Some of the more interesting things that happened on this day.
1497 After sailing for almost four months down the Atlantic without sight of land, Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama and his men reach a bay on Africa’s Cape West coast that he names Bahai da Santa Elena (St Helena Bay), after the religious Mother of Constantine the Great. Close to, or near the mouth of the Berg River, the explorers set in to make repairs, look for water, and check their position. It was here that they have their first encounter with the Khoikhoi. Fearing attack, the Khoikhoi throw spears, wounding Da Gama in the thigh. It is the first recorded conflict between blacks and whites in South Africa.
1846 Ben Palmer patents the artificial leg.
1847 Scottish Dr James Simpson discovers the anaesthetic effects of chloroform.
1862 Richard Gatling patents his first rapid-fire machine-gun which uses revolving barrels rotating around a central mechanism to load, fire, and extract cartridges.
1879 James Ritty patents the first cash register, to combat pilfering by bartenders in his Dayton, Ohio, saloon.
1922 In Egypt, British archaeologist Howard Carter and his men find the entrance to Tutankhamun’s tomb in the Valley of the Kings. The child-king became pharaoh at the age of nine and died around 1352BC, aged 19. The intact tomb contained many priceless items.
1942 Allied troops, including many South Africans, defeat the Germans, under Erwin Rommel, at El Alamein after a 12-day battle.
1979 Iranian students seize the US Embassy in Tehran, taking 90 hostages for 444 days.
1995 Three shots are fired Israeli prime minister and Nobel Peace Prize winner Yitzhak Rabin on the steps of a city hall in Tel Aviv, two find their mark. Rabin dies in hospital. It was Yigal Amir’s fourth attempt at killing Rabin.
2014 The body of the last victim is found on the wrecked cruise ship Costa Concordia.
2015 A plane crashes after take-off from Juba, South Sudan, killing 37 people, but a 1 year old survives, cradled in its dead father’s arms.
2017 Scottish champions Celtic set a new British record (63) for matches undefeated in all domestic football competitions as they beat St. Johnstone, 4-0 at McDiarmid Park.