government would fall to communist forces two days later.

We now return you to the present, already in progress.

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