On this day in history, February 1

Not just big birds, they are sexually active for decades.

Not just big birds, they are sexually active for decades.

Published Feb 1, 2024


More than just dates and boring facts.

1587 Queen Elizabeth I of England signs the death warrant for her cousin, Mary, Queen of Scots.

1662 The Dutch garrison on Formosa (Taiwan) surrenders to Chinese pirates.

1864 David Hume, 66, explorer and big-game hunter, dies in Grahamstown. He came to the Cape with Benjamin Moodie’s Scotch settlers in 1817 and was probably the first European to meet Mzilikazi, headman of the Matabele (Ndebele). He was also the first to enter Bamangwato (Botswana) in 1833.

1895 Africa’s oldest nature reserve, Fountains Valley, is proclaimed by President Paul Kruger.

1901 Bubonic plague out in Cape Town.

1920 The South African Air Force is formed, the first of the Commonwealth air forces, under Lieutenant-Colonel Pierre van Ryneveld.

1926 Land at Broadway & Wall Street, New York is sold for a record $7 per square inch.

1946 Norway’s Trygve Lie becomes the first secretary-general of the UN.

1981 In one of cricket’s biggest controversies, Australian captain Greg Chappell instructs younger brother Trevor to bowl underarm, with New Zealand needing six from the final ball to tie the third World Series Cup ODI in Melbourne. Australia win by six runs.

1991 President FW de Klerk opens Parliament with a speech promising to repeal all apartheid laws: the Land Act, the Group Areas Act and the Registration of Population Act.

2003 The space shuttle Columbia burns up re-entering Earth’s atmosphere, killing all seven astronauts aboard, almost 17 years to the day after the loss of the shuttle Challenger, in 1986.

2004 In a stampede during the Hajj in Saudi Arabia, 251 people are trampled to death.

2009 The first cabinet of Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir is formed in Iceland, making her the country’s first female prime minister and the world’s first gay head of government.

2013 Proteas captain Graeme Smith makes history by becoming the first man in cricket history to captain his side in 100 Test matches.

2013 26 people die after a fireworks truck explodes in Henan, China.

2021 Wisdom, the albatross – the world's oldest known bird – hatches a chick at the age of 70 at the Midway Atoll national wildlife refuge, North Pacific.

2020 Huge locust swarms across East Africa lead Somalia to declare a national emergency.