The Iraqi solidiers celebrate after capturing on of the Iranian cities during the war. Image Credit: Gulf News Archives

1988: A UN-brokered ceasefire in the nearly eight-year-old Gulf war began with UN observers patrolling the 750-mile Iran-Iraq border, and each country testing the truce by sending ships into previously off-limit areas. There were no violations reported in the first hours of the official truce, although an Iraqi ship was stopped and searched by Iranian forces in the Gulf before being allowed to continue its voyage. Iraq filed a protest with the UN. “So far, we have only good news from the front,” said Col Yrjo Helanen, a Finnish officer in charge of the UN liaison office in Iraq. “The official ceasefire has been in effect since 7am [Iraqi time] and is holding, he said. He said convoys of white trucks flying UN flags had spread out from three front-line bases along the border that stretches over desert, marshes and mountains.

Other important events

1915 Italy declares war on Turkey.

1940 Exiled Russian revolutionary Leon Trotsky is attacked in Mexico. He dies the next day.

1942 A team of chemists led by American Glenn T. Seaborg isolates a visible amount of plutonium for the first time.

1955 Hundreds of people are killed in anti-French rioting in Morocco and Algeria.

1968 Soviet Union and other Warsaw Pact nations invade Czechoslovakia.

1971 Heavy rains flood the Red River delta in Vietnam, killing at least 100,000 people.

1974 US President Gerald Ford assumes office after Richard Nixon’s resignation.

1985 Sikh political leader Harchand Singh Longowal is assassinated in Punjab.

1988 A powerful earthquake rattles Nepal killing more than 1000.

1991 The Republic of Estonia declares independence from the Soviet Union.

1995 At least 300 people are killed when a passenger express rams into a stationary train near the Ferozabad railway station in northern India.

1998 US forces attack alleged terrorist camps in Afghanistan and a chemical plant in Sudan.

2006 Iran test-fires ten surface-to-surface short-range missiles.

2008 A Spanish jetliner crashes during takeoff at Madrid’s Barajas International Airport, killing 154.

2012 Ethiopia’s long-time ruler Meles Zenawi dies at age of 57.

2015 Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras resigns after seven months in office.