The Historian: On this day, December 28
1065 Westminster Abbey is consecrated.
1700 Governor Willem Adriaan van der Stel lays the first bricks of an octagonal church, the tower of which still forms part of the Groote Kerk in Cape Town.
1849 M Jolly-Bellin discovers dry-cleaning when he accidentally upsets a lamp, containing turpentine and oil, on his clothing and sees the cleaning effect.
1856 Woodrow Wilson, the 28th US President, is born in Staunton, Virginia. He is best remembered for stating, ‘The world must be made safe for democracy’, while asking Congress for a declaration of war against Germany. He suffered a paralytic stroke in 1919 and never regained his health, leading to speculation that his wife was running the White House during his illness.
1879 The central part of the bridge over the River Tay in Dundee, Scotland, collapses as a train passes over it, killing 75.
1901 Commandant Gideon Scheepers is found guilty on several charges by a British court martial and sentenced to death. He professes innocence to the end.
1903 The French Congo is split into Ubangi-Shari, Chad, Gabon and Middle Congo.
1908 Earthquake strikes Messina, Italy, killing nearly 80000 people.
1909 Frenchman Albert Kimmerling makes the first power-driven flight in South Africa when he reaches a height of 6m in East London.
1921 Following a drop in the world price of gold, the Rand Revolt begins with a strike by miners after the announcements of wage reductions on the coal and gold mines and the weakening of the colour bar to enable the promotion of black miners to skilled and supervisory positions. The revolt lasts until March of the following year when it is put down by “considerable military might” and the cost of 200 lives. Prime Minister Jan Smuts’s actions to end the revolt caused a political backlash and the strengthening of the colour bar.
1950 Chinese troops cross the 38th Parallel into South Korea.
2009 Forty-three people die in a suicide bombing in Karachi, Pakistan.
2014 AirAsia Flight 8501 crashes in the Karimata Strait in Indonesia, killing all 162 people aboard.