On this day in history, January 8

Back in the day this would have got you into trouble.

Back in the day this would have got you into trouble.

Published Jan 9, 2024


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

1656 The world’s oldest newspaper, the Opregte Haarlemsche Courant, first appears.

1708 A Spanish armada loaded with gold is sunk after a British naval squadron attacks it off the coast of Colombia.

1806 As part of the Napoleonic Wars, the Battle of Blaauwberg takes place when British forces attack the Batavian Republic near Cape Town in a small but significant military engagement. After the British victory, peace is made under the Treaty Tree in Woodstock, Cape Town. It establishes British rule in South Africa, which was to have huge ramifications.

1877 Native American war leader Crazy Horse and his warriors fight their last battle with the US Cavalry at Wolf Mountain in Montana.

1902 In a crackdown on lovers, New York state assemblyman Francis Landon gets a bill passed to criminalise men turning around on a street and “looking at a woman in that way”.

1912 The ANC is founded in Bloemfontein as the South African Native National Congress, as chiefs, community representatives, church organisations, and other prominent individuals agree to bring all Africans together as one people and defend their rights and freedoms.

1968 Oceanographer, and scientist Jacques Cousteau’s first undersea special airs on US network TV. It runs for many years in South Africa after the introduction of TV in 1976.

1992 Gripped by acute gastroenteritis, US president George HW Bush vomits in the lap of Japanese prime minister Kiichi Miyazawa.

2011 An attempted assassination of Arizona congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords kills six people and wounds 13. Her husband, space shuttle commander and US Senator, Mark Kelly – he and his twin, Scott, are the only siblings to travel in space – postpones his next space mission to care for his gravely ill wife.

2020 At a time of heightened tension between the US and Iran, Ukraine Airlines Flight 752 is shot down after take-off from Tehran. All 176 passengers and crew die. The Iranians said the plane was mistaken for a cruise missile.

2020 In a slap in the face of the establishment, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex announce they are stepping back as “senior” royals, and will work on becoming financially independent.