Some of the more interesting things that happened on this day.
1792 The British man o’ war, and the largest warship in the world, HMS Royal George, capsizes at Spithead while having routine maintenance work; more than 800 people are killed.
1848 A the Battle of Boomplaats (about 120km from Bloemfontein) the British, under Governor-General and Commander-in-Chief of the Cape Harry Smith, defeats Andries Pretorius and his rebellious Voortrekkers. The Boers were unhappy about the annexation of the Orange Free State earlier in the year.
1883 Seismic waves created by the Krakatoa eruption in Indonesia creates a rise in the English Channel 32 hours after the event.
1900 Cape Town mayor Thomas Ball lays the cornerstone of the Cape Town city hall.
1909 AH Latham of France sets the world aeroplane altitude record. The record was 155m.
1929 The German airship Graf Zeppelin completes a round-the-world flight.
1939 Chaim Weizmann informs England that Palestine’s Jews will fight in World War II.
1941 The German Einsatzkommando (mobile killing squad) kills 1 469 Jewish children in Russia in line with Nazi Germany’s policy of exterminating Jews.
1960 Lady Mary Bailey, the wife of Rand magnate and politician Sir Abe Bailey, dies in Kenilworth, Cape Town. She was the first solo pilot to complete the London to Cape return flight.
1962 A US U-2 spy plane finds launch pads for Soviet missiles in Cuba, leading to the Cuban Missile Crisis which pushed the world to the brink of nuclear war.
1997 Netflix is founded as an online DVD rental business.
2004 The Athens Olympic marathon is run on the same route as the 1896 Games, starting at the site of the Battle of Marathon to the Panathenaic Stadium in Athens. Italy’s Stefano Baldini wins the race.
2005 Hurricane Katrina makes its second landfall on the US Gulf Coast. The hurricane kills more than 1 800 people and causes more than $115 billion in damage.
2018 At a church service in Berlin, Germany hands back the remains of Herero and Nama people murdered during the 1904–08 Namibian genocide.
2019 Scientists announce there is no single ‘gay’ gene, with genetics accounting for at most 25% of same-sex behaviour, in a study published in “Science”.
2019 The discovery of the world’s largest child sacrifice site is announced by archaeologists after 227 victims, believed to have been sacrificed by the Chimú culture, are found in Huanchaco, Peru.
2020 Elon Musk unveils a pig named Gertrude. The porker has a coin-sized computer in her brain, part of his Nuralink start-up to create a brain-to-machine interface.
2022 In the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, the worst violence in years breaks out, with 30 killed and 700 injured after Shia leader Muqtada al-Sadr announces that he is withdrawing from politics.