More than just dates and boring facts.
1340 English king Edward III proclaimed king of France.
1788 Captain Arthur Phillip and British colonists hoist the Union Flag at Sydney Cove, New South Wales, now celebrated as Australia Day. Referred to as Invasion Day by some First Nations people.
1533 Excommunicated by the pope and now free to do what he wants, England’s King Henry VIII marries his pregnant lover Anne Boleyn three days after divorcing Catherine of Aragon. For failing to produce a male heir, like her predecessor, Boleyn will be tossed aside and executed on largely trumped up charges as Henry moves on to the third of his six wives. His first marriage to Catherine of Aragon lasted nearly 24 years, while the following five last less than 10 years combined. Two of them he had beheaded.
1554 The city São Paulo, Brazil, is founded.
1575 Luanda, the capital of Angola, is founded by the Portuguese navigator Paulo Dias de Novais.
1905 The Cullinan diamond, still the world’s largest, is found near Pretoria.
1914 An Indian mass meeting in Durban unanimously endorses the agreement between General Jan Smuts and Mahatma Gandhi regarding voluntary registration, poll tax and the recognition of Indian marriages, among others.
1918 The Ukrainian People’s Republic declares independence from Bolshevik Russia.
1919 The Paris Peace Conference accepts the proposal to create the League of Nations, the forerunner of the UN.
1924 The inaugural Winter Olympic Games open in Chamonix, in the French Alps.
1939 The first nuclear fission experiment (the splitting of a uranium atom) in the US takes place in the basement of Pupin Hall, Columbia University, by a team that includes Enrico Fermi, the father of the atomic bomb.
1942 Thailand declares war on the US and UK.
1945 The pivotal Battle of the Bulge ends.
1947 Notorious gangster Al Capone, 48, who once controlled organised crime in Chicago, dies from syphilis in Miami.
1949 The first Emmy Awards are presented; the venue is the Hollywood Athletic Club.
1964 Blue Ribbon Sports, which would later become Nike (after the winged Greek goddess of victory), is founded by University of Oregon track and field athletes.
1981 Following a cloud burst in the hinterland, at least 100 people drown and the town is devastated when the Buffels River bursts its banks in the Karoo town of Laingsburg.
1995 Russia almost launches a nuclear attack after it mistakes a Norwegian research rocket for an enemy attack.
2005 A stampede at the Mandhradevi temple in Maharashtra, India, kills at least 258 people.
2013 Fifty people are killed and 90 injured in a prison riot in Barquisimeto, Venezuela
2019 A tailing dam for an iron ore mine in Brumadinho, south-eastern Brazil, collapses, killing at least 110 people with 238 missing
2023 America and Germany announce decision to send powerful battle tanks (US 31, Germany 14) to Ukraine to fight Russia.