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