Some of the more interesting things that happened on this day.
1216 Embarrassing, England’s King John loses his crown jewels an incoming tide swamps his wagons while crossing The Wash.
1285 For refusing baptism in Munich, Germany, 180 Jews are set alight.
1492 After a 33-day voyage, Christopher Columbus makes his first landfall in the New World in the Bahamas. He names the first land sighted as El Salvador, claiming it for Spain. Columbus was seeking a western sea route from Europe to Asia and believed he had found an island of the Indies. He thus called the first island natives he met, ‘Indians’.
1823 Charles Macintosh sells his first raincoat.
1860 Former Cape governor, Sir Harry Smith dies in London. A veteran of the Battle of Waterloo, he is remembered for his role in the 1846 Battle of Aliwal in India, and as the husband of Lady Smith – Juana Maria de Los Dolores de León, whom he rescued and married a few days later while on campaign in Spain. Their marriage lasted 40 years and unfolded like a true love story, although they were childless. Twelve years to the day after his death Lady Smith follows her husband to the grave, in 1872. The towns of Ladysmith, Ladismith, Harrismith, Aliwal North and Smithfield all owe their names to the Smiths.
1899 The first shots of the Anglo-Boer War are fired at Kraaipan, south of Mafeking.
1960 Japan Socialist Party leader Inejiro Asanuma is stabbed to death on live TV.
1964 The world’s first crewed space flight is made by three Soviet cosmonauts.
1984 The IRA bombs the Grand Hotel in Brighton, where British prime minister Margaret Thatcher is staying; 5 people die.
2000 The destroyer USS Cole is badly damaged in Aden, Yemen, by suicide bombers.
2002 Terrorists plant bombs in Bali’s nightclub district, killing 202 people and injuring 209.
2005 Shenzhou 6, the second Chinese human spaceflight, is launched, carrying Fèi Jùnlóng and Niè Hǎishèng for five days in orbit.
2012 The UN orders that an African-led force oust Islamist militants in northern Mali.
2013 50 people are killed when a truck veers off a cliff in La Convencion province, Peru.
2014 Evo Morales, the first indigenous president of Bolivia, is re-elected.
2017 Plague in Madagascar kills 57 people.
2018 The Banksy work, Girl With Balloon, automatically shreds moments after being sold for £1 million in London, and is re-named Love Is In The Bin (but is it art, Mr Mondrian? – apologies to Niki Daly).
2020 China says it will test entire city of Qingdao, home to 9 million people, for Covid-19 within five days after a dozen cases are discovered.
2022 American conspiracy theorist, radio host, and provocateur Alex Jones is ordered by a Connecticut defamation trial jury to pay $965 million to families of those killed in the 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School for falsely and repeatedly claiming on his broadcasts that none of the 20 children and six adults killed had actually died and that their relatives were crisis actors.