Significant and interesting snippets of news with a South African angle, from this day in history
610 Date of the Laylat al-Qadr, when Muhammad begins to receive the Qur’an.
1270 Yekuno Amlak takes the imperial throne of Ethiopia, restoring the dynasty of Solomon.
1628 The top-heavy warship Vasa – a symbol of Swedish might – sinks in Stockholm harbour on her maiden voyage, killing 30 people.
1932 German shepherd Rin Tin Tin dies. Rescued from the horrors of a World War I battlefield by an American soldier, the dog goes on to appear in 27 Hollywood films, gaining worldwide fame and greatly increasing the popularity of the breed. The immense profitability of the films he was in had a lot to do with the growth and success of the Warner Bros studio. Hollywood legend has it that the first Academy Awards, presented in 1929, had the charismatic canine winning the vote count for best actor, but the Academy blinked, recalculated and gave the honour instead to German actor Emil Jannings. When he died, newspapers across the US carried obituaries.
1945 After two atomic bombs devastate two cites, Japan offers to surrender.
1965 Twelve-year-old Kimberley swimmer Karen Muir sets a world record in backstroke.
1966 Daylight meteor seen from Utah to Canada. It is the only known case of a meteor entering Earth’s atmosphere and leaving it.
1977 About 100 whites join Blacks protesting about shack demolitions near Cape Town.
1984 Zola Budd and Mary Decker (US), who are favourites in the 3 000m final at the LA Olympics collide. Decker falls, Budd is 7th.
1994 British troops leave Hong Kong, having been there since 1841.
2006 Scotland Yard disrupts a plot to destroy planes flying from the UK to the US. As a result toiletries are banned from commercial aircraft.
2012 The Marikana massacre begins near Rustenburg, causing the deaths of 47 people.
2017 A 100-year-old fruit cake is “almost edible” after being found in a hut used by Scott’s doomed expedition in Antarctica.
2018 A US ground crew member steals an Alaskan Air plane from the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, and, chased by military jets for over an hour, goes on a joyride before fatally crashing.
2019 Financier Jeffrey Epstein is found dead of an apparent suicide in his jail cell in New York, while awaiting trail for sex trafficking.
2019 71 people die while trying to siphon petrol from an overturned tanker which explodes in the Morogoro region of Tanzania.
2021 I am Legend screenwriter Akiva Goldsman tweets: “It’s a movie. I made that up. It’s. Not. Real.” amid rumours that Covid-19 vaccines could turn people into zombies, as in the film.