German President Roman Herzog cuts the ribbon for the Potsdamer Platz as Daimler Benz Chairman Juergen Schrempp and Mayor Ebenhard Diepgen look on in Berlin. Image Credit: Gulf News Archives

1998 - Germany’s fabled pre-war crossroads, the Potsdamer Platz square, re-opened before one of the largest crowds at the central Berlin plaza in more than 50 years. A day before the eighth anniversary of German unity, the city feted completion of a giant swath of a new commercial, residential and corporate complex where the Berlin Wall used to divide the city. “For many Berliners, it is as if a miracle took place here,” Mayor Eberhard Diepgen said. German industrial giant Daimler-Benz is building the four billion mark ($2.4 billion) development on Europe’s largest construction site and what had been a thriving city centre before Second World War bombing levelled the area. The grand opening marks the first time the Potsdamer Platz’s 10 new streets, shopping centre and Marlene Dietrich piazza, named after the late film siren, have been open to the public.

Other major events on October 2

1870 Rome becomes the capital of Italy.

1940 HMS Empress of Britain, carrying child war refugees to Canada, is sunk during Second World War.

1941 German army launches all-out drive against Moscow in Second World War.

1958 The former French colony of Guinea proclaims its independence.

1985 American actor Rock Hudson dies from AIDS.

1987 Tunisian President Habib Bourguiba appoints Zine Al Abidine Bin Ali as Prime Minister.

1988 Pakistan Supreme Court lifts ban on political parties participating in elections.

1990 A hijacked Chinese jet smashes into two parked aircraft as it tries to land at Canton airport, killing 127 people.

1996 Yugoslavia broadly welcomes the UN’s decision to end sanctions.

1998 A popular Mongolian minister, Sanjaasuregiin Zorig, is killed.

2006 A gunman storms an Amish schoolhouse in Pennsylvania, killing five girls before committing suicide.

2007 North and South Korean leaders meet in Pyongyang for a historic summit.

2010 A passenger train slams into the back of another train in Indonesia, killing at least 36 people.

2013 South Korea and the US sign a strategic pact to prevent a North Korean nuclear attack.

2015 Al least 18 people are killed in a double bomb attack in Abuja, Nigeria.

2017 A gunman kills 58 people in Las Vegas concert shooting.