This Day In History, September 28th

What happened on this day in history: Pompey the Great is assassinated, eight Chicago White Sox players are indicted for fixing the 1919 World Series, and more.

48 B.C.E.: Pompey The Great Is Assassinated

Roman general Pompey the Great is assassinated in Egypt on the orders of King Ptolemy. A successful military leader, Pompey helped expand the Roman Empire and ruled alongside Julius Caesar as a member of the First Triumvirate. But the increasingly conservative Pompey soon found himself on the opposite side of the political divide from Caesar and the two former allies became bitter enemies.

Finally, in 48 B.C.E. Pompey’s forces were defeated by Caesar’s at the Battle of Pharsalus in central Greece, causing Pompey to flee to Egypt. But once he arrived, the Egyptian king had him killed in order to avoid Caesar’s wrath.

1066: William The Conqueror’s Norman Conquest Begins

William the Conqueror lands at Pevensey, England and begins his Norman conquest of the country. He’d been named Duke of Normandy in 1035, but he dreamed of securing the English throne and claimed that his cousin, King Edward the Confessor, had promised him the throne.

So when Edward died in 1066 and his brother-in-law Harold II claimed the throne instead, William set out to take it back. Within weeks, he led his forces to their first victory at the Battle of Hastings. This pivotal win on October 14 broke the back of the English resistance and paved the way for William to be crowned king on Christmas Day. He would go on to hold the throne until his death in 1087.

1542: Spanish Explorer Cabrillo Becomes First European To Set Foot In The U.S. East Coast

Spanish Explorer Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo becomes the first European to set foot in the U.S. East Coast. The governor of Guatemala selected Cabrillo to explore the Pacific because of his track record as a businessman and a leader. On day 103, Cabrillo and his crew entered the San Diego harbor. Laster, Cabrillo and his crew made it to Monterey Bay and Point Reyes before a storm forced them to turn back. After a fight with a native tribe, Cabrillo was injured and died of complications.

1920: White Sox Players Are Indicted For The “Black Sox Scandal”

This Day In History

Underwood & Underwood/Wikimedia CommonsThe eight White Sox players incriminated in the 1919 fixing scandal.

A Chicago grand jury indicts eight members of Major League Baseball’s Chicago White Sox on charges of fixing the World Series in 1919. In what became known as the “Black Sox Scandal,” the players allegedly agreed to lose games on purpose in exchange for $100,000 from gamblers like Arnold Rothstein who had bet against them. The players eventually called off the fix when their co-conspirators failed to pay out $20,000 after each loss as promised, but the White Sox still lost the World Series. The players were ultimately acquitted, but they were banned from the MLB forever.

1934: Brigitte Bardot Is Born

Brigitte Bardot

Wikimedia CommonsBrigitte Bardot at the 1953 Cannes Film Festival.

French actress and sex symbol Brigitte Bardot is born in Paris. After finding fame for her portrayal of sensual women in films like And God Created Woman and Viva Maria! in the 1950s and ’60s, she retired from the entertainment industry in 1973 after acting in 47 films and recording more than 60 songs.

Ever since, she has remained an outspoken — and controversial — activist and public figure. While she’s been widely praised for her foundation in support of animal rights, she’s also come under fire for her opposition to both immigration and Islam in France.