On this day in history, August 24

Prince Andrew is in the dog box over his ties with disgraced American financier and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. Picture: EPA

Prince Andrew is in the dog box over his ties with disgraced American financier and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. Picture: EPA

Published Aug 24, 2023


Significant and interesting moments in time with a South African angle, from this day in history.

AD79 Mount Vesuvius blows its top, burying Pompeii, Herculaneum, and Stabiae in ash.

1349 Much maligned by Christians because it was Jews who pushed for the death of Jesus, 6 000 of them are killed in Mainz, Germany, because ‘they caused’ black death.

1456 The printing of the Gutenberg Bible is completed.

1759 William Wilberforce, the English philanthropist and champion for the abolishment of the slave trade, is born.

1875 Captain Matthew Webb becomes the first person to swim the English Channel.

1941 Owing to protests, Adolf Hitler publicly orders the cessation of Nazi Germany’s euthanasia programme of the mentally ill and the handicapped. The killings continue in secret for the rest of the war.

1949 The treaty creating the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (Nato) goes into effect.

1950 Operation Magic Carpet – the transport of 45 000 Yemenite Jews to Israel – ends.

1976 Violent ethnic clashes between Zulus and others, involving about 10 000 people in running fights, start, causing chaos in Soweto which the police appear unable to control.

1981 Mark Chapman is sentenced to 20 years to life in prison for killing Beatle John Lennon in New York.

2004 89 passengers die when two airliners explode after flying out of Domodedovo International Airport, near Moscow. The explosions were caused by suicide bombers (reportedly women) from Chechnya.

2011 A dying Steve Jobs resigns as CEO of Apple Inc and is succeeded by Tim Cook.

2013 30 people die in a gang battle involving flame throwers in Palmasola prison, Bolivia.

2019 Britain’s Prince Andrew denies knowing his friend Jeffrey Epstein was involved in sexual trafficking of underage girls after public accusations made against him.

2019 US adventurer and private equity investor Victor Vescovo is the first person to visit the deepest point of every ocean when he reaches Molloy Hole, in the Arctic. He has also climbed the highest mountains on each continent and is a space tourist.

2021 The UN says Madagascar is on the brink of world’s first ‘climate change famine’ after four years without rain.

2022 Germany and French rail transport manufacturer Alstom inaugurates the world's first fleet of hydrogen fuel-powered trains in Lower Saxony.

2022 South Korea again records the world's lowest fertility rate at 0.81 (advanced economics average 1.6, population replacement needs 2.1).