Some of the more interesting things that happened on this day.
1492 Christopher Columbus first learns about growing and harvesting maize – South Africa’s staple food – from the natives of Cuba.
1605 Catholic rebel Guy Fawkes tries and fails to blow up England’s protestant King James I and the British parliament by placing barrels of gunpowder beneath the House of Parliament in London. Fawkes is tortured and executed along with seven others. The day has since been celebrated as Guy Fawkes Day.
1799 The 64-gun ship Sceptre is wrecked in Table Bay and 300 lives are lost.
1908 The Cullinan diamond is cut into two big stones, The Star of Africa and the Cullinan 2, as well as seven big and 96 smaller stones.
1917 Russian revolutionary Lenin calls for the October Revolution and the overthrow of the monarchy.
1935 The Parker Brothers launch the game of Monopoly.
1937 Adolf Hitler tells his military leaders in secret of his intentions of going to war.
1940 Franklin D Roosevelt is the first and only president of the US to be elected to a third term, and later for a fourth.
1969 The Springbok rugby tour of the UK is disrupted by an anti-apartheid demonstration.
1975 Cuban soldiers and Russian military equipment arrive in Luanda, Angola, while SA is clandestinely supporting Unita. When SA realises that the US does not support its operation, troops are withdrawn.
2006 Saddam Hussein, the former president of Iraq, is sentenced to death for the massacre of the 148 Shias in 1982.
2009 Major Nidal Hasan kills 13 colleagues and wounds 32 at Fort Hood, Texas.
2015 An iron ore tailings dam bursts in Brazil, flooding a valley, causing mudslides in a village and at least 17 deaths.
2018 A taskforce is set up to name and shame LGBT people in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
2018 Nasa’s Voyager 2 probe leaves the solar system, becoming the second human-made object to reach interstellar space after Voyager 1.
2019 Actress Emma Watson, interviewed in Vogue magazine, says she is happy to be single – ‘I call it being self-partnered’, launching worldwide discussion on the term.