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On this day in history, July 25

Significant and interesting snippets of news, with a South African angle, from this day in history

A Concorde with fire trailing from its engine on the left wing takes off from Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris. The plane crashed shortly after take-of. ANA Archives

Published Jul 25, 2023


Significant and interesting snippets of news, with a South African angle, from this day in history

306 Constantine I is proclaimed Roman emperor by his troops.

1521 About 300 heretics are burned at the stake in Vrijdagmarkt, Gent.

1536 Spanish conquistador Sebastián de Belalcázar, on his search for the fabled city of El Dorado, founds the city of Santiago de Cali (Cali), the most populous city in Colombia.

1814 English engineer George Stephenson introduces his first steam locomotive.

1901 Emily Hobhouse addresses public meetings in Britain on the appalling conditions civilians endure in concentration camps during the South African (Anglo-Boer) War.

1909 The world’s first international overseas airplane flight is achieved by Louis Bleriot in a small monoplane. After asking, “Where is England?” he takes off from France and lands near Dover, in England, 37 minutes later.

1913 A meeting in Johannesburg of the South African Native National Congress, now the ANC, is attended by many people from South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, and Swaziland.

1944 Germany’s Messerschmitt 262 becomes the first jet fighter used in combat.

1956 South of Nantucket Island off the US east coast, the liners Andrea Doria and Stockholm collide. Nearby ships come to the rescue, saving 1 634 people, including the captain and the crew of the Andrea Doria before the ship went down.

1981 Anti-tour demonstrators invade Hamilton’s Rugby Park, forcing the abandonment of the much-anticipated Springboks-Waikato match, causing chants of, ‘We want rugby!’ from spectators.

1993 Apla cadres attack St James’ Church, in Cape Town; 11 of the congregation are killed.

2000 Concorde Air France Flight 4590 crashes in Paris after debris on the runway ruptures a fuel tank; 113 passengers die.

2017 Sperm counts have halved in past 40 years, scientists say.

2019 High temperature records are set across Europe just one day after previous records were set: Paris 42.6ºC, Germany 42.6ºC, Netherlands 40.7ºC, Belgium 40.6ºC.

2019 “City killer” Asteroid 2019 OK passes by almost undetected, just 72 000km from earth, which is closer than the Moon.