Today in History: April 28, Muhammad Ali stripped of heavyweight title


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.

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.

In 1986, the Soviet Union informed the world of the nuclear disaster at Chernobyl that began two days earlier.

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

In 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.

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 2013, Mohammed Sohel Rana, the fugitive owner of an illegally constructed building in Bangladesh that collapsed and killed more than 1,100 people, was captured by a commando force as he tried to flee into India.

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.

In 2018, Alfie Evans, the 23-month-old terminally-ill British toddler who was at the center of a legal battle over his treatment, died at a British hospital.

In 2021, 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 at age 90.

In 2022, Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Trevor Bauer was suspended for two full seasons without pay by Major League Baseball for violating the league’s domestic violence and sexual assault policy, which he denied doing.

In 2023, Russia fired more than 20 cruise missiles and two drones at Ukraine, killing at least 23 people, almost all of them when two missiles slammed into an apartment building in a terrifying night attack.


Former Secretary of State James A. Baker III is 94.

Actor-singer Ann-Margret is 83.

Actor Paul Guilfoyle is 75.

Former “Tonight Show” host Jay Leno is 74.

Rock musician Chuck Leavell is 72.

Actor Mary McDonnell is 72.

Rock singer-musician Kim Gordon (Sonic Youth) is 71.

Actor Nancy Lee Grahn is 68.

Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan is 64.

Rapper Too Short is 58.

Actor Bridget Moynahan is 53.

Actor Chris Young is 53.

Rapper Big Gipp is 52.

Actor Jorge Garcia is 51.

Actor Elisabeth Rohm is 51.

Actor Penelope Cruz is 50.

Actor Nate Richert is 46.

TV personalities Drew and Jonathan Scott are 46.

Actor Jessica Alba is 43.

Actor Harry Shum Jr. is 42.

Actor Jenna Ushkowitz is 38.

Actor Aleisha Allen is 33.