On this day in history, July 26

Casanova lived to love.

Casanova lived to love.

Published Jul 26, 2023


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

1267 The notorious Inquisition forms in Rome under Pope Clement IV. It was a powerful office set up within the Catholic Church to root out and punish heresy throughout Europe and later the Americas. Beginning in the 12th century and continuing for hundreds of years, it is infamous for the severity of its tortures and for the persecution of Jews and Muslims.

1755 The epitome of the 18th-century gentleman, Giacomo Casanova, is arrested in Venice for affront to religion and common decency, and jailed without trial. Five years later he escapes and his notoriety grows. Having bedded 104 lovers, his complicated and elaborate affairs with women mean his name is synonymous with “womaniser”.

1882 The Republic of Stellaland – a Boer republic – is formed. With the State of Goshen, it becomes the United States of Stellaland and a focal point for conflict, setting the stage for the Second Anglo-Boer (South African) War.

1936 King Edward VIII, in one of his few official duties before he abdicates, unveils the Canadian National Vimy Memorial.

1944 The world’s first long-range ballistic missile, the German V-2, first strikes Britain.

1944 The Red Army enters Lviv in Ukraine. Only 300 Jews survive of the 160 000 who had been living in the city before its occupation by Germany.

1945 The cruiser USS Indianapolis arrives at Tinian island – within flying range of Japan – with the parts for the Hiroshima atomic bomb.

1947 The CIA is signed into existence.

1953 Fidel Castro’s attack on the Moncada Barracks kicks off the Cuban Revolution.

1956 Egyptian leader Gamal Abdel Nasser nationalises the Suez Canal.

1957 The USSR launches the first intercontinental ballistic missile.

1982 Popular Indian film star Amitabh Bachchan is seriously injured while filming a fight scene.

2008 The Ahmedabad bombings in India kill 56 people and injure more than 200.

2017 Great Britain announces it will ban petrol- and diesel-fuelled cars by 2040.

2021 A ship carrying migrants is wrecked off the coast of Libya, killing at least 57 people and taking the death toll in the central Mediterranean to 987 for the year.

2022 Russia says it will leave the International Space Station at the end of 2024.