Real people, real stories – more than just dates and boring facts.
1377 Pope Gregory XI moves the papacy back to Rome from Avignon, ending the 67-year ‘Babylonian Captivity of the Papacy’.
1775 Nine women are burnt as witches in Kalisk, Poland, because of bad harvests.
1811 Six thousand Spaniards defeat 100 000 Mexicans at the Battle of Calderón Bridge.
1837 At Mosega, the Voortrekkers defeat Mzilikazi’s Ndebele, who flee across the Limpopo in to what is today Zimbabwe.
1852 Britain signs the Sand River Convention, renouncing all claims beyond the Vaal River and laying the foundation for the Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek.
1873 A group of Modoc warriors defeats the US Army in the First Battle of the Stronghold.
1879 Zulu King Cetshwayo tells 20 000 of his warriors at the great military kraal of Nodwengu: ‘I am sending you out against the whites, who have invaded Zululand and driven away our cattle. You are to go against the column at Rorke’s Drift and drive it back into Natal.’
1912 Captain Robert Scott’s expedition arrives at the South Pole, only to discover Roald Amundsen’s team beat them to it.
1944 Allied forces launch the first of four costly assaults on Monte Cassino to seize Rome.
1945 Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg, credited with saving tens of thousands of Jews from the Nazis, is arrested by German secret police in Hungary. He is never seen again.
1961 Congolese Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba is murdered in circumstances suggesting the Belgian and US involvement.
1991 The Gulf War’s Operation Desert Storm begins as aircraft strike positions across Iraq, which fires Scud missiles into Israel in an unsuccessful bid to provoke Israel.
1998 The story of the affair between US President Bill Clinton and White House intern Monica Lewinsky breaks.
2017 The Nigerian military mistakenly bombs a refugee camp, killing more than 70 people in Borno state.
2021 Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny is arrested immediately on his return to Russia after recovering from nerve-agent poisoning.
2023 Italy's most wanted mobster, Matteo Messina Denaro, is arrested at a private clinic in Palermo after having been on the run for 30 years.