Some of the more interesting things that happened on this day.
48BC Roman emperor Pompey the Great is assassinated on orders of King Ptolemy of Egypt after the Romans land in Egypt
1066 Just three days after the English saw off the Vikings, the country is invaded again, this time by an army led by the Duke of Normandy, William the Conqueror. William’s familial relationship with the childless Anglo-Saxon king Edward the Confessor, who died in January 1066 and was succeeded by his brother-in-law Harold Godwinson, may have encouraged his hopes for the throne.
1644 The Knights of Malta attack an Ottoman convoy of ships that include Chief Black Eunuch and pilgrims bound for Mecca, killing or selling all into slavery, which triggers the 54-year-long Cretan War a year later.
1767 The Dutch VOC government bans the import of South-East Asian slaves into the Cape because they are considered dangerous.
1785 A future emperor, Napoleon Bonaparte, 16, graduates from the military academy in Paris, placing 42nd from among a class of 51.
1857 The 198-ton Susan Crisp is wrecked and five crew members go missing near Plettenberg Bay in what is today the Western Cape. She was on her way to remove provisions from the William Bailey, also wrecked at Plettenberg Bay.
1871 The Brazilian parliament passes the Law of the Free Womb, granting freedom to all new children born to slaves, the first major step in the eradication of slavery in Brazil.
1887 The Yellow River floods in China, killing between 900 000 and 2 million people in one of the deadliest natural disasters in history.
1889 The first General Conference on Weights and Measures defines the length of a metre as the distance between two lines on a standard bar of an alloy of platinum with 10% iridium, measured at the melting point of ice.
1899 Transvaal mobilizes its army in the leadup to the Second Boer War
1902 About 15 000 applications for mining permits are submitted in ‘Egoli’, Johannesburg, each week.
1904 A woman is arrested for smoking a cigarette in a car in New York City.
1928 Sir Alexander Fleming notices a bacteria-killing mould growing in his laboratory, discovering penicillin. The discovery is one of the most important of the last century.
1934 Described as ‘the princess of pout, the countess of come hither’, movie actress Brigitte Bardot – one of the leading sex symbols of the 20th century – is born in Paris, France.
1992 A Pakistani Airbus crashes into a hill in Kathmandu, Nepal, killing all 167 on board.
1994 The cruise ferry MS Estonia sinks in Baltic Sea, killing 852 people.
1995 Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat sign the Oslo 2 Accord to transfer the West Bank to the PLO.
1995 Bob Denard and his mercenaries seize the islands of the Comoros in a coup d’etat.
1996 The former president of Afghanistan Mohammad Najibullah is tortured and murdered by the Taliban.
2015 Comedian Trevor Noah succeeds Jon Stewart as host of the late-night talk and satirical news program The Daily Show in the US.
2018 Up to 50 million Facebook accounts are hacked.
2022 The Bank of England is forced to step in to calm markets after parliament’s mini-budget drives the pound to its lowest level against the US dollar.