On this day, May 8

Grow your own at home. Picture: File/Neil Baynes

Grow your own at home. Picture: File/Neil Baynes

Published May 8, 2023


Zuma off the hook; ignominy for Germans who have to surrender twice; the Gaffer quits, one million free zol plants; and Holocaust hero arrested and murdered by Communists.

1828 International Red Cross founder and Nobel Prize winner Henri Dunant is born in Geneva. He was also a founder of the YMCA.

1879 George Selden files the first patent for a petrol-driven car.

1886 Invented by Atlanta doctor and pharmacist John Pemberton, a carbonated beverage named Coca-Cola is sold as a patent medicine in Jacob’s Pharmacy, Atlanta. Its two key ingredients were cocaine and caffeine.

1912 Paramount Pictures is founded.

1916 A German munitions bunker in Fort Douaumont explodes, killing 679 soldiers.

1933 Mohandas Gandhi begins a 21-day fast in protest against British oppression in India.

1942 Gunners of the Ceylon Garrison Artillery on Horsburgh Island, in the Cocos Islands, rebel. Their mutiny is crushed and three are executed. The are the only British Commonwealth soldiers to be executed for mutiny during World War II.

1945 A second German surrender ceremony is held in Berlin. Soviet leader Josef Stalin refuses to recognise the German surrender document, signed a day earlier. At the second ceremony, German Field-Marshal Keitel signs the surrender document, which declares hostilities will end at 12:01am on May 9.

1947 Polish resistance fighter Witold Pilecki, who had volunteered to be imprisoned in Auschwitz to gather information about the Holocaust, is arrested by the communist secret police on charges of working for “foreign imperialism” and, after torture and a show trial, is executed in 1948.

1978 The first ascent of Mount Everest without supplemental oxygen is completed by Reinhold Messner and Peter Habeler.

1980 The World Health Organization confirms the eradication of smallpox.

1987 The SAS kills eight Provisional Irish Republican Army volunteers and a civilian in an ambush in Loughgall, Northern Ireland.

2006 The most publicised court case since apartheid ends. Johannesburg Supreme Court judge, Justice Willem van der Merwe pronounces Jacob Zuma not guilty of rape.

2013 Ex-Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi gets a four-year jail term for fraud.

2013 The Gaffer, Sir Alex Ferguson announces his retirement as Manchester United’s manager from 1986 to 2013. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest managers of all time and has won more trophies – 38, including 13 Premier League titles, five FA Cups, and two Uefa Champions League titles – than any other manager in the history of football.

2022 Thai government announces it will give away one million dagga plants to households to mark the new rule allowing people to grow zol at home.