Real people, real stories – more than just dates and boring facts
49BC Julius Caesar does something unthinkable and crosses the river Rubicon, signalling the start of the Roman civil war. As it was illegal to bring armies into Italy back then, the northern border of Italy was marked by the Rubicon and his crossing the river under arms amounted to insurrection, treason, and a declaration of war on the state. The phrase “crossing the Rubicon” has since come to mean “passing a point of no-return”.
1806 Two British brigades occupy Cape Town after the defeat of General JW Janssens at the Battle of Blaauwberg, at Papendorp (presently Woodstock). It is the second and final surrender of the Cape to the British.
1879 Three columns of British troops enter Zululand, marking the start of the Anglo-Zulu War.
1900 Mafeking siege: Barolong chief Wessel Montshiwa advises his people not to assist the British during the Siege of Mafeking. Lord Frederick Roberts arrives at the Cape, replacing Sir Redvers Buller as commander-in-chief of British forces in South Africa. General Kitchener, his chief-of -staff, accompanies him.
1912 The flying boat, invented by Glenn Curtiss, made its first flight at Hammondsport, New York.
1920 The Treaty of Versailles takes effect, officially ending World War I. The League of Nations holds its first meeting in London. South African internationalist and future prime minister Jan Smuts plays a key role in establishing and defining the league, and later the UN and Commonwealth of Nations.
1946 The League of Nations dissolves and is replaced by the UN.
1962 Nasa announces plans to build the powerful C-5 rocket launch vehicle, which became known as the Saturn V Moon rocket, which launched every Apollo Moon mission.
1966 The Tashkent Declaration ends the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965.
1972 Sheikh Mujibur Rahman returns to the newly independent Bangladesh as president after spending more than nine months in prison in Pakistan.
2007 A general strike begins in Guinea in an attempt to get President Lansana Conté to resign. It doesn’t work and the country is stuck with the chain-smoking Conté – one of Africa's longest-running authoritarian rulers → who presides over the most corrupt country in the world, alongside Haiti, Transparency International said.
2013 More than 100 people are killed and 270 others are injured in several bomb blasts in Pakistan.
2015 A traffic accident between an oil tanker and a bus en route to Shikarpur from Karachi, Pakistan, kills at least 62 people.