Real people, real stories – more than just dates and boring facts
27BC Beginning of the Roman Empire.
1547 Ivan the Terrible crowns himself the first Tsar of Russia, replacing the 264-year-old Grand Duchy of Moscow with the Tsardom.
1690 The Galiot Noord is wrecked 24km west of Cape St Francis after a survey voyage to Delagoa Bay (Maputo Bay) and Natal. Most of the crew, who try to walk back to the Cape, die.
1909 Ernest Shackleton’s expedition finds the magnetic South Pole.
1917 The Zimmermann Telegram, sent from Germany to Mexico, is intercepted. It says that should the US join World War I, Mexico, a German ally, could have Texas, Arizona and New Mexico. This raises public anger and the US decides to fight against Germany.
1970 Golfing great Gary Player slams the decision not to let another great, Indian golfer Papwa Sewgolum, play in the SA Open.
1981 Ex-world heavyweight boxing champion Leon Spinks is mugged for his gold teeth.
1992 The 12-year Salvadoran Civil War that claimed at least 75 000 lives ends.
1990 As the police dragnet closes in, paedophile Gert van Rooyen and his mistress Joey Haarhoff commit suicide in Pretoria.
1999 Louis Kruger (11) of Richards Bay, dies after being attacked by a crocodile in the Mapelane nature reserve at the mouth of the Umfolozi River in KwaZulu-Natal.
2001 Democratic Republic of Congo President Laurent Kabila is assassinated – shot by one of his bodyguards in front of army generals, following a dispute in which Kabila sacked them, following an argument that got out of hand. His son, Joseph, takes over.
2005 Romanian Adriana Illiescu, 66, is the oldest recorded woman to give birth.
2006 Africa’s first elected head of state, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf becomes Liberia’s president.
2013 Deep in the Sahara Desert, a four-day occupation of a BP facility by militants begins, killing 48 hostages.
2019 The Egyptian capital, Cairo, is engulfed by a sandstorm, turning it orange.
2022 Unvaccinated World #1 tennis player Novak Doković is deported by the Australian government on ‘health and good order’ grounds, without playing in the Australian Open.