Some of the more interesting things that happened on this day.
1207 England’s King John grants the small backwater town of Liverpool a charter (giving it the right to elect a mayor and an aldermen). John then sets about designing the street plan.
1499 Explorer, navigator and nobleman Vasco da Gama arrives back in Lisbon from his epic voyage to India via the Cape of Good Hope.
1842 About 200 people drown when a gale blows the SS Waterloo broadside on to the shore in Table Bay. It also forces the SS Abercrombie Robinson aground at the Salt River mouth in the bay, but all are saved.
1859 A geomagnetic storm causes the Aurora Borealis to shine so brightly that it is seen over the US, Europe and Japan.
1879 Cetshwayo, the last of the independent Zulu kings, is captured by the British at the end of the Zulu war.
1837 English pharmacists John Lea and William Perrins manufacture the difficult to pronounce Worcestershire Sauce.
1898 Caleb Bradham renames his carbonated soft drink, ‘Pepsi-Cola’.
1919 General Jan Smuts becomes premier of South Africa.
1939 Journalist Care Hollingworth gets the scoop on the outbreak of the World War II by filing reports that the ‘large numbers of troops, literally hundreds of tanks, armoured cars and field guns’ had lined up along the Polish border. Three days later, Germany attacks.
1940 The South African Air Force bombs Italian bases in Somaliland.
1963 ‘On a radiant day in August’, Martin Luther King, the oratorically gifted Baptist preacher from Georgia, departs from his carefully prepared speech, going off-the-cuff for the next 16 minutes to give a memorable address, saying: ‘I have a dream.’ He is egged on by confidant and gospel singer Mahalia Jackson, who cries out: ‘Tell ‘em about the dream, Martin! Tell ‘em about the dream!’
1988 Three aircraft of the Italian aerobatic team collide over the crowd at the Ramstein air show in Germany; killing 75 people.
2017 Kenya brings in world’s toughest ban on plastic bags with a $38 000 fine and four years in jail for manufacturing and selling them.
2017 An investigation into German nurse Niels Högel, who is a serving life sentence for killing two patients, concludes that he probably killed 86 more.
2018 The body of the ‘Queen of Soul’, Aretha Franklin lies in state in a 24-carat gold coffin in a Detroit museum.
2018 Puerto Rico raises the official death toll of 2017 Hurricane Maria from 64 to 2 975.
2019 Outspoken climate change activist Greta Thunberg arrives in New York after sailing across the Atlantic on an emissions-free voyage.
2022 Pakistan appeals for international aid as the death toll from monsoon rain and floods rises to more than 1 000 people.