On this day in history, November 1

Marathon runner Willie Mtolo makes a name for himself on the international stage. Picture: Archives

Marathon runner Willie Mtolo makes a name for himself on the international stage. Picture: Archives

Published Nov 1, 2023


Some of the more interesting things that happened on this day.

1348 The Black Death reaches London.

1512 The ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican, painted by Michelangelo, opens to the public.

1570 All Saints Flood – A tidal wave in the North Sea devastates the coast from Holland to Jutland; killing more than 1 000 people.

1755 Lisbon is devastated by an earthquake and tsunami. Up to 90 000 people die.

1893 The decisive Battle of Bembesi is fought in the Ndebele War, in Rhodesia. The Ngubi, Mbezu and Nsukamini regiments fight bravely, but are decimated by machine-gun fire.

1904 Willem Bok (57), the government commissioner after whom Boksburg is named, dies in Jeppestown, Johannesburg.

1939 The first animal conceived by artificial insemination, a rabbit, is displayed.

1939 The first jet plane, Germany’s Heinkel He 178, flies.

1944 Donald Watson, an English animal rights activist, coins the term ‘veganism’.

1948 Six thousand people die when a Chinese ship explodes off southern Manchuria.

1950 South African No 2 Squadron, known as Cheetah Squadron, comprising of 50 officers and 157 other ranks, including thirty-eight pilots, all volunteers and highly experienced, arrives in Japan bound for the Korean War.

1951 Operation Buster–Jangle: 6 500 American soldiers are exposed to ‘Desert Rock’ atomic explosions for training purposes in Nevada. Participation is mandatory.

1970 A discotheque in Grenoble, France, burns down. All the exits are padlocked so 142 people die.

1985 The government bans television coverage of unrest in Black townships in the 38 magisterial districts where the State of Emergency is in force. Curbs on newspaper reports are also imposed.

1992 South Africa’s Willie Mtolo wins the New York City Marathon, in a time of 2:09:29.

2012 Google’s Gmail becomes the world’s most popular email service.

2018 Palau is the first country to ban sunscreen because it bleaches coral reefs.

2018 Google staff walkout en masse to protest the handling of sexual harassment complaints.

2022 The fifth Israeli election in under four years is won by Benjamin Netanyahu and his Likud party.