On this day in history, July 5

The Gunners’ Alexandre Lacazette, subject of a record signing.

The Gunners’ Alexandre Lacazette, subject of a record signing.

Published Jul 5, 2023


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

1295 Scotland and France join together in a pact against England. It is the beginning of the Auld Alliance.

1594 Portuguese forces begin an unsuccessful invasion of the Kingdom of Kandy, in Sri Lanka.

1830 The French occupy Algiers. The colonisation of Algeria was a way to keep veterans of the Napoleonic wars occupied.

1852 Frederick Douglass, fugitive slave, delivers his What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July? speech, and condemns the US celebration of freedom as a hypocritical sham.

1913 Generals Louis Botha and Jan Smuts travel from Pretoria to Johannesburg to mediate in the first miners’ strike.

1943 Germany begins an offensive, involving 6 000 tanks – the world’s largest tank battle, against Soviet forces, at the Battle of Kursk. The Soviets will win the battle by late August and end Hitler’s dream of conquering Russia.

1946 The bikini goes on sale after debuting at an outdoor fashion show in Paris, France.

1954 The US B-52 bomber makes its maiden flight. It is still operational today and the plan is to keep it going for another 50 years.

1975 Arthur Ashe becomes the first black man to win the Wimbledon singles title.

1989 Minister of law and order Adriaan Vlok says apartheid has become an albatross around the country’s neck. ‘If you ask a black South African what apartheid has done, he will say it has caused nothing but grief... If we do not get rid of it, it will crucify us all.’

1989 Jailed ANC leader, Nelson Mandela, meets President PW Botha to begin negotiating the end of apartheid.

1991 The ANC elects Nelson Mandela as its president and Walter Sisulu his deputy. Oliver Tambo becomes national chairman, Cyril Ramaphosa secretary general and Jacob Zuma his deputy.

1994 Amazon.com, one of the world’s most valuable companies, is founded by Jeff Bezos.

1996 Dolly the sheep becomes the first mammal cloned from an adult cell.

2009 A series of violent riots break out in China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.

2017 Arsenal FC breaks the club transfer fee record, paying €53 million for Lyon striker Alexandre Lacazette. Since then, however, that figure has been surpassed more than 40 times with the most expensive transfer to date being that of Neymar for £198m. The second-highest transfer fee paid was for Kylian Mbappé, who, like Neymar, was bought by French club Paris Saint-Germain, for £163m. The first recorded record transfer was of Willie Groves from West Bromwich Albion to Aston Villa for £100 in 1893 (equivalent to £12 000 in 2021).

2017 Followers of Indian spiritual leader Ashutosh Mahara win a court case, 3 years after his death, to keep his body in a freezer in case he should return to life.

2017 A shootout between drug cartels in Las Varas, in northern Mexico, kills 14 people.

2018 At least 24 people are killed in explosions at fireworks workshops in Tultepec, Mexico.

2021 One of world's oldest pieces of art, a 51 000-year-old deer bone carved by Neanderthals, is announced to the world after having been discovered in Germany’s Harz Mountains.

2022 Legendary rock guitarist Carlos Santana collapses on stage from dehydration and heat exhaustion in Pine Knob, Michigan.