Today in History, 15/9

By AAP and agencies
After a 20-yr voyage, NASA probe Cassini met its fiery end after plunging into Saturn's atmosphere

Highlights in history on this date:

1810 - Mexico rejects Spanish rule.

1916 - British Army uses tanks for first time on Western Front in World War I.

1919 - China terminates its war with Germany.

1935 - Nuremberg laws outlaw Jews and make the swastika the official flag of Germany.

1938 - British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain visits Germany's Adolf Hitler at Berchtesgaden where Hitler states his determination to annex Sudetenland on principle of self-determination.

1940 - During the Battle of Britain in World War II, the tide turns as the Luftwaffe sustains heavy losses inflicted by the Royal Air Force.

1946 - People's republic is formed in Bulgaria after a referendum rejects monarchy.

1950 - United Nations forces, under US command, land at Inchon, South Korean port city, during Korean War.

1957 - Rainfall of 156mm deluges Hobart, its wettest day on record.

1963 - Four children are killed when a bomb explodes during Sunday services at a black Baptist church in Birmingham, Alabama.

1972 - Two former White House aides, Howard Hunt and Gordon Liddy, are added to the five men already charged with the break-in at the Watergate building.

1982 - Iran's former foreign minister, Sadegh Ghotbzadeh, is executed after being convicted of plotting against the government.

1988 - Convictions of Michael and Lindy Chamberlain over the death of their baby Azaria at Uluru are quashed.

1991 - Jets, tanks and gunboats of the Yugoslav federal army hammer Croatian forces as air-raid sirens wail for the first time in the Croatian capital, Zagreb.

1993 - Death of Aboriginal poet Oodgeroo Noonuccal (formerly Kath Walker), aged 72.

1993 - Hijackers brandishing grenades force a Russian jetliner with 52 people aboard to land in Norway, then surrender to police and ask for political asylum.

1996 - Bahrain agrees to play host to 26 American F-16 jet fighters, becoming the second Gulf country to allow US forces to operate from its soil in the confrontation with Iraq.

1997 - Thousands of Rwandans gather for a mass at the site of one of the century's worst genocides. The bones of as many as 60,000 slain Tutsis are put to rest.

2000 - The Sydney Olympic Games officially open with the lighting of the Olympic flame by Cathy Freeman.

2001 - President George W Bush orders US troops to get ready for war and braces Americans for a long, difficult assault against terrorists to avenge the September 11 attacks.

2002 - North and South Korea agree to begin clearing mines along their border and to set up a military hotline to smooth work on relinking railways at the truce village of Panmunjom.

2004 - Three Americans accused of torturing Afghans in a private jail are found guilty and sentenced to up to 10 years.

2005 - Former rebels in Indonesia's Aceh province begin handing in their weapons to foreign monitors under a landmark peace deal.

2007 - The leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq offers money for the murder of Swedish cartoonist Lars Vilks and his editor, who had recently produced images deemed insulting to Islam.

2008 - Radical Muslim cleric Abdul Nacer Benbrika, who planned a mass killing of people in Melbourne, becomes Australia's first convicted terrorist leader.

2011 - Denmark elects its first female prime minister, ousting the right-wing government from power after 10 years of pro-market reforms and ever-stricter controls on immigration.

2012 - Angry Muslim communities in Sydney and around the world protest against a film they say denigrates the Prophet Mohammed.

2015 - Malcolm Turnbull is sworn is as Australia's 29th prime minister by Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove.

2016 - Attorney-General George Brandis' announcement that teenagers as young as 14 have been involved in terrorist-related activity comes as Australia considers tougher terror laws.

2017 - NASA's Cassini spacecraft plunges into Saturn's atmosphere where it burns and disintegrates. The probe had been in service for 20 years and captured unparalled data on Saturn and in its rings, which will be used for decades to come.

Today's Birthdays:

Agatha Christie, British author (1890-1976); Jean Renoir, French film director (1894-1979); Brian Henderson, Australian television personality (1931-); Fred Nile, NSW politician (1934-); Sara Henderson, Australian pastoralist and author (1936-2005); Oliver Stone, US filmmaker (1946-); Tommy Lee Jones, US actor (1946-); Terry Lamb, Australian rugby league footballer (1961-); Queen Letizia of Spain (1972-); Kim Moyes, Australian musician and producer (1976-); Tom Hardy, British actor (1977-); Sophie Dahl, British author and model (1979-); Prince Harry of the UK (1984-).

Thought for Today:

In every real man a child is hidden that wants to play - Friedrich Nietzsche, German philosopher (1844-1900).