28 August: Establishment of the Silliman University (1901) and the most serious coup attempt against Cory Aquino’s administration (1987)

1901: The Establishment of Silliman University

On 28 August 1901, Silliman Institute, later known as Silliman University, is established as the first American university in the Philippines by the Presbyterian Board of Foreign Missions. It is the first American university in the Philippines and the entire Asian continent.

The university is named after Dr. Horace Brinsmade Silliman, a retired businessman and philanthropist from Cohoes, New York who gave the initial sum of $10,000 to start the school. Starting as an elementary school for boys, the school expanded to become a college in 1910, acquiring university status in 1938. For the first half of the 20th century, Silliman was run and operated by Americans. After the Second World War Filipinos began to assume more administrative positions, culminating in the appointment of Silliman’s first Filipino president in 1952.

1987: Coup attempt against President Cory Aquino (1987)

On 28 August 1987, the most serious attempt up to then to overthrow Aquino’s government was launched by members of the Reform the Armed Forces Movement led by Colonel Gregorio Honasan, who had been a former top aide of Enrile. In the early morning of the 28th, rebel soldiers launched an attack on Malacañang Palace. The siege was repelled within a few hours, with several military and civilian casualties including Aquino’s son, former President Benigno Aquino III, who was wounded.