More than just dates and boring facts.
1671 Cape Governor Isbrand Goske sends an expedition to the Hottentots Holland to decide whether the district is suitable for permanent settlement.
1842 The Nepaul, a British ship of 462 tons, runs aground while leaving Swartvlei Bay on the Cape coast. Three sailors die.
1847 Inventor Thomas Edison is born in Milan, Ohio. In his lifetime he acquired 1 200 patents including the incandescent bulb, phonograph and movie camera. It was he who said: ‘Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration’.
1900 The second British offensive of the Second Anglo-Boer War begins with the invasion of the Orange Free State.
1946 The Reverend John Langalibalele Dube, founder of the Zulu newspaper Ilanga lase Natal (now Ilanga), dies in Umhlanga, near Durban. He was the first Black person to receive a D.Phil honoris causa from a SA university, and founding president of the South African Native National Congress, which became the ANC.
1951 Kwame Nkrumah wins the first parliamentary election on the Gold Coast (Ghana).
1978 China lifts a ban on works by Aristotle, William Shakespeare and Charles Dickens.
1982 A call for a 30-minute work stoppage, in protest at the death of Dr Neill Aggett, is supported by virtually all independent Black unions, and tens of thousands of workers. Outrage cuts across racial lines, with calls for an end to detention without trial.
1990 Underdog Buster Douglas stuns the boxing world by knocking out ‘Iron’ Mike Tyson to claim the world heavyweight title.
1990 Nelson Mandela is freed from jail.
2013 Pope Benedict XVI announces his resignation, effective February 28. He is the first pope to do so since 1415.
2015 Francesco Schettino, captain of the cruise ship Costa Concordia which he ran aground off Italy, is convicted of manslaughter and jailed for 16 years.
2018 A Russian airliner crashes south-east of Moscow, killing all 71 people on board.
2019 Homemade alcohol kills scores in the Indian states of Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh
2019 Artificial Intelligence is pitted against physicians in tests to diagnose 600 000 patients in results published in Nature Medicine. AI won – just.
2020 Snow falls in Baghdad, Iraq, for only the second time in a century
2020 Largest wave ever surfed by a woman by Brazilian Maya Gabeira riding a 73.5ft (22.4m) wave at Nazaré, Portugal.
2021 The world's second-oldest person, French nun Sister André, celebrates her 117th birthday after surviving Covid-19 in Toulon, France.
2022 Australia lists the koala as endangered for the first time in Queensland, New South Wales and ACT after a steep decline in numbers