On this day in history, January 21

Donald Trump is clearly not everyone’s favourite.

Donald Trump is clearly not everyone’s favourite.

Published Jan 21, 2024


Real people, real stories – more than just dates and boring facts

1077 German King Henry IV once again petitions Pope Gregory VII for forgiveness. A controversial figure, but one of the most powerful men of the 11th Century, he annoyed the church so much that he was excommunicated five times.

1525 The Swiss Anabaptist Movement is founded when Conrad Grebel, Felix Manz, George Blaurock, and about a dozen others baptise each other in the home of Manz’s mother in Zürich, breaking a thousand-year tradition of church-state union.

1535 Following the Affair of the Placards, French Protestants are burned at the stake in front of the Cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris

1793 King Louis XVI of France is executed by the guillotine in Paris, following his conviction for high treason during the French Revolution.

1954 The first nuclear-powered submarine, the USS Nautilus, is launched.

1960 A large section of the Coalbrook mine, near Sasolburg, caves in and traps 435 miners, in the country’s worst mine disaster. There are no survivors.

1972 The Reza Shah Museum, in honour of Reza Shah Pahlevi, housed in the Johannesburg house where Iran’s Shah lived from 1942-1944, is inaugurated.

1987 At least 12 people are killed in the KwaMakhuta massacre when the home of the UDF activist Bheki Ntuli is attacked.

1990 US tennis star and “Superbrat” John McEnroe becomes first player to be expelled from the Australian Open, for misconduct.

1994 American Lorena Bobbitt is found not guilty by way of temporarily insanity after she cut off her abusive husband’s penis.

2005 Three people die and 500 are left homeless when a tornado cuts a path of destruction through the KZN Midlands. The province had been battered by storms nearly every day from December 17 to January 3, causing millions of rand in damage.

2013 30 people are killed in a car bombing in Salamiyeh, Syria.

2013 41 people are injured after two trains collide in Vienna, Austria.

2017 More than 2 million people protest worldwide in the ‘Women’s March’ against Donald Trump, with 500 000 marching in Washington, DC