Today in History: November 28, Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan reaches the Pacific Ocean

Ferdinand Magellan
Half-length portrait of a bearded Ferdinand Magellan (circa 1480-1521)

Today is Monday, Nov. 28, the 332nd day of 2022. There are 33 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Nov. 28, 1942, fire engulfed the Cocoanut Grove nightclub in Boston, killing 492 people in the deadliest nightclub blaze ever. (The cause of the rapidly spreading fire, which began in the basement, is in dispute; one theory is that a busboy accidentally ignited an artificial palm tree while using a lighted match to fix a light bulb.)

On this date:

In 1520, Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan reached the Pacific Ocean after passing through the South American strait that now bears his name.

In 1919, American-born Lady Astor was elected the first female member of the British Parliament.

In 1943, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Soviet leader Josef Stalin began conferring in Tehran during World War II.

In 1961, Ernie Davis of Syracuse University became the first African-American to be named winner of the Heisman Trophy.

In 1964, the United States launched the space probe Mariner 4 on a course toward Mars, which it flew past in July 1965, sending back pictures of the red planet.

In 1979, an Air New Zealand DC-10 en route to the South Pole crashed into a mountain in Antarctica, killing all 257 people aboard.

In 1990, Margaret Thatcher resigned as British prime minister during an audience with Queen Elizabeth II, who then conferred the premiership on John Major.

In 1994, serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer was slain in a Wisconsin prison by a fellow inmate. Sixties war protester Jerry Rubin died in Los Angeles, two weeks after being hit by a car; he was 56.

In 2001, Enron Corp., once the world’s largest energy trader, collapsed after would-be rescuer Dynegy Inc. backed out of an $8.4 billion takeover deal. (Enron filed for bankruptcy protection four days later.)

In 2016, the first commercial flight from the United States to Havana in more than 50 years arrived in Cuba as the island began week-long memorial services for Fidel Castro.

In 2018, Democrats overwhelmingly nominated Nancy Pelosi to become House speaker when Democrats took control of the House in January.

In 2020, Pennsylvania’s highest court threw out a lower court’s order preventing the state from certifying dozens of contests on its Nov. 3 election ballot; it was the latest lawsuit filed by Republicans attempting to undo President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in the battleground state. Sarah Fuller became the first woman to participate in a Power Five conference football game when she kicked off for Vanderbilt to start the second half at Missouri.

Ten years ago:

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said his state would need nearly $37 billion to recover and rebuild from Superstorm Sandy and that the state would seek federal aid to cover most of the expenses.

Five years ago:

A Libyan militant was convicted in federal court in Washington of terrorism charges stemming from the 2012 Benghazi attacks that killed the US ambassador and three other Americans, but the jury found Ahmed Abu Khattala not guilty of murder. (Khattala was sentenced the following June to 22 years in prison.) Jay-Z led the 2018 Grammy Award nominations as the top four categories were heavily dominated by rap and R&B artists.

One year ago:

The Netherlands confirmed 13 cases of the new omicron variant of the coronavirus, while Australia and Canada each found two. Israel barred entry to all foreign nationals as countries around the world scrambled to slow the spread of the new variant. Lee Elder, who broke down racial barriers as the first Black golfer to play in the Masters, died in Escondido, California; he was 87. Carrie Meek, one of the first Black Floridians elected to Congress since Reconstruction, died at her Miami home at 95. Virgil Abloh, a leading designer whose groundbreaking fusions of streetwear and high couture made him one of the most celebrated tastemakers in fashion and beyond, died of cancer at 41.

Today’s Birthdays:

Recording executive Berry Gordy Jr. is 93. Former Democratic Sen. Gary Hart of Colorado is 86. Former U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross is 85. Singer-songwriter Bruce Channel is 82. Singer Randy Newman is 79. CBS News correspondent Susan Spencer is 76. Movie director Joe Dante is 75. Former “Late Show” orchestra leader Paul Shaffer is 73. Actor Ed Harris is 72. Former NASA astronaut Barbara Morgan is 71. Actor S. Epatha (eh-PAY’-thah) Merkerson is 70. Former Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff is 69. Country singer Kristine Arnold (Sweethearts of the Rodeo) is 66. Actor Judd Nelson is 63. Movie director Alfonso Cuaron (kwahr-OHN’) is 61. Rock musician Matt Cameron is 60. Actor Jane Sibbett is 60. Comedian Jon Stewart is 60. Actor Garcelle Beauvais (gar-SEHL’ boh-VAY’) is 56. Actor/comedian Stephnie (cq) Weir is 55. R&B singer Dawn Robinson is 54. Actor Gina Tognoni is 49. Hip-hop musician apl.de.ap (Black Eyed Peas) is 48. Actor Malcolm Goodwin is 47. Actor Ryan Kwanten is 46. Actor Aimee Garcia is 44. Rapper Chamillionaire is 43. Actor Daniel Henney is 43. Rock musician Rostam Batmanglij (baht-man-GLEESH’) is 39. Rock singer-keyboardist Tyler Glenn (Neon Trees) is 39. Actor Mary Elizabeth Winstead is 38. R&B singer Trey Songz is 38. NHL goalie Marc-Andre Fleury (marhk-ahn-dray FLOOR’-ee) is 38. Actor Scarlett Pomers is 34. Actor-rapper Bryshere Gray is 29.

Image credits: The Mariner's Museum Collection



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