August 27, 2001: Angelina Jolie becomes UN goodwill envoy

Angelina Jolie becomes UN goodwill envoy

US actress Angelina Jolie was officially appointed goodwill ambassador for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). The 26-year-old actress, best known for her portrayal of the super-heroine Lara Croft, formally received her UNHCR blue passport at a short ceremony presided over by High Commissioner Ruud Lubbers. The actress has just returned from Pakistan where she visited several camps for Afghan refugees in Peshawar. She earlier visited Sierra Leone, Tanzania and Cambodia. Lubbers paid tribute to the actress for her “compassion, understanding, her respect for refugees and her personal generosity.” He said: “We really need her to convince the young generation that something has to be done.”

Other important events

1783 – Frenchman Jacques Alexander Cesar Charles launches the first practical hydrogen balloon.

1883 – The most powerful volcanic eruption ever recorded blows apart Mount Krakatoa in the Sunda Straits, Indonesia.

1859 – Edwin Drake strikes oil at 69 feet near Titusville, Pennsylvania, the world’s first successful oil well.

1892 – New York City Metropolitan Opera House catches fire.

1910 – The first radio broadcast is transmitted from a plane in flight.

1939 – The world’s first turbojet-powered aircraft, Germany’s Henkel He 178, makes its first flight.

1941 – Shah of Iran abdicates and is succeeded by his son, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.

1955 – The first edition of the Guinness Book of Records is published.

1966 – English yachtsman Sir Francis Chichester begins the first around-the-world solo sea voyage.

1978 – Gerrie Knetemann wins the World Cycling Championship.

1979 – Lord Mountbatten dies in a boat explosion.

1982 – Turkish military diplomat Colonel Atilla Altikat is shot and killed in Ottawa.

1996 – Armed Iraqis who hijacked a Sudanese airliner release all their hostages and surrender in London.

1999 – The last crew shuts the door on the 13-year-old Mir space station.

2000 – Abu Sayyaf frees five hostages after 126 days in captivity in the Philippines.

2001 – Israel kills Palestinian leader Abu Ali Mustafa in a missile strike in the West Bank city of Ramallah.

2006 – A commuter jet Comair taking off for Atlanta crashes just past the runway and bursts into flames in Kentucky, killing 49 people.

2010 – New constitution is launched in Kenya.

2012 – Seven Emiratis and an Omani child are killed on the spot in a head-on collision in eastern Salalah, Oman.

2013 – Pakistani Malala Yousufzai wins the Children’s Peace Prize for her passionate advocacy of girls’ education.

2015 – Jamaican Usain Bolt beats Justin Gatlin of the US to win the men’s 200 metres final at the World Athletics Championships in Beijing.