On this day, June 22

Diego Maradona’s infamous ‘Hand of God’ goal.

Diego Maradona’s infamous ‘Hand of God’ goal.

Published Jun 22, 2023


Significant and interesting snippets of news, with a South African angle, from this day in history

1535 Catholic cardinal John Fisher is beheaded for refusing to acknowledge King Henry VIII as head of the church in England.

1611 While searching for the Northwest Passage, explorer Henry Hudson, his young son and loyal men, are set adrift by mutineers in Hudson Bay, never to be seen again.

1633 Galileo is forced to recant his views that the Earth orbits the Sun (the Vatican finally admits in 1992 that they got it wrong).

1685 The first grant of land in Table Valley is registered in the name of Hieronymous Cruse.

1783 A poisonous cloud from the volcano Laki, which spews 120 million tons of sulphur dioxide (three times the Europe’s 2006 total emissions output) into the sky above Iceland. It causes a thick haze over Europe, affects weather pattens, harvests and, as a result, thousands of deaths.

1874 The game of lawn tennis is introduced.

1897 Electricity comes to Durban.

1904 The first of 62 000 Chinese labourers arrive in South Africa to work on the mines.

1906 Bambata Rebellion leader Sigananda dies in the jail at Nkandla.

1940 France is forced to sign the Second Compiègne armistice in surrender to Germany, in the same railroad car in which Germany was forced to sign an armistice in 1918.

1941 Despite warnings on of a great terror should his tomb be disturbed, the grave of Mongol warlord Tamerlan is opened, and Germany invades the USSR in Operation Barbarossa – the largest military operation in history. It costs the lives of 26.6 millions Russians and the tide of the conflict only turns at the slaughter at Stalingrad, co-inciding with Tamerlan’s reburial.

1969 Ohio’s Cuyahoga River catches fire owing to pollution and the city of Cleveland earns the moniker, “The mistake on the lake”.

1986 Diego Maradona scores his Hand-of-God goal – voted the goal of the century – as Argentina march to the World Cup title.

2017 Prince Harry claims in an article published in Newsweek that no one in the British royal family wants to be king or queen.

2019 Russian volcano Raikoke erupts from a 700m-wide-crater, which is seen from the International Space Station. The eruption turns sunsets purple across the Northern Hemisphere all summer.

2022 A 6.1 magnitude earthquake, Afghanistan's deadliest in 20 years, strikes near Khost, in the south-east, killing at least 1 000 people and injuring 1500 others.

2022 The tooth of independence leader and first prime minister of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Patrice Lumumba, arrives home from Belgium for a tour of country before being laid to rest in Kinshasa. Ideologically an African nationalist and pan-Africanist, Lumumba played a significant role in the transformation of the Congo from a colony into an independent republic after seven brutal decades under the thumb of Belgium. Shot by firing squad, his body was dissolved in acid at the height of the Cold War to protect the interests of the West, which was very much against what he stood for. One UN official, in describing African independence leaders to the US government, said: ‘(Ghanaian president Kwame) Nkrumah is the Mussolini of Africa while Lumumba is its little Hitler.’ Lumumba’s death turned him into a powerful martyr for the Congo.