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597 BC The Baby­lo­ni­ans cap­ture Jerusalem, and re­place Je­co­niah with Zedekiah as king.

1244 About 200 Cathars are burned at the stake for their be­liefs.

1561 The Je­suit, Gonçalo da Sil­veira, first mis­sion­ary in south­ern Africa and first mar­tyr of the Chris­tian faith, is mur­dered.

1621 Samoset star­tles the set­tlers by walk­ing into their New Ply­mouth Colony and greet­ing them in their own tongue with the words: “Wel­come, English­men! My name is Samoset.” He was the first Amer­i­can In­dian to make con­tact with the set­tlers.

1657 Jan Wouters is found guilty in court in the Cape for “blas­phe­mous li­bels on Cape ladies” and is sen­tenced to beg their par­don on his knees, to have his tongue “bored through”, to for­feit his wages, and to be ban­ished for three years.

1713 A quar­ter of the white pop­u­la­tion in the Cape dies of smallpox. How­ever, the hard­est hit are the Khoisan.

1871 Dr Hans Meren­sky, dis­cov­erer of tin near Pre­to­ria, plat­inum near Ly­den­burg, di­a­monds at Alexan­der Bay, chromium at Pi­eters­burg and phos­phate at Pha­l­aborwa, is born at Bot­sha­belo, eastern Transvaal.

1872 Wan­der­ers FC win the first FA Cup, the old­est foot­ball com­pe­ti­tion in the world, beat­ing Royal En­gi­neers AFC 1-0.

1900 Sir Arthur Evans re­dis­cov­ers Knos­sos in Crete, home of the leg­endary Mino­taur.

1926 Robert God­dard launches the first liq­uid-fu­elled rocket, at Auburn, Mas­sachusetts.

1945 Ninety per­cent of Würzburg, Ger­many, is de­stroyed in only 20 min­utes by Bri­tish bombers, re­sult­ing in around 5 000 deaths.

1971 One of the most in­flu­en­tial blues mu­si­cians of all time, Muddy Wa­ters, wins his first Grammy Award. The Rolling Stones named them­selves af­ter his 1950 hit song,

He won six Gram­mys.

1978 For­mer Ital­ian Prime Min­is­ter Aldo Moro is kid­napped. (He is later mur­dered).

1988 The Kur­dish town of Hal­abja in Iraq is at­tacked with a mix of poi­son gas and nerve agents on the or­ders of Sad­dam Hus­sein, killing 5 000 peo­ple and in­jur­ing about

10 000 peo­ple. It is the largest chem­i­cal weapons at­tack.

2014 Vot­ers in Crimea vote over­whelm­ingly to leave Ukraine and re­join Rus­sia amid in­ter­na­tional con­dem­na­tion of its de­sign.

2019 A beached dead whale, in Mabini, Philip­pines, is found to have 40kg of plas­tic in­side it, in­clud­ing 18kg of plas­tic bags. | THE HIS­TO­RIAN

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