What happened on this day in history: Benito Mussolini is executed, Martin Bryant commits the Port Arthur Massacre, and other noteworthy events from April 28th.
357 C.E. Emperor Constantius II Arrives In Rome
Emperor Constantius II arrives in Rome for the first time. The third son of Emperor Constantine, Constantius was born in present-day Serbia and initially shared power with his brothers. Upon their deaths, he solidified his rule by riding to Rome with great fanfare, entering the city in a golden coach.
1945: Benito Mussolini Is Executed
Benito Mussolini is executed by Italian partisans in Giulino di Mezzegra, Italy, at the age of 61.
The Italian dictator nicknamed “Il Duce” had allied with Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany during World War II but tried to flee from Italy when he learned the Germans were planning an unconditional surrender. Partisans caught up to Mussolini and his mistress, executed them by fire squad, and dumped their bodies in a public square.
1978: Afghan President Daoud Is Overthrown
Afghanistan President Sardar Mohammed Daoud is overthrown and killed by pro-communist rebels. He was replaced by Nur Mohammed Taraki, the Soviet-friendly head of the Afghan Communist Party, but Taraki was overthrown and killed the next year. The situation in the country quickly devolved and led to the Soviet-Afghan War, which lasted until 1989.
1996: The Port Arthur Massacre Begins
The Port Arthur Massacre begins in Port Arthur, a small town in Tasmania, Australia. It was perpetrated by 28-year-old Martin Bryant, who killed 35 people and wounded 23 more allegedly so that “everyone [would] remember me.” The massacre horrified Australians across the country, and resulted in significantly stricter gun control laws.
1996: Bill McGuire, Husband Of The “Suitcase Killer,” Goes Missing/h2>
Bill McGuire goes missing from Woodbridge Township, New Jersey. A month later, suitcases containing human body parts appeared in the Chesapeake Bay, prompting police to launch a criminal investigation. Police determined that the remains belonged to Bill McGuire, and they went to interview his wife, Melanie. His wife stated that they had fought the night he went missing, and that he decided to walk out and never return. Forensic evidence would eventually show that Melanie drugged her husband, shot him, and then dismembered his body.