Today in History: April 28, Mussolini is executed

April 28, 2022 GMT

Today in History

Today is Thursday, April 28, the 118th day of 2022. There are 247 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On April 28, 1994, former CIA official Aldrich Ames, who had passed U.S. secrets to the Soviet Union and then Russia, pleaded guilty to espionage and tax evasion, and was sentenced to life in prison without parole.

On this date:

In 1788, Maryland became the seventh state to ratify the Constitution of the United States.

In 1945, Italian dictator Benito Mussolini and his mistress, Clara Petacci, were executed by Italian partisans as they attempted to flee the country.

In 1947, a six-man expedition set out from Peru aboard a balsa wood raft named the Kon-Tiki on a 101-day journey across the Pacific Ocean to the Polynesian Islands.

In 1952, war with Japan officially ended as a treaty signed in San Francisco the year before took effect. Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower resigned as Supreme Allied commander in Europe; he was succeeded by Gen. Matthew B. Ridgway.


In 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson ordered U.S. Marines to the Dominican Republic to protect American citizens and interests in the face of a civil war.

In 1967, heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali was stripped of his title after he refused to be inducted into the armed forces.

In 1980, President Jimmy Carter accepted the resignation of Secretary of State Cyrus R. Vance, who had opposed the failed rescue mission aimed at freeing American hostages in Iran. (Vance was succeeded by Edmund Muskie.)

In 1986, the Soviet Union informed the world of the nuclear disaster at Chernobyl.

In 1990, the musical “A Chorus Line” closed after 6,137 performances on Broadway.

In 2001, a Russian rocket lifted off from Central Asia bearing the first space tourist, California businessman Dennis Tito, and two cosmonauts on a journey to the international space station.

In 2011, convicted sex offender Phillip Garrido and his wife, Nancy, pleaded guilty to kidnapping and raping a California girl, Jaycee Dugard, who was abducted in 1991 at the age of 11 and rescued 18 years later. (Phillip Garrido was sentenced to 431 years to life in prison; Nancy Garrido was sentenced to 36 years to life in prison.)

In 2015, urging Americans to “do some soul-searching,” President Barack Obama expressed deep frustration over recurring Black deaths at the hands of police, rioters who responded with senseless violence and a society that would only “feign concern” without addressing the root causes.

Ten years ago: Syria derided United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon as biased and called his comments “outrageous” after he blamed the regime for widespread cease-fire violations.


Five years ago: President Donald Trump reaffirmed his support for gun rights, telling attendees of a National Rifle Association convention in Atlanta that “the eight-year assault on your Second Amendment freedoms has come to a crashing end.”

One year ago: In his first address to Congress, President Joe Biden called for an expansion of federal programs to drive the economy past the pandemic and broadly extend the social safety net on a scale not seen in decades. Federal agents raided the New York home and office of Rudy Giuliani, former President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer; they seized computers and cellphones. The Justice Department brought federal hate crimes charges in the death of Ahmaud Arbery, a Black man who was pursued and then killed by white men who spotted him running in their Georgia neighborhood. (Three white men were found guilty of federal hate crimes after being convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison in Arbery’s shooting death.) Apollo 11 astronaut Michael Collins, who orbited the moon alone while Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin made their first steps on the lunar surface, died of cancer in Florida; he was 90.

Today’s Birthdays: Former Secretary of State James A. Baker III is 92. Actor-singer Ann-Margret is 81. Actor Paul Guilfoyle is 73. Former “Tonight Show” host Jay Leno is 72. Rock musician Chuck Leavell is 70. Actor Mary McDonnell is 70. Rock singer-musician Kim Gordon (Sonic Youth) is 69. Actor Nancy Lee Grahn is 66. Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan is 62. Rapper Too Short is 56. Actor Bridget Moynahan is 51. Actor Chris Young is 51. Rapper Big Gipp is 50. Actor Jorge Garcia is 49. Actor Elisabeth Rohm is 49. Actor Penelope Cruz is 48. Actor Nate Richert is 44. TV personalities Drew and Jonathan Scott are 44. Actor Jessica Alba is 41. Actor Harry Shum Jr. is 40. Actor Jenna Ushkowitz is 36. Actor Aleisha Allen is 31.