On this day in history, July 10

Significant and interesting snippets of news, with a South African angle, from this day in history

A torched car, stolen trolleys and other debris litter Queen Nandi Drive in Durban in the worst rioting and looting since the end of apartheid. Picture: Motshwari Mofokeng African News Agency (ANA)

Published Jul 11, 2023


Significant and interesting snippets of news, with a South African angle, from this day in history

1888 João Albasini, 75, elephant-hunter, trader and white chief of the Magwamba tribe, dies in the Soutpansberg district.

1913 Furnace Creek Ranch in Death Valley, California, records the Earth’s highest temperature – a sweltering 57°C. South Africa’s highest is 50°C, recorded at Dunbrody in the Eastern Cape on November 3, 1918. At the other end of the scale is a bone-numbing reading of −20.1°C from Buffelsfontein, near Molteno, Eastern Cape, on August 23, 2013.

1915 British and South African troops invade German South-West Africa (Namibia).

1921 Rioting and gun battles kill 16 people and destroy 161 houses in Belfast’s Bloody Sunday.

1923 Hailstones weighing 1kg each kill 23 people and many cattle in Rostov, Russia.

1925 Indian spiritual master Meher Baba begins his silence of 44 years until his death.

1942 Olympic boxer and ardent Adolf Hitler fan, Robey Leibbrandt appears in court for high treason after leading guerrilla operations in preparation for a coup d’etat. Sentenced to death, he is pardoned by the nationalist government and lives in Hermanus until a fatal heart attack. Because of his fanaticism, South Africa nearly became a Nazi state.

1985 French agents sink the Greenpeace ship Rainbow Warrior in Auckland, New Zealand.

2018 A daring rescue that had the world on the edge of its seat ends when the last four boys and their soccer coach are plucked from a water-filled Thai cave they became trapped in.

2019 Singer-Songwriter Taylor Swift becomes the world’s highest-paid entertainer.

2020 The sixth-century Hagia Sophia cathedral, a Unesco world heritage site in Istanbul, Türkiye, reverts to being a mosque. Rebuilt on the same site three times, the Hagia Sophia (literally: Holy Wisdom or Divine Wisdom) is the world’s oldest cathedral. The current version opened for worship in 537 and is said to have changed the history of architecture.

2021 Wholesale looting and violence in and around Durban, as well as in Gauteng, enters its second day. It is the worst violence South Africa has had since the end of apartheid. The touchstone was the arrest of former president Jacob Zuma.