Real people, real stories – more than just dates and boring facts
AD 41 Roman Emperor Caligula, known for his eccentricity and sadistic despotism, is assassinated by his Praetorian Guards.
1848 James Marshall finds gold at Sutter’s Mill, sparking the California Gold Rush.
1878 Cable communication is established between England and the Cape.
1901 Emily Hobhouse says she found 2 000 women and children in shocking conditions in Bloemfontein’s concentration camp.
1908 Lieutenant-General Robert Baden-Powell, who commanded British troops during the Anglo-Boer War, publishes Scouting for Boys as a manual for self-instruction in outdoor skills and self-improvement. The book becomes the inspiration for the Scout Movement.
1915 British battlecruisers engage the German fleet in the Battle of Dogger Bank in the North Sea. It is one of the main naval battles of World War I.
1924 The Russian city of St Petersburg is renamed Leningrad (changed back in 1991).
1939 Thirty thousand people are killed by an earthquake in Concepcion Chile.
1943 Adolf Hitler orders besieged German troops at Stalingrad to fight to the death.
1961 Goldsboro B-52 crash: A bomber carrying two H-bombs (nuclear weapons) breaks up in mid-air over North Carolina. The uranium core of one weapon remains lost.
1965 Winston Churchill dies. He had been Britain’s wartime prime minister whose leadership and defiant rhetoric had fortified the British during their long struggle against Hitler’s Germany. ‘I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears, and sweat,’ he stated at the beginning of World War II.
1966 An Air India Boeing-707 crashes into Mont Blanc, France, killing 117 people.
1972 Japanese Sergeant Shoichi Yokoi, still faithful to the cause, is found hiding in the jungle on the island of Guam, where he has been since the end of World War II.
1984 Apple's revolutionary Macintosh personal computer goes on sale, after being introduced to the public during the Super Bowl. It changes the way people use computers.
2011 At least 35 die and 180 are injured in a bombing at Moscow’s Domodedovo Airport.
2023 The Doomsday Clock is reset to 90 seconds until midnight, the closest it has ever been (set up 1947), indicating how close the world is to nuclear war. Once the clock strikes 12, it means humans have made the earth uninhabitable from unchecked advances in science, technology and warfare.